Chapter 1: Alyn I, or A Ghost of a Chance
His brother Addam had long ago left, having tamed his own dragon, Seasmoke. Alyn felt a little bitter about that. But Addam was the older and so he deserved the first dragon.
Plus if he, Alyn Waters of Hull, a Velaryon bastard, managed to tame the elusive Grey Ghost he would just seem all the more impressive.
Of course, he mused to himself as he maneuvered the beaten dinghy he helmed out into deeper water occasionally pausing to toss some fish out as bait, he would have to find the beast first.
His mother's father was a shipwright, thus Alyn had spent his entire life around boats and ships. That said his grandfather thought finding Grey Ghost was a fools errand and had only allowed him to use the most dilapidated and beat of up his dinghies.
All his life he and his brother had known they were destined for greater things. While they may be bastards their Valyrian blood was powerful and strong, driving them to greater heights and ambitions. For not only was their father a Velaryon, their mother said Laenor but due to his known proliclivities everyone thought Lord Corlys the Sea Snake was much more likely and the ruse was to fend off the wroth of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, the Sea Snake's wife. Better she think herself their grandmother.
The Velaryon of his father's side was combined with his mother's own Dragonseed blood. His grandfather said that they had had the Valyrian white hair and lavender eyes for generations even before him, and that his mother's mother had lain with a Prince of Dragonstone and given birth to Alyn's great-grandmother.
Valyrian on both side. The Dragon's Blood burned brightly in he and his brother.
Now if only it would burn brightly for, “This damned spectral beast to take notice of me!” he cried out in frustration, pulling an arm back extra far and throwing the next fish with far more force than any other pitch.
Which of course rocked his beat up old dinghy.
Alyn's face went even paler as the boat flipped and the sea came rushing up at him. He was very far from shore, and the closest one was the rocky and volcanic shore of the Dragonmont.
As a lifelong swimmer and sailor Alyn, though merely thirteen, quickly calmed himself as he was submerged. Quickly he tried to kick himself out sideways to get out from under the boat but found his net of fish had tangled in his left leg.
The salt water burned his eyes slightly as he kept them open to see his struggles and options. As his lungs started to slowly burn as he reached the half minute mark of being underwater he found his harpoon tangled in with the fish and as he continued sinking tried to maneuver it so that it could cut the net but not his leg.
He noticed he had stopped sinking as he reached the minute mark and saw that the net was still tied to the capsized but floating boat, this gave him a chance. He would not pass out from the pressure of sinking now, he had another two minutes, as he could typically hold his breath for three.
Another minute of struggle passed and the young Dragonseed made a critical error, while moving his harpoon around he sliced open his leg as he had been cautiously trying to avoid. Blood leaked out of his body into the water and he gasped in pain, his last minute of air leaving his lungs.
And yet he was calm, “So this is how it ends? I was just a jest upon the world. Stay strong Addam, live long brother.” were his last thoughts as he closed his eyes and...
The water exploded around him. His eyes shot open and he saw a huge mass over him and felt a sharp pain in his sides as he was yanked out of the water along with the harpoon and the net with the fish, all tangled up within each other.
And suddenly he was in the air moving back towards land. Slowly he was able to make out the mass that had yanked him from the sea, it was a medium sized dragon, smaller than Vhagar or Vermithor but larger than Seasmoke or Silverwing. The beast was long and lithe for its size though, none of the bulkiness that he attributed to even a few younger dragons that put on weight early. Or from what he had gathered in his limited but enthusiastic observations of the dragons when they would visit Driftmark or Dragonstone.
The silver and grey coloring did remind him of Seasmoke but instead of opaque the scales of this beast almost rippled and reflected the light of the clouds and sky, as if it were one of the chameleons a trader from the Summer Islands had shown him when he was younger.
The awe almost erased the excruciating pain for Alyn. However an especially strong flap of the wings jolted his body and he screamed in pain, his body contorting as much as it could in the dragon's grasp.
This caught the dragon's attention and it looked down to see what had made a noise, as fish do not typically scream.
While Alyn could not see it, the dragon stared down at him as it began gliding down to its volcanic cliffside cave where it nested and blinked a few times.
It had caught one of the strange pink two-legs that swim on wood. Idly Grey Ghost wondered what it would taste like, but then decided that there were enough fish in the twine entangling the boy that it cared not to find out.
That is how Alyn found himself ignobly and painfully dropped inside a seaside cave and screaming as the dragon tried to disentangle the net to get at the fish, which only had the net yank at his injured leg.
“Wait! Wait! Let me get it! Ow!” He held up his head placatingly to the dragon as his yelling made it startle and scoot back nearer the ledge with its voice rumbling.
Now that he was out of the water he could reach the harpoon easily, still holding up one hand he awkwardly sawed at the net until he could remove his leg and then picked up a fish through the torn portion of the net and held it out for the dragon, “See? Is this not easier?”
The dragon's neck quickly snapped out and snagged the fish right out of the boy's hand, with such delicacy and grace that it did not even graze Alyn's fingers with its teeth.
Laughing in both relief and gratitude Alyn picked up another fish and this time tossed it towards Grey Ghost's mouth. The dragon snapped it up again.
That's when the pain started up again and Alyn realized he had to bind up the wound on his leg quickly, the scratches from Grey Ghost's claws on his side were minor, though he would need them cleaned by the healer in Hull when he got back.
Then it hit him. He could get them treated by a MAESTER in DRIFTMARK or DRAGONSTONE because he was pretty sure he was taming Grey Ghost right now! Quickly he tore his tattered tunic into strips and bound his leg and began picking up fish to continue the feeding game with Grey Ghost, surely that was the best way to ingratiate the dragon to him right?
He spent the afternoon essentially playing with and bonding with Grey Ghost. The dragon really was a shy creature, loud noises and abrupt movements would surprise it, though not scare it, Alyn amended in his mind, as the creature would typically growl or let out a low roar in response, teeth bared. Which was good, he mused, he did not want a craven dragon, that would not do for fighting in a war.
Eventually the dragon let him pet and scratch it, he could not discern whether it was currently a boy or a girl dragon and dragon's apparently could change that something random from what he had heard, though that could be a myth.
Alyn was leaning toward referring to Grey Ghost as a lady dragon though, in his mind she was demure but fierce which could perfectly describe most Westerosi Valyrian women. Like his mother. And his...supposed grandmother the Princess Rhaenys. Oh and his liege lady Rhaenyra Targaryen, First of Her Name, Queen of the Aegon's Kingdoms, Queen of the Andals and First Men. He thought perhaps she had another title in there somewhere. He hoped he did not forget and offend when he presented himself with his brother to her upon his return.
Oh, his return, he looked up from scratching under Grey Ghost's chin and she let out a confused and rumbling sound that was halfway between a chirp and a roar, making a kind of 'mrrk?' sound.
The sun was getting low in the sky, he could tell they were on the western side of the Dragonmont as they could still see the sun at all.
He grabbed the harpoon and used it to stand, “Grey Ghost? It's time for us to go girl, can you take me home?”
She turned her head to the side in obvious confusion and he sighed, “Well no harm in trying.”
He slowly clambered up her back and into a somewhat comfortable space between her wings and shoulder blades behind her neck.
She actually seemed to get the concept very quickly, and having become quite fond of the strange scaleless creature, and feeling some kind of subconscious link to the boy she quickly leapt from the ledge at the mouth of the cave and flew off into the sunset.
Of course Alyn did not want to go off into the sunset as romantic and adventurous as that sounded. First of all King's Landing and the Greens were to the west and he certainly did not wish to be killed by Vhagar like poor Lucerys and his dragon.
So he tapped on the left side of Grey Ghost's hide trying to get her to swing south towards Driftmark and the castle of High Tide, where his brother and Seasmoke were now staying with Lord Corlys.
Eventually he hammered his fist down hard enough that she got that idea too and swung around.
Thankful he tried to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Then his body started to realize he was riding a heavily scaled beast bareback and began to scream at him in pain while his skin was scraped off painfully by the friction.
He was a bloody mess by the time they finally landed and slide off his dragon to the ground in a thump.
Grey Ghost bent her head down and nudged her rider in confusion and let out a low moaning keen of worry.
The last thing Alyn heard as the darkness of unconsciousness slammed down around his mind was his brother yelling his name.
Chapter 2: Addam I or Smoke and Spirit
No one really knew where Addam had gotten his chivalrous nature from. By all accounts a bastard who worked as an apprentice to his shipwright grandfather should not have the type of honor, dedication, and optimistic view of the world that Addam did.
That is not of course to say that Addam did not have worries, concerns, and did not see the evil in the world.
He just knew, somewhere deep down in his heart and soul, that if good people fought tooth and nail to help others and protect and build a just society then the evil could be banished. It was an unshakable conviction that had, in his mind, made himself worthy of his father's dragon, Seasmoke.
It was also this conviction, sometimes bordering on naivety, that had Addam take his mother at her word that Laenor Velaryon was the father of he and his brothers and not Corlys as some suggested.
At sixteen he was just at the beginnings of manhood and was proud in how much he had achieved for a bastard. Even outside of his taming of Seasmoke he had been planning to join the Driftmark guard and for the last few years had been training towards that goal. He was a menace with a spear, a skill he had passed down to his brother, and a fair hand with a sword, though no match for a trained knight or the better sellswords around.
A skill he was quickly getting better with, now that he was training with the Master-at-arms of High Tide.
Lord Corlys had quickly taken both he and Alyn in when he had tamed Seasmoke a week ago, and was talking of getting them legitimized as his grandsons and heirs once Alyn returned from taming Grey Ghost.
In Addam's opinion his lord grandfather was being a bit overconfident that Alyn could even find Grey Ghost, though Addam did accede that he thought his brother had a strong chance of taming the beast if he could find it.
Though perhaps that was his desire to wing through the air upon their dragons together with his brother.
Currently Addam stood upon the top of High Tide's North Tower. This tower looked out across the strait towards Crackclaw Point. He was turned facing northeast however, instead of due north. That was where his brother would be, sailing off in a tiny dinghy trying to search out the elusive Grey Ghost near the volcanic and rocky cliffs of Dragonstone.
“There's no point in standing here waiting around boy, your brother will be back when he's back.” His grandfather's gruff voice came from behind and Addam turned to face the Lord of Tides.
“Lord grandfather! I apologize for being up here if I was needed down below?”
The old man shook his head with a smile on his lips, “You are a dragonrider and soon to be my legitimized heir. No need to differ constantly, indeed you will need to become much more assertive in the near future.”
Addam nodded and further lowered his platinum bedecked head as he stifled an apologize, “Of course. I suppose I cannot be a great Lord of the Tides if I have no pride in myself, correct?” He said this after raising his head back up with a grin upon his lips.
The old lord and adventurer placed a hand on his grandson's shoulder and laughed, “Precisely my boy! We'll make a noble of you yet! You certainly already have more honor than most knights I have met!” He paused for a moment before continuing, “Hmm we'll have to see about getting you knighted soon. Perhaps once you have horselegs half as good as your sealegs. Or after your first battle. Whichever comes first in this Seven-forsaken war that pissant Aegon and his Hightower whore of a mother started.”
Addam gulped, just yesterday they had received the remains of his grandmother Rhaena along with news that the head of her dragon Meleys had been mounted from the inner gates to the Red Keep of King's Landing. She had perished in a battle with Aemond and Aegon the Elder at Rook's Rest just before Prince Jacaerys had sent out the call for Dragonseeds to tame the wild dragons of Dragonstone.
In fact as soon as Alyn got back they were to head to Dragonstone to meet with Prince Jacaerys and Queen Rhaenyra for legitimization and acknowledgement of their dragon taming and inclusion into any new battle plans for the next phase of the campaign.
The Blacks were on the ropes after a few initial losses but both sides of the civil war were still in the phase of marshaling their forces. Hightower and forces of the Reach would take almost as long to reach King's Landing as their Northman allies would to arrive. This next phase would be done by the core kingdoms. The Crownlands, Riverlands, northern Stormlands, and eastern Reach would be where the fighting would be done, mostly by armies from those regions as well as allies from the Vale. The Lannister forces appeared to be taking their sweet time and it appeared they may have a few allies in the Reach that would delay the Hightowers, such as the Tarlys. And with control of Harrenhal Prince Consort Daemon could lock down the Riverlands and Crownlands very substantially. And there were rumblings that Dorne and the Three Daughters may involve themselves out of their grudge against the aforementioned Prince Consort from his short duration as king of the Stepstones.
Honestly it was all a bit over Addam's head, the politics bit at least, but he knew that he and his dragon would be an integral weapon in sitting the rightful queen upon the throne.
“Your training with my Master-at-arms has progressed nicely however Addam, he is greatly impressed with your improvements with the sword. Furthermore, he says that once you learn to sit a horse better your skills with the spear will lend themselves to some fine jousting. Perhaps you can win the love of some beautiful daughter of a lord at the tourney to celebrate our victory over the Greens, eh?”
The lecherous look upon his grandfather's face made Addam blush a deep red, all the more apparent with his pale Valyrian skin and eyes.
“Grandfather! Certainly it is immature to be thinking of a victory tourney!”
“Bah! If we don't hope for that future what else do we have? If Aegon takes the day in the end then we'll all be going to the headsman.”
That was a dark thought that the young bastard had not considered. That the only way he had any future at all was likely through victory now.
“I...well that's all and good but um...do you really think a lord would consider me as a match for his daughter? I mean the Velaryon's are a noble and ancient house with close ties to the throne but I would still be a legitimized bastard and we both know some think there is no way to remove that stain.”
Addam was rambling now trying to dispel the two conflicting futures from troubling him. It was after a few moments of his babbling that he noticed his grandfather was staring past his head in surprise.
Slowly he turned around, just in time for a shimmering dragon the color of a stormy sky and larger than Seasmoke pass close overhead.
“I do believe my boy, that your brother has returned successful.”
It was that sentence which finally snapped them both into action and Addam lunged down the steps of the tower two at a time while his grandfather started down as fast as his old bones would take him and cursing up a storm.
By the time he arrived at the courtyard the dragon was on the ground, the guardsmen were surrounding it at a distance in unease, and he could see his brother with his back on the dirt looking much the worse for wear.
“Alyn! Alyn!” He screamed as he pushed past a few guards and ran to his brother, ignoring the surprised and indignant dragon's oddly deep but still definitely a squeak of surprise.
He quickly assessed his brother's cuts and wounds and turned his head around, “Well don't just stand there like a bunch of dull-witted aurochs! Fetch the Seven-damned Maester!”
So I hope you guys like Addam and Alyn, the first two POV characters and brothers. I tried to align their personalities with the deeds that would canonically accomplish later in life. You'll notice Addam tries very hard to be much more refined and aristocratic than Alyn and that Alyn has a lot of the cunning and adaptability of his grandfather.
Chapter 3: Corlys I or the Tide is High
Lord Corlys the Sea Snake, Lord of Driftmark and Tides, head of House Velaryon, but at this moment most importantly, father to two impressive young men, one of which was laying in a bed being treated by a Maester for grievous wounds.
Oh Corlys would never admit that the boys were his instead of his eldest son, Laenor's. While Rhaenys may no longer be alive he would not admit it and besmirch her memory. While his eyes and loins may have wandered his heart never had. He had always loved his fiery princess.
Corlys had done so much in his long life but in his mind he had nothing to show for it but useless riches.
His wife was dead, his two trueborn children were dead, and he knew that Rhaenyra's own children were not Laenor's.
It amused him that that court fool, Mushroom, went around proclaiming he had brought about the fire at Harrenhal that claimed Harwin Strong. Laenor's cuckolding was his own Seven-damned fault in his opinion. The stupid boy likely had not even done his duty to Rhaenyra more than just once on the wedding night, if that, as there had been no bedding ceremony.
Corlys's suspicions landed fully upon Harwin's brother, Larys, a known scoundrel and envious cretin.
But the Strong-bastards did not matter anymore. One of them would be king by the end of all this and he now had two strong, talented, and dragon riding heirs. If only young Alyn would recover from the infection and fever.
Maester Tomas was hopeful though and that eased the fear in his old heart.
Turning his head from where he sat in a comfortable chair he had had moved up to the chambers where the boy rested he could see his other son, head resting on his arms on his brother's bed. The poor lad had fallen asleep sitting at his brother's bedside.
It was a sweet sight, Corlys mused to himself, that kind of tenderness and loyalty was not a trait that had been showing up in his family very lately.
The old lord sighed and thought with regret that perhaps it was in a large part his own fault. His youth as a roguish sailor making a fortune for his house upon the high seas had not made him the best father to Laenor, and the boy had most certainly gone wrong somewhere along the line. If only he had done is duty by Rhaenyra then Corlys could have excused his dalliances with the likes of Correy. But no, instead that son had died a massive disappointment at the hands of an angry lover.
With no issue at all, oh sure the realm thought Rhaenyra's boys were Laenor's, but Corlys knowing different could not let Driftmark and High Tide pass to those with no Velaryon blood at all.
And gods be good he needed Alyn to survive and recover because he was not sure that both boys could make it through the war.
Not that he was not determined to do his best to make sure they did. He had already sent Rhaenyra a quick raven letting her know both boys had dragons and they were coming to Dragonstone to be legitimized as soon as Alyn could travel. Futhermore he had his smith melting down some of the Valyrian steel he had recovered on one of his many fantastic voyages around Essos so weapons could be forged for the two.
Corlys had had the Valyrian steel melted down once before, mere weeks before his idiot son Laenor had gotten himself stabbed, so it was currently in bars in his vault underneath High Tide.
Addam's quick improvement with the sword had him thinking he would get his smith to forge the boy a nice broadsword and then reinforce a shield with the metal as well.
Addam was born to be a knight of the highest caliber, a thought which made Corlys equal parts proud and worried.
He had seen far too many naive and idealistic knights get a Myrish crossbow bolt through the helm during he and Daemon's campaign into the Stepstones.
Chapter 4: Brothers I or the Planting of Seeds
The fact that I can get a few pages of anything done in a few weeks between how much I am working to pay for school and school itself is a miracle tbh y'all
Addam was worried that his brother would never awaken and it seemed as if his brother’s dragon was equally disturbed for every day for previous three Grey Ghost had endeavored to bring Alyn a fish or two. This normally would not have been a problem and would have simply been a kind gesture from a strange if highly intelligent animal, excepting for the fact that Grey Ghost was roughly the size of a barge. This caused quite a few problems as Alyn was currently being kept in one of the towers of High Tide thus when depositing his daily gift he would scrabble at the masonry with his talons. These actions caused quite a bit of consternation for both Lord Corlys and the guardsmen around that tower.
It was thankfully on the third day that the young soon to be knighted Alyn would awaken. Addam eagerly perked up as he noticed his brother’s previously still form begin to stir, “Alyn? Alyn? Are you coming back to us?”
After his younger brother pulled the covers over his eyes to avoid the light streaming in through the uncovered window of the room Addam whooped in joy.
“Thank the Mother! Oh you sly fiend you did it you tamed the Grey Ghost! What did you do? That beast has been trying non-stop to bring you food to help you recover!”
Alyn groaned, “My head feels like the castle fell on it. Will you just shut up brother? Besides I think she more adopted me than I tamed her. The creature seems to think I am some useless hatchling more often than not.”
That brought more relieved laughter to the elder’s throat, “Well are you not little brother? You only came back looking like fish chum!”
At that Alyn peeked out from under the covers and picked up the pillow from behind his head tossing it at his puckish older brother. He was not amused by Addam’s haranguing. As brothers are want to do they spent a goodly number of minutes catching up upon what had occurred since Alyn sailed off on his small boat on both of their ends. It is through this that he had learned that all the Dragonseeds who had tamed dragons, apparently only Cannibal and Sheepstealer remained unclaimed around Dragonstone, were being gathered on Dragonstone in the keep itself by Prince Jacaerys.
Gently handing the pillow back to his brother Addam’s face softened, “I am truly glad you are on the mend, Alyn. I was worried sick about you, you are my baby brother you know?”
Alyn blushed mightily, a boy of three and ten who thought he was ready to be a big and strong warrior did not want to be called a ‘baby’ anything.
“I am sure it wasn’t so bad!” He protested, “I mean I bet I’ll be right back on my feet as soon as-”
His protestations were interupted by a strange sound, like nails on a Maester’s writing slate, followed by an odd chirruping and a large smokey colored snout poking in through the window and depositing a goodly sized tuny.
“Ah...I was going to say as soon as I ate but I think I’ve lost my appetite brother.”
Addam let out a relieved guffaw, “Ha! Have you become so weakened that the smell of fish can kill your appetite instead of grow it?”
The younger bastard rolled his eyes, “No, just the idea of eating one my dragon has slobbered all over.”
Taking a second look at the tuny Addam was forced to agree with his sibling, “I shall admit, that tuny does look a mite worked over.”
And truly it did, as much as Grey Ghost had tried to carry it with all due care her razor sharp teeth, as long as a short sword in many cases, had inevitably sliced the outer scales of the fish to shreds. While not necessarily the main issue Alyn had with the fish, it was a problem that had allowed the main issue to occur, namely the Seven only knows how much dragon saliva working its way deep into the fish’s flesh.
Hearing her master’s voice only emboldened the beast and Addam had to help Alyn over to the window to stroke Grey Ghost’s snout so she would, with a low rumble, back off and fly back down to the courtyard.
“Now that that is handled, how about we get you a maester, brother?”
The maester was not enthused by the shenannigans the boys had been up to, “You should have come to fetch me immediately when he awoke! And this nonsense of him getting up to calm his beast. That was a ridiculous idea young man! He should not have been moving! Now if the beast’s demeanor is that important we can arrange a litter to be brought down to the courtyard and a small pavilion set up so he can recover within sight of his beast. But for now, drink this broth to recover your strength and for the love of the Seven, rest!”
Both suggestions of the maester were taken into consideration. For the rest of the evening and night Alyn sipped broth or slept. In the morning however Lord Corlys appeared with a few men at arms.
“We shall be moving you down to a tent in the courtyard my boy. I wager that will keep that mother hen of a dragon of yours calm if she can see you and bring you as many fish as she damned well pleases.”
Alyn laughed a little self consciously at the actions of his dragon, “I am sure she will behave herself Lord Grandfather.” Alyn never really knew how to act around his presumed grandfather and tended to default to an awkward formality that did not come naturally to his tongue in the way flowery words came to his brother’s.
Alyn’s recovery lasted a few more weeks and the year turned into the eleventh moon and halfway to the twelfth moon he was up and his brother was insisting upon training in arms.
Word had come from Dragonstone that upon the beginning of the new year all the new Dragonseeds were to be summoned to Prince Jacaerys’ court for a war council. It seemed the small detente after the deaths at Storm’s End and Rook’s Rest while the allied Lord Paramounts of each side called their banners was soon to end.
Addam was frustrated that his brother favored the spear over the knightly sword and shield but he made due. Honestly Alyn was of the opinion his spear, his favoring of the weapon based on his experience with harpoons and fishing spears to be truthful, would be more useful from dragonback.
It was on this second week of the twelfth moon that they once again were summoned before Lord Corlys.
“Grandsons, when you arrive upon Dragonstone the Prince Jacaerys plans to knight all the new dragon riders. As a token of this gift I will have my smith forge you both new arms from Valyrian steel I have recovered on my voyages. Speak now and I shall send your requests to my smith.”
Stunned by the generosity of the gift it took the boys minutes to recover composure, however as usual Addam did first and with great poise and politeness, “Grandfather this is a kingly gift truly! As you know one of my dearest wishes is to become an honorable knight myself, and do this house proud. Thus I would request the knightly arms of a sword and shield.”
“And you shall have them young Addam. Now,” the old lord turned his gaze upon Alyn, “how about you, my boy? What does young Alyn of Hull wish to wield?”
Alyn frowned and thought the question over. Hesitantly he began, “Grandfather...I am young and I am small. I know most of my value comes from my dragon. And so I would wish a weapon I can wield from dragonback. I wish a great spear from which I can strike other riders and dragons easily.”
Lord Corlys nodded at this, “You are a shrewd young man, grandson. And I believe you will be a shrewd fighter.”