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Days of War and Peace

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  Prologue - Braavos 284 AC  

 

A little girl was playing in the garden of a small house in the city of Braavos. Despite her young age, she already clearly had the classic Valyrian look with violet eyes, that seemed to sparkle in the midday heat of Braavos, pale skin, and a mane of pale silver-gold hair that flowed past her waist. 

 

Around her neck, she wore a pretty necklace with a 3-headed Dragon carved into it.

 

A boy of similar looks, just a few years older than her was chasing after her, both seemingly without a care in the world, happily playing in the small garden with a single lemon tree in it.

 

The house wasn't the largest, but still, it represented peace and safety to the young children. The slanted morning light over the city gave everything a hazy look as it passed through the moist air of the Narrow Sea. 

 

The shouting, honking, hawking crowds, the pushing and shoving, and relentless begging echoed through the city, the sound dim and seemingly far away, muffled by the laughing of the children.

 

Ser Willem Darry, an old knight was watching them with a small smile on his face, as the young girl carefully picked a ripe lemon of the tree. Her older brother carefully took the lemon and peeled it for her, warning her with a small smile to be careful when she ate it, as it was very sour. 

 

The girl, unfortunately, disregarded the warning and took a large bite. She immediately spit out the lemon and her brother laughed at her expression at first, but his expression quickly grew serious and concerned. 

 

When her beautiful amethyst eyes started to fill with tears, the older boy, around 12 namedays of age crouched down beside her, soothing her while carefully patting her back, until the tears disappeared again.

 

The house with the red door in which the siblings lived, along with the elderly knight and a few servants was small but comfortable, providing comfort to the exiled prince and princess. 

 

Ser Willem loved to observe the siblings interact. Viserys was mostly kind to his young sister. He often comforted her when she had a bad dream or he let her crawl into bed with him and told her stories about the seven Kingdoms, about their family, their histories and their dragons, as well as Robert's Rebellion, which had just recently put an end to the 300-year-old Targaryen dynasty. 

 

Viserys was now intent on reclaiming their father's throne, promising Daenerys a thousand times that he would take her back to Westeros, where smallfolk and nobles alike would cheer for her. That they would love her, admire her, even worship her as the greatest queen that ever was.

 

Despite these shows of affection, Ser Willem observed that the young boy was already starting to show himself as his father's son, more so than Prince Rhaegar's brother. He never truly forgave the young princess for killing their mother, Queen Rhaella in childbirth, making him already at his young age difficult at times, distancing himself from his sister and hating everyone in Westeros who had dared to rise up against them, no matter the reasons.

 

Young Viserys seemed to miss his late mother dearly as he not rarely spend hours staring at the last item they had left of her - Her crown. A beautiful band of gold, a slimmer, more feminine version of the second crown of King Jaeherys the First. One of the most beautiful crowns created many years ago for Queen Alysanne. 

 

The band of gold was exquisitely decorated with red rubies that sparkled in the sun and seemed to light up every room. The crown had been made with the utmost precision, by the best smiths the known world had to offer.

 

While young Viserys treasured his mother's crown, Daenerys showed similar affections to the 3 Dragon eggs, which she had been gifted by the Sealord of Braavos, a kind man named Ferrego Antaryon, most likely one of the most wealthy men in the Free Cities, if not the most wealthy. 

 

Barely a year ago, Ser Willem had met with Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne. The two of them had made a pact in which Viserys was promised the Hand of Doran's daughter, Princess Arianne Martell, in return for Dorne's help in House Targaryen reclaiming the Iron Throne. It would be the first step towards a Targaryen restoration.

 

A pact which the Sealord had observed as a witness, along with the First Sword of Braavos, a braavosi named Syrio Forel. As his sign of support for the pact, he had gifted the young princess 3 Dragon eggs from the Shadowlands beyond Asshai, where the known world ended. 

 

Such Dragon eggs, even though they had long been turned to stone were very rare and due to their beauty very valuable. Many collectors would be willing to pay incredible amounts of money to acquire a Dragon egg, something Viserys intended to use once they were ready to take back the Seven Kingdoms and the Iron Throne.

 

And he wasn't wrong. Selling all 3 Dragon eggs could easily buy them a fleet along with a lot of sellsword companies to fight for them. They could probably even acquire the Golden Company's support. They had no more Blackfyres to fight for, not since Ser Barristan Selmy slew Maelys the Monstrous on the Stepstones, ending the male Blackfyre line forever. 

 

The men of the Golden Company were exiles, many of them even still considered themselves Westerosi. Maybe a red dragon could give them what the Blackfyres never could. Home.

 

Maybe Viserys could do, where his predecessors failed. He could bring the Golden Company to Westeros and unite them and a hundred houses under the Targaryen banner once more. Return the former prestige and glory of House Targaryen, the last scions of Old Valyria

 

*

 

Life went on peacefully for the young Targaryen children, until one faithful day, during spring in the 285th year after Aegon's conquest. The prince and princess were sleeping peacefully in their chambers when suddenly their peaceful life came to an abrupt end.

 

Smoke suddenly started to fill their lungs, immediately waking the two siblings up. The older boy quickly looked around them, searching for whatever threat there was to both him and his little sister. 

 

Smoke started to fill the top of their room, as it relentlessly pushed through the gap between door and floor, entering their room through even the tiniest gap. 

 

Viserys immediately stormed to the door, shaking it with all the power he had, but the door would not give in.

 

He tried to tear at the door with his hands, but it was made of thin, yet strong wood, to well-crafted to be torn apart by a young boy's hands. The heat was rising, so much that when Viserys laid his hands on the door once more, he screamed in pain. When he pulled back his hands, they were a dark shade of pink, burned by the heat of the flames.

 

Descending into panic, he kicked against the door with all the might he had, hitting against it with his fists no matter the pain, but still, it just wouldn't open. 

 

Flames started to lick the wooden walls of their room and they could hear a voice screaming in agony. It was the voice of the princess's former wet-nurse Jiha, Daenerys realized. She had been living in chambers next to theirs, so that she would always be as close as possible to Daenerys, should she need something. 

 

She was a pretty woman, long, curly black hair that flowed like a dark ocean and light-green eyes, as piercing as emeralds in the midday sun. 

 

The princess had always known, that people could die, but the whole concept of death had been surreal to the young girl. It was simply unimaginable, that her wet-nurse, who would play games with her and always smile widely was now dying, while she listened to her screams of agony, unable to stop it.

 

Viserys finally broke through the door, injuring his shoulder in the process, but he kept going, determined to survive, and get his little sister to safety.

 

But it kept getting harder. The heat started to consume them and the young prince could already feel his vision blur, as more and more smoke entered his lunges. 

 

His legs started to feel heavy and his arms felt week. Just as he saw the exit of their house a large man appeared in the entrance, a young woman who Viserys recognized as one of their servants next to him. The woman had been a maid in their service, a young girl, no more than 17 namedays with big blue eyes, the color of the sky, and a pretty smile.

 

"Run, Dany," Viserys told his little sister as the giant man slowly strode forwards, entirely ignoring the woman next to him. Viserys's voice sounded raw and harsh as he spoke, the smoke burning through his lungs.

 

His voice was barely more than a whisper as the flames started to surround them. He pointed to a small window in the wall, carved into the wooden walls, around four feet above the ground. Daenerys could maybe fit through it if she could reach it, but he could never make it through.

 

"Make our family proud," he whispered, as his limbs grew heavier with every second he forced himself to stand upright. The pain was spreading from his shoulder, where a small wooden splinter was embedded in his flesh.

 

The little girl nodded with tears in her eyes and slowly turned around, a last regretful look on her face. 

 

At that moment, her world was only heat and smoke, fire and blood. Viserys slowly started to cry, tears blurring his vision, as his body grew weaker and weaker. One knee collapsed beneath him, the flames and pain consumed him.

 

"I am sorry, Dany," the words spilled from his mouth, as the smoke of the writhing flames filled his chest. "I am afraid."

 

The huge man that quietly observed the scene from the door remained completely silent, never saying a word, nor taking action. But taking action was never needed. 

 

Viserys met the eyes of the Storm Lord behind the helmet. Two giant antlers rose from the side of the helmet, making the man appear even taller than he truly was.

 

His eyes were empty, devoid of emotion and life, but when Viserys looked again, he could swear that he saw a tear in the eyes of the Baratheon soldier, as he watched the boy before him fall to the ground. His eyes were pale and empty, shining silver, like an endless sea in the light of a thousand stars.

 

As Viserys fell to the ground his eyes filled with tears as his mind faded away. As he laid on the ground, he saw the woman who he thought had been a loyal servant rush towards him.

 

Even though the young boy knew he was dying, a small part of him whispered: She's coming to save me... But the young woman ran over his body, stepping on his hand, still bloody from when he broke down the door.

 

The last thing Viserys saw before his eyes closed forever was the once-loyal maid, ripping his mother's crown from his grasp. 

 

The girl's light blue eyes shined with excitement, as she held the exquisite crown firmly in her hands, smiling as she let her fingers glide over the red rubies embedded in the beautiful metals.

 

His younger sister observed the whole scene from the next room, cowering in the corner with her 3 dragon eggs, her most prized possession. And only possession now.

 

She held the pitch-black egg with trails of crimson locked between her head and shoulder, the other eggs resting in each hand. With her ear pressed against the old scales, she could almost hear a single, faint heartbeat.

 

She felt the heat seep through her clothes, her sweat streaming down her temples and chest, as more smoke gathered around her.

 

The beautiful orange-red flames danced on the shimmering scales of the eggs, making them all glow faintly. The fires danced over the reflecting surface, that she had cleaned so often.

 

The window, through which Viserys had meant for her to escape had melted, making it unable for her to cross it as she could no longer open it but it still barricaded the exit and her last hope of survival. As she watched her brother collapse and the Baratheon man watch on with what even seemed like regret she accepted her faith.

 

The young girl kept remained hidden in the room, waiting for the flames to claim her and put an end to her short life.

 

'Maybe I'll meet Rhaegar, Mother, and Father. And I'll see Viserys again. ' The young girl thought and it was almost comforting. As black crept into her vision and she felt her sense's become numb, she saw the silhouette of a woman with a red, wooden mask appear before her, her slender figure barely showing through the fire and smoke that consumed the place.

 

Her grip on the eggs loosened, the beautiful stones falling to the ground, just as she heard a single crack amongst the flames. It was so silent, yet it to the young girl it sounded louder than anything she had ever known.

 

As the fires crept closer to her, consuming all that burned, she could feel the phantom presence of shadows sneaking over her skin, pushing back the flames. 

 

Suddenly a second crack echoed through the burning house, drowning out even the hissing of the flames.

 

Heat radiated on her skin, piercing hot as she bathed in fire and blood, the heat consuming her. Suddenly, three cracks could be heard, so loud and so intense that they seemed to split the world in two.

 

The cracking of the flames filled the young girl's ears, as a woman's red mask appeared a foot before her, so close that their faces almost touched.

 

A piercing smell of burning flesh crept into her nostrils, as the fires around her grew ever larger. Then, a third crack came with such force that it seemed to split the world.

 

The flames were pushed back, as a dozen trails of shadow crept from the woman's body like giant snakes, wounding around the flames and suffocating them with their darkness 

 

Smoke filled the young girl's lungs, making her cough and gasp for air, as black started to creep into her vision, slowly but constantly.

 

The darkness consumed her, just as a sweet, soft voice whispered in her ear, the words sultry and veiled in mystery.

 

Come with me, Daenerys Stormborn... 

 

*