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Days of War and Peace

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Prologue - Braavos 284 AC    

 

In Bravos, a little girl was playing in the garden of a small house. Despite her youth she already had the Valyrian looks. Her skin was pale and she had a mane of light silver-gold hair flowing past her waist. It was her violet eyes, however , that stood out, seeming to sparkle in the morning light. 

 

Around her neck hung a delicate necklace with a 3-headed Dragon.

 

The girl was playing chase with a similar looking boy just a few years her senior. Both seemed to be without a care in the world, happily playing in the small garden with a single lemon tree.

 

While small, the house represented peace and safety to them.

 

Bravos and it’s sounds, the shouting, honking, hawking crowds, and the relentless begging seemed dim and far away, muffled by the children’s laughter.

 

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

 

The girl, ignored the warning and took a large bite. She immediately spat out the lemon with a shriek as her brother laughed at her expression. His expression quickly  grew concerned as her eyes started to fill with tears. The older boy, around 12 namedays, crouched down tosooth her, carefully patting her back until the tears disappeared.

 

Ser Willem loved to watch the siblings interact. The boy, 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, telling her stories about the seven Kingdoms. About their family, their histories and their dragons, as well as Robert, the usurpers, Rebellion, which had recently put an end to their 300-year Targaryen dynasty. 

 

Viserys was 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. He said they would love her, admire her, even worship her as the greatest queen that ever was.

 

Despite these shows of affection, Ser Willem saw that the young boy was becoming more like his father and less like his brother, Prince Rhaegar. He never truly forgave his sister for killing their mother, Queen Rhaella, in childbirth, making them orphans at a young age. He began to distancing himself from his sister, channeling his anger into hate for everyone in Westeros who had risen up against them, no matter the reasons. Sometimes he edged towards madness.

 

Young Viserys often spent hours staring at their mothers crown. Often late into the night and missing meals. It was a beautiful band of gold, a slimmer, more feminine version of the crown King Jaeherys the First created for Queen Alysanne. One of the most beautiful crowns. 

 

The golden band was exquisitely decorated with red rubies that sparkled in the sun and seemed to light up every room. It had been made with the utmost care by the best smiths the known world had to offer.

 

The girl, Daenerys, on the other hand, loved her 3 Dragon eggs. They had been a gift from the kindly Sealord of Braavos, Ferrego Antaryon, who was considered one of, if not the most, wealthiest men in the Free Cities. The Sealord, along with the First Sword of Braavos, Syrio Forel, had witnessed a pact with Dorne.

 

Almost a year ago, Ser Willem had met with Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne. They had made a pact promising Viserys the Hand of Doran's daughter, Princess Arianne Martell, in return for Dorne's help reclaiming the Iron Throne. It would be the first step towards a Targaryen restoration.

 

As his sign of support for the pact, the Sealord had gifted the young princess 3 Dragon eggs from the Shadowlands beyond Asshai, the end of the known world.. 

 

Such Dragon eggs, though long turned to stone, were very valuable for their  rarity and beauty. Many collectors would be willing to pay fortunes for a Dragon egg, something Viserys intended to use when they were ready to take back the Seven Kingdoms.

 

Selling all 3 Dragon eggs, he said, could easily buy them a fleet and many sellsword companies to fight for them. Maybe they could even acquire the Golden Company's support. They had no more Blackfyres to fight for since Ser Barristan Selmy slew Maelys the Monstrous on the Stepstones, the last male of the Blackfyre line. 

 

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

 

Maybe Viserys could triumph where his predecessors failed. Maybe he could bring the Golden Company to Westeros and unite them and a hundred houses under the Targaryen banner once more. Viserys wished, above all else, to bring prestige and glory back to House Targaryen, the last scions of Old Valyria. Nothing else would do, for the Blood of the Dragon.

 

*

 

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

 

Smoke started to fill their lungs, waking them up up, coughing. No, it wasn’t the smoke, Dany thought to herself. It had been the screams, that had woken her,

Viserys meanwhile looked around them almost hysterically, searching for threats to him and his sister. 

 

Smoke covered the roof, pouring through the gaps around the door. There was no other way out. 

 

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

 

He tried to tear at the door with his hands, but it was made of strong wood, to well-crafted to be torn apart by a young boy's hands. The heat was rising. When Viserys touched the door again, he screamed in pain, jerking back his deep red and blistered hands.

 

Descending into panic, he kicked the door with all his might, hitting it again with his burnt fists, not feeling the pain. But it was to no avail.

 

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

 

She was pretty, Daenerys had thought, with her long, curly black hair like a dark ocean. Her eyes had always reminded her of young leaves or emeralds sparkling in the sun. 

 

The princess had always known that people could die, but she didn’t understand wat it meant. She didn’t want to understand that her wet-nurse, who would play games with her and always smile widely, was now dying. She could only listen to her screams of agony, powerless and lost.

 

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

 

But safety didn’t come. The heat grew stronger, beginning to consume them. The young prince could feel his vision blur as more and more smoke entered his lunges. 

 

His legs started to feel heavy and his arms became week as the adrenaline started to wear off. When he finally found a way out a large man stepped before them, blocking the exit. His antlered helmet made him tower over them, one of the young servant girls was next to him. She had been no more than 17 namedays with eyes the color of the sky and a pretty smile.

 

"Run, Dany," Viserys coughed  as the giant of a man slowly strode toward them, ignoring the girl by his side. Viserys's voice sounded raw and harsh, the smoke burning through his lungs.

 

As the flames rose around them, he noticed a small window around four feet above the ground. Maybe Daenerys could fit through it, if she could reach it, but he knew hecould not fit through.

 

"Make our family proud," he whispered, pushing her towards the window. His limbs grew heavier with every breath, his body growing tired. The pain was spreading from his shoulder where a splinter of wood was lodged.

 

The little girl nodded with tears in her eyes. “No,” she refused her brother’s request, rushing towards his side. “You have to come with me, Vis.”

“No, Dany,” her older brother replied, his eyes growing distant as the realization fully sank in. “This is the end for me,” he whispered. “But not for you. Go.”

He just mustered the strength to rise again and push her away from him, making his younger sister stumble backwards.

“Go,” Viserys repeated again, mumbling silently more to himself than to her. “I’ll be fine…” he said slowly. “I’ll be fine.”

At last, Dany turned away from him, a last regretful look on her face. 

 

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

 

"I am sorry, Dany," he spoke silently, as she walked away. The words and smoke spilled from his mouth. "I am afraid."

 

The huge man quietly observed them from the door, never saying a word. He had not moved to hurt them, he did not need to. 

 

Viserys met the eyes of the Storm Lord behind his antlered helm.

 

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

 

Viserys fell to the ground, his eyes filled with tears as his mind faded away. The woman who he thought had been a loyal servant rushed towards him.

 

Though he 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 eyes shined with excitement, as she held the exquisite crown firmly, smiling as she let her fingers glide over the red rubies.

 

Daenerys observed the whole scene from the next room, cowering in the corner with her 3 dragon eggs, her favourite possession. Her only possession now.

 

She held the pitch-black egg with trails of crimson locked between her head and shoulder, the other eggs held 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 reflective surface she had cleaned so often.

 

The window Viserys had meant her to escape through had melted shut, trapping her in a tomb. As she watched her brother collapse before silent, tearful, Baratheon man, she accepted her fate.

 

Daenerys stayed still, waiting for the flames to claim her, to 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, it was almost comforting. As black crept into her vision and she felt her senses numb, she saw the silhouette of a woman with a red, wooden mask appear before her. Her slender figure was barely visible through the fire and smoke.

 

Daenery’s 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 quiet, yet 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 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. Then there were a dozen silent cracks, silent, but still hard and so very sharp.

 

The crackling of the flames filled the young girl's ears as the womans red mask appeared before her, so close that it nearly touched her face.

 

The sharp smell of burning flesh crept into her nostrils as the fires around her grew ever higher. 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, stranglingthe flames and suffocating them with their darkness 

 

Smoke filled the young girl's lungs, making her cough and gasp for air as darkness creept into her vision.

 

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

 

Come with me, Daenerys Stormborn...  

 

*