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House Martell

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

0 · 321 views · located in Westeros and Essos

a character in “A Game of Thrones: Battle for Westeros”, as played by Tempest

Description

HOUSE MARTELL

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Rhaman Martell I
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Age:
56

Personality:
Rhaman should be a King. He has the bearing and determination of a soldier mixed with the generosity and cunning of a master statesman. He is well known to be as ruthless to his enemies as he is loyal to his friends. He has always had time for the well being of his people and believes strongly that all men are made to be equal. Within his borders he tolerates no undue hardship on peoples of any different race, creed, or religion, though those not of his own faith are obliged to be an extra tax for the privilege of worship.

Biography:
Dorne has ever struggled under the rule of the northern Kings, its people chaffing to be free, and its leaders trying desperately to do just do that. Sadly the leaders of Dorne have always either been crippled, or dead, before their time and none have managed to even give the people of the south a flickering hope, until now.

If there is a man to lead Dorne to greatness, Rhaman is the man. His years under the tutorship of his father has taught him many things, most of all that Dorne will need allies to move beyond the status she has today. Rather than follow the rather hot headed approach of his ancestors he has taken a more cautious and outwardly genial approach, in many ways not unlike the Starks. Under his rule a series of castles and forts have sprung up across Dorne at strategic points, a hint perhaps of things to come.

When he officially took on the rule of Dorne he travelled, like his fathers before him, to bend his knee to the Lannisters. But he does not believe that a word of honour given to the offspring of the dishonest lords of Casterly Rock means much at all. The travels of his half-brother to the eats have convinced him that the time has come to act, for if he fails to do so all is lost.

He intends to free Dorne from his enemies even if it means using the Tyrells as bait.


Malak Martell
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Age:
30 (Son to Rhaman)

Personality:
Malak is widely known as a Sword Saint, a strange term to hear in Dorne, but one that certainly applies to a man with whom few can match. Wielding two hand weapons has been described as a "tornado of blades". His most interesting quality is his complete lack of interest in the running of Dorne. He of course wishes it to succeed but thinks that strength of arms can accomplish it.

Malak served in the army as a younger man, a scout and an assassin. He learned the arts of poison that his people are so famous for and quickly mastered disguises to an extent that he even convinced his sister that he was their long dead father come back from the grave at one point. This is a minor glimpse into the gallows humour that surrounds him.

Where his father is a statesman and a master of manipulation, Malak is anything but. He speaks quickly and carefully, is quick witted and enjoys a generous joke and a drink from time to time. Some might say he is a notorious womanizer but no real proof exists over the accusations.

Biography:
From the first Malak has been a fighter. As a boy he would seek out the largest opponent he could and try to take the man or boy down hard. More often than not he failed do to his smaller stature and quickly learned that speed and skill could compensate nicely for his lack of physical strength. His father, seeing the boys determination in getting himself hurt, quickly ordered him shipped out to join the scouts that scoured the mountains for bandits.

Young Malak quickly made a name for himself as a military commander and first rate scout. He learned to slip through the enemy camp undetected and kill men sleeping soundly in their beds until he, and his men, the Swords of Dorne, struck so much fear into the hearts of the mountain bandits that they vanished northwards in great numbers.

Now Malak practices his art wherever he can, leading his band of picked soldiers, men who can kill an entire company of enemy soldiers without one of them ever being alert to the enemy amongst them.


Astera Martell
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Age:
28 (Wife to Malak Martell)

Personality:
This woman seems like an oasis in the heart of Sunspear. Her touch is evident everywhere and the Prince of Dorne dotes on her, granting her anything she might wish. She has done much good with this power for the people of Dorne, and always carefully in the Princes name. She is loved by the people of Dorne more than any other in the family and is welcome across the nation.

Friendly, polite, out going and charming are all traits she uses to hide the cunning behind her stunning good looks. She is a master stateswoman and often works late into the night with Prince Rhaman, learning all she can from home for the eventual day that she and her husband take the throne.

Biography:
Astera was born the daughter wandering goat herder in the midst of the Great Desert. Her life might have gone like so many before her, sold into slavery or to some slobbering desert nomad lord, until she happened to meet Prince Kadyn who was moving amongst the desert tribes in disguise. She at once realized that something was different about the strange man who had come to them from the wastes and asked him when they had a moment alone.

The Prince did not at once reveal his identity but the more the girl spoke the more she impressed him. At length he convinced her to come away with him into the wastes where he revealed himself as the Prince of Dorne. The stunned young woman begged for her life, fearing that he would kill her to save his secret. She was born to Sunspear as a Princess and they married within the month.

Since then she has learned the arts of statecraft and proven a very able diplomat.


Lyla Martell
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Age:
25 (Sister to Prince Malak)

Personality:
Lyla is known simply as the Jewel of Sunspear. She is a good natured, well meaning and lovely young lady that puts to rest any rumours that all Royalty of Dorne are insane. Her mother died giving birth to her and the only reminder of her that remains is Lyla and so her father protects with her with sheer ferocity that seems to have gone unnoticed by the young woman.

Biography:
Lyla is still young and does not have a great story behind her. Rather she has lived most of her life in Sunpsear with occasional rides to other Dornish cities but not once has she been north into the rest of the Kingdom. She spends much of her time reading and studying the history of the Kingdoms and is particularly fascinated with the Targaryen family.

Only in the past several years has she been allowed to leave the Dornish lands, but only to sail eastwards where she visits Esso and all of its wonders. She has told her father that she would one day love to live there and he has smiled an indulgent father might, not realizing how deadly serious his daughter is.


Akaris Martell
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Age:
49 (Younger brother to Rhaman)

Personality:
There is no better man within the Martell family better suited to ill deeds and dark doings than Akaris. It is possible that he was born insane, got it through some natural occurrence while on his travels in the east, or it is possible he uses it to mask a hidden genius. Quiet and reserved, he is almost a ghost to those who know of his existence. His knowledge of all things, both magical and real enough is profound. He among all others has earned the title Sand Viper.

Biography:
Akaris is the younger, half-brother, of two sons born to the late Prince Oberyn the III. Unlike his brother he never showed any genius for war, politics or even social interaction but his quest for knowledge proved to be as impressive as his brothers battle record.

As he aged he, like some of the more famous Stark ancestors, has rumoured to tame the power of skin changing from a young age. This, coupled with his skill with poisonous reptiles, has made him a very dangerous man indeed.

When he was but a young man he travelled east, into Esso. For nearly a decade he would traverse the strange lands there learning many great and wonderful things. He saw with his own eyes the Dragons, the fighting pits, the great cities reduced to nothing by the fury of the Targaryen offspring.

He returned home an older wiser man than before and was quick to impart his wisdom upon his half-brother, the newly risen Prince of Dorne. Rhaman listened, and listened well. He knows now the truth of the tales of the Dragons and fears their return but he knows his line never betrayed the Blood of the Dragon and sees in their return an opportunity to rise Dorne into the world, his silent brother at his side.

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So begins...

House Martell's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: House Lannister Character Portrait: House Stark Character Portrait: House Martell Character Portrait: House of Arryn Character Portrait: House Tyrell Character Portrait: House Baratheon Character Portrait: House Bolton

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Barbara fingered the soft cotton edges of her dress, warily eyeing the Lannister bench box. It was diagonal from the the Stark's; each House had a personal box imbued in between the tournament benches, respective distances away from one another. The Stark's, Lannister's, and Arryn's had been placed diagonal from one another. If one were to draw straight lines from each of their boxes to the others, they would have found that the three Houses formed a triangle that split the oval structure of the tournament barricades. The benches themselves were an oval barrier to the dirt pit below, filled with knights, young and old, handsome and not so handsome. The Stark box was surrounded by a flurry of white banners, silver wolves running across the crowd in packs of soft silk, flapping leisurely in the wind, and giving Barbara what she thought to be nostalgia. Essos wasn't home. In fact, it was quite far from home. But the fresh, cool, morning, coupled with the crisp banners that cracked and whipped in the wind so easily was giving Barbara what she was sure was homesickness.

The stiff Houses surrounding her did little to ease her anxiety. Instead, she found herself with a morbid fascination for the Lannisters. Every so often, her eyes would wander to them, drawing lines in the contours of their faces, painting familiar pictures from these strangers' features. She would always catch herself and avert her gaze before one of them could acknowledge her stares. Especially before Raith Lannister could catch her with his charming, but somehow chilling, gaze. Cersei was less cordial. She'd been staring at them, unperturbed, for minutes now. It wasn't their good looks that had caught the girls' attention, though for the most part they agreed they were good looking. It was the familiarity of those handsome jawlines and pretty faces. For all Barbara's life, she'd thought of herself as a Stark, through and through. Even with her sister's name. They'd always been Starks. But here, confronted by blood, she knew now she was not just a Stark. Lannister blood flowed in her, as surely as Stark blood. It was different, knowing you had Lannister blood in you. Different from knowing you had Tully, or Baratheon blood. It was sinister, a cruel joke of nature.

Barbara stirred as Cersei tugged urgently on her sister's sleeve, "Look, look, look who it is." The red headed Stark turned her gaze down at the pit below; surly enough, there was Richard parading around on a sleek, fleet-footed mare, not his own. Oh, he was handsome. His black hair was an inky short sheen on his head, and his face was strong, handsome, and happy. Perpetually so, but he was a shining man for a knight. He wasn't participating though. That Barbara knew, and reveled in. She couldn't bare the thought of her favorite knight being hurt, even in just the smallest. Richard was a prodigy of his own, the youngest of the knights, but so skilled with just his bare hands you would have thought he was the captain. He was going to be her father's Ward.

Richard was down there 'preparing' Derek for the tournament. He was swinging Derek's silver and white lance around, poking his friend mockingly in the chest. Derek was handsome too, but not as beautiful as Richard. Even little Robin agreed Richard was a sight to see. Just then, Richard caught Barbara's eye, and flashed her the most beautiful smile she'd ever seen. She looked away, red faced. He'd took her innocence last year, and she'd breathed relief upon finding she hadn't been pregnant. But still, she kept with the man, meeting him often. He was a species of his own. Her sisters' knew, but no one else. And she knew her sisters would never tell.

She could see her father stiffen from her peripheral vision. He'd caught them peering at each other. Ian, her grandfather, and Lord of the House, saw as well. He laughed his grizzly, familiar, laugh and chided his son, "Come now Erin? Can't a man watch a beautiful woman?"

Lyssa Stark smiled a genuine but faint smile, but Erin grumbled and turned to talk with his brother.

"Get off of me you oaf!" Robin was squealing now, punching Jason's auburn hair with her small fists. He was holding her in a rib crushing hug. He was the best brother Barbara could have imagined the siblings to have. Caring, playful, loving...if there was anyone the House should have fallen to in times of peace, it should have been Jason. But Barbara had the prickling feeling that peace was not looming over Westeros's head. Instead, a man like her cousin, like Jared, seems an appropriate leader. There was a man that even Barbara shied away from when the time came.

"Quiet, now," Lyssa Stark scolded, and the noise from the Stark box silenced itself, all except for Rick who was wining about not being able to see over Cersei's golden head and loudly threatening to push his sister off the benches if she didn't move when the tournament started. The tournament itself was still being set up. Knights were prepping themselves, get excited over the approaching competition the way only men can. Barbara's parents were talking in hushed voices, of politics and family.

Barbara would have tuned in, but Robin started entertaining them with a description of each family, eloquently put into her words. She was a sly child, and refrained from pointing, speaking so that only her siblings could hear and know what she was talking about.

Now that Barbara was observing the other Houses, she wondered curiously what they thought of the Starks and their five rambunctious children. Six, if you counted Simon Snow, who was nowhere to be seen, and probably off with some whore in some dingy hitchhiker tent. She wondered which Houses were planning to marry their children to what other Houses. Were they like the Starks, who had fallen into a heated argument about giving the girls away? Erin stubbornly refused, but his father and his father's council were staunch opponents.

Barbara reclined in her seat, trying to avoid Richard's gaze, and cataloging each of the families briefly, all except the Lannisters who she avoided. House Arryn and its family of brothers. The Tyrells and their leading Lady. Martell, with its family of generations, much like the Starks'.

And she wondered curiously if the Starks had any friends among these people.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: House Lannister Character Portrait: House Stark Character Portrait: House Martell

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#, as written by Tempest
Malak and Astera Martell


Barbara Stark might have been surprised if she could read the mind of the man sitting only a few dozen feet away in a far less opulent box. Malak Martell was seated on a cushion of burnt orange, the golden tassels swinging slightly whenever he shifted his weight. He was half watching the armoured fools below as he cast his gaze between the Lannisters and the Starks. His father had given him a very specific mission for this visit. They had been seated in the Water Gardens, the sound of small brooks and rippling fountains filling their ears and bringing such peace as a man might find nowhere else.

"You must be the judge Malak." The older man had said. "Who are we to follow, if any at all. The Targaryens are not dead, that much is proven, their heirs still alive and very much in power if the rumours of their Dragons are true." Rhaman had reached out with a battle scarred hand and gently tapped his sons leg. "Dorne must be her own again, you will tell me how we can do that."

Malak was still amazed his father had sent him on this trip but he was no fool either. Astera was with him and the old man would listen to her advice before his own of that he was glad. He had never quite gotten his head wrapped around intrigue and politics but she had taken it in stride and almost made a game of it.

"You look pensive husband." Her soft voice came from his right and he shook himself from his thoughts and turned, smiling fondly at her.

"I am. I was just thinking over my fathers words to me before we left. It is not easy task that we have here." The two were speaking Dornish, a language rare enough outside of Dorne but they kept their voices lowered anyway.

"No, it is not, but what a task. Look at this tournament. It is not often we have such grand events at home." She laughed when she saw the look on his face at the words and kissed him lightly. "I mean no offense my love. Dorne is home but it is wonderful to see some of the world from time to time is it not?"

He nodded. He loved Dorne. The rolling hills, the endless desert, the towering peaks and all of it with the sea ever at their backs. It was a land of great mystery, unimaginable luxury and heart wrenching poverty. It was home.

"Perhaps when we return home we can visit the new Water Palace, it should be finished by then." She said soothingly, seeing his brow furrow. The Water Palace was the new country home of the Dornish royal family. A massive fortress palace of brilliant white walls that nestles amidst the Water Gardens. It was an impressive place and a sign of the wealth of Dorne thanks to the peace that had held them in thrall for so long.

"That would be wonderful." He said with a smile. At that moment he caught sight of Lyla down by the edge of the ring. She was with a young woman he did not recognize but her two bodyguards were clos nearby so he did not fear for her safety. She had been the main reason he had agreed to this journey, her interest in everything on Essos had been fed by her Great Uncle Akaris. She had begged him to allow her to join them for this trip and like all of her other requests, he had been unable to refuse.

She caught his eye and waved, husband and wife waved back with broad smiles. Let the other families see the Martells were true to one another.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: House Lannister Character Portrait: House Stark Character Portrait: House Martell Character Portrait: House of Arryn Character Portrait: House Tyrell Character Portrait: House Baratheon Character Portrait: House Bolton

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Two dark eyes studied the Starks from across the arena, cold and unfeeling to the playful behavior being exhibited by the arctic rats. The young Barbara of the Starks would have been a fine wench in Gideon’s eyes if she were not a damn Stark. Such a pity that a girl like her be cursed with such a pathetic heritage, not her fault of course but it made no difference to the man with iron skin and a leather soul. As Barbara began gazing at each family one by one, Gideon made sure to meet her curious gaze with his own glare that radiated his unconditional sense of superiority over her and her family.

As the looks passed, Gideon stroked his chin which had been covered in a light coating of rugged hairs from a lack of a close shave in recent time. His eyes drifted to Erin, yet another member of the Starks, one that Gideon especially didn’t care for. Atop of the fact that he was a Stark the man couldn’t even pretend to be friendly. Others had told him otherwise but to Gideon the man was just a pompous ass in general. “This is so unnecessary brother, why are we even here?” Gideon complained to Rylond, who sat next to him in a throne like chair that dwarfed the ones being sat in by his brothers and mother.

“You would have us risk out diplomatic opportunities just because you don’t even like being in the same region as a Stark?” Rylond asked with a grin “Wait, of course you would.”

“You’re damn right I would, talk is cheap but action is forever.” Gideon replied, moving the fur on his clothing aside. He had made the mistake of wearing his full Generals uniform to this function. It would not have been too terrible with only the cloth and armor, but the added warmth of the bear hide that slung over his shoulders was making it almost unbearable.

Renold sighed from the chair next to Gideon “Why are you always so eager to start a war brother?”

Gideon turned his gaze from the Starks to his younger brother. Renold was a striking young man; his hair was longer than Gideon’s but shorter than either Garrick’s or Rynold’s. One could argue that he was better looking of all the brothers, which made him a perfect subject for diplomatic relations. He could talk circles around most everyone and there would always be some girl looking to marry him. Problem was that Renold was the picky type, girl might want Renold but Renold would rarely want the girl.

“Because, Renold, diplomacy can go on for years with no positive idea of how it will end. Will the enemy see it your way? Will they decide they want more, will the conditions change and is the man you’re dealing with a stubborn mule or a bastard?” Gideon shook his head and looked down to the sandy pit below. The knights had filled it to the brim and members of carious houses were there to compete, Gideon had long contemplated taking part but his brother insisted he stay with the family. “Diplomacy can go on for years, never seeing an end or will simply end but with no real work being done. In war things are much simpler, you win or you die and no matter what things will have changed in the end.”

“You know what they say brother.” Renold began “War does not determine who is right or wrong, only who is left. In the end it solves nothing because there is no sure way to decide who was right in the matter, so the same problem would still haunt you.”
Gideon chuckled and looked towards the sky, the deep blue gentle and inviting just as the sun was warm and welcoming “Oh poor naïve Renold. In the end of war it doesn’t matter who was right in the beginning.” He again shifted his gaze to his brother “because in the end, whoever is left has become right and whoever would say otherwise is dead and the dead are silent.”

“If the man who was wrong wins there will always be somebody who sees that and steps up to take him on.” Renold repented to which Gideon threw up his hands

“Even if he was right there will be somebody who thinks he is wrong! The only way to ensure peace is to make sure anyone who disagrees with you is dead; it’s as simple as that. A smile can only get you so far brother, that’s why you do it with a bouquet of flowers in one hand and a dagger in the other.”

Rylond shook his head with amusement as he watched his brothers argue “Will you two never seize to argue over such things, for the Father’s sake you two look like the Stark whores fighting over who gets to give Raith a spin under the covers.”

Gideon grinned and pointed a finger at the oldest brother “Hey now, Lannister may be a cravenous whelp…but those sisters of his are quite fine.” The soldier smirked as he peaked around his brother to see the woman sitting in the Lannster box. He bit his lip and shook his head as he looked them all over. “That one, what’s her name…Rydell, I’d like to stay up all night with her.”

“You said the same thing about Vika.” Rylond pointed out

“Indeed, but that was before I found out she thinks she is a man. Talk, talk, talk that is all she is good for.” Gideon explained “Besides Rydell is a much more…fascinating specimen.” A crooked smile “You can’t say that you don’t agree either.”

Rylond smirked and turned his attention to the blonde goddess across the way, the sun was beating off her skin and extenuating her beauty “Oh no, I can’t. Regardless I’m much to busy for a wife right now.”

“I don’t think Vika is all that bad.” The youngest brother, Addam, spoke up. He was next to Garrick, who in turn sat next to Rylond on his right side. His comment was a little late, but it was not unwelcome by Rylond who did not wish to get into another argument with Gideon about how he needed to sleep with a wench every now again.

“So, you are telling us that you would prefer a woman who does nothing but spit her opinion out left and right like she actually knew what the hell a man’s business was about?” Gideon questioned, leaning back over his chair to see his youngest brother.

“Well, I mean it can’t be all that bad to have a woman’s opinion.” Addam replied

“If they knew their ass from a sword maybe.” Gideon mused

“Well, Gideon, Addam might be on to something. After all, father did listen to mother’s opinions. Perhaps a marriage to such an outspoken maid would not be so bad.” Rylond said

“Maybe not for Garrick.” Gideon laughed, leaning forward to see his brother. The middle child had not commented the whole conversation and, in fact, seemed to be ignoring his family altogether while he sat zoning in on the knights below. “He could use a woman like that to pull the stick from his ass.”

Gideon chuckled at his own partial joke; still Garrick looked on to the knights as if hi family were not even beside him. It always worried his brothers when he got like this, his eyes grew dim and he would sit as still as a stone statue, completely absorbed into a world that only he could see. “Did he you hear me Garrick?” Gideon asked, still laughing. Garrick glared at his brother from the corner of his eye and mouthed the word ha multiple times in a mock laugh.

Rylond smiled worriedly at his brother and gave him a friendly punch in the arm “Nonsense, our brother will marry a fine woman, one worthy of the name Arryn.” Still Garrick seemed to ignore his surroundings and starred off into the distance.

“Well, he won’t be marrying a Lannister if I have anything to say about it.” Gytha, the mother of the brothers, said rather loudly from her seat in front of her sons “I will not have some undignified Lannister whore running around calling herself an Arryn. I mean how is it tha-”

“Mother, we have talked about this.” Rylond cut her off “The Lannisters are our best chance of getting rid of the Starks. Their women are just as fine as anyone else’s”

Gytha just snorted at the comment and returned to watching the knights below. Gideon would not be so easy to let the subject go, however “We don’t need those ‘brave lions’. With the new tactics and training I’m giving our army we could easily role over both the Starks and the Lannisters. We might not have the biggest army but damnit we are going to have the most disciplined.”

“I don’t see why we need to kill anyone.” Renold commented “There isn’t a need for war, not now”

“I agree Renold, but war is coming. The Tully’s are getting more and more rebellious by the day, it will not be long before they take advantage of their Stark allies and try to take our land. The only way we can assure our safety is wiping the Starks out. There is a time and place for war brother, which is something you must learn.”

Renold just sighed and turned away unpleased as Gideon began his argument again “Brother, we do not need the Lannisters to defeat the Starks. We should simply march into their lands and wipe them out. Once they are all dead we can begin conscripting their peasants and create an army strong enough to overthrow the Lannisters. The Tully will fall in line once they see out strength.”

“And what if we are devastated instead? What is to stop the other families or the Lannisters from crushing us while we are weak? Gideon, this is not the time or place for this discussion, we will talk about this later.” Rylond snapped. His brother was a good man and a great general who was on his way to creating tactics that would revolutionize warfare, but he could be a fool sometimes.

The family was quiet for a while after that, keeping to their own business. Gideon was still starring down the other families, looking over the woman and then moving on. It was during this cataloging of woman that Garrick suddenly stood from his seat. Without a word he began moving to the exit of the box. No one spoke up at first; no one seemed to care…

Rylond, however, asked “Garrick, where are you going? Don’t you want to see the games?”

Garrick didn’t look back at his brother, he just stopped a few feet short of the exit “I’m going out, I’ll return when I’m finished.” He answered without a single glance and exited the box. Addam quickly stood when he saw his favorite brother leave in his usual foul mood

“No.” Rylond said, catching his brothers arm “Leave him alone for now; he will be back when he wants to speak with us.” Addam gave his oldest brother a crooked look, and then reluctantly sat back down, his head still turned towards the exit.

It was not unusual that Garrick act so distant, but since they arrive here it had increased significantly. Sometimes it was just impossible to know what was going on inside that man’s head.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: House Lannister Character Portrait: House Stark Character Portrait: House Martell Character Portrait: House of Arryn Character Portrait: House Tyrell Character Portrait: House Baratheon Character Portrait: House Bolton

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A cool crisp morning breeze stirred the frilled edges of the damask covering of the Lannister's box but did little to reduce the intensity of the Essos sun.

“You there!” Commanded Raith Lannister lounging in his overly comfortable throne. “Fan my sister.”

He watched Raashee's pinched expression with a deceptively lazy gaze as the servant that cooled him moved over to fan his sister. He could read the worry all over his baby sisters face. It marred her pretty features into an unmoving frown. A worry Raith could decipher all too well . . . A worry for their father who lay unconscious and dying back in Westros.

But life did not stop for the rest of them. Raashee could never understand this. Too sweet. Too naïve. Too young. It mattered little. She was to do as she was told. Her opinion was unneeded and unwanted.

Raith turned to peer out onto the sand pit below. Pages and servants were helping the Knights readying. The jousting was near to beginning. Raith would be participating in it himself a little later on; for the Lion could not resist a challenge.

His cool but casual gaze swept around the boxes that surrounded the playing field. The slightest of nods acknowledge those who caught his sharp eye. It had been little more then surprising when his invitation to meet on Essos was accepted by all the noble Houses of Westros. But the young Lion was not fool enough to believe for a second that any man or woman here came with peace in their hearts.

In fact, his own was the least peaceful of all.

War was on the horizon. A good old blood bath. It was necessary. Raith Lannister, unlike his father was not averse to war. In fact he thought it was much needed. A fine bloody battle, in his opinion, tended to weed out the weak. Leaving the strong to regroup and rethink their strategies. But there would be no blood shed . . . for now . . . At least not until his father still breathed.

Raith leaned back further in his seat. His white linen shirt open at the neck; adorned solely by a larger fashionable necklace draped around his broad shoulders. His lips twitched, breaking out into a small but infectiously charming smile for the Stark girl that starred with open daggers across at the whole Lannister clan.

Raith bowed dramatically in his seat with a flourish of his arm for the gorgeous blonde Stark princess. The girls scowl seemed to deepen in response.

“Cersei Stark.” Explained Keeleb Storm from behind Raith's chair as his hand came to rest on Raith's shoulder.

“I think she likes me.” Raith grinned holding Cersei Starks gaze.

Keeleb laughed heartily walking away to join Ser Ivan Lannister who conversed with the newly arrived Lord Wyekham and his Lady wife Victorry. Much to Keeleb's pleasure Aric Lannister seemed not to be present for the time being.

About the Starks. It was not a matter Raith took lightly. To join with them or to watch them perish?

Either option left little qualm with Raith but which was more beneficial . . . to the Lannisters? He supposed he had all of this vacation to find out whether joining with the Starks was a viable option. He had a lot of wrongs left by his father to set to rights. Ulyss Lannister had been too easy, too compromising with the other noble families. It had given them airs that did not belong to them.

Like the Tyrells.

Yes, the Tyrells are allied with the Lannisters . . . but of late? . . . Well suffice it to say Raith found their fealty to the Lannisters lacking greatly.

But the Starks and Tyrells were the least of his worries. There was another reason Raith had planned this excursion all the way across the Narrow Sea . . .

The machiavellian direction of Raith's thoughts broke suddenly as a flurry of light blue patterned silk whispered by in front of him. Reaching out quickly; he grasped the delicate wrist in his tight hold before she could slip away like water between his fingers.

Fierce aquamarine eyes whipped around to stare down at him. Raith held that enthralling gaze.

“Fair cuz . . .” Raith drawled as he pulled her closer towards him by his hold on her. A genuine smile as glorious as the Essos sun spread across his lips as he brought the flat of her palm to his lips and placed a gentle kiss to the soft skin.

“I'm mad at you.” Rydell replied petulantly, seemingly unaffected by the affectionate gesture but he could feel her pulse begin to raise under his fingers.

It was a rarity in and of itself that Rydell was ever angry with him. However, all the Lannister women had plagued him since he had announced they were to journey across the sea. None of them were pleased to have to be living like heathens in this Gods forsaken desert as his Aunt Krea had so elegantly described it.

“I know.” Raith answered apologetically as he placed another tender kiss in the sensitive hollow of the underside of her wrist.

He felt her suck in a shaky breath.

“I intend to stay mad at you.” She managed to compose herself to explain.

“I know that too.” Raith replied solemnly; a sensual smile plastered to his face as he suddenly pulled her down to sit in the seat to his left. “However, I would appreciate it if you could be mad at me while sitting next to me.”

Strong fingers slipped through to twine with Rydell's slender delicate ones; identical eyes locked as she tried to fight her smile.

Cersei Starks beauty was undeniable but Rydell . . . Rydells was unsurpassed. Raith had not been unaware of the all the eyes that had followed her since she had arrived in their box. The desire that burnt through men's heart at but just a glimpse of her beauty. Or the envious stares of the women. But it deflected off the invisible shield Rydell held up. She was unaffected by their desires or their hate. She cared not.

Unfortunately, Raith could not say he was unaffected by the attention Rydell garnered, himself. His fingers tightened around hers. He knew the folly of his feelings . . . But the thought of his Rydell belonging to another . . . Raith pushed the emotions he knew he had no right feeling away. It matter not for now.

It was at his side that she sat right now.

“It's starting!”

A delighted squeal pulled Raith and Rydell from the cocoon they had built around themselves as a small form wrapped in fine blue silk jumped onto Raith's lap happily.

“I believe it is, little cousin.” Raith replied happily as he kissed the head of long golden curls. “Ah, there see, there is our Lion.”

The first joust was between the Lannister's and the Greyjoys. The Greyjoy Knight was mounted on his steed at the far end while the Lannister's own was closer. His face could not be discerned from under his Lion head helmet. But there was no doubt nobody could look as fine in armour as a Lannister.

Both men were at the ready with their heavy lances and shields at the ready. A sudden silence fell over the entire crowd but the roar that followed as the two Knights took off was deafening.

Raith watched with sweet anticipation as the riders drew closer. There was a horrendous crash drowning out the hoof beats as lances clashed with wood and steal . . . And one man was dismounted and fell to the ground ungracefully.

A collective gasp filled the Arena. Raith's heart clenched as for a few pain staking moments he watched the man on the ground.

He did not move.

The blood pounded in Raith's ears stopping other noise from penetrating his conscious. No! Pushing Ryley into Rydell's arm Raith leaped over the high front wall of the box into the pit below; racing across the hot Essos sand to land on his knees next to the Knight.

A crimson trail stained the golden grains.

No! He couldn't lose another brother!

Raith yanked the helm off the knights head; grasping the man's head in his hands.

“Roarke! Roarke! Get up!” Raith demanded in his frenzy.

“By the Gods . . .” Roarke Lannister stirred opening his heather grey eyes as he frowned in discomfort. “Would you stop shaking me!”

Raith let out the breath he hadn't even realized he had been holding as his cousin sat up; thanking the Gods. He had lost enough real brothers, he did not think he could bare to lose another.

Ripping the armour plate that covered Roarke's shoulder, Raith examined the wound that bled.

“Tis but a scratch.” Roarke complained at Raith's ministrations who was not convinced; pulling his arm out of his cousins grasp; reattaching his armour. “You are ruining my hard work!”

“What the devil are you talking about?” Raith demanded. “You almost died.”

It was obvious the the lance had pierced the skin at the edge of the shoulder because the shield had been lowered significantly at the most inopportune moment. It wasn't like Roarke to make such a deadly mistake.

He was the best Knight, if there ever was one.

“Hardly.” Roarke grinned. The smile almost identical to Raith's but for the genuine warmth it exuded. “I was just . . . momentarily distracted.” The grin widened on the handsome face that almost glowed gold in the Essos sun's light.

Raith stared on for a moment before he laughed harshly and then laughed some more. The small crowd of men that had formed around them slowly dispersed at the sight.

“If you are frightened of losing to me later cuz,” Raith jested. “be a man about it and just admit it. Don't blame your failure on the pretty face of a ghost in the crowd.”

“Me? Frightened of losing to you!?” Roarke rebuffed as if just the thought was ridiculous. “I've got two more rounds with the Greyjoy yet. Don't count me out just yet, cuz.”

“So be it. Prepare yourself to lose cuz.” Raith grinned as he clasped Roarkes head in his hand again, placing a manly buss to the Knights cheek. “Play on!” Raith announced to the crowd as he stood and strode towards the Lannister box not caring he was covered in sand and blood. “He'll live.”

Unsurprisingly, the next two wins went to Roarke Lannister as his Lance split at the right moment forcing the Greyjoy to dismount. Twice. Claiming the Lannister Knight the victor of the first round.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: House Lannister Character Portrait: House Stark Character Portrait: House Martell Character Portrait: House of Arryn Character Portrait: House Tyrell Character Portrait: House Baratheon Character Portrait: House Bolton

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Lotus Flowers, Deimitre Tyrell,

Her slender, yet toned arms, wrapped themselves around the waist of the excited young Lordling. His red hair which had taken Lotus hours to comb back from his forehead was now flopping around as he wriggled around. It was his first tournament and Lotus was amused as Dimitre grinned widely and his dark green eyes were round. Lotus was dressed in a simple but exquisite dark emerald gown with a thin, yet concealing netted veil over her pale, angular face. Lady Avaria insisted that Lotus be there to watch her son and keep him well-mannered.

She didn't mind, even though she had to disguise herself as servant. It had been years since Lotus had been to a tournament. Her father had taken her occasionally, proudly showing off the young girl with the exotic features. The thrill in the air couldn't help but lift her spirits. A few blue-black strands of feather-soft hair were escaping out of her bun as she looked around eagerly, taking in the new sights. She recognized a few.

"Lotus!" Dimitre pointed at some horses and a wistful expression came onto his round face. "They're so pretty. I want to ride them!" He loved the animals and at the Reach, knights were honored and praised. They rode all around the streets on the finest of horses. It was probably the reason why young Dimitre wanted to be a knight.

"One day, darling." Lotus replied sweetly and the boy's face lit up immediately. He had absolute faith in his caretaker and half-sister. She was the world to him. "You'll be starting you're training soon and once you grow a bit taller, you're mother get you any horse you desire." As Dimitre fantasized about the idea, the petit young woman caught sight of Kysa interacting with some gorgeous blonde women. It was only natural, him being Lord of Hightower. He had as much money as the Lannisters. It made her wistful and though no one could see it, full pink lips smiled under the veil as the much popular Lord blushed heavily at whatever the women tittered about.
He seemed uncomfortable an Lotus felt a twinge of sympathy for her friend, though her envy of him was much greater. It would be most wonderful if people would fawn over her like that with admiration and respect.

"Enjoying ourselves?" A deep, gravelly voice broke her focus on the young Lord and came face to face with Ezra Tyrell. He was a great knight and a dear cousin. His dark brown hair was messy as usual but there was a wicked glint in his dark eyes that suggested good humor. She curtseyed as well as she could while holding onto the red headed little boy. Dimitre grinned at his cousin.

"Are you going to be riding Ezra?" Demitre asked curiously. He held Lotus's hand tightly.

"Not today, I'm afraid. Aunt Avaria, wishes for me to do some..." His voice wrinkled in distaste. "Courting." A snort made its way out of her nose to her horror as she tried to keep in the giggle from escaping her mouth. Lotus ducked her head but the older man merely laughed loudly. "How can a man like myself be tied to only one? The idea itself is preposterous!"

"Do I have to court too?" Demitre piped up. Lo and Ezra chuckled quietly and patted his hair.

"Look at the fellow!" Ezra nodded with a smirk at Kysa Tyrell. A woman had put a hand on his arm and the young lord's face was red as an over ripe tomato. It was adorable. Lotus couldn't help but feel put out. "Lannister women are one of the finest women around. He'd do well to pick from there. Though, I prefer the Martell women myself."

She curtseyed again as Ezra Tyrell left, and turned to look back at Lord Hightower. For as long as she could remember, Kysa had always been kind and so sweet to her. He held a special place in Lo's heart and it darkened her mood to see women so much prettier than her catch his attention. Her hand was squeezed and Lotus took a seat with Dimitre at her side who leaned forward eagerly. It was Lannister versus Greyjoy and everyone's enthusiasm was contagious. She watched intently with interest.
The Lannister in particular looked fine as he sat atop of his great steed. Except-

Greyjoy let out a triumphant shout which no one seemed to overhear over the series of gasps that had swept the arena as the supposedly "best" knight was knocked off his horse. A handsome man older than herself, leapt out of his box and into the arena, yanking off the helmet of the fallen knight.

The face of fallen knight took Lotus's breath away. He may have been on the ground, face shining with sweat, eyes blinking groggily, but it was the most perfect face she had ever seen. If only a man like that could take her away from the strict hold of Avaria Tyrell. It made her heart ache for what she could never have. Not only was he totally out of her reach, seeing how Lotus was a bastard child, he was a Lannister. He was probably used to the most gorgeous women waiting on him hand and foot.

Her heart pounding, Lotus watched with awe as he unseated Greyjoy twice, winning the first round. Hopefully, when Lady Avaria picked the man for her to wed, Lotus only wished he could be half as lovely as Roarke Lannister.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: House Lannister Character Portrait: House Stark Character Portrait: House Martell Character Portrait: House of Arryn Character Portrait: House Tyrell Character Portrait: House Baratheon Character Portrait: House Bolton

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#, as written by Arik223
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Aeon carefully examined every leader of every household, and in the process forcing smiles that sometimes seemed forced. Especially the ones towards the Lannisters. He had to act the way he did, he needed to instill a sense of trust to his enemies. He looked over at the stark's and rememberd of his father's words, "The Starks are good allies to want, but very bad enemies to have." Aeon didn't trust them. This didn't go down to hatred, Aeon sort of liked some of the Stark's, but trusting them was a whole other matter.

His thoughts were interrupted by Elean, "Brother..." Aeon looked at her "I would like to participate in an archery tourney... If of course they have one. I am better than our Archers, and surely better than any other houses." His first instincts compelled Aeon to say no, but he had a spark of realization. If Elean participated, she would surely catch the eye of a lord from one of the houses. Her beauty would just be an addition to her skill. Aeon gave her a smile "You have my permission. Don't miss though." He had a goal to accomplish, he needed the allies. Aeon had to show his family's power, which is why he put Logan in one of the tourney's, and Elean would be a good addition.

Elean was relieved at her brother's decision, she could show some of these men that a Baratheon Lady is just as good if not superior to them. Elean knew that Aeon had his plans, he would never show up if he didn't have anything figured out. "What do you intend to do?" she asked quietly. "All in due time Elean. I have heard rumors, but if they are correct then that mean's the Baratheon's have a lot to account for when it comes to a certain house which has kept far from the fighting." He smiled at his sister, "The Lions wont know what hit them. Besides there are other houses that I will attempt to further relations. And hey if politics doesn't work... there's always a more 'direct' approach." Elean smiled at her brother, she just hoped to god he wouldn't go ahead of himself.

Sylvia was all over the place, her gaze turning from one box to another. Handsome lords and ladies caught her attention, and she gave the one's she liked shy smiles. She knew that one day she might be married to one of them, not that it was a bad thing of course, if she could avoid blood-shed she would. The Lannisters were out of the question. Sylvia could not stop looking at Renold Arryn, she did her best to not let him see her staring.

Aeon watched the lancer's go against each other, and to his surprise the first to fall was a Lannister. What surprised him though was his brother's foolish behavior. Aeon kept himself from laughing at the idiocy of the Lannisters, he held it in, this was not the time. Logan should be up any moment, and with all the training he was put through, he better win.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: House Lannister Character Portrait: House Stark Character Portrait: House Martell Character Portrait: House of Arryn Character Portrait: House Tyrell Character Portrait: House Baratheon Character Portrait: House Bolton

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“Oh! My Lord!” The wench shrieked and then giggled.

“Please, I think you've earned the right to call me Roarke, Lydia.” He replied sounding quite pleased with himself as the blonde serving maid collapsed on top of him and they both tried to catch their breath.

“I'm not Lydia!” She complained

“I'm Lydia.” Came the coy voice of the red haired wench crawling up from his feet to rest on his other side; stirring the straw and hay below them all.

He wasn't good with names; they came and went as fast as the women.

“Yes and I'm Hailena.” Added the one he had mistaken for Lydia at first. “And she's Letticia.”

Roarke lifted his head to peer down at the third wench still at his feet. She looked up at him demurely. Huffing out a laugh, he sat up much to the protest of the three ladies. Dear Gods! His depravities only seemed to get worse the older he got. But he couldn't help himself, he thought with a smirk.

“Ladies,” Roarke sighed dubiously, lacing up his doublet. “I fear I must love you and leave you.”

“But we haven't even gotten around to healing your wound yet.” Complained the red head holding on tighter to Roarke's arm while the other two women agreed.

Shrugging out of her grip, Roarke got to his feet. The wound was hardly worth mentioning. He barely even noticed it now. He had suffered much worse before. But damn his folly! He had been distracted by a pretty face in the crowd. Raith had called her a ghost. Maybe she had been and he was finally losing his wits. But he was certain. Either a Tyrell or a Baratheon.

“My Lord!” Whinned Letticia at his feet, making no effort to cover up her nakedness.

“Ah but you've healed and soothed my most throbbing wound greatly.” He smirked down at them as he buttoned up his breeches.

A harem of giggles erupted and Roarke began to back away out of the makeshift barn before they could grab him again.

“Wait! When will we see you again?”

“Soon.” He replied roguishly blowing a kiss as he stepped out and breathed a sigh of relief.

Those succubuses intended to drain him dry! Who had seduced who? Roarke pondered as he made his way around the back to the Lannister's box. He certainly felt like the victim after they had finished with him. But he was sure it hadn't started out that way. The Seducer had become the seduced, he realised as he jumped up the steps to the Lannister's bench box.

“Roarke!”

The impact of the body almost knocked the Knight off his feet.

“Are you all right?! Where were you?!” An urgent voice demanded.

However, not everyone was greatly concerned. His father simply nodded in acknowledgement of his sons presence. Krea smirked. How he hated that woman. And Wyekham simply patted him on the back, commenting he had done well.

“Roarke! Where were you? Are you okay?” Roarke looked down into the pretty face full of concern.

“Ah, no. I'm in great pain.” His face contorted into a fictitious grimace as he raised one shaking arm with a hand to her face. “My-my arm, it's about to fall off!” And burst out into laughter at her horrified complexion.

“You're a beast!” Raashee slapped his hand away as she realized the truth. “Where were you? The joust finished long ago. We were all so worried.”

Raorke looked around the box filled to the brim with people. He doubted if even half of them even noticed that he had not returned right away . . . or cared. Except Raashee.

“I'm quite fine Raash.” He smiled as he rested his arm around her waist and they moved to the corner of the box away from the others. “I was just having my wound tended to.” He winked roguishly as he half sat on the barrier and looked out onto the sun heated pit below; across to the other boxes.

“I wished you'd be more careful.”

“It's a joust.” He smiled back at her. “How careful do you think I can be?”

“You can't fool me. It was a stupid risk. As always.

She knew his tricks all too well.

“I can't help it if women wish to comment on my bravery and want to help tend my wounds after a great battle.” He jested nonplussed.

“Foolish.” Raashee shook he head. “As if they wouldn't be swarming you either way.”

Roarke simply shrugged still grinning.

“Raashee.”

“Ah the witch calls.” Roarke commented as Krea called her away.

“I wish you wouldn't call her that.” Raashee chided with a smile before she walked away.

Roarke sighed. The Lannister bench box was a large room draped in finery from walls to floors and a large table at the far end was over flowing with food, wine and fresh exotic fruit. Yet the room still felt constricting to the Lannister Knight. He was used to the open air and being constantly on the move. This being stuck in one place was too depressing, Roarke thought to himself.

He was just about to make a move to leave when he saw his sister sitting on the throne that Raith had sat in. All by herself. The blue silk of her gown and the golden blonde curls that framed her face flowed in the breeze as she peered out across the playing field.

His brows drew together. He had not missed that scene between Raith and Rydell as he sat on horse back waiting for the joust to begin. Roarke did not like it. Not one bit. It wasn't right. Rydell did not see that what she desired could not be. Raith would eventually come to that conclusion but Roarke knew his sister would never accept it. He would have to do something . . . Soon.

“Sister.” Roarke greeted as he came to a stop before her. “Come, walk with me.”

“I don't feel like walking and burning under this unbearable sun.” She replied.

“It wasn't a request.”

Their eyes locked in a silent battle for a long moment.

Roarke would not relent.

Argh! Fine!” Rydell spat throwing her hands up in defeat as Roarke smirked.

“I knew you'd see things my way sis.” He commented as he slipped her arm through his and led her out of the box.

“Where are we going anyway?” She questioned haughtily.

“To see a friend of mine.” Roarke answered simply.

“That's funny. I didn't think you had any friends.” Rydell commented; satire lacing her voice.

“I have more friends then you sis. I assure you. Ah, here we are.” Roarke quickly led his sister up the stairs before she could reply to the truthful remark.

But he couldn't resist a grin at the fear striking scowl she bestowed upon him as he knocked on the door, opened and entered before he was bid.

“Renold!” He greeted jollily as the man approached him. “It has been too long friend.” Roarke smiled as he shook Renold Arryns hand. “May I present my sister, Rydell Lannister.”

Rydell did not appear in the least bit impressed as she gave the slightest nod of her head in greeting. Not even bothering to smile let alone curtsy as a well bred young Lady should.

She took haughtiness to a new level thought Roarke displeased at his sisters manners as he turned his attention back to Renold Arryn.

A good man, Renold.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: House Lannister Character Portrait: House Stark Character Portrait: House Martell Character Portrait: House of Arryn Character Portrait: The Targaryens (and Dothraki) Character Portrait: House Tyrell Character Portrait: House Baratheon Character Portrait: House Bolton

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Erin shifted in his seat as he watched the Lannister boy be dismounted by a Greyjoy, a man of his own kingdom. Beside him Lyssa fidgeted uncomfortably as if she were the one preparing to joust next and Erin wrapped his long fingers around her elegant, but aging, hand. In the pits below, Erin could see Derek, and Erin’s nephew, Jared, preparing themselves for their oncoming challenges. Derek was a surly boy, Erin thought; young and strong and confident. And Richard liked him, and Erin favored Richard most of all out of his father’s young knights. It was a shame Richard had declined to joust today; Erin had the slightest inclination to believe that his daughter had, had something to do with that.

Derek would be hit from his horse the first round. Erin could predict that. The boy was never nearly as careful as he should be. Always boasting and posing for ladies.

Jared, on the other hand.

Jared was a different man. A man that Erin would have been proud to call his son, if he were. Jared represented a Stark the way the Starks were perceived. Silent and prowling and serious. A handsome young boy at that, but someone with ambition, very unlike Erin’s own son, Jason. Erin couldn’t help but wonder how a cheery man such as his brother had brought forth such a proper child.

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The tournament went forward as planned. Derek went up against a man of one of the lesser houses and was dismounted, as Erin had predicted. After him, Jason rode out on his bay mare. The horse nickered underneath him, nodding her head and tugging at the reigns defiantly.

Jared wondered if it was the environment she was unused too. He’d never jousted with this horse before. She was young and hotblooded and her one of her feet dug nervously into the ground. He hefted his silver and white lance up, hearing the Stark crowd begin to cheer and howl, like animals, wolves, before Jared had even gone off.

It was unbecoming of them, he thought, but also much appreciated. In this crowd of strangers, the verbal support felt good somehow.

Jared was going up against the Tully. The same one that had knocked Derek off his horse. Jared held his lance tightly, imaging how white his knuckles must have been under the armor. It was his first time jousting against any house not under his grandfather’s rule. And those lesser Houses, really, were never usually much of a challenge. Not enough resources, or not enough men, or not enough strong sons. It was no surprise his grandfather rarely held tournaments. It was a bore watching the Starks and Greyjoys go up against just one another over and over again.

Jared dug his heels into the horse’s side and she lurched forward. In the next second, the tip of his lance collided with the Tully’s chest plate, sending the man flying off of his black stallion. Jared smiled triumphant, and reigned his mare back to his end of the tilt. Derek was waiting there to greet him. He smiled a crooked smile, clasping Jared’s hand when they met, and patting the mare on her shoulder.

“Flighty thing,” he murmured.

“I know,” Jared said, smiling faintly, and rubbing the horse’s neck.

He pried his helm off, handing it off to Derek as he ran a hand through his curly hair. Sweat was beading his forehead, though the match itself had only taken mere minutes. He looked into the crowd. Jason was giving him a thumbs up and Cersei and Robin were smiling, waving throwing him looks to mock the way ladies looked at him. He smirked. Rick was looking awed but disgruntled. As the youngest, his dreams were to come up to par with everyone else. So far, being as small as he was, he hadn’t had much luck. Barbara was busy talking to Richard who had situated himself between her and Cersei.

Jared knew already that Ian, his grandfather, would be upset with that seating arrangement. Ian’s intention was to marry his granddaughters’ off. Well, minus Robin. Erin, however ‘upset’ he may have pretended to act, was actually quite pleased with Richard’s interest in Barbara. He was stiffly against giving his daughters away to strangers.

Jared let his eyes sweep through the crowd before they landed on a woman close to the ring’s edge. Now, there was a pretty face if he’d seen one.

“Lyla Martell,” Derek chimed.

“I know who she is,” Jared muttered through smiling lips.

“Lots’a pretty girls here,” Derek said, smiling mischievously.

“Lots of pretty girls to try.” Jared replied, now giving one of his rare full blown smiles. The entire time, his eyes never left the girls face, not until he pulled his helm over his head again, and rounded his horse for the next round.

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Erin smiled, reclining in his seat, as he watched Jared dismount the Tully. His eyes roamed over the crowds, and he did not miss when the Lannister man presented the young girl to the Arryns. He was too far away to hear what they were saying, but it discomforted him, knowing even now, in the midst of this tournament, allies were already attempting formation.

Stark Wolves


Black ears swirled forward as Needle sniffed the hot Essos air for prey. Somehow, the air smelt charred, and a metallic taste permeated her tongue. An alien scent she’d never encountered in her life before this. The lions had been disconcerting enough, but Needle had decided they were food to be eaten as well, if they so dared to challenge herself and her pack. But this smell, foreign to her, was more disconcerting than the lions musk-and-meat scent. The faint thumping that came from the sky was new too.

She looked back from the direction she had come. The camp was a small dot in her vision now, but by its dot, she knew it was there. Her brothers and sisters were as skittish as she was with this new scent. Several times over, Sterling would bound backwards, as if wanting to go back, but Needle was not afraid. She bounded forwards, only looking back to see that her master’s nest was behind her. Red, who was often mistaken for a small bear, followed along with her. They had little cousins here; small colorful dogs that teased the direwolves, both frightened and curious of these newcomers to this land. Those small cousins weren't here now though. The lions, too, had left. Something had scared them away.

After a while, the thumping-of-the-sky was joined with the beat of horses’ hooves. Needle did not like to show it, but now she felt unsure. So many horses’ hooves, almost as many as the ones at camp. She sat where she stood, her littermates crowding around, all except for inquisitive Winter. She stayed standing, her white pelt blinding in the already bright sunlight. Her ears perked, and Needle felt annoyed watching the she-wolf stand above them, looming like an alpha.

She snapped at her sister, but a stinging nip on the ear quickly had her low to the ground. Needle would have liked to think she was the dominant one in the pack, but really it was only Sterling, with his young master, that was lesser than her. The other wolves had stronger, older, masters than her Robin. And somehow, that effected the way they worked as a unit.

The wolves waited, until they saw it. An immense troop of bareback men and scantily clad women, most on horseback. So many horses, as much as Needle had seen with this gathering of two-legs back at the large-nest. Except that this was one large pack. Not many packs fighting the way the two-legs of her homelands were fighting. Fighting for dominance over one vast territory.

Needle looked up, and whimpered and urinated. Above the man-and-horse-pack, two humongous creatures loomed, green-and-blue, and white-and-purple. If ever there was a time when direwolves had fought dragons, it had been years past, when there were more direwolves, and they grew even bigger. But now, dragons were a foreign thing to them.

The wolves turned tail as fast as they could, running for the camp. They would hide in the camp; they would hide their masters too. Dangerous things were coming.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: House Lannister Character Portrait: House Stark Character Portrait: House Martell Character Portrait: House of Arryn Character Portrait: The Targaryens (and Dothraki) Character Portrait: House Tyrell Character Portrait: House Baratheon Character Portrait: House Bolton

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#, as written by Arik223
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Down at the Arena Logan was preparing with some of the Baratheon guards. If everything went well Logan should will all three rounds without a problem, seeing as his opponent is a rider from a lesser house. Logan would go right after the Tully rider and the Stark rider, who happened to be Jared Stark. Logan expected Jared to win, and so he did. Personally Logan had no problem with the Starks, and he believed that their alliance would just benefit the family. While the next round's were going on Logan scanned the crowd, glazing over pretty girls from every house. Each house had their own daughters who were a sight to behold, but one had caught his attention. For a full minute he could no get his eyes off of Ceresi Stark.

"Careful Logan, she might catch you looking." Joan spoke behind him.

"Better if she does." Logan said with a smirk, sort of hoping the young Stark would catch his gaze.

"Now we both know that your brother would never let that." Joan said sighing at the young Logan.

"He might. If he listen's for once." Logan put on his helm just as the Stark match was finishing.

Logan made his way towards Jared. "That was a hell of a match." Logan had met Jared a couple of times and Logans own personality never made him think less of Jared, who was just his age."Its been a while hasn't it?" He said extending his hand.

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Aeon sat on his seat, still looking at the other houses smiling at their heads. One his guards approached and whispered something in his ear. Aeon's face turned cold in an instant. He turned to Elean "Ill be back." He stepped off the high chair and before she could protest he was gone. Aeon saddled his horse and rode to camp as quickly as he could.

The house's camps were oragnized in a way that they aren't too close to each other, but at the same time not too far. Aeon drew his sword when he saw couple of figures running towards him, but sheathed it when he realized it was just the Stark wolves. "Whats the problem?" Aeon demanded to the head of his guard. "The man simply pointed and Aeon walked his horse in that direction. He stopped as a shudder went through his body.

To the distance was a wall of horseman, but the man on horseback weren't the issue. The damn issue was that there were giant birds flying over them... Dragon's. Aeon's rumors were instantly confirmed, but that didn't stop the impending danger he saw in- front of him. Aeon's defensive insticts suddenlt kicked in. To hell with the dragons, they were going to get any step closer. "Ready the man. Defensive formation, I want men geared up and in front of camp in sixty seconds!. No ones get's through!". Aeon looked his side and saw Gideon Arryn doing the same thing. From what he had heard Gideon was a good fighter, and surely a worthy adversary. "Gideon!" Aeon yelled trying to get the young commander's attention, "Connect our forces." If there was ever a time to cooperate, it was now. The houses were not prepared for this, they had not brought enough man to stand against a dragon.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: House Martell Character Portrait: House of Arryn Character Portrait: House Baratheon

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#, as written by Tempest
Malak Martell


Word of the coming Dragons did not take long to reach the ears of Malak Martell. It was his daughter, Lyla, who brought him the news in a flurry of excitement and barely disguised fear. She had heard it from one of her guards who had heard it from one of the dozens of Dornish informants that infested the tournament. House Martell rarely relied on brute strength to get anything done.

Malak had listened carefully to his daughter when she knelt between her parents, their voices barely audible above the crash of armoured bodies and the roar of the crowd.

"At least two Dragons and a mass of cavalry. Unknown in number." Lyla related the words in a sudden rush so that her father had to ask her to repeat them before he nodded in understanding. It was no surprise to him, and should be to no one, had they really expected that the Blood of the Dragon would not pay them a visit when they so open flaunted themselves outside their borders?

"We will go and greet the newcomers then." He said with a firm decision in his voice before standing and sweeping his white robes behind him. He held out an arm to each of the women and they took them, moving as one and leaving the box as their guards closed in about them.

The mass of humanity that thronged the tournament was beginning to show signs of panic as the Martells passed through them, orange clad soldiers sweeping the crowds aside with spears and shields as they made their way towards the great tent encampment that marked the accommodations of all the noble houses.

Orange banners snapped in the fierce wind that blew in from the desert to the far right of the encampment. The Dornish had been placed as far from everything as they could have been and Malak felt the insult but had chosen to say nothing to the Lannisters, there would be enough to say later in the day.

As they walked calmly through the camp he noted the Baratheon and Arryn contingents forming up, soldiers hurrying towards the ranks with hurriedly donned armour and weapons. He almost laughed aloud, what could they hope to do against even one Dragon let alone two backed by a Dothraki horde?

They arrived in their own section, surrounded by Dornish soldiers who showed evident relief on their faces as the noble family appeared. All were armed and turned out in proper order by the guard commander who had not waited for any orders to do so and Malak chalked up a good mark in the officers favour for later.

"My lord." The soldier said as he hurried up, bowing briefly. "The men are assembled. Orders?"

"Yes, stand them down. We can't hope to battle a Dragon so why even make it look like we plan on trying? Swords and armour only. Form behind us."

The soldier nodded and barked orders at the remainder of the guard detail who quickly laid down spears and shields before forming a small block at the backs of their noble family who had paced to the front of the camp to watch the storm approach.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: House Lannister Character Portrait: House Stark Character Portrait: House Martell Character Portrait: House of Arryn Character Portrait: The Targaryens (and Dothraki) Character Portrait: House Tyrell Character Portrait: House Baratheon Character Portrait: House Bolton

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The heat was unbearable. She could feel her cheeks turning a flush pink. She hated Essos! All of it, as far as Rydell Lannister was concerned could be swallowed up by the sea and she would not care less.

Unfortunately, it was unlikely to ever happen, much to her disgruntlement. She could not understand why anyone would want to come to this barren land run wild by heathens. And now to be taken from the dignity of her seat where she sat happily brooding – well as happily as one could be here – and dragged across the hot molten sand to be gawked at like a prize mare!

There was a time of course when she had enjoyed all their attentions. All eyes on her but of late it was beginning to grate on her nerves, severely.

Nothing was going her way!

She stood stoic and indifferent; ignoring the men staring at her as her brother and Renold Arryn talked. Until Renold thought it wise to introduce his siblings to her. Gideon, Addam and Rylond.

Rydell had no interest in any of them. In fact, she did not even spare them a glance. And of course there was that Lady Gyatha Arryn who put on false airs. Well, Rydell thought, if the woman did not acknowledge her she would not in turn return the favour. Who did she think she was?!? To ignore her, Rydell Lannister, who was no doubt her social better. Of all the insults-

Rydell, started in surprise as Lord Arryn pounced from his Throne as gracefully as a Leopard to retrieve her hand and place a delicate kiss atop her fair hand. And for the first time since Rydell had landed on Essos she found herself slightly amused.

This Lord Arryn showed no qualms at having broken all the rules of etiquette between a man and a woman of gentle breeding as he first touched her by taking her hand and then having the audacity to go further and kiss it peering up at her with a devil may care look plastered to his dark features.

“It is such a pleasure to meet yet another Lannister.” He said to her. “Especially a lovely one such as you.” He gave a sly grin and stood straight up again. “I knew the Lannister’s came in many forms but not in the forms of angels.”

Rydell's face showed no outwards signs of emotion. Although, internally, she had to admit she was smiling entertained. She was not as naive as to be taken in by his flattery. However, his words amused her more then his actions previously.

She pulled her hand out of his grasp.

It was then a Soldier rushed into the box and beseeched his Lord in an urgent matter. Rydell watched, intrigued as Rylond Arryn swept the matter over to be taken care by his brother Gideon who not at all happy went to do his brothers bidding.

There was something about the authority Rylond Arryn commanded that Rydell could not help but admire. The same as Raith's. Maybe it was a trait all the Lord's possessed. But then she doubted it.

“Would those many forms be demons?” Rydell suddenly spoke for the first time. “I must admit it is rather novel.” She went on with a small smile. “To hear praise for a Lannister from an Arryn's lips. I remember the stories of a time when Arryn's wished many a Lannister's head on a platter . . . or a spike.

“Forgive my sister,” Roarke interrupted, his eyes as sharp as his words as he glared at Rydell. “She does not know how to let bygones be bygones.”

She took no notice.

If he wanted to drag her along here. He must suffer the consequences of his actions.

“And my brother seems to forget his allegiances.” She replied serenely, completely unperturbed.

“My allegiance lies to my heart first and foremost.” Her brother answered vexation taxing his voice.

“Ah, now I'm sure Lord Arryn would disagree with you. Your allegiance should be to your family first. Do you not agree, my Lord?” Rydell questioned, raising enticing eyes to peer at the dark features of Rylond Arryn.

It was then that another Solider entered the Arryn box without so much as knocking. Bowing he informed all of what was going on out there. With supposed Dragon's and Dothraki heathens. There were no more Dragons. Rydell wanted to say to the foolish Soldier but kept quiet instead as he bowed once more and exited to post sentry outside with the rest of the guards surrounding the box.

“Well, sister.” Roarke abruptly spoke up moving towards the door the Soldier had just exited through. “I think I shall take your advice and see to the family's welfare. Lord Arryn,” He said suddenly turning to Rylond. “You don't mind entertaining my dear sister for a short time, do you? My many thanks.”

“Wait!” Rydell called, realising what he meant. “You cannot leave me here with these-”

But he had already slipped out the door. Damn him!

People.” The word was barely a whisper on her lips and she turned around to peer at the Arryn's a little dumbfounded.

However, the mystified look disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. The sight far across the distance struck out as an opportunity that could not be missed.

Over Rylond Arryn's shoulder, Rydell could see Raith staring out across at the Arryn's box. She was certain that his knuckles were turning an ashen white from his incredibly hard grip on the wooden panelling, although she was too far away to see, but she was certain.

She was tired of waiting for Raith. It was a game they played. She would give a little. He would give a little. She would hold out and he would hold out. They were both tactful players.

But it occurred to Rydell that if the pieces on the chessboard were moving backwards and forwards and she still wasn't getting anywhere . . . Then it was a game she was losing . . . And Rydell Lannister did not lose. It was time she spurred her Knight into action. By hook or crook.

An angelic smile touched her full lips.

“I'm in debt to your hospitality, my sweet Lord.” Rydell allured, brushing her hand across his finely adorned chest – more then a little surprised by the hardness that met her hand as she swept past him; and took the seat on the left to the Throne.




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The heat that affected most did not penetrate his all black vestures. He was always cold. It seemed this man was forever shrouded in the shadows. In fact he preferred the shadows. The cover they provided was priceless. A man could do many things from beneath the covers of darkness.

A man like Aric Lannister . . .

“What. Is she doing there?” Raith questioned, his voice low yet sharp as he continued to look out across the pit, his eyes locked on a form dressed in light blue when the door to the Lannister box opened and closed in quick succession.

“Who is where?” Roarke replied innocently unperturbed by the cold voice that many would have shaken in fear to as he entered to see his cousins back.

“How dare you!” Raith roared as he turned blazing eyes on his cousin.

This was what they're relationship was like. One moment as thick as thieves and the next two enemies stood at opposite ends of the vanguard.

“How dare I what? Introduce her to my friends?” Roarke answered calmly. “She's my sister.”

“She's my-”

“Your what?” Roarke prodded, his handsome features as emotionless as Rydell's just earlier with the Arryn's.

Aric watched the scene play out before him with the eyes of a cat. He stood in a corner of the now rather quiet box. No one had noticed when he had arrived. He was as quiet and deadly as a wind blown storm. At least, that's what they said about him.

He silently applauded Roarke. For once he showed signs of the Lannister cunning. Besides his undeniable good looks and the Lannister blonde manes, Aric often wondered whether the boy was truly Lannister. He was too kind by a half. But then again he was Ivan's boy.

Aric watched his two nephews with an intelligent indifference.

“Cousin. She's your cousin. I'll remind you cousin seeing as you seem to forget it so often.”

When Raith just glowered and growled low in his throat with barely contained rage; Roarke pressed on.

“I think it would be a fine match. Indeed.” He added moving forward a smile playing on his lips. “It is time, as father says, that Rydell find a decent husband.”

“Enough!” Aric interceded stepping out of the shadows when he felt the tension between the two boys reach breaking point.

“Uncle.” Roarke greeted with a gallant bow.

“The Arryn's are not good enough for her!” Raith continued on furiously, in the full swing of his violent temper. Little could control it.

“Then who is? . . .” Roarke questioned calmly, with a stronger leash on his anger. “You?” He dared to venture.

Aric, for the first time felt something of awe looking upon his younger nephew. He always knew of the defiance Roarke showed towards Raith. But never had the man been quite sure of Roarke's Lannister spirit until this very moment.

Two Lions, Aric mused with a bemused internal smirk, baring their teeth.

“Ah, but that cannot be can it?” Roarke smirked.

“Enough! I said.” Aric boomed. His arm the sole thing standing between Raith's lunge and Roarke. “That. Is. Quite Enough.”

There was no time for such folly now.

“Roarke. Go join your father and Lord Wyekham with the Guardsmen.” Aric commanded.

It hadn't been long since the Stark bitches had arrived back from their wonderings that the whole tourney had been informed of the arrival of the Dothraki . . . and . . . The Targaryens.

Foolish Dogs of the North! Aric Lannister tried not to spit. Yes, only a foolish Stark would rouse chaos and anarchy amongst all. Instead of informing the important people of all the important Households, they had allowed for all that were present to know. It became almost impossible to organise people in a state of hysterics. And that's what the spectators of the Jousting had become. Hysteric. Though, the jousting continued at Aric's instructions. No need to frighten the fools more than they already were.

“We are to stand together with the other families against the Dragons?” Roarke asked.

“Don't be a fool boy!” Aric spat.

“The men are at the ready but they shall stand down, indefinitely.” Raith interceded having found a modicum of calm. “Let the other's lose their men in their stupidity thinking they can defeat fire breathing Dragons and a clan of naked heathens who number more then double all of us here. Let them do our work for us.”

Aric's lips curled up at the corner. And this is why he put so much effort into this nephew.

Roarke frowned.

“Go to your father.” Aric commanded again.

It was as Roarke left that Aric felt eyes on him. He turned his head slowly to peer behind him to find Keeleb Storm standing in a far corner with crossed arms peering at him with eyes filled with . . . something. Eyes that disturbed Aric Lannister.

“You too Storm. Be gone.”

Storm gazed held Aric's for a long moment before he departed not saying a single word.

“The Targaryens must be dealt with.” Raith's words brought Aric back from the wake of Keeleb Storm's knowing gaze.

“Delicately, nephew. Delicately.”

“They are half-breed's now. Nothing more then mongrels. And mongrels must be irradiated before they affect the populace.”

Aric smiled at the thought of irradiation and bloodshed. Blood of Targaryens. How sweet it would taste. But now was not the time to get lost in the fantasy of the wicked warm substance. Yet, he could feel it glide across his tongue and trickle down his throat. He swallowed hard.

“But powerful mongrels.” He managed to add. “A knife should come with a smile nephew.”

Both men stood in silence for sometime as heat floated on the air in actual physical waves.

“The Arryn's are not good enough to be joined with the name Lannister.” Raith's casual but deeply emotive sentence brought Aric back from the dark reverie lulled by the thought of the life giving liquid that filled his dreams.

Aric said naught for a long time. He was beginning to realise that Roarke's words held more truth then Aric had first given them credence. 'Then who is?' . . . Good enough for Rydell . . . 'You' . . . Raith Lannister.

It would put a sword in all of his great plans for the boy, Aric thought. He must bite this infatuation in the bud. It could not be . . . for many reasons. Family the least of them.

Aric's eyes followed his nephews insistent gaze across to the Arryn's box to his niece. For a moment his unmoving heart began to beat frantically. For a moment he was pulled back to that night all those years ago. Of merriment, claret, dancing and laughing.

So much. So much she resembled that long dead mother of hers . . . And he could all but understand his nephews desires.

“The Arryn's are as good as any.” Aric suddenly said with a curtness he rarely used with this nephew. “Alliances are bought, dear nephew. Not by coin but by blood. Everything and everyone at your disposal you must use to get what you want . . . And if I have taught you anything Raith and if you are to remember anything, then remember this my boy. Nobody, owes you anything because of your noble blood . . .”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: House Lannister Character Portrait: House Stark Character Portrait: House Martell Character Portrait: House of Arryn Character Portrait: The Targaryens (and Dothraki) Character Portrait: House Tyrell Character Portrait: House Baratheon Character Portrait: House Bolton

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"Cersei!"

Cersei let out a hiss of frustration and surprise as Robin's thin, bony elbow jabbed her in her ribs.

"What," she grumbled, pushing her sister's arm away, "What is it."

Robin eyed Cersei skeptically, "Your blinder than an owl. Look down at the pit."

"I know." Cersei said, blushing furiously. She had seen Logan Baratheon observing her so coolly. He was a handsome man; that she would admit. And his eyes were beautiful. But if there was ever a stubborn Stark in love, it would have had to been Cersei. She wasn't going to give her heart away like Barbara. Barbara, who was subject to being offered up to Raith Lannister as a peace making object; Barbara who had fallen in love with a man so easily; Barbara who was going to be sold like a horse because of pedigree blood.

Of course, Cersei was well aware of the fact that she also had the possibility of being sold like a horse. But she was younger than Barbara, and so it was less likely she would go to the Lannisters. Besides, they already had enough blonde blood in them.

"You don't like him?" Robin asked, plainly scrutinizing the man, who had greeted their cousin, Jared, in the tournament pits. Sure he could not see her now, Cersei turned her blue eyes on him, observing the way he moved, the shape of his lips, his eyes, his nose...

"No, he's very handsome." She admitted, pursing her lips and blushing again, much to her chagrin, "It's just...how many of these men are really here to court one of us? Most of them are just looking for another cow to tie their families together and to produce crossbred children so Houses will cease their rivalry."

"What do you mean, 'another cow'," Little Rick said, squirming for a seat between his sisters. Cersei, admittedly, felt sorry for her youngest brother. Jason was a good eldest sibling, but not an involved brother. There was not much he and Rick did together. Jason seemed to see his primary job as taking care of and protecting the siblings. But when that was not needed, he'd often just lollygag off on his on. Rick would be left with the girls, much to his disappointment. And it was hard to babysit him all the time; especially during meetings with Richard. For the most part, people were under the impression that Richard was simply a close Stark family friend. Cersei felt that Erin often times suspected there was more between Barbara and Richard, but if he did, he never protested it. It was no secret that Erin Stark favored the young man.

On the other hand, Rick was in the dark about most of these things, and none of the girls were willing to risk him knowing.

Before the girls could continue speaking, the Stark wolves rushed in, panting and wild eyed. They were followed by a few Stark men, who eyed the children warily, and spoke in hushed voices to Ian and Erin. In a matter of moments, Erin had leaped from his seat and was gone.

Lyssa Stark began hearing her children towards the camp, while Richard made a prompt excuse and followed after Erin. And all this while, Cersei could not fathom what was happening.

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"More than a while," Jared said, clasping Logan's arm and giving him a genuine smile, "But it's good to see a friendly face in all this tension." He laughed a quite laugh, before his eyes fell on his younger cousin.

Cersei. She was staring at Logan, unperturbed, talking, quickly, by the movements of lips, with her younger sister Robin. Both of them seemed to be scrutinizing the young Baratheon man. And through this, Jared saw opportunity.

"I think my cousin, Cersei," he said pointing, "fancies you. Perhaps, I could introduce you two to one another?" Before the conversation could continue, Jared was interrupted by the sight of several Stark guards consulting his uncle. Both Derek and Richard left with Erin Stark, and Jared could feel that something was wrong.

"Logan," he said, patting the man's shoulder, "I should like to think we can converse later. I think I'll be needed shortly."

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Deanerys glowered as she spurred her spotted mare on. Dust and dirt wafted into her hair, permeating her white locks and producing a dirty but tolerable film of tan clouds before her eyes. This, she was used to. All her life she had traveled upon horseback; puffs of horse kicked dust clouds were of little concern to her.

No, it was the armies gathering before them that irked her now.

There were many horses; she had never seen such a culmination of them all at one place. These horses were different from the horses of Essos. Tall and sturdy, all the same, but thicker in terms of body and shape. They lacked the grace and slim features of the Dothraki horses. However, she could not help but be awed by the few huge horses, with feathered hooves and thick muscles. The Dothraki would admire those, she knew. But their smaller Westeros cousins would be of no use to the Dothraki; the Essos horses were enough.

Just ahead of her Khal Drogo (the second), spun his blue stallion around, urging the horse back in Dany’s direction. Deanerys had little idea of what the previous Khal Drogo had been like. Had he laughed and smiled like her Drogo when the cool night winds with tousled their hair during midnight rides? Would he hold her hand tenderly or kiss her face when she was scared? Was he smart and cunning like her Drogo, or a strong, merciless, brute?

She pressed her hand to her stomach, crumpling the soft cloth in her fingers. Had the previous Khal Drogo loved his unborn child the way she knew this one would? Or course, Dany’s stomach was too flat to betray anything just yet, and her breasts had not yet swollen. She had only suspected her pregnancy from the week before. Another month would have to pass for her to be sure. But she knew the child would be loved. By herself, her spouse, and the entire khalasar.

She had confided her suspicions in her brother Jaehaerys immediately and had quickly regretted doing so. Now a days she could not escape Jaehaerys threatening gaze that loomed over her like a storm. Nor could she blatantly avoid her brother’s unsettling advances. He had become increasingly bolder, storming in on Dany during baths and scolding her for accepting the blood of a Dothraki over her on. In a fleeting moment of panic, she had told Drogo, who had, typically, confronted Jaehaerys. This had only seemed to increase the boy’s advances for the day. His bold moves would get him killed, if he persisted, and she worried for his safety. Idiot he may be, but he was her brother.

Above her, in the skies many wing beats up, Deanerys’ two dragons floated like all seeing guards, protecting and warning her of the incoming threats. They were beautiful in the sky, like sparkling jewels in a cloth of blue.

Skywing was named on an uncomplicated way; the underneath of his wings were a beautiful blue that blended on with the sky. Targarion, too, had a straightforward name. He was named after the Targaryen’s themselves. At homage to a long line of dragons.

Upon arriving close to the gathered armies, Deanerys raised her arm. The Targaryens stopped behind her, and, save for twenty of them, remained there as Dany and Khal Drogo went forward with their small splinter group.

“Armies of Westeros,” she called out, “We come in peace and we bring gifts for all of you.”

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Erin Stark looked over the crowd of gathered armies. Most of the families had assembled themselves with their armies. So to did the Starks stand, with their wolves by their side. Of course, the Targaryens had their dragons. His children were lined up in a perfect presentation, from oldest to youngest. Richard lingered close by them. Damn that boy for never being able to hide his affection. Surely, Ian would give Barbara away faster if he knew...Of course, Erin could never be sure. The girls would always claim that there was nothing between Richard and Barbara; they were just close friends.

Erin was slow to believe them. Instead he worried of what action his father would take. Erin himself was not familiar with Raith Lannister. In saying that, he was no close with the man in any way, and only knew him on a formal basis. Ian, if he knew anything further about the young Lannister was slow to share the information. He was already aware of how his son loathed the idea of giving his children away. He would not risk Erin going to extremes to protect his daughters.

As the Targaryen's came forward, so too, did the Stark. Primarily, Erin, Ian, Jason, and Jared, along with a splinter of about twenty guards. They would take no risk when dealing with the Targaryens, not with their overgrown lizards looming right above their heads.

"Deanarys Targaryen," Ian Stark greeted, as the families met in the middle. Surely other would send their families forward. It discomforted Erin, knowing they were the only Starks at the mouth of a sea of Dothraki.