The Crownlands

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:43 pm

IC:

"Well, they're just lives. I mean, I have two thousand and five hundred I can just throw around, whenever I please," Aelix drawled with a roll of his eyes, eyes that shone like wet violets in the morning sun. "Yes, Meridea. Less long-term impediment to the war effort in the Crownlands."

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by kick767 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:48 pm

"Sorry. I don't feel. You know that."

Meridea's face was still expressionless.

"To be honest, I don't want them to die any more than you do. Sorry if it seemed otherwise."

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:00 am

IC:

"Except you just said you don't feel. So do you feel sorry and nothing else, or was that a casual sorry wrenched out of your ass?"

Aelix smiled knowingly and tapped his temple once with a wink before pushing off the table and sitting down in his chair at the end of the table again.

"How long have you been away from Dragonstone, Meridea?"

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by kick767 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:06 am

"I don't feel concern for their wellbeing. I do admit that their death would be an inconvenience, and others would care."

Meridea had the closest thing to an expression she ever got. A slight look of puzzlement.

Wondering why other people cared, why they felt.

"A few months this trip. Why?"

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:40 am

IC:

"Curiosity, call it. Wondering what it is you've been doing in those few months," Aelix replied affably. His tone was pleasant, indeed, charming; the real purpose of his line of questioning, however, was not to seduce Meridea, nor was it to charm his cousin. He was asking her what exactly it was she'd been up to since she'd arrived at the beachhead, and not so subtly asking what it was she could offer to Aelix's contingent in the long run.

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by kick767 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:54 am

"Tactical training, some sword use."

Meridea's head twitched in a shrug.

"Nothing much, but my instructor isn't with us anymore. He got sloppy."

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:00 am

IC:

"And what of your tactics and sword usage?" Aelix asked amusedly, fingers fluttering across the chess pieces that represented armies and strategic positions across Westeros on the table. "Have they, too, left you behind?"

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by kick767 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:21 am

"No."

Another twitch.

"Master Grenwal won't forget that."

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:33 am

IC:

"Well, clearly if he's dead he won't remember it, either," Aelix grumbled under his breath with a flitter of annoyance as he glanced up at his cousin, but then his gaze drew back to Visenya's black dragon piece near Gulltown, and to a large pewter base with four ships affixed to it. His eyes became far away and cold as they gazed at that fleet and then at the coast adjacent.

"I had a dream, last night," he told his two gathered family members. "My fleet hadn't arrived at the beachhead, so when I woke up I thought the fleet had been struck by surprise. There was fire. Fire and blood, as far as my eyes could see. Our family's blood, spilling and churning and turning into dragon shapes in the bay that rose up and breathed fire on the Vale. Aunt Visenya rode one. So did Daemon Velaryon; one eye had been popped out of its socket, and the other was surrounded from brow to jaw with black skin and scars. His skin was bloated and grey like an overripe fruit. As the Vale burned, slowly, so did he, until he was ash that blew backwards over the destroyed fleet and rebuilt it, stronger and faster and more deadly than before."

Aelix's eyes moved away from the piece then back to his sister, and then back to his cousin. He said no more but his hand was placed against the armrest of his chair and clenched around the end while his other hand held his chin, index finger and thumb in an L-shape that supported his head in the middle tentatively.

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by kick767 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:45 am

"He's not dead."

Meridea listened, watching Aelix with slight intensity.

"I haven't an idea... You know I cannot interpret."

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by The Snarkily Glorious on Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:58 am

IC:

"She can't interpret," A voice, almost forgotten, commented. "And I don't give enough of a damn to."

The second statue in the room stood, slowly, and in a single graceful movement. Her whetstone, unnoticed, had long since fallen as silent as its owner, and returned to its pocket.

"Sorry brother, cousin, but I would rather place my wagers on steel than omens. I dislike having my future told by something outside of my control."

When she stretched and turned towards the door, the movements were no less graceful, but there was something... Off. Her hand lingered near her blade, as if she itched to draw it and lash out at a foe, but there were none to be found.

"Be careful, however, dear brother. I may not care enough to interpret, but I'm smart enough to know that it means nothing good. I would hate it if you perish; There'd be no one amusing left around here."

"And it was good to see you, Meridea. You're always interesting to talk to, in your own way."

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by kick767 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:05 am

"Most describe me as uninteresting. That, in itself, is interesting."

Meridea watched her carefully.

Her blank stare moved to Aelix.

"You've worried her."

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:16 am

IC:

"It tends to happen, from time to time," he confided wryly in his cousin as Victorya walked out the door. "Some of those times I start to think she really cares."

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by kick767 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:06 am

Meridea nodded.

"She does care. She just tries to hide it as much as possible."

"Not like me."

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:14 am

IC:

"No," Aelix mused, standing up gracefully and moving to the door in his own right. "Nothing like you, cousin."

The latch clicked once behind him, leaving Meridea alone as he advanced towards his own chambers, and a (hopefully) restful night's sleep. After all, tomorrow they rode.

Aelix only hoped that tomorrow had gotten the memo.

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by The Snarkily Glorious on Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:49 am

IC:

"Lord Boggs, really, I must suggest that you back down."

"Now that's insulting. A highborn lord back down to a woman? One who dares to play her games in a man's world? I'd never live it down."

It was early, far too early. The sun had only just risen over the land when Victorya had been out practicing, and only slightly later when Boggs strutted down into the courtyard with his entourage. He had stopped instantly, watching for a few moments with growing annoyance, before he had stepped forward, and issued his challenge. Apparently his pride hadn't healed from yesterday.

"You may go and retrieve your armor, if you wish."

"I have no need of armor to deal with an upstart bitch like you."

"As you wish, sir." Victorya stood easily, almost casually, at her end of the courtyard while Boggs' squire brought his blade to him. The lord was fresh, rested, while Victorya had already been training for hours. But the difference went deeper than that.

Boggs stood rigidly, sword at the ready. His stance was careful, the result of decades of work. Victorya was casual, relaxed. Her sword was held easily in her right hand, her left resting at her side.

"You may have the first move, milord."

"Of course I can! I don't need need permission from a whore that chose to pick up a blade!" He swung his sword in a wide arc, aiming for her neck. He wasn't aiming to wound; he was aiming to kill.

Almost contemptuously, the blow was deflected, and not for the last time, the sound of metal on metal filled the air.

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:17 am

IC:

Aelix opened up his eyes and groaned, sitting up in his bed and running his hands along his bare back and around his chest, to his ribs, cradling his own sides as though embracing the air. His pure ivory hair was shaken and stirred up in the throes of bedhead, and he pushed his hand through the bangs and over his head. Deep breath. Exhale with a sigh. Deep breath. Exhale with a sigh.

It was only a dream - but damn, what a dream. And it had felt...vivid. Like she was actually--

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by The Snarkily Glorious on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:23 am

IC:

"It would seem that something woke the dragon."

The voice carried up through the window, almost as if in reply to Aelix. But the clash of steel on steel dispelled that illusion a few moments later.

"You're no dragon; you're barely a bitch!"

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:26 am

IC:

"What are you going on about?" Aelix grumbled, looking under the covers and his sleeping pants just to reassure himself. "I'm definitely a drag--"

He stopped and then put his covers back down with a heavy sigh as he put together the truth of what was happening. With another deep breath, and some minor fidgeting to make his stance look natural, Aelix walked over to the window and looked down on the courtyard of Aegon's Landing, watching Lord Boggs and his sweet sister lick at each other with the steel tongues in their hands; now and then one would lap at the other and fail, but only just; now and then a swing would go wide in an arc and the opponent would capitalize, swooping in for a killstrike that was blocked not a second too soon.

Aelix sighed and thought to call out, but then thought better of throwing Victorya out of her zone and just settled to watch, scarlet longcoat thrown casually over his bare, pale shoulder.

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by The Snarkily Glorious on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:38 am

IC:

This dance, unlike any other, was one Victorya knew well.

Lord Boggs was efficient, and by the standards of most, he was skilled. His blade was large, ornate. Closer to a broadsword or a claymore than a standard blade, long and heavy. It gave Boggs longer reach, but it was too large to be wielded swiftly.

And there lay her advantage. Victorya's blade was far lighter, balance, rather than force. For a time, she fell into an almost repetitive pattern. Boggs would strike, she would parry, and then counterattack. Strike, parry, counterattack. Strike, parry, counterattack. And all the while, Boggs' smile grew.

He believed he had her on the ropes, that this was merely a waiting game. But he was wrong. This had been a test, a way to gain information. And it was a test he'd failed.

It was doubtful that he truly knew it, but there was a pattern. Every time he went for a wide, sweeping stroke, he leaned too far into the blow, he put his stance ever so slightly off balance. A tradeoff, balance for power. But it would be his undoing.

Boggs struck, his blade lashing out in a wide arc. But he target was no longer there. Victorya had crouched, springing forward, leaving a long cut down Boggs' arm from her outstretched blade. The lord retreated a step, hoping to regain his footing, but he had already lost the upper hand. His opponent had gone on the offensive, rapid strikes beginning to overpower his slow movements.

It was slow at first, Cuts appeared on his arms, his legs, his torso. Then those stings became gashes, and Boggs began to tire. And that was when he lost. When Victorya deflected his feeble attempt at a counterattack, he lacked the strength to keep his sword from flying to the side, leaving him wide open. Steel licked his hand, crimson flying as he relinquished his grip on his sword out of shock and pain.

When the clatter of the blade's impact with the ground was heard, it was all over. Boggs stood stock still, the tip of her sword resting lightly against his throat. He was covered in wounds of varying severity, he was unarmed, and her blade was at his throat. He was finished.

"What was that, milord? I don't think I caught what you said..."


Last edited by The Snarkily Glorious on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:42 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:40 am

IC:

"Oh, don't play with your food, sweet sister, it's unbecoming of you," Aelix tuttered from the window fairly, jaw in his hand and head tilted as he stared down at the duel's aftermath. "Boggs has to get his strength up for Duskendale. Vanguard, remember?"

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by The Snarkily Glorious on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:47 am

IC:

"Oh, I think I would find him quite repugnant a meal." Victorya replied levelly, never lowering her blade. "And playing with one's prey is a far different matter, in my opinion. But alas..."

After a moment, she lowered the blade, turning to walk away. Boggs hung back, eyes wide, unable to believe what had transpired.

"Just remember, Boggs. This... What was it you said? Oh, yes. This whore with a sword beat you once, and she could do it again before you even had time to draw yours."

"Though my informants tell me that you've not been able to use your sword lately, so I suppose you can be forgiven for being out of practice."

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:31 pm

IC:

"Low blow," Aelix sang fairly as he looked down on his sweet sister do her thing. "Speaking of blows, I hope you packed overnight. We ride for Rosby. Aunt Rhaenys is expecting me."

***

"Son of a bitch," Aelix groaned to himself as he slid off his pale white mare at the castle of the Rosbys, outside the war council of Rhaenys Targaryen. The ride had been long, clocking in at about eleven hours with no stop to rest or real conversation; Aegon's nephew had attempted to ensure arrival at the Rosby seat before nightfall and the ploy had succeeded. Two thousand and five hundred men had followed him, along with his sister and cousin; they all settled in with Rhaenys' forces, numbering about eight thousand now, while Aelix alone walked into a convocation chamber. Rhaenys stood at the head of the table, with a dozen Celtigars, Velaryons, lesser Targaryens and lords who'd bent the knee sitting in a circle. The seat at the other end of the table was open; Aelix stood behind it, hands on the armrests, as he observed Rhaenys.

Gods above, Rhaenys. Slender and gorgeous, like a dancer, standing there at the end of the table, she balanced an imperious attitude that reined in the assembled lords with a coy smile and a light in her dark indigo eyes; her hair fell down to the small of her back over one shoulder as she turned to look at the new arrival and smiled with thin lips that revealed a pixieish, pearl white grin.

"My dear nephew!" she purred like the doting aunt she was as she motioned for the seat. "Please, please, sit! You've had such a long journey...I wasn't expecting you until tomorrow...oh, Aelix, you've grown!"

"More than you know, Aunt Rhaenys," Aelix said quietly with one half of a winning smile on his sharp face. "Didn't mean to interrupt. Please continue."

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Re: The Crownlands

Post by Dovydas on Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:04 pm

IC:

Beric Storm and/or Goldenstag, a participant in this council at Rosby, smiled at the new arrival. He had heard some things of this Aelix Targaryen and successfully identified him as one of the more unexpectedly important personas of Aegon's court, even if it might not have seemed that way. Beric could easily recognize important personas. They weren't as unidentifiable as they liked to think.

For one, Rhaenys' reception clearly identified him as more than just a meaningless member of the Targaryen clan.

Storm slowly approached the newcomer, stretching his hand out in welcome, a wide smile etched into his face.

"Aelix Targaryen. I've heard some things about you. My name is Beric Goldenstag, and I am pleased to make your acquaintance."
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Re: The Crownlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:14 am

IC:

"Beric Goldenstag," Aelix mulled over pensively, shaking the man's hand with a natural grace and soft, knowing smile. "I've heard things of you too. For every person who gives me a thing, they also give me a different name for you, and I've heard it said that none of them are false."

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Re: The Crownlands

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