The Kingdom of the Stormlands

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The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:41 pm



The Stormlands are located south of King's Landing, bordered on the west by the lands of the Reach, south by the Sea of Dorne and to the east by Shipbreaker Bay. It is one of the smaller regions of Westeros, a land of harsh mountains, stony shores, and verdant forests, including the Rainwood and the Kingswood along Cape Wrath.

The Dornish Marches, located in the south-west, which stretches a long salient along the Red Mountains, serve as an effective buffer zone between the Stormlands and their old enemies of the Reach and Dorne. For centuries it was a regular battleground, changing hands more than once until Dorne became part of the Seven Kingdoms.

A few islands, including Tarth and Estermont, are also considered part of the Stormlands. Ships coming across the Narrow Sea avoid the notorious Shipbreaker Bay and its storms, though the seas along the Stormlands can be amazingly clear and blue. The waters around Tarth are particularly famed for their clear blue color, earning Tarth the name "Sapphire Isle."

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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:54 pm

Two months later...

IC:

"I have to tell you, Goldenstag," said Aelix Targaryen at the prow of his flagship, watching the sunset dance along the clear blue of Tarth's waters with Orys Baratheon, the Bastard of Dragonstone, at his left hand and Beric Storm, the Bastard of Storm's End, on his right. "You were right about these Stormlands of yours. Where there's beauty, there's beauty."


"Naturally. Finest lands in the south, and given that there's little that is actually habitable in the north, that says a lot."

Orys laughed at that; his face was more hardset than his half-brother's, with all the beauty of a Targaryen dragonlord with the stern look of a general. Honest, almost to the point of bluntness, and loyal to his family, he was the most likely competition to the Durrendon bastard for the Stormlands after Argilac fell.

Aelix wondered briefly at their proximity, but so far "Lord" Beric Storm had done a good job of meshing with the other men. At Duskendale, he had been Aelix's finest battle companion, and the two had cut down a score of Darklyn man standing back to back while reinforcements stormed the castle, led by Rhaenys while his sister held the town with aplomb. The Prince of Dragonstone had accepted the "Bastard Storm," as he'd become known, into his inner circle and they had become fast friends as Rhaenys led her host along the west to take the Dornish Marches in a wide arakh shape that would leave Storm's End blockaded, while Aelix led a campaign of charisma down the islands and territories to the east and south. So far, his losses were minimal; three dozen men had vomited during a particularly nasty storm as they approached Tarth, but they had been his only casualties since leaving Duskendale. Orys had been sent from Rhaenys' side to support him when the time came to march on Storm's End, along with six thousand extra men. Rhaenys herself was to the south, but she'd written to Aelix in all haste, expressing her intent to march north as soon as Blackhaven bent the knee.

He could hardly wait to see his aunt again, if only because his sister would be there, too. Rhaenys had been only too delighted to accept Aelix's sister into her war council, even though nobody had actually offered her, too. Whether it was jealousy or a true desire to foster Victorya into a newer, younger Visenya, he didn't care to know.

"So, your sister," said Orys. Of course he wants to hear about the sister again. Orys, you poor bastard, you were always the one with the least subtlety at the family table. "What's she like? How does she look?"

He grinned sheepishly.

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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Dovydas on Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:05 pm

IC:

"My sister, my dear Valyrian friend," Beric responded to the question with a grin as sharp as a blade from the aforementioned destroyed country, "is a clever woman of many varieties of wisdom. Pretty, too. Runs in the Durrendon blood. Not particularly fond of me. Not particularly fond of anyone outside of Storm's End. She's admittedly fond of Father and the local lords are fond of her. Father has less an opinion of her, but that's just because she's a woman and, let's be honest here, that's not particularly good for you in this continent."

He grinned slightly more as a thought awoke somewhere in his mind.

Dear sister, if you're clever enough, you will see to a way to keep this fool away from my throne. I don't think it will be all that difficult when you give at least some effort to that end.
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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:11 pm

IC:

Aelix's thoughts were much along the same lines: Orys is fucked.

"Well, if you want the Stormlands, you're going to have to kill her," he laughed, even as Orys' head turned to them in confusion at their mirth. "I don't have it in me to cut down someone so pretty unless she tries first."

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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Dovydas on Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:13 pm

IC:

"Now, now. Let's not upset our friend. I'm sure we'll be able to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement with my sister... and I'm hoping that arrangement involves her showing how much of her sword training, that she was so insistent upon having, she actually learned."
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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:37 pm

IC:

"Yes, well, I'm not quite sure Orys would be all too satisfied with that, either. The sword he's been polishing is rarely used in matters of combat, at least where I come--"

The jest was broken with the caw of a raven that swooped down onto the side of the ship, letting a package loose in its feet and onto the deck. It made a wet squish, and it was stamped with the gold wax of the House Durrendon.

Oh, seven hells.

He drew his dagger and nicked open the letter, scanning his eyes over it before looking to the package with a cool emotionlessness.

"These are the only hands your bastard will have of me," he read evenly. "King Argilac of House Durrendon, Storm King of the Stormlands and Lord of Storm's End."

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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Dovydas on Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:50 pm

"It appears Father's feeling suicidal today."
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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:10 pm

IC:

"Well, they are for you, Orys. Want your engagement gift?" Aelix deadpanned, waving the box around. "No?"

He tossed it over the side, and the unopened package sank into the blue waters around Tarth. The Stormlands loomed before them.

"His loss."

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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Dovydas on Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:47 pm

"He's an interesting person, my father. Sending an emissary here instead of straight to Aegon..."

Beric grinned, and slowly, slowly scratched his chin.

"I suppose he knows I'm here and has felt the need to remind me that he exists."
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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:19 pm

IC:

"You're a dangerous friend to have, bastard. A smarter commander would start to question the idea of keeping you around all the time."

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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Dovydas on Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:23 pm

"Indeed he would. I am fortunate that I am not as restricted as some would restrict me, and, indeed, themselves."
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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:26 pm

IC:

"You'll either die young or be the greatest bastard Westeros has ever known. Most likely both."

Aelix took the raven on his finger and gestured Orys over, asking him to write a letter and send it to Aegon with what had transpired. While he was off scribbling, Aelix took Beric by the arm and led him out to the stern of the ship. Tarth had been beautiful; he wanted to look at it a while longer, and ignore the war ahead.

"You knew that was coming," he said, without a note of accusation. "It just so happens I did, too. He may have a noble face, noble name, noble reputation, but Orys is bastard born. What I don't know is the culprit. Who do you think was behind it - your father or your sister?"

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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Dovydas on Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:35 pm

Beric considered the answer only for a moment.

"My money's on my father. My sister is a smart woman and would know not to provoke Aegon into outright war so easily. Not to mention that unlike my father, she respects honor and would never do something so... harsh."

He scratched his chin, apparently lost in thought for just a moment.

"On the other hand... my father may be reckless, hotheaded, arrogant to the point of having a nickname about it, and even foolish, but even my father understands that this sort of action would provoke even more Targaryen anger in a time when his army is hardly at its full potential. It may be that it is not my father, but actually one of his lords... It's hard to say. I am sure, however, that this is not my sister's work."
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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:39 pm

IC:

"You know where things go from here, don't you?" Aelix asked, motioning to the spot behind his flagship where the Durrendon family package had landed; the letter was still hanging loosely from two fingers. "Your father's burned the last bridge he had with a dead man's hands. Fire and blood. You know how the story goes."

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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Dovydas on Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:38 am

Beric said nothing. He simply nodded, slowly.

He couldn't find more than just an ounce of sympathy for his father. The man was a bit of a bastard, really. While it's not exactly fair to say that he forced himself on Beric's mother, but the way Goldenstag always understood it, she was only willing for fear of what would happen if she refused. To say that Beric did not love his father would be to tint his emotions a bright pink.

"Can't say I'm sorry for the old sod. Either way, though... I have an idea. How about we discuss it over an ale and some Tarthian fish?"
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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:49 am

IC:

...

"It's a good plan," Aelix said with a telling, small smile, biting a small cube of fish off the square of his sharpened dagger. "And your House will go for it?"

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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Dovydas on Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:40 pm

"Indeed they will. I think my father is already shocked I didn't immediately return to him when Aegon's forces started encroaching on his land. No doubt he will want to expect the best from me."
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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:48 pm

IC:

"And Argella? Would she buy it?"


"For long enough."

Aelix considered the plan again after taking a long drink of the brown ale and another couple cubes of fish from his knife. They would need to parley first, to set things up; Argilac himself would not refuse to face two Targaryen commanders and his own bastard son in the field; he'd be marked as a coward by all his lords, and the Storm King would be known by all the world as Lord of the Drizzles for the rest of his days. One Targaryen commander, though, he thought then. If things went horribly, horribly wrong, it wouldn't do to have to find someone to succeed he and Orys. Baratheon needed to be ready to assume the co-captain's duties at a moment's notice. A succession crisis in the ranks would lose them the Stormlands forever.

"Do you think you can bring them to the table?"


"I'm pretty sure, yes."

He considered that, too.

"Write the letter," he said then. He left the second half of his statement unsaid: You fuck this up, you never get your birthright. But he already knew that. The Bastard of Storm's End was smart.

They would be fine.

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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Dovydas on Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:36 pm

A few days later, Argilac of House Durrendon, Storm King and Lord of Storm's End, found himself standing on a hill outside the Stormlander capital of Storm's End, surrounded by bodyguards and, with growing impatience, awaiting the arrival of the Targaryen negotiation party.

On his right-hand side stood his daughter, Argella, like a true daughter of the Stormlands and the chosen people of the Andals: although a beauty beyond compare, her long, raven hair cascading down her back, decorating her lovely face, herself she wore not a dress, but heavy plate armor, a mighty greatsword strapped to her back.

"You knew this would happen, father," she muttered, in a tone that spoke of disappointment - disappointment not for the first time, no doubt. "We both knew that Beric was hardly the most trustworthy bastard to ever be born. And you let him out to the Targaryens regardless, just as they engaged all of Westeros in a brutal conquest---"

"Silence!" her father's voice resounded, his infuriated tone filling the air, but once again relaxing as he continued: "Of course... you're right, my daughter. I miscalculated. However, I still have a certain... glimmer of hope. Beric's letter gave me one. I cannot explain to you just yet, but let's just say that soon we shall see how deep the bastard's betrayal lies."

Argella sighed, slightly. She couldn't help but notice the way her father never called Beric "son", only "bastard". She, of course, held very little sympathies for Storm himself, and only rarely enjoyed his company, him being little more than an arrogant twat with delusions of grandeur - but nevertheless, he was her brother. Sort of. And this sort of situation still made her sort of uncomfortable.

It was almost an hour later that the Targaryen delegation arrived.
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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:45 pm

IC:

"Orys is sure this will backfire," Aelix teased as he and Beric rode up at the head of the delegation on a pair of the finest horses in the host. "He says I should slit your throat right now and roll you over to Argilac."


"Orys is a twat."

"Fair enough."

Beric grinned and rode up next to Aelix - never ahead - as they stopped within five greatsword's distance of the House Durrendon. His eyes flicked over Argilac, then Argella, then Argella and then to Beric.

"You did tell me pretty ran in the Durrendon blood," he admitted as an aside to the Stormlands bastard he had taken on as a friend and captain. "What in seven hells happened to you?"


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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Dovydas on Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:54 pm

"My looks took after my father's personality."

As they approached, Beric could slowly feel his voice start to shiver with just a bit of trepidation and even excitement. Forcing his ultimate triumph over these... Durrendons would become so pleasant so soon.

"Father!" he called out to Argilac, who so arrogantly turned his nose as if he had just smelled something disgusting. "The weather's been kind to you since we last met."


"Aye, it has. If only the same could be said for you, Storm. You picked up some unsightly company and now serve a Valyrian sisterfucker. Haven't you any sense of what you are?" Argilac's voice simply trembled with anger as he spoke.

Beric's face darkened. "My name is Beric Goldenstag, father, and you know I remember very well what I am. There is a reason you call me Storm, and I remember that reason more than I would like."

"All of this is irrelevant, you two," Argella interceded, a chill dominating the harshness of her voice. "Beric, it's not too late to turn back. Come with us. Back to Storm's End. You have yet to shed Stormlander blood. You are no traitor just yet."

Beric stood, utterly silent, as if considering the suggestion.
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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by The Snarkily Glorious on Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:48 pm

IC:

Life at Blackhaven was not a clean and easy thing.

That's not to say that there weren't benefits. Most of the lords who outright hated her were far away, assuming they weren't rotting in their graves, and on the whole, the army gathered there tended to be more respectful. Perhaps it was because they'd been serving under her own aunt since the campaign began. But that was the extent of it. Blackhaven was an unknown variable. She, to her knowledge, had no allies in her corner, at least not any within reach, and she knew for a fact that she had no friends.

Which, in a roundabout way, took her to her aunt. The Lady Rhaenys, rider of one of three dragons, sister to Aegon, and of course, Victorya's aunt. From what she had been able to gather, her aunt was personally behind her transfer to this particular force, but the realism whn remained unclear. Her aunt and she had exchanged fewer then a hundred words overall, and of those hundred, almost all had taken place during a council meeting, and more than half had been Victorya asserting that she would be participating in the fight to take Blackhaven. Boredom was a powerful motivator.

There had been a remarkable lack of resistance to the idea, but really, that just served to further the suspicion that Rhaenys really wasn't all that fond of her, and perhaps would prefer her dead. Such suspicions weren't really backed up by fact, as again, she had exchanged less than a dozen words with her aunt that weren't courtesy or professionalism.

Unfortunately, that was about to change.

A messenger had shown up a short time earlier to say that she was expected in Rhaenys' tent, and wouldn't explain why. Despite her own opinions, the Targaryen princess had reluctantly run a brush through her hair before she departed for the tent, clad in riding leather with her sword at her side. Rhaenys might pitch a fit at how plainly she was dressed, but no one else had managed to get that habit to change, and Victorya wasn't about to change for someone she'd barely spoken with.

Taking a deep breath as she arrived, she carefully stepped into Rhaenys' tent.

"Good afternoon, Lady Rhaenys. I was told I was expected?"

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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:55 pm

IC:

"Beric serves the true king of Westeros," Aelix said, casting a glance at Goldenstag as if to remind him before levelling his deep violet eyes back at Argilac and keeping just the threat of a smirk on his face. Control. This is all about control. "Aegon Targaryen, First of his Name. Perhaps you've heard of him."


Argilac was about to open his mouth in protest, but was cut short by his ever-watchful daughter.

"What is it you want from us on this field? It's quite obvious that unless our army defeats you here, our kingdom is lost. You have no need of this negotiation. What is the purpose of this parley?"


"To give your father a last chance," he said with a gracious smile. "We gave you an envoy with a fair offer, an offer of peace, and instead I received a pair of hands with my morning meal not three days past. If I killed every man who ever ruined my meal then the servant's quarters on Dragonstone would be riddled with enough corpses to fill Storm's End to the brim for the next generation. No blood needs to be spilled, Lord Durrendon. Bend the knee, and you will reap all your House has built for hundreds of years to come, and much more. Don't, and...well...does the word 'Harrenhal' ring any particular bells?"

The rage was evident in Argilac Durrendon's expression.

"Dragonling," he spoke, barely withholding the venom in his voice, "my house built much more than just this castle or these armies before you. My house built a kingdom, a vast kingdom of the Andals in this once untamed land. It is my fathers' crown I wear and I will not relinquish it even under threat of dragonfire. I live and I will die the ruler of this land and share sovereignty with no man. I am not Lord Durrendon, dragonling. I am King Argilac of House Durrendon, Storm King, and this is my kingdom. Come, Argella. I've had enough of this whorehouse."


"Well, Beric, you were right. Argella would make a much more sensible Lady than her father would a Lord. It appears I owe you a bit of gold after all," Aelix said, not loudly enough to cast it as a deliberate taunt or make it seem forced, but loudly enough that it would be heard. Control. It's about a perfect balance, and control.

"Don't be so certain. She'll be quite a bit of trouble yet."

"Really? She looks smart to me."

"That's the problem."

"Mmm. What say you, Argella Durrendon? Between a Prince of Dragonstone and a Princess of the Stormlands, whose side would you like to be on? Estermont, Tarth, Selmy, Connington, Toyne, the Marcher Lords...your vassals have spoken of their own accord. What of you? Is Argilac's deathwish yours as well?"


"Look around you, dragon lord. Look to the men before Storm's End and on its high walls. Look to the peasants of these lands. Deathwish or no deathwish: I will not render the Stormlands to you without a fight."

And with those words, Argella Durrendon removed herself, walking away just as proudly as her father.


When this is over, I may have Beric legitimized and marry Argella to Orys anyway. Won't that be a damn laugh.

Aelix grinned as soon as they were out of reach, and turned his horse around to meet up with the rest of the delegation. He and Beric spent the rest of the day hawking and watching the preparation of siege weapons. Once, when at the right flank, he thought he could see Argella Durrendon in her heavy plate surveying the Targaryen progress; he could have sworn she'd turned to see him, a black-and-red dot with platinum hair in the distance, and then she turned away to yell commands to her own men. He smiled.

That night, he wrote a simple letter to Rhaenys and Victorya, addressed to both and stamped with his personal coat of arms; a red dragon on a black background, the Targaryen banner, with a small red Dragonstone in the distance and a small crown upon its head.

The bastard and I have taken Storm's End. More to follow. Aelix Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone.

The tent door rustled, and he turned around.

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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Dovydas on Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:31 pm

Before long, Aelix realized that there was a tip of a sword right at his throat.

"End of the line, Targaryen," the Bastard Storm spoke, "Today, I will earn my birthright by proving what I truly am. I am a prince of the Stormlands. Also, I don't advise you to call for the guards, unless you feel like dying."
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Re: The Kingdom of the Stormlands

Post by Tyler Durden on Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:44 pm

IC:

He blinked once, then smiled.

"I don't need guards for what's to come," he said, calmly standing up and putting his hands through the back of his platinum hair, ruffling it softly. "Where to, Beric? You taking me to Storm's End now? Giving up the dream of being Lord Goldenstag?"


"I don't need to be Goldenstag when I can be Durrendon, dragonlord. Let's move. And quietly. Neither this camp nor Storm's End really needs someone to wake them."

He rolled his eyes and walked out of his command tent, weaving through and walking "You can't stand against us in the field, you know," he said, after they'd been walking for a while and made their way around the left flank of the siege and onto the Durrendon grounds through a passage Beric had known as a youth. "Hand me over to the Durrendons, go ahead. Orys will destroy you, rip your precious seat stone from stone, and then Rhaenys will ride Meraxes over the skies to boil every drop of blood in your line."

Above them, Storm's End loomed proudly.


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