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It is currently WINTER in WESTEROS during the year 303 AC. The new moon cycle marks a full twenty years since the Mad King was murdered, and his son King Rhaegar ascended the Iron Throne in his place. Though the year is fresh, war in the Narrow Sea has been declared on the Stepstones, and the Long Night continues to beckon from the Northern fringes of the Seven Kingdoms. With the Queen Lyanna presumed dead, the citizens of the realms look only to each other for survival.
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Age: 20
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MATARYS TARGARYEN

DORNE

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Jan 17 2018, 07:20 PM
After a week drifting in and out of consciousness, it looked as though the infection was on its way out. Matarys still had a raging fever and slept most of the time, but the fits and hallucinations were far less frequent. Now his time was spent sleeping restlessly, sweating, trying to ignore the pain, and hoping someone would come to see him to relieve the tedium of endless minutes alone with his agony. The subsiding flames of the fever had gifted him the joy of being able to think more about how much his leg hurt with every slight movement. The wound at his knee had been sewn up, his whole leg made still with splints, but there was damage to the bone and tissue. It would be a long time healing, he thought, as any little nudge anywhere on his leg moved his knee enough to grind the healing fragments of broken bone against each other or pull at the damaged tissue or the stitches. It didn't help that his feverish sleep had him tossing and turning. Sometimes the brush of the blankets as he shifted under them was enough to wake him howling.

He thought it had been a day since he had woken and Ysera had spoken to him. It warmed his heart to think she had stayed by his side. She must have seen him screaming nonsense as he hallucinated, writhing in fits, throwing up, uncharacteristically shouting abuse at the maesters because he hallucinated they were monsters, seen the whites of his eyes when the pain got too much and he retreated to the blissfully healthy body of Yraenyx. He'd been as good as unconscious for a week; she must've seen him piss and shit himself too, he realised. It was a wonder she was still there after all that. He felt a sense of pride that she was tough enough not just to fight in the war, but to stand by her husband after seeing all that. He wasn't sure he'd ever understand what their relationship was, but he was fairly sure they both cared about each other much more than either would admit. They were both extremely practical - no point moping about how disgusting someone was when they were extremely ill and wounded since they couldn't help that.

Thoughts seemed to swirl uncontrollably in his head being confined to this bed. Desperately he hoped someone else would visit. Since waking, he had dared not touch Yraenyx's mind again. He thought he would be able to do it again, though the more the fever lessened, the harder it seemed to reach out with his mind. He was wary of both Artos' encouragement to lose his fears and practise, and his warning to be careful not to get lost in any other mind. He was tempted by his boredom, but so far had not succumbed. It was probably good to have a few days without joining with the dragon's mind, anyway. So his thoughts tumbled around each other, one internal discussion gaining priority for a few minutes before another shoved its way forwards at random. Sometimes he slept without even realising. Half the time he seemed to be dozing anyway, somewhere between awake and asleep.

One of those moments of unaware sleep must have taken him because he found himself waking with a start to someone approaching his bed. From hearing alone he could guess who it was. With some effort he propped himself up to a slumped almost seated position, wincing as his leg dragged against the mattress and blanket. "Father!" he exclaimed in his ragged, croaky voice. A weak smile lit up his pale and shiny face. A wave of light-headedness and nausea had struck him when he sat up, so he had to pause. "They did tell me you were perfectly well, but I was worried they might lie to keep me calm... it's so good to see you. It's so dull being stuck in bed, I'm itching to see how everything is." Finally, a brief end to this boredom. The sooner he sweated out this fever, the better. Surely only a few more days now and he could be hobbling about again. "I've only been awake properly for a day, I think, though you must have known. No one will tell me much. Only that we won. Everyone keeps going on about your young Queen like she single-handedly saved Westeros," he rolled his eyes. His father knew his thoughts about his remarriage. He thought he was allowed a little disrespectful behaviour with the excuse of not being in his right mind. There was no point making a secret about it when he couldn't even bring himself to pretend to like her as he usually did when starting feuds was more hassle than its worth. It was also plain his only problem with her was that she wasn't Lyanna. Swiftly moving on to what he really wanted he hear, he continued. "I've seen Ysera, and she'd seen Valarr. But is everyone else really all right?" he asked.
Dec 19 2017, 07:38 AM
For days, he burned.

Mercifully, Matarys Targaryen had not regained consciousness until after the arrow had been removed from his kneecap and the broken bones set with wooden splints. When he did shortly after, it had at first seemed the procedure was a smooth one. His right knee and much of his shin were in agony, but that was only to be expected. His thoughts had been muddled, his breathing laboured, all attributed to exhaustion or shock. Then the violent uncontrollable shaking had begun. Fearing infection, the bandages covering his right leg had been changed to reveal a network of angry red lines making their way across his flesh. Infection – or poison. Most likely the former, confirmed as the symptoms progressed. The wound was healing but the poor conditions of battle had introduced something bad to his blood. All that could be done was to leave the fever to burn out or claim him.

As the burning spread, his thoughts grew more confused with the infection spreading to his brain along with every other part of his body. Matarys did not know when he was awake and when he slept. Every inch of his body felt as though he were being burned alive, yet it remained intact. He wanted to scream in agony, but could not open his mouth. Sometimes he managed a grunt, but that was it. Sweat drenched his skin. The fire was a white pain, somehow colour seeming the best way to describe it, the heat being beyond temperature. His leg was a dirty blue-black pain, metallic like iron, feeling the bones crunching and screaming every time one of his fits make him accidentally thrash about with it. There would be little healing for his knee while the fits of shaking persisted. For a long time there was no room in his head for anything except pain.

Days, hours, it was unknown to Matarys, but eventually his mind began to experience something beyond the pain. The fire was his constant companion, but he began to see faces. The first was his mother, unable to see him, calling out. He wanted to go to her but knew he could not. His father stared at him sick with worry, but he could not tell him that everything would be all right. His siblings stared at him without expression, Ysera glowered at him with fury. Matarys’ eyes opened on a canvas roof of the medical tent. Maesters stirred to his side, but he barely noticed them. He struggled to sit up shakily as they pushed him back down. Why were they stopping him? Did they not realise how important it was that he… he… he gave a howl of despair as he realised he had forgotten what was so important. He just knew he had to get away. Twisting away from the maesters, he saw beyond them his father’s new bride. She hissed at him. Another howl escaped him, this one full of loathing as his eyes widened and stared wildly at a woman present only in his head. Arms clawed desperately at the hateful image, paying no notice now to the maesters forcing his weak body down. As he watched, his mother approached Lorainna Targaryen, only to be grabbed in firm arms, her heart ripped out by the foreigner’s bare hands. Laughing as Matarys’ mother slumped lifelessly to the ground, the hallucination was the last thing the Prince saw before he succumbed to another fit, passing out of consciousness once more.

The cycle of dreams, hallucinations, and fits continued for days as Matarys burned ever stronger. The people around him were the enemy. Fire built until once again his thoughts could not shout over the pain. Then suddenly, nothing.

He drifted serenely upwards, feeling blissfully cool and light after so much pain. The burning had become all too much and his mind had forced its way out to escape. Targaryens did not burn. He was ice, but he was also fire. He would not burn either. He could feel everything though he could not see. Around him were busy maesters tending the wounded. Someone he recognised. Ysera? Would she really sit by his side? He felt a warmth thinking she might care. His mind was being drawn somewhere, and it all felt right when he found himself calmly touching at the familiar mind of Yraenyx. This was the first time he had actively reached out, felt things between himself and his dragon, and had been aware of trying to contact the beast. Yraenyx had not stopped roaring since Matarys had been wounded, and had not stopped trying to reach him despite the other dragonriders keeping the dragons well away from any humans, particularly the wounded. Upon feeling Matarys’ presence, the silver dragon immediately calmed. The man could sense warm comfortable stables ruined by claws and flames, chains strained almost to breaking point. There was no need to struggle, he reassured the beast. He was here in some way.

A rude awakening brought him out of Yraenyx’s mind; his body had begun to shake, eyes opening wide to reveal whites as the eyes rolled back in his head. Maesters had naturally tried to stop this. He shouted in frustration at the lost connection and cried out at the sudden shock of the burning’s return, but after that moment it was easier to slip back into Yraenyx’s mind to escape the pain whenever he wished. It was not to comfort the dragon any more, it was to escape his burning body. The maesters worried less about his white-eyed fits. Finally, the heat began to pass. His body still sweated and burned, but the pain was not unbearable. As his mind still drifted away now sometimes out of boredom, he was more aware of the people around him he brushed past. He had seen Ysera. Others, too, visited him, or lay healing beside him. He should contact the real world. Mustering up his strength, he tried but failed to prop himself up, so instead reached out to a figure he could see nearby when his eyelids permitted themselves to open. He did not know whether they were family, friend, or a complete strange. ”You… who…? Who are you?” he croaked, voice cracked and hoarse from lack of use and shouting.
Oct 20 2017, 11:51 AM
A great many people had followed the party from King's Landing home from Winterfell, most of which had remained for Aegon and Visenya's wedding. Matarys was doing his best to be happy for his siblings, but a gloom had settled over the Red Keep. Mourning for the Queen was over yet he was nowhere near ready to move on. This would stay with him forever. Life went on regardless, his family besides his father making a swifter recovery to normality than he although he knew perfectly well they all felt the same inside. He was doing his best to get on with things, knowing his mother would have told him in gentler terms to stop moping about feeling sorry for himself. He did feel a little like he was being a wet blanket drifting around aimlessly looking sad. There was a keep for him to manage, people to look after, a woman whose happiness he must ensure. Gradually he had begun helping prepare for the huge event that was the wedding of the heir to the kingdom, in between which he studied skinchangers and the mysteries north of the Wall. No solid theories had formed in his head yet. Nor had he made much progress in controlling his skinchanging even with all the help Artos had given him. Patience was key, he thought, since to the Stark wargs it had come more naturally while he clearly would have to fight hard not to be consumed by his dragon's mind.

One thing making it easier to cope was having so much family around. He found himself smiling every day because of them. Those from Winterfell had escorted Munna's body back to the Red Keep, lingering for the wedding. He so rarely got to see them and while he had been in the North he had scarcely allowed himself the time off searching to actually socialise with them. It had been strange marvelling at his cousins growth but not finding time to ask them what had happened over the past few years. Their staying here while he had nothing else to do as he too was away from his residence gave him the time to catch up properly. More people arrived daily, both family and friends. He did not have many friends but rarely quarrelled with anyone. The few friends he did have from various visits, the down time around serious meetings with lords from other towns, and celebrations were almost all present now. He was overdue a good drink in relaxed company.

As much as he was glad for the company, he hated being this idle. There should be more point to his tasks than stabbing in the dark to see what might match what the men of the Night's Watch had told him. Careful and thoughtful he might be, inactivity made him restless. Even as a child when he had spent most of his days as he did now, learning, reading, and training at swordplay - though he only trained now to keep up his ability, not hard enough to improve - it had all felt like there was a point to it if only because someone told him to do it and he watched his own developments. At the Tower of Joy there would always be one of the smallfolk asking after something, an agreement that needed managing, Ysera to argue with. Here there was chatter and piecing together his thoughts. Too much chatter made him long to be alone to rest, while too much studying made him frustrated and bored when he couldn't find the answer.

That morning he had been reading about how wildlings might overcome blizzards those below the Wall could not, with the occasional pause when he reached a dead end of found something too infuriatingly silly to attempt to reach out to Yraenyx's mind. All such attempts were unsuccessful. Blinking in the brighter light, eyes adjusting to focus on things further away than a book on a desk, he was grateful to fill his lungs with fresh air after the musty library. He stretched his limbs by walking out in search of someone to talk to. Once he got fed up of reading, he socialised; thus his free time alternated between two activities. He didn't think he'd be needed for any wedding preparations until later that evening. As Aegon's eldest sibling, he found himself lumped with a fair few things to organise. Unsure where anyone of interest might be, he strolled leisurely to walk the grounds outside the keep behind the guarded walls. Immediately he spotted a few northerners grumpily huddled in the shade of a small cluster of leafy trees. He didn't recognise any of them at a first glance, only telling their origin by their unwisely thick clothing, their having a similar colouration and build to himself, and how they appeared to be complaining about the temperature. It was by no means a hot day, with a slight chill in the air as the seasons changed, but it was certainly warmer than the snowbound north. Perhaps they were simply mocking southerners for their feeble autumn.

Curiously stepping closer, peering at faces, he spied his Lyarra Stark among them. He grinned, picking up speed. Soon he slipped in between the hard-set northerners, looking at Lady Stark with excitement lighting his eyes. He was extremely pleased to find her, loving how much in common he had with the Starks. "Grandmother! How are you faring?" he asked, looking around at the others. They did not seem to mind the prince joining them, and would have hardly prevented their Lady from talking with her own grandson. "Not interrupting anything important, I hope." Some of the faces looked vaguely familiar. Members of the Winterfell household, he thought one might be the master at arms, and a minor lord or lady or two.
Sep 25 2017, 02:18 PM
Life had grown increasingly uncertain for Matarys since war began stirring. As he always liked to be certain of his actions before he took them, having doubts was very distressing for him. He felt like he was struggling to keep up as yet more confusing things piled up. It was impossible to consider issues one at a time any more. This left thoughts swimming through his head constantly, making focusing on one task difficult as other issues wormed their way through. Nothing had a definitive answer, but he was usually good at deciding his opinions; his stubborn devotion to the conclusions drawn from his internal debates fuelled by research were what made him an Ysera fight so often, highlighting that particular feature of his personality a lot for him lately. Some things were still clear. Getting married was obvious, the next step now to produce heirs. Standing by his family in wartime was another plain choice. These had all been simple decisions much like the others he had made so far in life. They had all had a clear path laid down for him by duty. He merrily followed along with what people expected from a good prince.

The issues he faced now were more complex, perhaps why he was struggling. He had never tried to deter from the straightforward path before, and now obstacles were appearing he did not have the practice to mull them over properly and was frightened by them. He did not like that his father was remarrying and thought it was a terrible idea, but that had all got messy anyway which either made it make more sense to call it off or could ease things by marrying her anyway to make up, which he still loathed the idea of. He still thought there was a possibility his mother was alive and wondered if they might have stopped searching too early. He worried south was the wrong direction to send their armies, with a feeling that made him sick to the stomach whenever he considered maybe Lyanna's disappearance was a blatant warning what with all the talk at the Wall which they were foolish for missing. He thought going to war was stupid. There might be another way. Viserys had been right to bring Aegon back, but wrong to burn the city, but they should still have shown there were repercussions for kidnapping a Targaryen, which could always seem wrong. Was revenge inherently bad? Ysera was causing a problem too. She wanted to go to war, while he was terrified she might be hurt but wanted to be a good husband by not controlling her life.

Everything was stressful lately. He had taken a walk through the godswood after the most recent war discussion, in which absolutely no progress had been made, but that had failed to clear his head. Usually the silent wood with its peaceful white heart tree soothed him incredibly. He always felt welcome there, as though nothing could go wrong. Today his thoughts would not shut up. Besides, it had been raining, and now his hair and clothes were rather damp. Trudging soggy footprints through the corridor, he sighed to himself as he wondered what to do for the rest of the day. There wasn't really anything to do. He didn't feel like talking to people as they all tended to ask seemingly simple questions he was angry with himself for not knowing the answer to. That only reminded him of his confusion, leaving him in a worse mood than had he been alone and bored. The library had little appeal as there was nothing he felt like researching. Everything was too specific to have solutions in books. The rain prevented him from training outside for the upcoming war, and the indoor facilities were gloomy. Games all seemed boring right now.

A shock of white hair at the end of another corridor made him smile. Perhaps there was one person he could deal with seeing after all. "Valarr!" he called out, waving to him. His twin always knew how to make light of a situation. He had his own problems, the shared ones Matarys had plus some more serious ones than Ysera was giving him. Today was a day to forget about them for a while, and no one knew how to have a good time better than Valarr. Matarys always had struggled to relax, had never been bubbly and spontaneous and rarely got drunk. That sort of thing didn't come naturally to him, but his twin had always managed to force him into loosening up. He needed that more than ever right now. "I don't know about you, but everything's got so stressful lately. I just... I don't know, need a day off. From life. Surely you're feeling the same, I think just about every noble in Westeros is," he said with a small hopeful smile that something fun would ensue. Boredom was looming with all the miserable confusion. If Valarr couldn't help him stave that off, perhaps he could help him get things straight in his head or at least cope with not knowing how he wanted things to go.
Sep 20 2017, 06:02 AM
Conflict in the Stormlands was over, and Matarys was grateful for more than just Aegon's return. Newly married, his wife had insisted on coming with him to the war camps in the Stormlands, and it had been easier to let her than suffer the embarrassment of being followed. After all their arguing he desperately wanted to make something work, but he could not for the life of him tell what missing ingredient would make their new marriage click. Miraculously she had stayed out of trouble at the camp, save some harassment by tired and scared male soldiers which she had easily brushed off. Thank goodness she had restrained herself from actually fighting. Unless she had gone behind his back, though that was unlikely. No one would let an unproven woman into their ranks during the scuffle. Now they were back at his childhood home, things had actually grown worse. Predictably she was not happy being excluded from all discussions of war. Matarys failed to see why she wanted to know what was going on so much. As a woman, wouldn't her mind be less able to process any useful ideas? It was true he wanted someone to talk to as strategy proved increasingly difficult, just to unwind and let out his feelings, but clever as she was he didn't think she really would be that interested in warfare, nor that good at it. It was a man's game.

Currently he was wracking his brains over a way to avoid war. It did not look good. His family had been working together, himself taking the role of strategist and planner more than fighter as that suited his sharp, calculating, calm mind. Now the fighting was done, they could focus on planning their next move. Most of the others in the King's inner circles were concerned with preparing for full-scale war. He was still hopeful there may be a peaceful solution out there. Finding one proved a struggle. Every time he had an idea, something new happened to completely shatter it. First they had imprisoned and questioned his father's betrothed along with her ladies in waiting, which he had secretly been extremely pleased with, glad that his father might not remarry so soon after all. Then they had been released without charge, sparking anger at the questioning and imprisonment of the innocent nobles. Aegon had been taken, and now recovered. That would have been fine, they could all walk away, had he and Viserys not chosen to burn most of Volantis to the ground. He forced himself to stay calm as a rage inside him stirred thinking of the stupid attack. Yes, it had sent a very clear message not to mess with Targaryens. It was also an act of war that inevitably would bring a retaliation, which they in turn would have to defend against, which would bring more attacks, and so on. However he looked at this, there was no escape.

A messenger rushed to the door of his study, panting. "Your Highness, I think Lady Ysera needs your help. I saw some soldiers pushing her in the gardens," he spoke quickly between heavy breaths. Matarys rose from his desk messily strewn with bits of scrunched-up paper, diagrams, and writing listing and elaborating on different ideas, most of which had been scribbled out in frustration with the odd word like "no" or "stupid" scrawled angrily with deep groves from pushing the pen too hard. He was glad for a break. Nodding to the messenger, he rushed down to his wife as quickly as he could.

That was another issue. They had not mentioned it yet, but now things were looking worse, his father and his father's council had decided to allow both men and women to fight, provided the women proved the ability. He was certain Ysera would want to go with him to war again, but this time to fight. There was no way he could approve of that. She was trained as many Dornish women were, but she was still weaker than a man. Regardless of how women thought or acted or anything, it was a simple fact that on average men were stronger. How could he allow her to fight people stronger than herself? The risk was huge! They had only just married. What if she were pregnant already? She must stop then. She had to.

Rushing into the gardens, he quickly spotted Ysera surrounded by a group of the bored, thuggish, stupid, common soldiers who had infested King's Landing awaiting the call to Essos which could come at any day for all they knew. He couldn't tell what was happening, so ran over as quickly as he could, calling out "Hey! Back off, that's my wife!" Did they even know who she was?
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