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 left the Free Cities of Volantis and Tyrosh in ashes, 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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Alias: Shelbs
Age: 43
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Jun 18 2018, 05:43 PM
The boy had his hair. And his nose, too, by the looks of it. When a cool draft fluttered against the stone and across the child’s sleeping face, he would twist and furl his expression into such ways that only reminded the King of a newborn Valarr. Those round, pale cheeks, that pursed mouth, constantly contemplating, wondering, observing… even now, Rhaegar tried to imagine what the little boy was thinking. He had pondered the same of a tiny Valarr, once, when his son still fit in his arms like this. Stirred awake by his grandfather’s embrace, Duncan’s large eyes opened wide, emitting a bubbling and unintelligible noise at the sight of the man staring down at him. Indigo hues met the odd depths of grey and blue, not for the first time picturing the boy as a man grown and whatever life might come to be made for him. “You are more precious than you know,” he spoke quietly, a private serenade of whispers meant only for the child’s unlearned ears. A prince he may never be, but he had royal blood coursing through his veins, blood of dragons, blood of Old Valyria, and Rhaegar would never allow the boy to be told otherwise.

“I thank you,” his voice had elevated from the gentle whispers now into the regal, iron baritones he was so well known for. The child’s mother curtsied deeply, her similarly grey-blue gaze averted to the floors at the King’s feet with only a tiny smile framing her lips. “For this time with him.” Approaching her, Rhaegar carefully transferred the bundled babe into the girl’s waiting arms, for a brief moment eyes flickering to her face in the fleeting proximity, and seeing what had drawn Valarr to her so easily. She was a pretty girl, to say the least, and as he watched her drift away with her child, he knew she would make a fine mother to his firstborn grandson. He stood there for a few moments longer, watching Allara with the boy until they disappeared beyond the nearest wall, journeying into the adjoining chamber where he would not think to follow. Allowing a light sigh to overcome him, Rhaegar took his leave, departing from the small set of apartments he’d given the girl in revelation of her pregnancy. Though they be but temporary, they were all that could be done for the mother of the King’s first grandchild… maidservant or no.

He awaited Valarr in his own solar, left alone after wine had been poured and a hearth stoked to life. Ignoring the array of letters and scrolls that lined his desk, he sat quietly before the cold window, watching slight dapples of rain collide with the glass pane and obscure his view. ’Winter is coming,’ he could almost hear Lyanna from behind him, and if he closed his eyes, he could nearly feel her palm rest upon the top of his shoulder. Inhaling deeply, Rhaegar felt his hand reaching to the place she would have been, searching to grasp fingers that were not there, resting on the empty space of his own shoulder and fighting to swallow the frigid stone in his throat. For a moment he was safe in his fleeting sense of reverie, for that half-second believing things within the world were righted once more, back in their place, comforted by the memory of his she-wolf before his grief caused it all to turn sour once again. He was almost thankful for the sudden interruption.

“Majesty,” his squire had entered, bowing low. “His Highness Prince Valarr is here to see you.” Blinking away the slight mist from his eyes, Rhaegar stood from his chair at the window, straightening the sleeves of his doublet as if his very heart still hung from them. With a single hand he gestured for the boy to allow his son inside, taking a hefty sip from the claret once the door was closed behind the prince’s entry. “My gods, it is good to see you walking again,” he intoned, not for the first time since Valarr was released from his sickbed. He flashed his youthful silver reflection a loving smile, reaching forth to land an affectionate though no less heavy clap upon the boy’s shoulder. He wasted little time in pushing a freshly-poured chalice into Valarr’s palm. “I’ve just returned from visiting the boy,” he went on, crossing the rug-lined floors over to where the hearth flickered with warmth. Of course he meant no other boy than his own grandson. “I forget how fast they grow at this age.” For another fleeting moment it seemed his gaze was lost to the flames, watching the image of years past dance and twist in the yellow fires before him. “He looks as you once did.” Forcing himself out of his slight trance, Rhaegar turned to face his son. “Tell me, has fatherhood treated you well thus far?”
Apr 18 2018, 06:21 PM

SO I NEVER USE THESE THINGS, I'll just go to Italy (twice) for 12 days and not tell y'all lelelele...

BUT IT'S BEACH TIIIIIMEEEE. I have a fuckin 5.5 hour drive ahead of me to get there (what the fucc) but then it'll be white sands and blue seas until Sunday 4/22.

LOVE YAZ. get your asses in the fuckin mass thread while i'm gone, i'll still be watching you.....
Apr 12 2018, 12:18 PM

ooc: JUDGES! Go ahead and post as soon as you can, and it will be in that posting order that we'll follow from there on out. Just have your character's arrival announced in the first post, TAKE YA SEATS AND ENJOY THE RIDE! Feel free to make your own break-off threads between judges/Tyrion during this, too!

So many people. So. Many. Even from deep within Maegor’s Holdfast, behind many of the palace’s walls, the armored drawbridge, the thousands of red bricks placed between them, he could still hear the people in the city. He could feel even the air he breathed had changed, as if with so many new bodies crowding the streets and inns, even the Red Keep itself, the winds were fewer and the oxygen thinner. Tense. Rationed. With a deep breath he filled his lungs, hoping to reassure himself that he still had the ability to do so, as his squires and wards moved to dress him. While the layers of fine crimson and ebony were attached to him, sable and leather, furs and his royal chains of office, he continued to wonder, How was it, that the promise of a noble execution, spilled Lannister blood and a severed dwarf head lured as many people to his city as his own divine ascension? How could these people flock so readily the many leagues to King’s Landing to witness Tyrion Lannister’s downfall, as they had done to see their Silver King’s coronation? Would this be how his reign was defined? Volantis and Tyrosh, Tywin and Tyrion, Lyanna and Lorainna… was this how he was to be recorded for history?

The walk to the throne room felt longer than an entire ride to the Great Sept. His boots felt weighted with chains unseen, not even his wife’s hand within his had given him any modicum of relief. Side by side they journeyed from the Holdfast, attended by all seven of the Kingsguard, palace guards and gaolers. Even Jon was there, as second in command, he was close behind the royal pair with every stride. But it was not the Hand’s shoulders that bore these weights, not Lord Connington that feared for the very hours and days to come. Tyrion Lannister may stand trial for an uncountable amount of crimes, but the dwarf had knowledge of a secret thrice his size and heavy enough to assure not only his downfall, but that of the very woman who walked beside him. Was this what they were, all three of them, kinslayers? The dwarf was accused of poisoning his father the Warden of the West, Rhaegar himself very well signed the death warrant of his own sire the King, however mad, and Lorainna… Lorainna had wielded the blade that struck her patriarch’s heart, stopping the sordid muscle as she did the Archon’s corrupted rule.

And Tyrion knew. As much as Rhaegar felt the bonds to his foreign wife thicken upon her admission, feeling some sense of kindred spirit within her, it was not a strength he could draw from once they entered the throne room. She had told Tyrion of her truths, foolishly and vulnerably, and part of him could only hope should the dwarf try to make light of this during his trial, his claims would only be dismissed by those of a desperate man. A desperate half-man. What proof did he have? His word against the Queen’s? The very one that had warmed the hearts of the people to her, at last? The poor, imprisoned heiress, willing to go to war for the husband she barely knew, willing to risk her own life for him to prove her innocence. How they would sing about her story for ages to come. And, gods be good, they would make no mention of what she’d done, what she had revealed to Tyrion in the bowels of a ship bound for his death.

”His Majesty the King!” Though the Iron Throne loomed ahead, gargantuan, twisted and monstrous, it would not be the jagged metal seat he sat upon today. A royal dais had been elevated at the base of the throne, and with Lorainna in hand, the two ascended the few steps to take their place upon it. At least a hundred nobles had taken their own places upon the stands, the great wooden things having been erected on either side of the large chamber. At the announcement of their royal sovereigns’, they began to quiet, speaking in subdued whispers as they watched the royal pair, no doubt anxiously waiting for the arrival of not only those selected to judge the dwarf’s fate, but the dwarf himself. With keen purple eyes he studied the great, rounded throne room, noting the twin pair of pavilions built just below the royal dais, mentally marking where each appointed peer would sit. Though he and Lorainna would hold no part in Tyrion’s trial, they would oversee every detail, adding another set of eyes that bore down upon the small podium brought in for the even smaller dwarf to stand upon. Between the nineteen gaping dragon skulls and all those that crowded the throne room, nothing Tyrion Lannister could say or do would go unnoticed.
Mar 11 2018, 07:11 PM
Set in a time where Rhaegar ascended after the Mad King, with Cersei Lannister at his side. Elia and Lyanna are irrelevant in this timeline. 282 AC.

A perfect duplicate, they’d said. Wrought with the same heavy red gold, shaped into the same dragonheads for each point and anointed with the same seven oils. It weighed the same, they assured him, the same diligence and attention that once poured the mold to his own was now used for its twin counterpart. As Rhaegar sat there looking at the two crowns, not even he could discern the differences. That was except, of course, for the gemstones used in each of the dragons’ eyes. Where his own flared with small pieces of glimmering ruby, its replica was instead fashioned with chips of emerald; a homage to the sparkling green gaze of its royal wearer. “Fit for a Dragon Queen,” he’d heard the smith goad, already fingering the small velvet pouch of gold coins in his hand. The idea had brought a brief smile to the King’s face, a flash of affection that quickly receded beneath the waves of increasing self-doubt. Was it fit for a Dragon Queen? Was his new bride even that? Did she wish to let the songs of history sing about her fiery, tempestuous House, or would she make sure her shining paw print as a Lannister lioness never faded from their rule? Suddenly he feared she would wish for a crown wrought from the yellow gold of her own family’s mines, not the heads of fierce leviathans as points, but the open maws of her roaring sigil instead.

Not for the first time, a long, audible sigh bloomed in his chest, deflating even the seemingly unsinkable line of his broad shoulders. Perhaps foolishly and childlishly he could still remember the reign he’d pictured for himself, the glowing Light of the West standing at his side, not competing with his fire, but only illuminating it further. Together the Seven Kingdoms would burn not with his father’s wildfire, but with their equal passion that many continued to say would see them be the two greatest rulers of his House. Yet still, Rhaegar looked to his bride’s new crown with a sense of hesitance, as if he feared it would not mean to her what it did to him. Only his wife for a few short moons, he was as new a husband as he was a king, and he was not sure where one ended and the other began. Cersei was like an unbridled filly, a wild wolf or, better yet, an untamed lioness, and it showed in her mannerisms as much as it did in their marital bed. He had consummated their union, of course, and had revisited it a few times after, but he wondered, could she read his own self-doubt? Were the many gifts he continued to shower upon her, from Myrish lenses to Lyseni silks, Tyroshi dyes and Pentoshi gemstones, even one of the finest hunting falcons from Willas Tyrell’s brood, was it all because he did not know what else to give her?

His eyes flashed with something unintelligible as his steward stepped forth, delicately plucking the heavy crown atop its crimson velvet pillow and gingerly placing it in the ornate wooden box nearby. A golden lock fashioned into the shape of a dragon let out a satisfying click once it was secured into place, protecting the Queen’s new royal gift until it could be at last set upon her brow. These were the crowns they would be painted in, he knew, throughout history. The great and many portraits that still hung in the throne room would one day be accompanied with their own, with Rhaegar’s ruby-eyed crown of Aegon IV matching Cersei’s emerald-eyed one. Perhaps even the queens after her would come to wear it, as well, and the thought alone was enough to briefly wash away the vacillation from his mind and leave him a soft, adoring smile that touched his lips. Tonight, during their feast, he would present it to her before all of the nobles and their squires, servants and valets; anyone and everyone in attendance would lay witness to their King crowning their new Queen. While they each had been coronated by the High Septon beside each other, this would be Rhaegar’s own moment, his own personal sign of devotion to the woman he called his wife. He just prayed it would be enough for her… for the woman who always had everything.
* * * * *

“What do you think of it?” He asked, standing just behind her as she looked to her reflection. The tri-fold of mirrors stood as proud as the couple it reflected, and the deep indigo of his eyes flitted over Cersei’s frame. The crown of red gold sat upon her head, glimmering in the chandelier light hanging from their domed ceiling, and even Rhaegar had to admire the precision of the workmanship. Still he could not note any difference against his own crown, save for the flecks of emerald embedded into the dragonheads, and it brought a loving smile to his lips that he did not hesitate to press to the top of her bare shoulder. Though they could not hear the music in the great hall from here in the Holdfast, the King knew their people continued to feast and dance and celebrate in the name of their new royal couple, and here… here, across the drawbridge and deep within his apartments, the King sought his own celebration. With gentle hands he collected her silken blond hair, moving it to one side so that her elegant nape was free for him to kiss and whisper warm breaths of air upon the small hairs. “‘Fit for a Dragon Queen,’ I was told.” Lifting his head, he glanced once more to her reflection before him, his thick arms slipping beneath her own and winding around the slenderness of her waist. “Fit for my Queen.”
Feb 24 2018, 07:13 PM
Seventy thousand people? “Perhaps more, Your Grace.” Varys spoke, almost quietly, as if he was hoping not to disrupt a sleeping babe… or wake a dormant dragon. “We can be sure most of the city’s population will hope to be present, as well.” Another five hundred thousand, what did his council hope to do with all of them? Visenya’s Hill could accomodate perhaps half that, but all for what? “A dwarf on display,” he’d been told, when he asked about all of those wishing to stand witness to Tyrion Lannister’s trial. A rich dwarf, no less. A Lannister dwarf. The commons of King’s Landing could blame him for the wars that had ripped the seams of their city, while the nobles could blame him for the socioeconomic pitfalls he’d brought since Tywin’s murder, and the King himself could blame him for it all… the kidnapping of his own heir hardly being the least of it. Though his list of accused crimes was long, still, Rhaegar did not think it was long enough, and had his wisest ministers crawling through Westeros’ various laws and edicts in search of anything else Tyrion could possibly die for. For too long had the dwarf escaped them… but no longer. Even now, thinking of him dwelling far below the King’s feet, marinating in the darkness of the black cells, it brought a twisted sense of relief to his heavy and royal heart. At last, the chaos was over with… and perhaps finally, finally, Rhaegar could turn his eyes northward.

North. Though his blood burned like something akin to the Fourteen Flames, he nearly shivered at the idea of the lands past the Neck. Dark and frozen, barren and dangerous, he feared even for his own dragons at the thought of such an enemy. Volantis and Tyrosh were but mere fodder… the North, however, and all that Lord Stark claimed to rule there, was a realm that the King was loathe to enter. Had he known this day would come so quickly for he and his children… oh, the things he would have done differently. Standing from his desk, Rhaegar ran a tired hand through the locks of his untied hair, sighing deeply and giving Varys a haphazard, dismissive nod. “There are other things which I wish to discuss, Your Grace, but I am confident they will remain of just as much import on the morrow.” Watching him for a moment, trying not to inhale too deeply the plumes of lavender and lilac that floated from the Spider’s robes, he simply offered another small nod. “In the morning, then.” Deep indigo hues darkened considerably upon Varys’ departure, ignoring the low bow he offered before disappearing from the chamber.

“Your Grace.” When had he sat back down? Much less, when had he bent his face into his hands and closed his eyes? Looking up, Rhaegar briefly squinted, noticing the face of one of his own squires standing just strides before his desk. “You asked to be alerted when-” the boy paused, as if searching for the correct term, desperately hoping the syllables would not fail him. “When he received any visitors.” Furrowing his dark golden brows, he hesitated, pondering if only for the briefest of moments. Ah, of course. Duncan. “Who is it?” He asked, for the second time standing from his carved wooden chair. Only his own family had been allowed access to the new babe, as half-royal as he was, and his mind raced with the possibilities. Alea, perhaps? Though he watched as his squire’s eyes shifted down to the floor, he was just as observant when the boy’s lips finally moved to answer him. “The Princess Rhaenna. She is with him now.” His muscles relaxed, but only if by a small amount, feeling relief at the sound of his daughter’s name but also pensive, withdrawn tension once recalling her current wellbeing. Lyanna would see him tied to the rack for what he was allowing to happen to their Silver Princess, but what could he possibly do? She refuted him at every turn, denied his attempts at asking she temporarily leave High Tide and even let some of his ravens go unanswered. With every passing moon, he could feel her drifting farther and farther away, no matter how hard he gripped… but hearing that she was with her newest nephew, if only a bastard, it warmed the frosty fringes of his heart and renewed some slight sense of hope within his sedentary core.

“Rhaenna.” The name came out as thick and sweet as honey, as fleeting as a cool breeze on a summer’s day and as loving as a cherub’s well-aimed arrow. The walk to the boy’s nursery, separate from the young Princesses Valena and Shaera, was still a brisk and fairly short journey to the other side of the Holdfast… and finding his first grandchild upon the lap of his beloved daughter was all that he could hope for in times such as these. Drawing near, Rhaegar smiled, reaching a hand first to Rhaenna’s shoulder, and then to the round cheek of the infant babe swaddled in her arms. He knew the gods could see how much he wished this child was her own, instead of the phantom emptiness that still plagued her flattened womb. Did she wish for the same? It took all of his strength not to frown, for as much as he felt the urge to smile, there was still a hot threat of tears in the back of his purple gaze. How could such a sight be so pure, a moment be so innocent, but everything else be so… wrong? “I hear he is quite the cryer,” he noted with a breathless chuckle, stroking his fingertips along the silvery head of his new grandchild. He could see Valyria in those faint, glimmering strands, and with a sense of dread he recognized the pale skin and all-too noticeable nose that both himself and Valarr shared. It was perhaps a small victory, though, to see the child did not bear the same shade of eyes, but instead a normal, if not slightly peculiar and dark shade of blue. “But not with you, it seems.”
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