[ ♕ ━ through fire and foes ]

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76heart
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[ ♕ ━ through fire and foes ]

Post by 76heart » Wed Sep 14, 2022 8:12 am

Watch the armies
gather
suit
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Someone's got to
win
and
lose
Watch the torch
set
aflame
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Watch it
burn,
watch it
fade
featuring;
bane of valerion's existence
mr. presumptuous
baby dragon
woods lady

house sigils instead of gifs??
the fuck do I do for aldoran since
I don't want to do gifs with faces

wolf left, snake right, dragon middle?? thin and just eyes?


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76heart
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Location: winterfell

[ ☾ ━ tasiya - raised by wolves and voices ]

Post by 76heart » Wed Sep 14, 2022 8:13 am

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━━━━━━━━━━a n d━━━━━━━━━━
━━━━━━━━Image
━ my  mother's  child━━━━━━
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━━━━━━━━━━━━ a          n          d━━
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━━━━at  the━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
━━━━;;━Image
━━━━━━━━━━a n d━━━━━━━━━━
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while her brother dreamt of being king, and her
sister dreamt of love, princess tasiya stark
dreamt of running in the wild with wolves, like
the stories of their ancestors her grandmother
told. she was raised on tales of wargs and
children of the forest, and even at twenty-five
and height of five foot five, she is still called by
the wild. at six, she developed a habit of
running away into the wolfswood and staying for
as long as she could, and encountered a young
direwolf caught in a trap. she named her
nochka, freed her, and took her home. tasiya
was able to keep her hidden from everyone but
her grandmother for a year, until she had a
dream on the night nochka killed the man who
trapped her, and it was discovered that she was
a warg. her days were spent practicing her
ability until it became seamless, and at ten her
father relented and allowed her to train with a
sword. when she was not out in the woods with
nochka—who by then had claimed a wolf pack
of her own—, or listening to her grandmother's
stories, she was sparring with her sister. due to
nochka's immense dislike for anyone who was
not her, she often has to escort those who
wished to enter the wolfswood, or assist with
other tasks her direwolf is making difficult. she
is as wild as the wolves, and never to be
trapped in a cage. she desires no marriage, and
is content to spend her days alone, watching
her family and the north grow, and fiercely
defending them if a threat ever arises.



























Image
gifs © me
face claim - taisiya vilkova
song © savage daughter
- wyndreth berginsdottir
character © 76heart

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76heart
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Posts: 337
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:19 pm
Location: winterfell

[ ☀ ━ aldoran - believe me! i'm a man of my word! ]

Post by 76heart » Wed Sep 14, 2022 8:14 am

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━━in the━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
━━━━  m           i           s           t ━━━━
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━Image
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━━━━━━━━━;━Image
━but  then  i  spoke ━━━━━━━
"god  won't  let  you  be"
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━i will━
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━━━if  you    t  r  y    to━━━━━━
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prince aldoran martell, crowned at the age of
thirty-five after an illness took the lives of his
already weakened parents, has never been one
for tact. he is thirty-seven, and stands at five
foot ten, and that fact has been clear from the
time he was younger and much smaller. it was
clear from the same time, that war, strategy,
and shows of strength were where he excelled.
at nineteen he took on a companion to bathe
and sing to him, and bring him comfort as his
mind became a troubled place, and by the time
he was twenty, he was made an apprentice of
sorts to the master-at-arms. when dorne
became plagued by pirates soon before he
turned twenty-five, he was the one sent to
deal with them. he dealt with the pirates swiftly
and brutally, and made many an enemy of
those who did not perish in battle or flame. one
of those enemies soon captured him and his
companion in retaliation. instead of killing him,
they knew of his fighting prowess, and he was
forced to fight for their entertainment, and to
win their battles for them, or else they would
kill his companion. aldoran grew distracted and
enchanted by flame. this continued for nine
years, until his companion was killed before his
eyes in a manner not even the most despicable
deserved, and his captors met a bloody end. he
returned to dorne alone, forever changed and
covered in blood that was not his own.




























Image
gifs © me
face claim - ranveer singh
song © me and mine
- the brother's bright
character © 76heart

Iris
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Posts: 205
Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 12:50 pm

Valerion— take a look, we have it all

Post by Iris » Wed Sep 14, 2022 12:17 pm

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i. King Valerion Targaryen xxx ii. Malexxxiii. Thirty-threexxxiv. 6’1xxxv. Conqueror

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The third true born child and only surviving legitimate son of the Lord of Dragonstone, Valerion was deemed the heir of House Targaryen from the moment of his birth. Neither the privilege nor the weight of such responsibility evaded him even from a young age, as his love for his family and his mother’s tales of Valyrian greatness and the grand history of their people were routinely juxtaposed by the blatant squandering of potential by his half-mad father who chose instead to spend his time drinking and whoring. That contrast sparked ambition from childhood, fueling a need to be a better head of the house than his father and to secure a more powerful position for their blood. It became a macabre waiting game for the day his father would pass and leave Valerion in a position to secure his goals, a childhood passed with his siblings, the Master-At-Arms, and books of Westeros. At sixteen Valerion claimed the great dragon Essovius, and in the same year, married his eldest sister out of duty to the Valyrian tradition. The marriage made the two the heads of the house even more in practice, if not yet in reality, caring for the welfare of their siblings and interests of the future of their house beyond their father. As the years passed, the state of his father began to worsen at a rapid rate until he finally died under admittedly contested circumstance, leaving Valerion the Lord of Dragonstone at twenty-seven. Unfortunately, though in the years that followed he found joy when his wife gave birth to their son and heir, Jacaerys, the birth was quickly followed by the abrupt decline and death of his wife. Valerion’s plans were paused for mourning and to care for his son, and yet did not remain so for long. An arrogant king’s rushed request soon incited Valerion’s anger, their exchange refocusing his ambition. He flew west with his sisters, and even as the king lay charred and dethroned, Valerion’s conquest had only just begun.

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Iris
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Posts: 205
Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 12:50 pm

Visaerya— like a bird in flight

Post by Iris » Wed Sep 14, 2022 12:20 pm

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i. Princess Visaerya “Aery” Targaryen xxx ii. Femalexxxiii. Twenty-fourxxxiv. 5’6xxx

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The last born surviving legitimate child of the Lord of Dragonstone and his wife, Visaerya was born nearly a decade later than even her closest legitimate sibling, a span of time that immediately deemed her the baby of the family. She was treated as such from birth, always in the arms of an older sibling or her mother in infancy, though as she grew and her mother passed before Visaerya had even left the wetnurse, such mothering quickly fell upon her oldest sister who eagerly took her charge. Raised by her siblings in her parents’ absence, Visaerya grew close to them from childhood. Yet, despite her love and loyalty to them, her head was always elsewhere. It was in the clouds, with the dragons that held her heart before she could even speak, creating a peculiarity that was barely discernible from early madness, a trait so prevalent in the Targaryen bloodline and which even the most biased of her family members couldn’t truthfully claim Visaerya herself fully exempt. The youngest Targaryen acted upon her love of the creatures early in life, claiming the dragon Rhaexes in the middle of the night to become a dragon rider at only eight years of age. From that day forward it was rare for Visaerya to stray from Rhaexes, spending more than twice as many waking hours in the air than she did on the ground, and even as she slept, it wasn’t entirely uncommon for her to do so in the caves her dragon had settled in, curled comfortably in to the beast rather than a warm bed. Her life revolved around her dragon and her family, and when her eldest sister died and her brother moved to act on his ambitions, Visaerya didn’t hesitate to take flight to the west and join her siblings in the conquest of Westeros. Though not a warrior trained with a blade, she had the blood of a dragon, with the heart and will to set her brother’s enemies aflame.

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Iris
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Posts: 205
Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 12:50 pm

Far From Home | I

Post by Iris » Thu Sep 15, 2022 11:28 pm

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Ice didn’t belong in the veins of the blood of Valyria.

Nor did it belong to the skin, prickling through the air in an audacious attempt to permeate his warmth, and yet it was there all the same. Surrounding him, settled in to the air, built in to the very ground far beneath his dragon’s shadow. It was no Dragonstone, not Harrenhal even - though, really, there was nothing even similar to the charred castle in its current state in all the realm thanks to their late king's fucking audacity - yet the moment the castle of Winterfell came in to view of Valerion's violet gaze, he knew it fit. As ice didn't belong in the veins of the blood of Valyria, it did belong beyond the walls of the castle complex before him, as distant as it was. Distant, but not towering. No. The sound of wind whipping slowed as he lowered Essovius on a distant descent from the castle, the black dragon seeming to circle another, the smaller green Rhovae, before finally settling on to the rolling grass with a weighted familiar quake. Rhaegar’s hand rested on Essovius’ scales, fingers patting the rough armor as his eyes settled on the sprawling castle in the distance once more. At least it wasn’t as cold on the ground, but still far too chilled for the blood of Valyria. It didn’t matter, though. He wasn’t here for the North in anything more than men and title in the name of fealty as it were. Well, and a part of the North to take with him.

The sound of laughing caught his attention, bringing the man from his thoughts as he landed to the ground from the monstrous back of Essovius. It was his son’s laughter as the boy slid from Rhovae with his aunt, the dragon’s rider, Jacaerys’ face red as he made his way to his father. The sight lightened the King’s face, who rested a hand on the laughing child’s shoulder. “She…she goes…” Jacaerys struggled to speak through his laughter, making a sudden dragon adjacent screech to his father as he must have been trying to imitate his aunt’s dragon, the sound pulling a smile to Valerion’s lips.

“Oh, did she? Rhovae must be quieted, then, hm?” Valerion teased the boy.

“Who said anything about a dragon?” His eyes lifted as his sister’s voice sounded, a smirk forming as he looked to Naerys who neared the other two.

“That was you? Certainly one of the better imitations I’ve heard, then.”

The woman scoffed, but both of their heads were turned as the sound of hooves approaching met them. The group of bannermen that had been riding on the ground to keep pace ahead of the army settled at the Neck under the control of Steffon. Valerion's expression neutraled as he motioned shortly for them to stay at more of a distance before looking to Essovius. “Sōvēs!” He commended his dragon. Fly. Within moments, he felt sudden violent gusts of air pounding at his back as first his massive dragon flapped his wings, followed by the other. The sound of familiar screeching blasted through the air, with the ground beneath Valerion’s feet seeming to move as first Essovius, then Rhovae, took off from the ground. Valerion’s eyes trailed upwards as he felt powerful gusts from directly above, the sound of wings flapping rumbling through the air. He was met with the sight of Essovius’ black scales gliding above him, the dragon so large that it seemed to easily eclipse the group on the ground beneath him and the hilly region they were on. It was quite a feat, but an easy one for a dragon so large that a horse could be rode down it's gullet and who's teeth were nearly as long as swords. Essovius didn't ascend as quickly as Rhovae, as the two dragons soon flew over the structure of Winterfell, Essovius' stomach barely reaching over the walls. After a moment of watching the two fly off, Valerion glanced over at his sister who was already looking at him. An easy show of strength, one his dragon could accomplish quite easily even as he continued his flight North of the ancient castle compound.

The North was no place for a dragon, but that didn’t mean one couldn’t lay claim and rule it with ease.

With the dragons off the ground and easily gliding in the distance, the sound of them gone from the air, Valerion gave a nod to the bannermen who approached, providing horses for the Targaryens. Aegon's, a dark bay gelding for the time, came out ahead, Naerys and his son behind him with the procession following. Naturally, his eyes found the town that lay directly ahead of them, and then returned to the castle that eclipsed it once more. The chilled fortress. For thousand of years, while Valyria reigned to the far east, back long before the Doom was even a thought in the mind of his ancestors, there was Winterfell, and the chill that it embraced, that seemed to radiate from stone all the way to the town that rest in shadow of the imposing seat of the North. Winter Town, he reminded himself of his studies, eyes shifting from the castle ahead to the towns folk surrounding the road he made use of. Pale with dark or muddied features seemed a reoccurring theme, the same unwelcoming eyes and fear of the dragons he had seen directed towards him ever since making landfall from Dragonstone. Not that it mattered.

“What a prize to have won,” the sound of his sister’s voice speaking the common tongue drew Valerion’s attention away from the unfamiliar faces and to the silver-haired woman behind him, though his gaze didn't shift. Naerys, a woman six years his senior, and his most trusted council. “I believe the trip’s to make you regret not clearing the top of the wall and keep going steady in to their wasteland,” she teased before giving a nod forward that he could all but feel through his back. “Though I’m sure the Watch makes for just as fine company as any we’ll find here.”

Valerion’s shoulders rolled a bit as he straightened, the sheathed Valyrian steel sword at his side shifting with him. He knew his sister’s feelings of his intentions in the North, and he was also well aware of her preferred alternative. It was of little matter though, teasing and council aside, he had her complete loyalty. “The prize is within the walls of Winterfell, not there,” he reminded her easily. “Or shall we just have the Watch bend the knee in the name of the realm?” A joke that hung easily in the air between them, though they both knew the crown was hardly what she objected to. No, her concerns lay far more firmly in the rejection of Valyrian custom. That the possibility was off flying instead over the arid wasteland to the south to burn a madman and settle another realm in his name.

She would return to them with a crown, and he could hardly wait to see her again, but as far as following Valyrian customs on the matter went, it wouldn’t. It wouldn’t have turned reality before his interest in the asset the Stark princess-until-the-day had been piqued, and that certainly wasn’t changing now.

The ride through the town was swift but deliberate, the group’s formation tightening as they moved from the town to approach the castle's gates. This was it, then. Another step in obtaining his Targaryen dynasty, another kingdom joining in to the fold, a time for the King in the North to bend the knee and the North to take their place within the fold. One above the rest. It was a thought that rang clear in his mind, as it had since he had sent the letter to the Starks, a request for their daughter’s hand as well as their fealty, a peace through marriage and power before Essovius even need be thought of to rain firey hell down upon otherwise valuable Northern troops. Princess Tasiya of House Stark.

Princess for another moment, soon to be Queen for a lifetime.

The impending marriage was of his own design, obviously, and true to his nature there wasn’t doubt that it was the right decision to make going forward. Neither the doubt of Naerys over a Stark queen or reminders of his late wife would change that. Still, he knew little of her, nothing directly from anyone who had known her and that couldn’t be found in the intrigue of books from trusted maesters. A thought to be explored, he rationalized easily, his gaze remaining ahead of him as he led the party through the unfamiliar opener gates, the chill of the North seeming somehow lesser inside of the gates. His attention remained forward as he passed through guards and in to a courtyard.

Valerion pressed forward, eyes assessing the group that had gathered for his reception. Who was among them? They all held the faces of strangers, making it all but impossible to tell at first glance. The King For The Moment seemed the most likely, Valerion deemed as his gaze locked on a man before he could discern between any women. Violet eyes shifted from the man and swept through the line once more as he came to a stop, his gaze finding two young women. One in particular was appealing beyond the group, and his brows furrowed slightly as her gaze held her at something of a distance, the subtleties of her face beyond him but a sort of Northern beauty clear beyond it. His intended? He wasn’t sure, and he brushed the thought aside soon as it appeared in his mind. It could have as easily been his future sister-by-law, and it hardly fucking mattered by any metric either way. He forced his eyes away, back to the man that had first captured his attention, before he dismounted. He could hear shuffling behind him, and a quiet murmur that he knew belonged to Jacaerys, the five year old prince being appeased by his aunt. For his part, Valerion’s gaze remained forward as a bannerman announced him to the party for the historic moment.

“King Valerion of the House Targaryen, the First of His Name, King of All Westeros.”




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The world was spinning.

It was there as soon as her eyes opened from whatever darkness they had known, twirling, shifting, sputtering around her, images blurred and warped surrounding her as the ground beneath her folded and rose before crumbling beneath her feet. So very odd it was for solid ground to misbehave in such a way, so very rude of it to make such a betrayal. It needed to be cleansed, to have flame rain down upon the molten earth until it was joined and could be cooled solid once more, forged in to something stable. Yet the flame wasn’t there, not in the sky, not in the ground; she was a flame, but it wasn’t reacting to her. Maybe it was because it was all moving too quickly, the ground was mischievous like that, or perhaps it was she who was moving too quickly. It was sickening, her stomach churning as a dark-skinned figure prodded her to stand, her legs weak as she rose and took a step forward, the insolent ground quaking beneath her feet. It dropped quickly, several feet disappearing before she landed again. Only, no longer on her feet, and a foggy sense hit her as she collided once more in to the unreliable ground, knees and forearms smashing in to hard orange earth beneath her. Not quite pain as there should have been, but there was something, even beyond her annoyance, beyond too the haze that wouldn’t rid itself from her mind. “Doru-borto,” she grumbled in her mother tongue with a voice that wasn’t quite her own to her ears but instead dry and raw as if it was she who breathed flame to life through her own body rather than being the flame itself. Stupid.

“You will stand!” A voice barked from above her, a deep man’s voice with an odd accent. It wasn’t a bad one, but it would have been better if he wasn’t so loud. What was he speaking of? And who did he believe himself speaking to? Doru-borto.

She didn’t move much, her body melding to the warm ground. If anything, she rolled from her knees to her side, her hip welcoming the ground kinder than her knees had when the insolent surface had dropped from beneath her. Yes, that was better. So long as it didn’t fall from her again. As long as it remained stable, and maybe melding herself to its surface would keep it from leaving her again. She never did care for the ground much, but it was better under her than falling. Maybe if she just closed her eyes—

The calloused touch of a hand jerked her from her stable melding, the hand gripping her arm and hauling her painfully from the ground. Oh, Gods. Her stomach churned again as she was lifted to her unsteady feet, the world spinning again as the blurred figure spoke to her. Gods, she was going to be sick. What was he on about? His face was distorted as it returned to her view again, and she could see that he was speaking. He was talking, he was, he was even— “…and if you do not make pace for Lord Allyrion, that will change nothing, as I will drag—” The words were stupid, barely even secondary to the sickness she felt rise in her. It rose as he spoke, it rose as the world spun around her, as the ground felt like water beneath her feet. No. She gagged once and he moved back, then she finally retched, falling forward before she was on her knees once more as the contents of her stomach left her and met the ground. Nothing solid— though, when had it been that she last ate? Instead, just the most foul tasting liquid poured from her as she retched again and again, her stomach aching with the violence of it.

This ground truly did need to be cleansed by fire.

How long she remained there, she wasn’t certain, though any peace was broken by the sound of another odd man’s voice. “What is this, then? Enough. We will not keep the Prince waiting.”

“Yes, Lord.” The stupid man’s voice sounded again, the last thing she heard before she was grabbed again, this time around her sore waist before the ground left her again. Her wild pale hair fell to her face as it fell about everywhere else, obstructing much of her view. Finally, the world stopped spinning before her eyes.

Yet, still… With just enough of her vision left to her to see that they went from light to darkness, her hands weakly pushing against him. Why was he touching her? What gave him the right…. Suddenly, they stopped moving. Given the chance, her dry voice spoke to the man carrying her. “Gaomagon daor renigon nyke,” she said, her hand pushing against stiff fabric. “Doar…Do not touch me,” she managed to repeat the words in the common tongue. Stupid man. He could never speak the language of the dragon. He didn’t speak, but she felt herself descend again, her feet meeting harder ground only briefly before she lost her balance once more, tumbling again to her knees. Only, this time, she wasn’t rudely grabbed for. No, instead she was let be, a quiet groan leaving her lips for her sore knees as she shifted, a hand raising to brush her hair from her face. There was darkness, but there was also light. Her eyes found the light of the flame, one flame drawn to another, before an annoying voice from earlier sounded, and her eyes lifted to a darkened figure that her eyes struggled to adjust to, stable in an unmoving world on a throne, but blurred to her. Her eyes squinted up at the figure.

“Your Grace…I bring to you Princess Visaerya Targaryen.”


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[ ♕ ━ 001 ]

Post by 76heart » Wed Sep 21, 2022 5:42 am

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━raised  by wolves━━━━━━━━
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━━━━━━━━━━━and   voices━━━
xxxNot once had she ever thought her warging abilities to be a curse. Not even now, as they were exactly what brought this curse to her family upon the backs of wings and ruins and fire. If she had not been born a warg, perhaps the North would have been passed over; seen as worthless, as nothing but a wasteland of snow to those who had only known fire and flourished in flame. Or, perhaps without them the North would have met a worse fate, one that forced them to make a terrible choice, one that ended in no peaceful transitions, one that ended in death. Her people would still have a Stark queen. There would be no bloodshed, no towns torched, and no houses or men set to burst in flame. That was more than those of the former House Hoare could say, and more than any other house that fell under the dragon's banner could say. No, the only curse was Valerion Targaryen, a man who thought he was owed the world. Her abilities were a gift; a birthright passed down by her ancestors which she has eagerly claimed. Her great-grandmother had been the last warg, believed to be the last one the Starks would ever see, until she had a dream through Nochka's eyes, snapping a terrible man's neck and tasting blood on her teeth. Tasiya would never insult or forsake it by thinking it a bane even for a moment. She did not want the dragons here, melting her snow, and she would not let the blame fall from them to the most treasured part of her.

xxxWhen the wolf winced at the shrill howling of the hounds, or the raven at the clinks of a maester's chains, so too did she. She could feel the bristling of the cat's fur as if it were her back that sprouted the silver stripes and a fluffy tail. She could feel purring from her own throat, and the joy of the raven's flight in a smile on her lips. Such a thing could never be a curse. It was a joy, a bond she treasured. Nochka was not her mere pet, and she was not her master. They were equals, and shared a bond that no one but a warg could truly comprehend. Parts of their souls had been swapped and traded, and that could never be undone, not with time, not with anything. She could fly, not like a bird, but as one, and feel the wind against sleek feathers. She could leap as a cat and find places no human had ever seen, and feel the rush of the hunt. It was exhilarating. How could it be anything but a gift? It had been a gift when her ancestors had used it to claim their throne and cement the Starks as the Northern Kings against another warg who only saw creatures, and even some people, as something to claim, and it would still be a gift to her even as it brought a conquerer to her doorstep.

xxxIt even made her senses more alert, sometimes, anyway, during times that were exceedingly boring even for the large direwolf beside her, as they waited for a bastard to bring his ass to the castle. Gods, how could dragons be this slow? He had the nerve to ask for her hand, to steal her kingdom, and he could not even show up in a timely manner? The dragons had been spotted what felt like an hour ago.

xxxWith his hands clasped behind his back, Dari leaned close to Masha's ear. At the faint sound of his clothes moving picked up by Nochka — who had nothing better to focus on but the sounds of the filled courtyard — and her ear turned his way, Tasiya's gaze slid to him through the corner of her eye, to entirely unsurprisingly, find him looking directly at her. He smiled. "Do you think she'll run, Sister?" Though the words implied a gossiped secret, if she had any doubts — which she did not — that what he said was meant for her to hear, the volume of his voice confirmed it.
xxx"I know she wants to, Brother." Masha's lips were turned to his, but her eyes, just like Dari's, were turned to her.
xxxShe could only let out a deep sigh, and look forward at the waiting gates again. Of course, the tease was only intended to bring her a smile, but it was not the time for that, and she was not amused nor in the mood for such things. She would not run from her duty, from her chance to keep her people free. It was nothing to laugh about. "If I run, he wins. I will not be the deer to his dragon. I will not be his skittish prey." She could feel the weight of her mother's eyes, worried and concerned, but silent.

xxxThey went quiet, and she was left to silence of her thoughts again. Then there was a faint shake of the earth beneath her, and she knew the dragons had landed, and that her siblings had to know the same.

xxx"Did you feel that?" Masha's voice, excited, and this time meant for Dari.
xxx"Do you think we'll get to see the dragons?"

xxxThis was taking far too long, and she had no interest in their chatter.

xxxShe shed her skin for feathers, and opened her eyes as the raven. Her limp body was caught by Nochka, who laid curled protectively around it with her back nestled against her side.

xxxIt had been odd to move like this, to move as the raven Vorona, at first. Wings instead of arms, talons instead of toes. Lips traded for a beak. Now it could not be more natural. She knew this body as well as her own, and there was no longer a second thought encumbering her as she took flight from the nest Vorona made in the weirwood, and flew to perch atop the tall walls of Winterfell, talons scraping old stone. While the Targaryen's could fly upon the backs of dragons, they would never know the feeling of true flight as she did, soaring through the air with borrowed wings to call her own, wind through dark feathers. She took some sort of pride in knowing that.

xxxIn the distance, she could see them. Tiny men and horses, and two dragons she imagined to be large enough to blot out the sun. She liked them a lot better without their riders. The great beasts were worthy of admiration, and they had hers, and her respect. She hoped they would get along, that she might find a friend in her betrothed's serpent of fire. A marriage to him would be a lot more bearable with a dragon to fly beside as a bird.
xxxShe could also see banners, though she could not make out their symbols. Likely, they were of House Frey. Valerion had conquered the Neck along his way to the North — news which had recently reached them, and they certainly weren't of House Hoare after he burned them to the ground.

xxxAs much as she wished she could, she could not fault him for the burning of King Hoare, or the blackened stones of Harrenhal left behind; he had offered a mercy she would not have in his place. She could however, fault him for the innocents that got caught in the flames of a quarrel between kings and their arrogance that expected too much. King Hoare believed he was magnificent enough to get away with proposing for his daughter after the death of King Valerion's wife, and King Valerion believed the world was his to conquer. The King No More had only been the one to spark it. He had been the starting spark of a fire that would soon grow out of control. It was contained for now, but a stick would fall out of the flame, and it would set fire to everything around it. Not even a dragon could control the fire once it had started, and it had been started, and now everyone else would feel the heat, while they sat on the ashes, immune to its lick. That was precisely why she despised him. No matter what, he would come out unscathed. It was the Houses, the people, the logs and sticks to his pyre that would shoulder the wounds and bare the weight of the flame, and he didn't care. No conquerer would. Nor would a conquerer care that anyone who rose against him fought a losing battle. Swords could not kill a dragon in the sky, and measly arrows would only bounce off their armored skin, and fire would greet any spear that came close. Those at the top of the wheel rarely cared for those crushed beneath it, until they were crushed by it too, and a dragon would not easily be ousted from the top. Any attempt against him to challenge their flame would be a bloodbath and a slaughter. Any king who valued his people more than his pride had no choice but to bend his knee and comply to whatever was asked of him. There was a promised weight of innocents above all their heads. Those without power could do nothing but hope their king was not a selfish fool. It was nothing but cruel, and it would never be just. It would never be right. And yet he continued on his conquest. He wanted power because he had the means to take it and believed it his right. He was not a man who bothered to sit with the people and listen to their woes, and prove he had heard them by enforcing change. He was not a man usurping a tyrant. He was not a man conquering because his rule would be better, not because he was under the guise of self grandeur and belief that he and he alone knew what was right, but because he was going to fix what was wrong, and there was a lot wrong. People starved. Some had no homes. Others were bought and sold as property, or forced into a life of use for someone else's pleasure. Women had to marry men twice or three times their age, even as only a child, because a man decided it was their fucking duty. The North struggled during the winters, and her father was stuck deciding who best to marry his heir and first daughter to to best prevent his people from starving when the earth was to frozen to grow anything, and the air was almost to cold to even breathe in, while also deciding who was best for the North and its interest, who's hands it would be safe to entrust to. Valerion had not come to listen to their plights, and he was not marrying her because he could better provide what was needed. He was marrying her because it benefited him. Because he thought it acceptable to barter and trade her like a fucking cow along side her kingdom, without a single thought for her feelings on the matter and if it was even what she fucking wanted, and put her father, her family, and herself, in a position where they could not refuse, despite the fact that if he were a particularly despicable man, she could end up violated in the worst of ways. He was marrying her, presumably so he could have little warg children that could shed their skin for the scales of dragons, because that was the only reason to choose her over her sister, who would jump at the chance to marry him, and the thought of that made her so ill she had gotten sick the day her family had received the letter and disappeared for three with Nochka, hiding with her pack. He was a man conquering because he was greedy. Because he lusted for power. Because he was arrogant and entitled. Because he could. The part that was wolf wished she could tear his head off with her teeth.

xxxAll the kings in the world had stolen their power from someone, and all the kings to come would do the same. History could not be rewritten, but there was still time to save her people from the bloodshed and fire that would inevitably follow. It was not an if, but rather a promise, that someone soon would refuse to give up their power and bend the knee to the conquerer, and her people would be forced into a war that was not their own, a quarrel they should not be part of, and they would die if their enemy was not burned before they could even fight back. Every bit of it was senseless, and every step avoidable, if only he stopped his conquest.

xxxA dragon's screech ripped through the air, and then, they took flight, shaking the ground as they pushed into the air. Behind her, Nochka began growling, a low rumble she could feel in the back of her throat. A moment later, she was buffeted by the wind of the distant dragons's wings. It ruffled her smooth feathers, and she closed her eyes to take it in. She had always loved the feel of the wind, especially as a bird. She chased the feeling no matter what she was. The wind called her like the wild. Another gust hit her, and as her feathers puffed out to isolate her from the burst of cold brought on by the dragons wings, she opened her eyes and saw that they were now overhead. The part of her that was raven wanted to fly elsewhere, away from the beasts just barely missing the stone, but the part that was her longed to soar with them. Vorona had grown comfortable with Nochka after being rescued from the maester's tower; going so far as to tease her and then fly just out of her reach and the snapping of her jaw. Where the direwolf went, the raven followed, especially on hunts. But dragons were much different than a wolf, and she had not yet grown accustomed to them.
xxxThe black scales were even more captivating up close, decorated with colors only a raven could see, and they were even more impressive. Would she see them again soon? She hoped so. Nochka did not, and her growling grew louder. She snarled, bearing her teeth, and letting loose a loud bark that pierced the sky. Dari, ever the dog loving fool, attempted to calm her with an outstretched hand offering a pet, but sharp teeth enclosed around flesh, and there was the distant taste of blood on her tongue. Their mother only side, and Nochka's growling lessened as the dragons flew further out of sight.

xxxFinally, the tiny men and specks of horses were moving, and growing less tiny. They passed through Winter Town and it's rather unimpressive rows of mostly empty houses built of logs and undressed stone, undoubtedly being met with a mix of fear and disgust from the few hundred that remained. Their formation tightened, and she couldn't deny that that was wise. She was not the only one who felt dragons did not belong here, in the snow. The bannermen with him would likely be staying there, though it would not be a very warm welcome from those who called it home through all the seasons. In the winters it was full and bursting, alive with life, but now it was scarce, with ghosts filling the empty spaces. Yet, the conquerer continued, leading them on, swift and deliberate, and soon they were too close for her to remain as a raven, and she had to return to the weirwood, and the nest filled with traded shiny things, and her eyes opened as Tasiya once more.

xxxTasiya stood, using a hand to push herself from the ground, and brushed the cold dirt from her fingers and palm and cozy fur cloak. Nochka took her place by her side at the end of the line once more, and her hand found the course fur of her neck.
xxxAs soon as he appeared into view through the gate that was open and waiting, Nochka began growling, her fur rising around her neck. They both watched him enter, and she followed his gaze. Perhaps he would look appealing, if he were not a conquerer here to steal her family's throne. He was not hideous, no matter how much she wished he would be so, and his violet eyes were not the worst to watch as eyed those gathered for his reception, assessing them; though it felt more as if he were appraising them for their worth. There was no warmth in it, no kindness, no smile. They were simply his prize, and he was here to receive it. His gaze locked on her father, who tried not to squirm under the weight of it, before the eyes of violet shifted and swept down the line to her and Masha. Could he even tell who she was? Did he even know? Had he even thought to ask the color of her hair? Her eyes? Did he know that Masha was the slightly taller one, and that she was the one with curled blonde hair, the same as her father's? She doubted he had taken the time, that he had wanted to. His eyes returned to her father, and then he dismounted from his horse. She hoped he would treat his horse, a beautiful dark bay gelding, well. Nochka's growling grew louder, and then stopped at the quiet murmuring of a child. Her hand slid through her fur, hoping to soothe the direwolf at her side. The child had to be his son, but why was he not riding with him? What kind of king did not ride proudly with his son? What kind of father? Her father had ridden with her on a scruffy brown mare with an endless supply of fur to brush when she had been too young to command a horse of her own. He had ridden with all his children, even his numerous bastards. To meet Lords, to hunt, just to ride. Each child had once been his only pride and his only joy. There was a reason the boy was riding with the woman, she was sure, but she was not in the mood to be charitable. She would need to remember to ask Fri toys to be brought for the boy. And who was the woman to Valerion? She was clearly Targaryen. Sister? Cousin? Aunt? All three?

xxxA bannerman introduced him, and his titles.

xxxLast of His Name, King of Nothing.

xxxHer family lowered and bent their knees to the King Who Shouldn't Be, but she stayed firm and unwavering, issuing a challenge instead, a look that said Make me, and a warning that he could not. A warning that like Nochka would never be like a familiar boot to slip in for another warg, she would never be bent like an obedient wife on her wedding night, nor saddled like his family's precious dragons. She was free. The North was free, and it would never be his for the taking. The next Northern King would be her brother, and no King of Fire would ever sit on a throne made for one of Ice. He was not welcome, and neither she or the North would be conquered.

xxx"We welcome you to Winterfell, King Valerion, and hope that your journey brought you no trouble." Her father spoke through gritted teeth, but hid it well, and her mother shot her a look of warning that she caught in the corner of her eye. The King of Winter, soon no more, forced a smile toward the Targaryen King, and swept his arm outward, down the line of his family. "Please allow me to introduce my wife; Lady Marya, my son; Dari, and my daughters; Masha and Tasiya." They all dipped their heads in turn, except for her. Tasiya stood, still unmoving, still glaring, eyes still not leaving his. She would not bow to him, never, not even her head. Her father would bend the knee and kiss his rings, but she would not. She was the only one with the power to do so, to remain safe from his ire, because she possessed something he desired that he could not get if he killed her or burned her home, and she was not going to stand there and squander that. She heard the pain in his fathers voice as he left out their titles in fear it would get them all burned. She heard his pain as he diminished himself to keep them all safe. She would speak for him, where he could not.
xxx"And Nochka, who answers to no king." Her hand trailed down her head to her still fluffed neck, and the wolf let out another soft growl. Tasiya's head tilted, confidence clear on her face. A new challenge. A new threat.

xxxThere must always be a Stark in Winterfell, and Winterfell was no place for a dragon. A dragon may reign, but Winterfell had been ruled by the Starks well before the doom of Valyria, and they would rule after the doom of this.




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xxxWhat were kings? Illusions as fickle as flame, their thrones the ashes of the fires before them burned out. Crowns were molten upon their brow, a promise of death, slow and agonizing as it burned through bone, until there was nothing left but a husk easily kicked and pushed aside for the next to bear the burning. Foolish it was, to pick up the crown knowing it would only lead to death. Would the commoners revolt? Would a child decide to they wanted the power before it was naturally given? Would they die peacefully in their sleep, old, and comfortable in their bed as the crown finally won? Would they die drunk on the gifts of wine from all the idiots wanting to win their favor for the gift of an extra goat or a child to marry theirs too, slipped on the stairs? A hunting accident, gored by a boar? A ship, sailing to claim another throne, bashed against the ocean or the ship of someone who wished to object? Foolish little things. Fickle little things. Little things that would never live a life long, for their days were always numbered by the heaviness of the crown. Necks could only bear it for so long until they crumbled and snapped. Heads were not meant to carry something so heavy for so long, and someone would always want their crown, not caring for its cost. Silly little short lived things. Like mice. Those who wished to steal a throne were like the mice creeping into kitchens where they were not welcome, looking to get a bite of the kitchen's crowning joy, an aged cheese more tasty than Dornish wine. Could cheese even be better than wine? Dornish wine? Why didn't mice steal wine? Cellars of wine and barrels weren't protected with brooms and women most willing to use them to smack any little mice or rats that dared sneak in to steal their most precious bounty. But how could they want to hurt the little things? Mice were soft, and friendly given the chance, like rats. They came in all different colors. Some had spots, some were brown, some were black, some had a stripe down their snout. Some had long tails, some short. Some had nicks in their ears. Some were round, some were not. He had made many mice and rat friends on the ship, the dreaded ship he wished had crashed and broken upon the shore to save him. They were just trying to survive, like him. He had shared his meals with them, offering them bits of stale bread and whatever other scraps they threw at him. They were clever things, too, cleverer than most men, he'd wager. They learned their names, learned the names he had given to others, and learned Perros' name too. He had saved the ones who remained, and given them a room in the Old Palace. They had died full and happy and at the end of their time. No more did they starve, no more did they just have to survive. They were better than foolish old kings, just as he was. A Prince was not privy to the plights of kings. A Prince did not wear the same crown. A Prince of Dorne was better, and no such fool.

xxxOther kingdoms would rise and fall: the Crownlands, the Stormlands, the North, the Vale; but Dorne would remain eternal. Not even a dragon could render its sands rubble and ash. The dragon who had tried was dead, its rider set to be delivered to his throne. He had been through whatever hells there were and come out the other side. Dorne was eternal, and so was he. He was dead man walking. If anything could have killed him, it would have killed him then. He stood untouchable, ready to stand in the dragon's flame and come out unburnt.

xxxIn the throne room if the Old Palace, lit only by the sun that came through the stained glass dome, and the fires in the ornate pedestals the lined the room, and the one centered before the throne, a man entered, another idiot of the court, and dropped the Princess Targaryen on the floor, the one responsible for the deaths of many Dornishmen who had fought valiantly to defend their home. He presented her proudly, announcing her for the Prince, who did not hear, and offered no response. His gaze was glued to the flame before him, his mind elsewhere, as it often was, as it nearly always was. Trebor blinked, and looked over at the Prince, attempting to lean over to see the front of his face from his position as his Hand at his side.

xxx"Prince Aldoran?"

xxxFire. The flame. He loved it. It pulled him in, entranced him, told him stories as it danced, casting shadows, echoes of tales previously told. How could it ever hurt him? How could his dearest joy bring him pain? It would never burn him, it's most loyal friend. The torch's flame had gotten him through his torture. The lanterns had always been hanging, always lit, never out, unless the boy sent to refuel them was late. He hated the boy, when he was late. He was a man by the end of things, but a child could do his job with mor efficiency. How could he deprive him of the only warmth he felt? Of what he watched, and stared at for hours all day when the mice and rats were not there? The lantern rocked and swayed with the boat, with the waves, a comfortable rhythm. It was the only way he could get to sleep, get a moment of peace, a distraction from the hunger, from the pain, from how he missed his pillows, and the baths with Perros' gentle hand. He had made those men suffer for what they did to him. Sweet Perros. Poor Perros. Perros who had done nothing wrong. Perros, who like him, like the mice, was better than any foolish selfish king who saw the crown for anything but what it was; a sentence of death, a long road to the gallows.

xxx"Doran?"

xxxPerros deserved a better fate. No friend deserved his end, no one so good. Perros had always been kind, and gentle, like the curious paws of mice. Their teeth had only tickled his toe, before they learned he was not a rotting carcass to feed on, and instead a friend who would let them eat. Perros had made friends with them, too. Perros would have liked the room he fashioned for them, the room that had once belonged to Perros, but was his no more. It was an empty room now, a room haunted by ghosts and death, and memories. But it had been pretty, and a room well loved. Trebor had protested the mice and rats, but they were given baths, gentle as Perros, and he had been forced to agree. Those who brought comfort to the Prince during his darkest hours were always welcome in his home, and deserving of the greatest honors he could bestow. He had named them Princes and Princesses of rats and mice, and their children ran through the halls and the cities, ruling their own little kingdoms. They too, were immune to the crown and the flame. The dragons would bow to them, as well as him. The Targaryen who thought he could claim Dorne would not enjoy that. He laughed at the picture of his face, so sour and displeased.

xxx"Ooh!" He startled, his vision suddenly filling with light. Out of his sight, Trebor sharply pulled back his hand, hiding the finger that was about to poke him, and snapped back into position. He sat up, hands flying to his face to rub the wakeness back into his skin and eyes, and gather his beard.

xxx"Prince Aldoran, the Princess Visaerya Targaryen, who killed several of our men and attempted to capture Dorne in the name of her brother, King Valerion Targaryen, has been delivered." Visaerya? Ahh yes, the dragon rider no more. He had been awaiting her arrival after the news of her dragon's presumed death, after it flew away with injuries it could not possibly survive,

xxxThrough the flame, he could see a woman with white hair, a fellow being of flame, squinting up at him from the floor. He stood, and stepped from the throne, towards the woman who looked to have been unceremoniously tossed to the ground. She looked like she could barely comprehend what was happening, let alone where she was. How dare they bring her to him in such a state? Hazy, squinting, left helpless on the ground as if she were worthless and unworthy of standing, as if she deserved to stay only at their feet. She had burned and killed men, his men, but to respond without allowing her dignity, and without honor was no better. They were no better than his captors, the worst offense one could bring to their prince. The death of her dragon was already punishment enough. He cared not for them, but he knew how much they meant. He knew the weight their deaths carried. He knew the pain they would bring. It was the same pain that he was brought by Perros' death, the devastation, the world cracked in two, salted ocean pouring into the gaping hole where his heart used to be. That was enough. She needed no more.

xxxTo be stripped of dignity, to be tossed to the floor, to be spit on, kicked, less, it was the worst thing one could do to another. He knew what it felt to feel like nothing. To be nothing. To be offered as a pretty gift, delirious and in pain. Ribs bruised, sore, broken, wrist stepped on and bent. The captain laughing as he crushed the bones under his heel, Perros chained. Eyes of hatred. Smiles at his pain. Cheering for his death- no, cheering for him to live a life worse than death. Wounded and patched up to fight, and wounded again. Forever for their pleasure. Only the most vile were worthy of such treatment. What sort of sorry Prince would he be is he permitted such mistreatment of one undeserving? A Prince he would not like. A Prince he would oppose. A Prince he would burn.

xxx"Tell me, Ser Trebor, what is the sight that greets your Prince's eyes?" His words were careful and measured, a warning, and perhaps a threat. His head angled towards the Hand, for whom his words were meant, but his eyes remained on the woman.
xxx"The sister of your ire, the King Valerion?"
xxxHis gaze left her, and turned to his Hand. "Why has she been left on the floor like a rug? Is she a rug, Trebor? A rug for you to wipe your feet? Did you mistake her for a rug?" He gestured wildly with his arms, to the ground, to him, to the ground again. There was no other explanation, because his Hand could not have possibly forgotten his manners.
xxx"Apologies, Prince Aldoran." Trebor forced a quick smile, and dipped his head.
xxx"Has a Maester attended her?"
xxx"I do not know, My Prince."
xxx"Then where is he? Look around Trebor, do you see him?" Aldoran spun, turning with his arms wide and outstretched, his finger tips circling the room. There was no Maester, not at all. What had possessed Trebor to lose all his manners, all his grace? "Do you see our dear Maester Dagos? Is he hiding? Is he playing a game?"
xxxTrebor made no move, and gave no response. He only hesitated, debating something in his mind that a Aldoran was not privy to. His face fell, and he waited. Nothing. Why wasn't he leaving? Why hadn't he left? Why was he standing there like a dead fish, unsure of what to do? Was he ill? Was he getting old? How silly he was being today, how unfortunate. He would need to help him. His hands rose to his chest, and his expression changed to one of insincere giddy — wide eyes, and a smile that did not reach them. "Off you go. Shoo." He waved him off with both hands; the motion that usually accompanied a 'shoo', his voice much more cheerful than he felt. Finally, Trebor understood, and left with a bow, and Aldoran was free to spin around with a clap, back to the woman. She would not suffer anymore. She was safe in his care, and he would let no one hurt her. She was a prisoner, but would not be stripped of her dignity. Never, not ever under his care. Dorne would never stoop to the level of his captors. The captors who had deserved every bit of the bloody end he had given.

xxxSlowly, he stepped closer, taking her in like the flame. The smell of bile reached his nose, and he hated whatever monster had caused her to retch. She was fascinating, and beautiful. She was like fire, fire made flesh, like his fire upon the pedestals. He felt an urge to run his fingers through her light hair. He imagined it to be soft, soft and glistening like spider's silk. He would not touch her, not ever without her permission. Even the gentlest of touches could burn when unwanted. She would be treated with respect, her and her spider silk hair. She was more beautiful than their intricate webs, more beautiful even than flame. How could anyone treat her with such disdain? Be so cruel? He squatted in front of her, and offered his hand, his hair falling over his shoulder.

xxx"Have you been mistreated, Lady Fire? You are safe here, safe now." His voice was soft and low, only for her ears to hear. Only for her. No one else. No eavesdropper, no fool.

xxxHe hoped she would be alright. He hoped she would take his hand. He hoped she would allow him to stroke his hair. Dragons were not made not made for Dorne, but dragons were born of the same cloth as snakes. Both came into the world through a shell they had to break through to live and see the sun.

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