King Aemon 'the elder' Targaryen
His father was dead, King Jaehaerys Targaryen known as the conciliator who had brought peace to Westeros following the tumult that had come after the conqueror's death was gone. The illness that had plagued him for the last two years of his life had finally sapped away what little strength and power the great man had had, and in the dying hours of the night Grand Maester Runciter pronounced the great man dead. As Aemon watched the servants move his father's body, he could not but help and feel a deep sense of loss and grief, his father had been a very smart and kind man, a man who knew how to turn enemies into friends and how to solidify existing friendships. Aemon had learnt a lot from him, he had learnt how to speak in such a way that people got ideas and greater confidence from his words, he had learnt how to treasure family above all else, and finally he had learnt how to rule a kingdom through peace and diplomacy and not through fire and blood. His father had been a great man, and yet in the last two years of his life something had broken him, whether it was the deaths of Aemon's mother or his brother, or whether it was simple ill health that had taken away the last of his strength, Aemon knew not. All he knew was that his father's decline had been quick and sudden following Baelon's death. Baelon, even now thinking of his younger brother hurt and stung. Baelon had been so filled with life and joy; it had hurt them all when he had died on the Stepstones at the hands of those god damned pirates. His brother's body had been returned to King's Landing by Corlys Velaryon- Aemon's goodbrother- and what was left of it was not a pretty sight to see.
The days passed by in a great whirl after his father's death, there were many things that needed to be done and planned. First of all, his father was set alight as in the ancient Targaryen tradition, with his former dragon Vermithor lighting the pyre. Once his ashes were interred with Aemon's mothers, the planning for Aemon's coronation began. Amongst all of that, there was the issue of who was to sit on his small council as well, Aemon had served as hand for his father from around the time Septon Barth had died, and so the need for a new hand was pressing. There were various contenders for the title, amongst them Ser Otto Hightower- a most learned man and someone favoured by the High Septon. Another contender was Lord Lyonel Strong, a smart man who was very politically savvy, and then there was Aemon's nephew Viserys. Viserys was a smart lad, even if he did seem somewhat indecisive on some issues, of course he was shrewd as well and knew his way around court and the intrigues that ran rampant, something that Aemon knew would be very useful considering his own reluctance to play that damnable game. And so it was that after much deliberation and with some two weeks to go before his official coronation, that Aemon, now known was King Aemon, named his small council: Hand of the King was his nephew Prince Viserys Targaryen who rode the dragon Dreamfyre, master of laws was Aemon's goodbrother Lord Boremund Baratheon, master of ships was Aemon's other goodbrother Lord Corlys Velaryon, master of coin was Lord Lyman Beesbury a smart man and loyal, master of whispers was a young man who Aemon had heard a lot about though had never truly met before Ser Larys Strong second son of Lord Lyonel, Grand Maester Runciter continued to sit the council, and finally Lord Commander of the Kingsguard was Ser Ryam Redwyne the finest knight in the land. Aemon also had his son and heir Aemon the Younger as well as his daughter Rhaenys sit in on the council meetings as advisors.
The day of his coronation was bright and sunny, and Aemon was told by his wife Jocelyn a sweet and kind woman, that perhaps this was a sign of the peace and prosperity that would come in his reign. Something that was echoed by the High Septon as he spoke about various things that Aemon did not really pay attention to. Once the High Septon had finished prattling on, Aemon swore his vows and knelt as the crown of his father King Jaehaerys was placed upon his head. From the Dragonpit he heard his dragon Vhagar roar triumphantly, and as the crowds cheered as he made his way down from the steps of the Sept of Remembrance and rode back to the Red Keep accompanied by his wife and children, he could not but help feeling some sense of fulfilment.
It was many months later that the first challenges of his reign began. Larys had been very good in bringing news and whispers to Aemon, and as such it was through one of the man's many methods that he learnt of the forming of different factions at court and within the kingdoms as a whole. It was for this reason that he called both his son and heir Aemon and his daughter Rhaenys to his solar, as well as his goodbrother Boremund to discuss the issues and what needed to be done. He hoped that Aemon would be able to provide some sense of direction and intuition and would not just rely on Rhaenys to bail him out as he had been wont to do. King Aemon had just two children, his eldest child Rhaenys was a fierce and strong lady who took no prisoners, she had always been an assertive child but bonding with Meleys as a young girl had only strengthened her resolve, she was also smart and cunning and knew how to play the game. Aemon's only son, known as Aemon the younger, was less impressive, oh he was smart alright, but he did not seem to use that brain of his as often as he perhaps should do. He relied far too much on his might and muscle as well as his sister's intelligence to help him through difficult situations. He supposed that was what came from having been a rider of the Black Dread whilst the dragon still lived. But as they all sat down, Aemon pushed those thoughts from his head and said clearly. "I thank you all for coming. The reason I have called you here, is that there have been some very interesting developments as of late within the kingdoms and within court itself. Lord Larys reports that, several different factions have formed. It appears there are those lords who wish to weaken the authority of the Iron Throne and perhaps even bring about their kingdoms independence. And as always there are those who wish to cause strife within the family to further their own ends."
Aemon waited for a moment and then silently breathed in relief when his son spoke. Aemon the younger's voice was calm and soft. "Aye, I too have been hearing about these factions developing father. The question who is leading which faction, and what could be done about them? After all grandfather lead the realm through decades long peace and prosperity. Who would be fool enough to end that? And all for something that they are given any way through lord Paramountship?"
Rhaenys spoke then her voice sharp. "It might not simply be the lord paramounts who are leading these factions brother. It could very well be those underlings of theirs who are pushing for these changes. After all we know very well that the Lannisters are always lapping at our feet for some sort of power and influence at court, and that their bannermen particularly the Reynes and the Tarbecks are always grumbling about what things were like before the conqueror came along. It is very likely that they are the ones leading those factions."
Aemon smiled at his daughter then and said. "Aye, that is very much the case. Lord Larys' reports state very clearly that Lords Reyne and Tarbeck are muttering to one another and whichever lords will listen to them, that perhaps they should push for independence. Of course, Lord Tygett assures me that he has no intention of ever allowing Reyne and Tarbeck from making any moves against the crown. Though his power is not as secure as I would like. We shall need to keep an eye on that situation to see where it goes. There is also more, Lord Larys reports that Lord Benjen Stark has been in talks with the Sistermen about forming an alliance for potentially breaking away from the Iron Throne as well."
Rhaenys speaks then. "Surely Stark would not be so foolish as to do that? The north might have defences by land, but by sea and air they are powerless to stop any sort of invasion force. Besides surely Lord Benjen would not think of turning against us, after all we are family."
Aemon grimaced then, as he remembered Vaella's face when she had cried in his arms once when he had visited her. She had been dead now for twelve years and Stark had never even bothered to send her bones home. "Benjen Stark is a cold hearted man, who will do as he pleases. We may very well have to remind him and the rest of the north, why it was Torrhen Stark knelt in the first place, otherwise there shall be unsustainable chaos in the north. The Sistermen shall have to be given a sharp lesson as well."
"What of Dorne?" Aemon's son asked. "What are those vipers planning on doing now that grandfather is dead?"
Boremund spoke then his voice harsh. "Those vipers have begun arming themselves once more. Lord Davos Caron has written to me with a stream of reports. It appears they intend to break the peace the conciliator worked so hard for in order to further their gains in both the Stormlands and the Reach. Alric Martell was never a patient man."
"So it will most likely come to war then?" Rhaenys asks.
Aemon sighs and replies. "Aye most likely my dear it will. Alric Martell and his lords are ready for a fight, father's patience was tested many times during his reign by the man. Now that father is gone, the Martells and the Dornish believe that they can claim the Dornish Marches and make off with whatever plunder and loot they can. I have notified Lord Tyrell and asked him to remain vigilant, but of course there are problems within the Reach that will demand his attention. And so it might be that we go to war with Dorne once more."
Aemon the younger perked up at that, and Aemon sighed internally. "A war you say father? Perhaps now will be the best chance to bring those vipers into the realm and end the constant tension that not even grandfather could end? If not by war perhaps by diplomacy, after all cousin Viserys has a six year old daughter, and Alric Martell has a son does he not? Why not suggest betrothing the two of them, and have them marry to seal the union?"
Aemon looked at his son and nodded. "Aye that idea does have merit, but of course, Alric will want one of his blood sat on the throne. And as you and your sister are wed, that option has gone out of the window. And the man will look to Daemon, and more strife could result from that then from anything else. So unfortunately that cannot be considered a valid option."
Aemon sees his son's face fall then, and wishes for a moment that things could be different, but of course some things are set in stone, and this is one of those issues he will not budge on. Rhaenys speaks then and says with a note of finality. "Then I guess it will be war."