Four Month of 283 A.C. : Tower of Joy

Prince Daeron Targaryen

By the gods was it hot in Dorne, his goodsister's homeland was a sweltering place even in the midst of one of the harshest winters Westeros had ever known. The tower where they were all staying, where his fool of a brother had insisted they stay was nothing more than a watch post, designed by the Dornish in the days when the Seven Kingdoms were just that, and as such it had lots of things that would serve as defences but no sources of food or water. And so Ser Arthur and Ser Oswell would often have to ride to nearby villages to procure these supplies and would often come back speaking of the tales the villagers were talking of, tales that seemed more and more untrue as the days went on, tales of war and of a spurned man fighting for his lady love. Daeron himself knew not why they were here, all he knew was that as Rhaegar's squire he had had to aid his brother in his quest to abduct Lyanna Stark as she had made her way towards Riverrun for her brother's wedding. Daeron had protested vigorously at this and had said it would bring nothing but trouble, but his brother had insisted saying that the 'dragon must have three heads.' Of the girl herself Daeron held little opinion, she was wild yes, but more of an annoyance than anything.

"My Prince?" the voice of Ser Oswell Whent of the Kingsguard took him from his thoughts. Daeron looked up and nodded for the man to continue. "Prince Rhaegar wishes for your presence downstairs."

Daeron nods, stands up and follows the man to the place where they took their meals. He looks at his brother and sees Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Gerold Hightower, the sight of Ser Gerold is surprising. "You summoned me brother?"

His brother looked tired, no doubt from his exploits with his she wolf. "Yes, Ser Gerold has news of Westeros that I thought you should know brother."

Daeron looks to Ser Gerold, and the white bull takes a breath and then says. "I have been sent by your father, his grace King Aerys. Both of you are summoned back to King's Landing, Prince Rhaegar to lead the king's armies, and Prince Daeron to help in the defence of the royal family."

"What?" Daeron asks. "Why does Rhaegar need to lead the king's armies? Who are we at war with?"

Ser Gerold is silent for a moment and then says. "Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark. They called their banners after King Aerys called for their heads. Stark's brother, Brandon had come to King's Landing some two weeks after you all disappeared, calling for Prince Rhaegar to come out and die. The king had him arrested, for threatening the life of the crown prince, and then summoned Lord Brandon's father along with the fathers of the man's companions. Lord Rickard demanded a trial by combat to have his son's name cleared, and Aerys in his madness had the man burned and his son and heir choked to death. We are at war."

The words of the Lord Commander hit Daeron like a thunderstorm, the kingdom at war again, and for what? His father's madness and his brother's lusts. He turns to his brother and says. "This, this is all your fault Rhaegar. I warned you that something like this might happen. Did you not know what would happen should you take Baratheon's betrothed? Brandon Stark was a hot head the whole kingdom knew that, and yet you still had to take the Stark girl? And for what?"

His brother is silent and then merely says. "The prophecy said that there must be three heads of the dragon, and so I took Lyanna Stark. She will give me my Visenya."

"And what of Elia and your children brother? Did you stop to spare a thought for them? Robert Baratheon is a dangerous man even when not angered, and our father is not exactly the sanest of men right now. Is your damnable prophecy worth their lives?" Daeron asked, his anger growing.

"Sometimes when one wishes to achieve something of import, things must be sacrificed for the greater good." Rhaegar responds.

At that Daeron's patience snaps and he stands up and walks across to his brother and punches him square in the face. "You are no true dragon. You are a coward and a craven, spending your time fucking the Stark girl. Are you even going to tell her?"

At this his brother hesitates, and Daeron sees something of the older brother who used to play with him before Harrenhal. "I… I do not want to upset her. She, she has begun missing home as of late, and I do not want to worsen it."

Daeron snorts then and says. "She is no child brother. You saw to that, she is no maiden. She knew what she was doing when she fled with you, and now she should face the consequences of her actions. If you will not tell her, I will, and you know that I will not be as indirect as you might be brother. Even if she is your wife now."

His brother's eyes narrow then and he asks. "You dislike her so much that you would not even give her the chance to know some more happiness before the world comes back to life for her? For us?"

Daeron grits his teeth then and says. "Your head is in the clouds if you still think life has not come back for us brother. Ser Gerold's news has done just that. And if it came between choosing, Elia and my niece and nephew and my brothers and mother, over some girl from the north whom I do not like. I would go for my family any day. For Lyanna Stark shall never any family of mine."

"Very well then brother." Rhaegar says coldly. "You shall remain here, and I shall go and speak with Lyanna."

With that Rhaegar stands and goes to leave, but before he can so much as head for the stairs Ser Gerold speaks then. "There was one more thing my prince. King Aerys has demanded that you return as soon as possible to King's Landing, both you and Prince Daeron. He also said that if the Stark girl was with you, that I should bring her with me. Or better yet kill her."

His brother stops and looks at the lord commander, fire in his eyes and he asks. "You shall be doing neither Ser Gerold. My father does not possess enough of his senses to go about making such an order. More than likely he would have forgotten what he said by the time you left King's Landing." Ser Gerold clearly looks uncomfortable for Rhaegar says. "I shall go back to King's Landing as shall my brother, but Princess Lyanna remains here."

With that Rhaegar turns and walks up the stairs to where he and Lyanna spend most of their time. Daeron and the three white knights are silent for some time before Daeron asks. "The war, how does it go?"

Ser Gerold sighs then. "Not well my prince, not well at all. Robert Baratheon has defeated the royalist armies of the Stormlands, and managed to evade Mace Tyrell at Ashford. At the Stoney Sept a host commanded by Connington was beaten by the rebel alliance. Connington exiled, and Ser Barristan and Ser Jonothor sent out to bring the remnants of the crown's army back to King's Landing to await for Prince Rhaegar. Prince Lewyn has been sent to bring the Dornish spears to join the army the king is assembling."

"Has word been sent to Casterly Rock?" Daeron asked.

"No my prince. His Grace fears Lord Tywin and does not wish to summon him." Ser Gerold says.

Daeron is about to respond when they hear shouting and screaming coming from above, clearly Rhaegar has just broken the news to his lady. Daeron snorts then and says. "It seems Rhaegar is finally seeing the claws of his lady." No one laughs and as the shouting gets louder, Daeron asks. "How are my brothers doing? And my lady mother?"

"Well, Prince Aegon improves with the sword each day. Princes Jaehaerys and Viserys are growing stronger each day." Ser Gerold responds.

Daeron is about to ask something else, when Rhaegar comes down, his cheek bleeding, he looks slightly stunned. "She did not take the news well. I suggest we leave her be for some time." He says sitting down.

Daeron snorts then and asks. "How did you expect her to take it brother? Your foolishness has cost her the lives of her brother and father. She was not like to thank you was she?"

His brother grits his teeth then and asks. "Ser Gerold when did my father ask for us to return?"

"As soon as possible. He said that I was to come with you and see to it that nothing else happened apart from both of you coming back to King's Landing." Ser Gerold says.

Rhaegar smiles then, and Daeron wonders why he seems so pleased with himself. "Ah but Ser Gerold you shall not be coming back with us. I need the three of you to defend this tower should anyone else learn of it and who is here. Princess Lyanna and our unborn child must be defended at all costs."

"But my prince! The king has ordered me to return and I cannot disobey an order." Ser Gerold protests.

Rhaegar says. "You swore a vow to me before Harrenhal, stating that I was the one you served not my father. Do you intend to go back on that vow now Ser?"

Ser Gerold looks as if he wishes to punch Rhaegar, and Daeron cannot deny that he shares a similar urge. Still the man merely says. "I will not go back on that vow Your Grace. And shall do as asked."

This time Ser Arthur voices a protest. "But my prince, you would be bettered served if we fought alongside you. We can aid in defeating Robert Baratheon and ending this rebellion. We will do no good sat here in this infernal tower."

Rhaegar smiles. "You will do what you are sworn to do. Protect the royal family, and the girl in Lyanna's womb is more important any one save Aegon and Rhaenys. For she is the third head of the dragon and she will play a part in saving our world. You shall stay here."

At this Daeron speaks. "Surely it would be better for Ser Gerold to return with us? Or if not him surely either Ser Arthur or Ser Oswell? Leave one knight to guard Lady Lyanna and the other two can come and fight alongside you brother. There is no need for all three."

His brother shakes his head. "I shall allow one knight to come with us, no more. Ser Gerold, since it was you my father sent out, you shall return with us and that is that."

That decided they spend the next two days making plans for their return to King's Landing, and Rhaegar begins instructing Arthur and Oswell with what to do should he fall in battle. That his brother never once mentions Elia or their children infuriates Daeron, has his brother forgotten his duty so much? It seems to be so when he expends more energy on ensuring Lyanna Stark cannot leave after her first and only failed escape attempt, than he does in thinking on Elia and her children. Daeron can hear the arguments his brother and his whore have after that, and later when he sees Lyanna with red eyes he feels nothing but scorn for her, she brought this on herself, and he will not join her pity party.

They leave and arrive in King's Landing, Ser Gerold by their side some three weeks later, to find the army their father assembled waiting for them camped in the Kingswood. When they arrive in the throne room their father takes one look at them and says. "So at last my boys have returned from the she wolf's lair. Now go and kill the scum."