10th Month of 299 A.C. King's Landing
High King Aegon VI Targaryen
Aegon was convinced he had done the right thing by giving his uncle the horn. He had to be, otherwise it would all have been for nothing. The lies, the fighting, the intrigue, all of it depended on his visions being right. If they were wrong, well then he had doomed the realms to the poison that was his uncle and that was not something he wanted to have on his conscious. There was already much and more blood on his conscious truth be told, the lies he was telling his wife was something that pained him. Arianne, he cared for her, he did, and yet there was much and more that ate away at him, and there was something there, he thought she might suspect him, and the two faced lies he told, but that might not be. Who knows what goes inside that woman's head, for he surely does not.
Shaking his head to drive such thoughts out of his mind he turns to Ser Arthur, his ever faithful companion and says. "All is well within the city tonight Ser?"
The Sword of the Morning nods. "Yes Your Grace. It seems that the city watch has finally learned to keep control over itself and the new found order is slowly settling in."
"Good." He replies, and then sighing he says. "It is a shame that it will not last forever. Perhaps if things were different I could right the wrongs that my father and grandfather placed on the people. But alas, destiny has decided for me what my fate is to be, and I cannot allow that to change."
"You could fight it Your Grace." The knight says. "Nothing is ever set in stone until we make it so. Do you want to die?"
Aegon laughs then, a bitter sound. "No man wants to die Ser. Any who claim differently are fools and liars. But I know what my choice must be. I made it when I gave Stark the horn, and as such I will not go back on my word now."
"Why did you give Stark the horn? It is not clear that the horn truly works, for all we know it could do something else and then you might well be needed Your Grace." The knight says.
Aegon knows what the man is doing, and he loves him for it, and yet he knows that he cannot be swayed from this, he must not allow himself to be swayed. "What is done is done Ser Arthur. There is no need to question it. I did what I thought needed to be done, to ensure that the realm is secure, and that the world is safe. I cannot leave the kingdoms in Viserys hands, you know what he is."
"And yet, what is there to say you would leave it in his hands Your Grace?" the sword of the morning asks. "There is nothing apart from some dusty old tome written centuries before any of us were a thought in the clouds let alone born. Surely you believe that one can make their own destinies."
Aegon looks at the knight and sighs once more. "I wish that were true old friend, but there is much and more that is out of our control. I do not want to stop the tides as they come, for doing so would bring destruction, just as it did when my father took my mother. We both know the Starks have the power to hold the realm, far better than my family does. Our time came and went, my ancestor King Aegon knew that when he entered the fires of Summerhall. Some called it madness, and others called it sanity, all I know is that whatever he did, it was the right thing to do."
The sword of the morning tries another tact. "What of your child Your Grace? Would you leave her for dead, simply to fulfil a prophecy?"
"There is no child Arthur. Arianne might be carrying, or she might well be dead in the womb, I do not know. Regardless, my line ends with me. Daenerys is fighting her own losing battle, and soon enough we shall all be ended. Viserys in charge of the kingdoms is a terrifying thought." Aegon replies.
The knight sighs. "I suppose there is no point trying to stop you from going about this course of action, even if I do disapprove of it Your Grace. I am and always have been your man, and I will do what needs to be done, to ensure that your will is seen to. But pray tell me, when this all done and dusted, what of my oath to you? What becomes of that?"
"Fight for Stark, do not resist. Your family knows the ancient tales, do not resist them. Embrace them and ensure that Oswell does as well. They are the future, just as they were the past when my family was young to this world. Ensure that others follow them as well, otherwise only despair will come from resisting them." Aegon replies.
"Was it wise giving Stark the horn? You saw just as I did the darkness that was within him, how he looked as if he ached for the horn and the power it would give him. Is that such a good thing? To look and know that you have given a man the tool to destroy the world?" the knight asks.
Aegon sighs then. "Destroy it? Or create it anew? Eddard Stark is no fool, nor are his sons. There will come a time when it will become apparent why I do as I do. For now though, you may retire, and should Viserys come this way allow him to enter. I will not cower behind white shields when my death comes for me, as it surely will."
The knight bows. "Of course Your Grace." With that he stands and begins walking out of the room to stand guard outside. He pauses before opening the door, turning toward Aegon he says. "Your father would be very proud of you." Aegon nods and the knight opens the door and walks out.
Aegon sits there alone, his mind wandering, there is so much more that he wants to do, and so very little time to do it in. He has always wanted to be a father, and yet he knows he will never live to see his child born. There is one thing he has not told Arthur, or Oswell, and it is that, Viserys is not how he would die, his uncle is many things, but he is not a kinslayer. Viserys has done all he can to ensure their family is restored to power, it would make no sense for him to try and kill Aegon, but then again, the man's mind has not been quite the same. Then there is the secret he has carried for so very long, one he doubts even Stark knows, and that is what haunts him the most, carrying this burden for so very long, it has begun eating away at him, ensuring that he does not sleep at night. His uncle is in the north, and yet Aegon cannot speak with him, cannot tell him just how sorry he is, because to do so, would mean a death in the way he is not supposed to die, and that, well that would be most unfortunate.
The sound of footsteps draws him from his dark and troubled thoughts, he looks up to see a cloaked figure walking toward him, a hood drawn up, though he has never met the figure before him, he suspects he knows. "And you are the phantom of the Red Keep, have you come to greet me? Or to mock me?"
The figure does not speak for a moment, walking closer toward him, before it stops within arm's reach. Its voice is deep. "Neither, I have come to talk Your Majesty."
"Talk?" he asks. "Talk about what?"
"About this, about why you are so willing to die." the voice replies.
Aegon looks at the figure and says. "I do not have to give my reasons to you. You are nothing but a phantom."
"Ah but I have the power to trouble all those who stand there against my work. And you Sire have the greatest potential for doing such a thing." The voice replies. "After all, you were never meant to sit the throne. You realise that do you not? The eunuch never wanted you on the throne, he wanted one who bore your name to sit it, and yet what happened to that boy?"
An image of a boy with silver hair and violet eyes flits through his mind. "Dead. I killed the false pretender, I ensured that my line would not be supplemented by theirs."
"And where has the eunuch gone since then? Do you know?" the voice asks.
"He is rotting within the deepest and darkest hell. Where the dragons don't even wish to go." Aegon replies confidently.
"Ah, but you see, that is where your arrogance has come to haunt you. The man was never there, he escaped long before your uncle came to speak with you about the horn." The voice replies.
"What? How could you know that?" Aegon asks sounding shocked. "Varys has been locked within a cell for some time now."
"I know because I saw him escape, one could argue I even helped him to escape. Chaos is much more fun when such a thing is being done to allow things to happen. And yet should you meet my demand I would have the man killed, so that he could not trouble you anymore." The figure replies.
"And what is your demand?" Aegon asks, though he suspects he knows what it will be.
"You claim to know when you will die, and who will do it. I want to know how you, you who never knew of the true magics could know. How could you know so much about this when so many others have floundered when looking for the truth?" the voice asks.
Aegon smirks then. "So you do not know everything you claim to? A surprise for one known as the phantom, that one's knowledge on such a subject such as this is so lacking. I would have thought you would be basking in its glow?"
"I know more things than you can dream of boy." The voice replies curtly. "But I want to know how you know about this. It is not every day that someone goes actively seeking out their death, let alone a king."
"I am not your average person." Aegon replies the smirk still on his face. "But I wanted to know, so that when the time came, I would be ready to face it. I could look whoever was my assailant in the eye and know that I would not balk from doing what needed to be done. I am not my father."
"And it is that which has driven you for so very long now is it not my king?" the figure enquires. "The desire to be unlike your father, to marry your cousin, who is not your cousin. Doing all you can to ensure that your father's mistakes and slights towards the Martells are rectified, all the while, knowing deep down that you are actually making the same mistakes he made. The Starks are still getting the same preferential treatment from you that they got from him. It is that which will be your downfall."
This confuses Aegon. "What do you mean? My downfall has not yet begun, my uncle has not done anything to ascertain where I might yet go."
"And there we have it. You think you are beyond the same faults your father was, but in truth you are not. You are merely another pawn in this great game." the figure replies, drawing forth a sharp object from its robes.
Aegon sees this and then replies. "So you are the one who has come to do the deed?"
The man merely says. "For my sister I would do anything. I will not let you insult her memory again, traitor." And with that Aegon feels the cold press of steel into his throat before blood spills and darkness engulfs him. The quickness of the man's movements makes him think of a viper.