11th Month of 283 A.C. King's Landing

King Aerys II Targaryen

The war had been raging for a year, the result of the foolish decisions he had made, he could not remember what had happened, his mind had been plagued with darkness, a darkness that had been consuming him, tearing him in half, trying desperately to try and prevent him from seeing sense. It had nagged at him, tearing him in two, until there was nothing left of him. Somehow he had come back, back from the darkness, and the cover of insanity, but it seemed as though it was too late. There were things he could not remember, things that he was not sure, he wanted to remember, and still, they moved forward, doing all that could be done to try and right the wrongs. Aerys was not sure if it could be done or not.

"What is it?" he asks, looking at Qarlton Chelstead, the Hand of the King, finding himself wondering why he named the man Hand of the King, the man is distinctly lacking in common sense.

The man shifts from one foot to another, his voice stuttering as he speaks. "Word has come from the Trident Your Grace."

Aerys feels his attention come into focus then, the Trident, he had sent the boy to the Trident, his son. "And?" he asks, impatience growing within him.

Chelstead shakes slightly as he thinks of the best way to respond, eventually he speaks. "The rebels won Your Grace. Prince Rhaegar is dead, slain by Robert Baratheon."

Aerys feels as if a hammer has hit him, he is not sure how to feel. His firstborn son is dead, slain by Steffon's son, gone, just like that, gone, dead. "What of the Kingsguard, where were they when my son needed them?"

Once more Chelstead shifts uncomfortably, and then he says. "Ser Gerold Hightower died trying to reach the Prince. Ser Lewyn Martell was slain by Corbray."

"And Ser Barristan? What happened to the Bold?" Aerys asks, feeling the desperation in him grow.

"He was badly wounded Your Grace; it seems that he has bent the knee to Robert Baratheon." Chelstead responds.

Aerys feels another blow come then. Barristan the Bold turning traitor? No that cannot be right, surely Chelstead is mistaken. He looks at the man, but sees nothing but fear and grief on the man's face, somewhere, in some deep dark corner of his mind, the madness wants to come rearing back, to sneer and roar. He fights it down, and says. "I see." A pause, and then he says. "You may leave." Chelstead bows and hurries out of the throne room, leaving Aerys to sit atop the throne and ponder. His firstborn son is dead, he feels a mixture of grief and anger, his son was always a dreamer, his actions with the Stark girl prove that, his son was not ready for the crown he so obviously coveted, Tywin had corrupted his son, turned him against him. Aerys stands, and calls out. "Ser Jonothor."

The knight, a loyal man turns. "Yes Your Grace?" the man asks.

"Get my wife." Aerys commands. The man nods and walks off, returning a few moments with Rhaella, Aerys sister and his wife, his companion throughout all of this. He looks at her sadness engulfing him once more, whatever else Rhaegar was, he was their son. He walks down the steps of the throne, and sees Rhaella flinch slightly, he feels anger grow inside of him, anger at the madness that had taken so much of his life. "Rhaegar is dead." he says as he comes to stand before her.

Rhaella looks as if she wants to deny it, to call him a liar, but she must see something in his face for she nods and then cries. He embraces her and whispers soothing words into her hair, his heart breaking again and again. He did not care for Rhaegar, at least he thinks he did not, not when Rhaegar was plotting, but he remembers the boy his son used to be, the boy who would come running to him to ask for help. That boy is dead. Aerys pulls back from his wife, and wipes a tear from her face. His wife asks. "What happens next?"

Aerys takes a deep breath, the Dornish did not do anything, and as much as he might have ambivalent feelings for Elia and her children, he does not think they can rally the loyalists. "You and Viserys shall leave for Dragonstone. Ser Jonothor shall go with you."

"What about you?" Rhaella asks, and it must be a sign of how grief stricken she is that she does not immediately demand that Elia and the children go with her.

"I will remain here. I am the King; I cannot leave now." Aerys responds.

The question comes then. "What about Elia and the children? They should come with us. Aegon is your heir now."

Aerys shakes his head. "No, they must remain here. Elia cannot travel, I know she is too frail to leave, and I shall not separate the children from their mother. Viserys is my heir from now on."

He thinks Rhaella will protest this, but instead she merely nods. "Very well." He kisses the top of her head, and then watches her leave, to prepare.

He summons the council a few moments later, and formally announce. "Viserys is my heir, he is Prince of Dragonstone." He signs a document with the announcement, and then gives it to Ser Jonothor, telling the man that he is now going to be guarding the future King. Ser Jaime remains in the Red Keep. The next few hours are a blur, Aerys does not remember much of it, the grief and the rage filling every single fibre of his being. Eventually though he finds his way to bed, and Rhaella is there, and they make love. As night changes into day, he looks at her sleeping form and feels a heaviness to his being, he knows he will not live to see his son or his wife, or the child they have made there and then.

The morning comes, his wife and son are dressed in their finery, Ser Jonothor Darry is there, alongside some thirty servants and guards. He kneels before his son and says. "You are the Targaryen now Viserys. It is your duty to protect your mother. Do you understand me?"

His son looks back at him and nods. "I do father. I will protect mother."

He kisses the top of his son's head and says. "Good, now go, and be the man I know you can be."

He nods to Rhaella unable to say goodbye to her, he watches them board the ship, and then stands there until the ship departs from his vision. Eventually, he returns to the Red Keep, calling to Ser Jaime. "Now come with me Ser, I have something to tell you." The darkness comes back, and he knows that there might be something more to come.