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Twelve Years Later: 276 A.L.


Vaelarr breathed in the salty air around Duskendale and sighed, the town had been the scene for the last conflict Vaelarr had fought in some sixteen years ago against his father's cousin Aenar Targaryen that battle had ended in Vaelarr killing Aenar, and being proclaimed a hero. This upcoming battle Vaelarr felt would have some rather different outcomes. Vaelarr had ridden to Duskendale along with his brother and king, the knights of the Kingsguard and 1000 men to teach Lord Darklyn a lesson, the current Lord of Duskendale had been causing problems for months now, by refusing to pay taxes and demanding a new charter of rights of his people, the charter was not the problem it was the fact that Lord Darklyn was refusing outright to pay taxes that had caused the Iron Throne to act. It was widely believed at court that Lord Darklyn was being led around by his cock by his Myrish wife the Lady Serala, and that she was the reason for his refusal to cooperate with the Iron Throne. At first a peaceful solution had been looked for and when none had been forthcoming it had become apparent that the only way to be able to solve this matter would be to fight. Aerys had of course in his growing attempts to distance himself from Tywin had decided to lead the assault on Duskendale against all reasonable advice, including the fact that Ser Symon Hollard had even killed Ser Albar Tarly of the Kingsguard when the man had come with their cousin Baelor to try and rectify any disputes. Vaelarr had a sneaking suspicion that Aerys was so adamant about leading the assault because he wished for the glory that had been denied to him during their teenage years growing up, Vaelarr only hoped that nothing bad would happen to his brother, for with Aerys leading the assault only two Knights of the Kingsguard were left in the capital to guard the royal family Ser Oswell Whent and Ser Tybold Royce.

Vaelarr was taken out of his reverie when he heard Ser Gerold blow his war horn signalling the beginning of the assault. Vaelarr raised his mace and began his charge down the streets of Duskendale, it was not long before men wearing the colours of House Darklyn came out to meet the royalist charge, Vaelarr soon found himself swinging his mace left and right and found himself swatting enemies down like flies, as they failed to breach his armour. He continued swinging his mace bathing the streets of Duskendale in the blood of men, and continued riding through the streets till he found himself face to face with Lord Hollard himself, Lord Hollard had ridden with Vaelarr when he had fought Aenar, and Vaelarr considered him to be a friend, and felt a bout of sadness hit him as he rode forward to meet Lord Hollard's charge, the sound of sword and mace clanging together rang through the street as the two men broke apart and began the dance again, Vaelarr managing to strike dents into Lord Hollard's armour, whilst Lord Hollard managed to cut and break Vaelarr's skin in several places drawing blood, eventually Vaelarr swung his mace in an big arc and brought it crashing down with such force that when it connected with Lord Hollard's head it knocked Lord Hollard of off his horse and knocked him to the ground dead. Vaelarr rode on and soon found himself face to face with Steffon Hollard and Robin Hollard both sons of Lord Hollard, and both of whom advanced on Vaelarr with great pace, and swung their swords at Vaelarr at the same time so that he found himself raising his shield to block Steffon Hollard's swing on his left side and raising his mace to block Robin Hollard's swing from his right side. As they moved their weapons away from him, Vaelarr took a minute to assess where their weak points could be, Steffon had a gap in between his breast and shoulder plates where there was a big gap of pale white skin exposed, Robin was not wearing a helm, so if he could deal with Steffon first Vaelarr could then put all of his strength into dealing with Robin. Vaelarr's musings were interrupted by the Hollard brothers resuming their attack on him, Vaelarr managed to duck Steffon's swing, and managed to elbow him in the chest causing Steffon to sway on his horse, and with his right hand Vaelarr managed to swing his mace toward Robin and managed to knock the wind out of him. Vaelarr then moved back as he swung his mace again knocking Steffon Hollard of off his horse, then moved forwards and swung his mace to his right and knocked Robin Hollard down to the floor dead. Steffon Hollard it seemed though was not quite done with Vaelarr, for as soon as Robin fell to the ground dead, Steffon began swinging his sword like a mad man, Vaelarr managed to block some of his blows but others connected and drew more blood from him, soon Vaelarr found himself on the ground duelling Steffon Hollard on foot, his horse having been killed by a sword blow to the throat. Both men paced in a circle round each other, before Steffon lunged forward and swung his sword Vaelarr managed to deflect the blow with his mace, and then swung his mace and managed to hit Steffon in the cheek with it causing blood to fly out of Steffon's face. Steffon then cut Vaelarr in the ribs, his armour managing to reduce the overall impact of the blow, though it still managed to open up a fresh wound on Vaelarr's body. Vaelarr swung his mace once more this time managing to knock Steffon's sword out of his hand and before Steffon Hollard could reach out for it, Vaelarr punched him in the jaw and then swung his mace and hit him in the cheek causing blood to fly from his mouth and for hi to fall to his knees then to the ground face first, dead.

Vaelarr looked around for the knights of the Kingsguard as well as for his brother, he couldn't see them and as he tried to contain a bout of panic, he swung his way through the scores of Darklyn and Hollard men that were in his path, the cobbled streets of Duskendale were awash with blood of men and horse alike, Vaelarr caught a glimpse of a white cloak out of the corner of his eye to his right hand side and made his way in that direction, just as he was about to find his brother, a hand grabbed his right ankle, Vaelarr raised his mace ready to strike down whoever it was who had grabbed him before he looked down and saw himself looking down into the bloodshot eyes of his mentor Ser Serwyn Oakheart. Vaelarr lowered his mace and bent down to see what he could do for his friend, Ser Serwyn opened his mouth and coughed out blood before managing to choke out "M-m-m-my prince, The King is in t-t-t-t-t-t-rouble, he is i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-njured, Lord Darklyn." Vaelarr tried to speak but his mentor had another coughing fit before he eventually closed his eyes, Ser Serwyn Oakheart one of the truest men Vaelarr had ever known was dead. Vaelarr let out a terrifying howl, and laid his mentor down to rest on the ground before he swung his mace with renewed vigour cutting down men left right and centre, he would later realise that he had killed the two eldest sons of Lord Darklyn during his angry swinging as well as Ser Symon Hollard the man who had killed Ser Gwayne Gaunt of the Kingsguard. Vaelarr soon found himself standing next to Ser Barristan Selmy and Ser Jonothor Darry of the Kingsguard when he caught no site of his brother he turned to them and said "Where is the king?" Ser Barristan reply that the king had been injured and had been escorted a safe distance away by Ser Gerold and the rest of the Kingsguard, reassured Vaelarr, but any reassurances were short lived when he soon found himself face to face with the cause of the current fighting, Lord Denys Darklyn, looked terrified making it seem quite clear that his men were losing and he feared retribution, as he rightly should. Vaelarr had no time to offer the man the chance to surrender now, all he wanted was revenge for his fallen friend and hero, breaking through the ranks of men separating them, Vaelarr let out a roar of challenge and charged at Lord Darklyn swinging his mace like a man possessed Vaelarr managed to land several blows to Darklyn's body for everyone that Darklyn landed on his, eventually Vaelarr swung the killing blow, his mace smashed into Darklyn's right cheek at such speed and force that the man's whole face caved in and as he fell to the ground Vaelarr could tell that he was dead.

A few hours later Vaelarr found himself in the great hall of the Dun Fort the seat of House Darklyn, once it had become apparent that their Lord and Lord Hollard were dead the men of both houses had been more than willing to surrender in the hopes of avoiding severe reprimand. Aerys had been brought from a tent on the outskirts of the town bandaged and in a foul mood, Vaelarr himself was heavily bandaged and had been advised by the Darklyn's maester that perhaps he should avoid moving for a few days, bugger that he had said he was a prince of the blood, and the Darklyns had been disobedient he had lost men and his oldest friend to them, he watch them be punished. Vaelarr waited and watched, Lady Serala had been dragged from her rooms, where it had turned out she had been fornicating with one of her guards, her youngest and only surviving son had been dragged from his lessons with the maester and brought to the great hall and now all in the room were waiting for King Aerys to speak.

When his brother did eventually speak it was in a high and shrill voice, the voice Vaelarr had heard him speak in during bouts of madness not a good sign. "Houses Darklyn and Hollard have been very, very bad, they refused to pay their taxes to the Iron Throne and rose up in rebellion against the Iron Throne. This is a crime punishable by death. Lady Serala many believe that you are responsible for this conflict, if this is so then as King, we have the right to execute you and your son and give your lands to a more deserving house."

Lady Serala whimpered but said nothing. Aerys continued " Because of Lord Darklyn's foolery many innocent men lost their lives today, we believe that the death of so many innocent men as well as the deaths of Lord Darklyn and Hollard as well as their sons and heirs, should serve as ample punishment for the rest of their houses, we believe that there is no need for further punishment, so long as Houses Darklyn and Hollard renew their fealty to the Iron Throne and promise to never rise up in rebellion again, to ensure that they uphold this pledge we shall take Robb Darklyn the new Lord of Darklyn as a ward, who shall return to Duskendale upon coming of age in four years time."

Lady Serala, Vaelarr noticed had ceased whimpering and seemed almost thankful for the pardon that Aerys was giving her she seemed to suddenly remember that she needed to verbally agree to what Aerys was saying for the terms to be recognised, and so speaking in what Vaelarr assumed she thought was her most bashful and obedient voice she said "Your Grace is most merciful, House Darklyn most humbly agrees to the terms of our pardon and promise to never again rise up against the Iron Throne."

"House Hollard also agrees to these terms."Vaelarr heard Cortnay Hollard the old uncle of Robin and Steffon Hollard say. The threat of Duskendale had been dealt with, peace was back to the realm but at what cost and for how long?