Four Months Later
Snow lay on the ground like a thick blanket and continued to fall even during the late hours of the night. Because of the snow and the cold weather the ranging party had had to set up camp on the edge of the Frostfangs much earlier than they would have liked, for the Frostfangs were still home to some very, very unruly and uncooperative Wildlings who would likely find any excuse to come plunging out of their hiding places and kill all who were camped in their homes. The campsite itself was one thing to behold a thousand or more tents littered the snow covered ground with a few fires alight to signal life within the campsite as well as to signal that men were on watch despite the freezing cold weather and the bare visibility, in order to ensure that the men were not subject to a surprise attack in the middle of the night. Warnings could be issued through the fires or by a horn blast, but the horn blast would more than likely attract more white walkers or wights, so it had been decided by the commanders that the fires would be the perfect way to warn those on watch of an upcoming assault.
Inside one of the tents camped out on the Frostfangs, Edwyn Stark King of the North and the Trident slept not peacefully but not fitfully either, for he dreamed of events passed and some yet to come : On his last day in Winterfell before they had marched north to the wall, he had spent most of the morning in bed with Margaery simply kissing her and making love to her, she had looked so very, very radiant and beautiful that Edwyn had had a hard time keeping his hands of off her, it was perhaps after the fourth time they had made love that morning when Margaery had eventually pulled herself out of his embrace, and she had had the most wicked of smiles when she looked at him and saw his mouth about to form a protestation, she had kissed the protestation away and then had said "You had best come back to me my King, my winter knight. You had best come back to me if you want more. You had best come back to me for our child for your family my love." Edwyn had hurried to promise that he would try his very, very best to come back to her, to their family and had kissed her again until they were both breathless and boneless with pleasure. Eventually they had had to get up and deal with the inevitable fact that he would be riding north for battle once more in a few hours time. The remaining time that he had had in Winterfell had been spent over seeing the loading of wagons for food and such as well as sending of the men who would be marching with him to the wall, Edwyn had wanted to be the last through the gates so that he could have one last moment with his family before he too had to leave. He had picked Rickon up and had spun him around causing his little brother to laugh with glee, before putting him down and telling him that he was the Lord of Winterfell now until Edwyn returned and that it was his duty to ensure that their family was safe, and to ensure that he didn't cause mother or Margaery too many problems. He'd then embraced Arya and made her promise to look out for Rickon and their family and that Brienne would be giving her and Rickon sword fighting lessons when she had time. He'd then said farewell to his mother and had asked her to stay well and healthy and that he would see her when he came back. He'd then asked Brienne to look after his family and ensure nothing bad happened to them. Finally he had kissed Margaery goodbye and had promised that he would do his best to return to her. He had then ridden out of the gates of Winterfell with his men to the wall.
It had taken them two months to reach Castle Black due to the heavy snow fall on the ground, upon their arrival at the home of the Night's Watch though they were greeted by a depressing sight. The remnants of a battle were evident for all to see, dead bodies lay on the ground with pools of blood staining the snow on the ground red, and fires were everywhere men were burning the dead as quickly as possible when Jon had ridden out to join them, he had been heavily bandaged and had told them how there had been a ferocious battle at Castle Black some three days before their arrival, of how the White Walkers and their thralls the wights had mounted a storming of the Walls and how some of the wights had managed to climb over the walls but of how the White Walkers could not. Jon had gone on to tell Edwyn and his commanders, in the safety of the Lord Commander's solar of how the white walkers were able to use some sort of magic to cause the dead to rise up again as wights, and how the only plausible way to defeat the wights or the White Walkers was through using fire or using dragonglass or dragon or Valyrian Steel. This revelation had been met with several hours of discussion until it was finally decided that the northern forces would be best put to use by splitting them amongst the three main castle of the Night's Watch considering that was where the majority of the White Walker attacks were happening. So it had been agreed that 1500 men would march under the leadership of Lords Umber and Karstark the Shadow Tower whilst 1500 men would march under the leadership of Lords Ryswell and Cerwyn to Eastwatch by Sea the remaining 2000 men would remain under Edwyn's command. After the lords had made their way over to their new holdings, Edwyn and Jon had sat and discussed many things such as events in the rest of Westeros as well the dreams Jon had been having of a dragon with green and bronze scales living deep in the lands of snow and ice, Edwyn had been tempted then to tell Jon who his true parents were, but did not have the heart nor did he think it was his place to tell him. Eventually when it became clear that there were to be no White Walker attacks on Castle Black again, Jon and Edwyn had decided to lead ranging north of the Wall to see if they could defeat the White Walkers before they came south, and perhaps even find out where they came from as well. So off they had march Edwyn, Jon, Lord Howland, Ned Wull, Alysanne Mormont, Rodrik Flint and three thousand men north they had marched, and at their first stop for camping on the Fist of the First Men they had been ambushed by the reanimated corpses of a thousand wildlings, who had managed to kill roughly 500 of their men before eventually being defeated. The burning of the bodies had taken from first light till sunset, and still the fires had been left raging to scare away anymore wights.
Edwyn's dreams shifted now, he was in Storm's body now he knew, hunting looking for prey, of which there had been little since the ranging had started some two moons ago. But this time a scent he had picked up, it was not the familiar scent of man, nor the welcome scent of prey, no this was the horrible and dangerous scent of the not dead creatures that now prowled these lands, and it was close dangerously close. He inched closer to the scent and hid behind a bush covered in snow, and whimpered at what he saw thousands upon thousands of wights were marching their slow dreadful march south, and at their head were six of the biggest White Walkers the boy had ever seen riding on the back of giant ice spiders and unicorns.
In his tent in the Frostfangs, Edwyn Stark shot up awake and sweating, he looked around the tent for one moment before turning to the sleeping figure of his brother- cousin- Jon Snow, nudging him awake, Edwyn turned to Jon and together they said in Unison "They're coming."
Aegon Targaryen the Sixth of his Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, King of the Seven Kingdoms and Lord Protector of the Realm was sat in the library of the Red Keep reading. Since the small council meeting had been dismissed for the day, and since his wife had asked if she could spend some time with her uncle and cousins who were visiting, Aegon had decided to spend some time in the biggest library in the Seven Kingdoms par the one kept in the citadel. Ever since he had been a little boy on the Shy Maid Aegon had been a deep reader, it was something that he apparently shared with his father, who had also been a deep reader as a young man. Of course Aegon was also aware that his father had been obsessed with prophecy, and that this unhealthy obsession had brought the seven kingdoms to its knees, but Aegon had no wish to follow in his father's footsteps in that regard for whilst there was as of yet no love between him and Arianne, he was certainly very, very fond of her and of course she was carrying his child so he wished to be there for his child and anymore children that he and Arianne may have, for though Jon and Lemore had been good foster parents, there had been times when Aegon had been younger when he had deeply resented his father for being such a blind foolish idiot to have thrown away everything he had with Aegon's mother, to run away with that Stark girl. Though of course he hardly said this to Jon, for he suspected that the feelings Jon had for his father were not just ones of friendship, he had of course once told Lemore his thoughts about his father when he had been in a very angry mood, and she had simply held him whilst he cried and asked her why his father had been such a fool. Looking back on it now Aegon supposed there was not much Lemore could say to comfort him on that issue for whilst she had been very, very good friends with Aegon's mother she had also been in love with Brandon Stark, the man who had been executed on Aegon's grandfather's orders for simply wanting to save his sister.
Aegon shook his head and brought his attention back to the book he was reading, it was a book that Lord Tyrion had given him for his nameday a few weeks back that he had not yet had the chance to read yet, it was about the Valyrian Freehold and the section he was currently reading was about the ancient Targaryen Fortress Dragonstone. The Valyrian Freehold had expanded rapidly by the time Dragonstone was raised 500 years before Aegon's Landing. The fortress it is widely believed was raised using the sorcery that had allowed the Valyrians to create their empire and create such imposing structures as the Red Temple in Volantis. One of the most famous aspects of the Fortress is the fact that there are several stone animals that can be found inside the fortress. It is the belief of many that these stone creatures are just that, stone creatures carved into the exact likeness of the animals they are supposed to represent be they dragons or sphinxes. However, there is another train of thought one for which there is sufficient evidence to support it that some of the stone creatures at least the stone dragons were at some point actual living breathing dragons. There is a rumour that the dragons that were used to help create Dragonstone, gave up their mortal existence to help give Dragonstone its shape and creation, for the magic that the Valyrians used often had a price of sacrifice and the dragons used to create Dragonstone had been alive on this earth for many hundreds of years, in fact the big stone dragon whose head can be found in the Room of the Painted Table, and whose tail finished in the great hall of Dragonstone it is rumoured was in fact the great dragon Arydian who had helped raise the first creations of the Freehold in the lands now known as Pentos, Lys, Tyrosh and Qarth some 800 years ago. Arydian was a blue dragon with a wingspan said to be between 100-120 feet wide, and was said to be big enough to swallow giants and mammoths whole. An ancient Maegi Marwyn once prophesised to Daenys the Dreamer that for Arydian or any of the other dragons in Dragonstone to be awoken, one of the Valyrian blood must be present on Dragonstone when Dragonmont begins to erupt, for the blood of the dragon can only awaken a dragon.
Aegon gave a loud gasp as he read that last sentence, they had been receiving reports that Dragonmont was beginning to stir for the first time in 500 years, if what was written here was true then now could be the perfect time for Aegon to get the dragons he so sorely needed especially with Danaerys so close to coming back to Westeros. He knew what he had to do.
Margaery Stark, Queen in the North and the Trident read through the ledgers and sighed. Things in Winterfell had been largely peaceful since Edwyn had left with his men four months ago, they had received a raven from Castle Black some two moons ago informing them of Edwyn and his men's arrival at Castle Black and their plans for a great ranging to see if they could learn more about the White Walkers threatening from North of the Wall but since then there had been very little news from the Wall. So in order to prevent herself from worrying about Edwyn, Margaery had plunged herself into doing her duties as Queen in the North this mainly meant looking through the accounts to see if all was in order, ensuring that they had enough food to see them through the winter and also ensuring that the people of the north felt happy. It was quite a lot to do but Margaery felt that she could do it and felt she was doing quite well, it helped she supposed that Lady Catelyn was helping her as well since their first rather tense conversations at Riverrun all those months ago they had become quite friendly with each other, Margaery supposed it helped that both Arya and Rickon had taken to her relatively easily and that she was carrying Edwyn's child as well. She sorely hoped that Edwyn would make it back alive from the Wall for they had received several ravens over the past few months in his absence that had some rather worrying news to bear. One such raven was the face that Aegon Targaryen had taken King's Landing and had been crowned King of the Seven Kingdoms by the High Septon and was asking for fealty from all of the kingdoms so far Dorne, the Stormlands, the Reach and the Westerlands had all pledged Aegon fealty with the north and Riverlands already under Edwyn's control and the Vale remaining surprisingly quiet. The second worrying piece of news that they had received was from Margaery's father who served on Aegon's small council, it appeared Danaerys Targaryen was sailing for Westeros with her dragons, unsullied, sellswords and Ironborn including the Crow's Eye himself. It appeared that when Danaerys did eventually land in Westeros the continent would once again be plagued by war.
Pentos had been burnt to the ground, the home of Master Illyrio Mopatis had been reduced to ashes and dust, for the simple crime of housing the fat cheesemonger who had drawn the wrath of Danaerys Targaryen. Her dragons had burnt the city but not before the Crow's Eye and his men had brought Mopatis from his home and dragged him in front of Danaerys to confess to his crimes. So here they were with Pentos a smoking ruin in the background, the fat cheesemonger was on his knees before the mother of dragons, who began to speak "Illyrio Mopatis, you are here by charged with treason against your queen. You fed me and my brother Viserys during our travels, and yet we have reason to believe that the whole time you were plotting our deaths so you could let an imposter claim my throne. You also hired a faceless man to kill me, that plot failed and so you shall die. Do you have any last words?"
Mopatis inhaled deeply before saying "I never wished for your death your grace, just your brother's. He was a madman and a fool who would have put years of planning to waste had he been allowed to live. No I did not wish for your death, you were to be Queen, the Queen. The Aegon in King's Landing is the real Aegon Danaerys, your nephew is real. I die not a man free of sin, but a man who has restored normality."
Danaerys angrily said "You kept his existence a secret from me and mine, no I do not believe you. You shall burn for your crimes and then the pretender shall burn for being an usurper." She called forth her dragon Drogon "Dracarys." Illyrio Mopatis's screams could be heard for miles around as the black flames engulfed him; Danaerys turned to her husband and said "We sail for Gulltown."
Danaerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Wife of Iron was returning to Westeros.