Chapter 10: Reaper´s Due
„You can´t be serious, your Grace!“ shouted lord Tyrell.
„I can and I am,“ answered Aerea calmly, „and may I remind you it was during your regency when some son of a servant who became a knight was allowed to tame and keep my mother´s dragon, or when member of my own council chose to kill another one?“
„Meleys was burning the land. We couldn´t stand idly.“
„And why was that? Because after some idiot tamed Dreamfyre, you didn´t punish him, so another tried his luck with Meleys and pissed her off?“ shouted Aerea, now visibly angry, „dragons belong to Targaryens. We brought them from Valyria before the Doom and throughout the history, only members of our house and house Velaryon were allowed to ride them. You were fool to not punish him, so I will do it myself.“
„Your Grace,“ said High Septon, „you have no just cause to imprison him or execute him. He didn´t do anything that was against the law.“
„It is up to court to decide that. In the meantime, I order him to be imprisoned and put into Black Cells! That will be all, my lords.“
Aerea Targaryen began her reign by imprisoning dragonrider, ser Daeron. Some of her advisors disagreed with this, just like other lords who heard about this. Nevertheless, he was put into Black Cells, awaiting his trial.
Just like her sister, Rhalla finished her studies and became good negotiator. Yet her main goal was to ride her dragon, Fusrodax. Only two weeks after Aerea´s regency ended, she tried to tame him.
They had to carry her burned bones from his stable in Dragonpit while he slept.
And then, more bad news came. Jaehaerys Targaryen, struggling with infected wound for a long time, suddenly passed away. Vermithor was seen flying over King´s Landing, going to Dragonstone.
His wife Alysanne chose to abandon castle where she lived only because of her husband. Documents were created with her agreement that Glitterdell will be given to lord Lyman Lannister.
Many said days of House Targaryen were coming to an end, until Aerea proclaimed she and Alysanne will marry in style of Dornish and their children will be considered part of Targaryen dynasty. This cause another set of problems, as many lords were not willing to give their sons or nephews to them.
Thus, while pox still raged in the city, main concern of Aerea was to find suitable husbands for her and Alysanne. In the meantime, she ordered secret tunnels in Red Keep to be repaired and even found a man living in them (he was, of course, executed immediately).
At the start of seventh month of year 58, pox finally ended in the capital and Red Keep opened its gates. Trial of ser Daeron also started, but unlike anyone expected, judges deemed him innocent.
„We have no other option,“ said Daemon Velaryon, „we need to let him go.“
„So he will fly away, taking Dreamfyre with him? I don´t think so,“ said Aerea.
„People already call you a tyrant,“ said Alysanne, „what will they say when they hear you executed innocent man?“
„They will be angry and then they will go on with their lives,“ answered Aerea.
„By the Seven, are you completely mad? Uncle, will you try to talk sense to her?“
„What will be difference between you and Maegor if you do this?“ asked Velaryon, „people will see that nothing has changed and may even rise against you.“
„As they rose against Maegor?“ asked Aerea, „you fought alongside my father and mother, uncle. You have seen how those big lords stood behind him even though he was tyrannical usurper. But he was strong, just as I plan to be. And this man is threat to me. He will die and that is my final word.“
After the execution was over, Aerea started working on taming Dreamfyre. It took her few days until the dragon became accustomed to her and she was able to ride her.
Only day later, suitable groom was found. Lord Manderly was willing to marry his younger son, Emmet, to her. And only two weeks later, Alysanne was married to Quentyn Terrick.
Huge feast was organized, in an attempt to appease lords of the realm after unjust execution of ser Daeron. During that, Aerea befriended lord Aethan Manderly, her father-in-law.
As the year came to an end, she organized grand tourney for whole realm. It started in second month of next year and her main focus in it became problems in her family. Symeon Velaryon, younger son of her granduncle, Daemon Velaryon, accused him of cheating and even of sleeping with his wife. Eventually, she dealt with it by making Daemon pay his son, but as tourney ended, he imprisoned him nevertheless.
Tourney was won by ser Damion Sarsfield in joust against lord Hugh Waynwood.
During fourth month, whole Red Keep celebrated. Alysanne Targaryen was once again pregnant.
Yet at the end of eight month, she gave birth to stillborn boy, named Aenys. Combined with her first stillborn child, rumors started that she was drinking Moon Tea, something which both Aerea and Alysanne dismissed.
At the start of year 60 AC, lord paramount Hubert Arryn died, leaving his son Ellert to rule the Vale.
Mere month later, Edmyn Tully died clutching at his heart at the age of 40, leaving his one year old sickly son Athos to became lord of Trident.
First half of the year 60 AC was filled with deaths, including lord Vaegon Celtigar, lord of Claw Isle and Sweetport Sound (which Celtigars inherited from House Sunglass, now almost completely extinct with exception of one woman), who died under suspcious circumstances, leaving Daerys Celtigar, his distant relative, to become new lord.
Situation of house Tyrell became more and more dire, as another of their vassals started rebelling. But Aerea, secretly happy to see this incompetent piece of flowery filth to suffer, refused to order his vassals to stand down and even fired him from her council (arguing he cannot fulfill his role of Master of Whisperers while fighting the war).
Another dead person was princess Meria Martell, who died of Grey plague.
Her uncle, Beldecar Martell, inherited Dorne. Nobody believed he would live long, as he had cancer (not to mention he was married to woman from Summer Islands by matrilineal marriage, which worried many of his vassals).
During ninth month, news came from far east. City of Qarth was ravaged by plague, with many of its inhabitants dying on the streets. At the same time, pirates raided lands around King´s Landing, but Aerea destroyed them with ease.
Luckily, next year was finally not filled by people dying, but instead, good times came. Dragonstone started prospering and close to the end of the year, Aerea found out she was pregnant.
Year 62 AC brought new threat. Wilyam Baratheon was revealed to be plotting to kill Aerea and was quickly imprisoned. He chose trial by combat. Aerea chose her champion, Addison Hill, Lord Commander of Kingsguard.
Both men were fighting for only few minutes and in the end, Kingsguard was left without its commander.
13th day of sixth month of year 62 AC, Aerea Targaryen gave birth to a girl, who was named Elaena and was given dragon egg from Meleys into her crib.
Immediately after the birth, Aerea started to feel itchy and found rash on her body. It hasn´t disappeared for more than two months, but in the end, no illness came from it.
And then, at the end of eleventh month of year 62 AC, new lord of the Reach came to power.
Ironically, lord Mern still kept Brightwater, traditional seat of House Florent and became determined to win his continuing war against Dorne. Nevertheless, one of Seven Kingdoms changed its owner, to great joy of queen Aerea.