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The Woman in the Highgarden

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But the rest of them: prince Viserys, ser Arthur, prince Theon, ser Ronnet, even lord Samwell Tarly do not give up so easily. Not mention the Lone Wolf or the Young Raven.

Her brother was looking upon Brandon Stark with a hateful, but when he saw the white ribbon on the hilt of the Stark’s sword, he looked at Dolores with disbelieve in his blue eyes: after all of this, all what he had done, you still allow him to fight for you? But she looked at her brother wit love in her eyes: I gave you the most beautiful and the most lethal weapon in all Seven Kingdoms, so ask yourself again: who is fighting for me?  

Today, no one spoke before the fight. Lord Gwilbert was pale and with shaking hand, gave an order to start. In his black hair were new white stripes and he looks much older than yesterday. All the lords and ladies were dying with excitement, because there were more than one favorite. Dolores heard that the lords shouted the name of their favorite and the bid growing higher with every strike. No one wants to lose the chance to win some money on the tournament.

- One more fight and they will thrust yours, my lord - laugh prince Rhaegar, drinking wine - it would be my honour to parlay on my dear brother, but I know my friend and no one had a chance with him. Five hundred golden dragons on the Sword of the Morning - the prince shouted when the legendary swords crushed and the steel sang more beautiful than the bards on yesterday’s feast. Dolores’ father smiled gently and said:

- You have a wonderful intuition, your highness.

- I choose only steady, I have a natural instinct for this, my lord - said prince Rhaegar. Viserys gave up as the second, after the brave lord Samwell Tarly. Those arse-licking lords, whom wanted to be in a favour of dragons, throw the sacks of gold to those, whom bet on ser Arthur Dayne, who once again won over prince Viserys.

In the cloud of dust, swords and shield, Dolores spotted her brother, who easily bet Ronnet and Theon. The lords and ladies from the North yell with joy his nickname: The Young Raven! Dolores felt that her heart skipped a beat: this is just like in his dream. There are only three of them. Viggo’s dream is a father’s and mother’s nightmare!

In his pride and impudence, Viggos turned his sword against the king’s guardian, leaving the Lone Wolf for the end. The love of the people were with the Young Raven, but the mind were with the Sword of the Morning. And in that very moment, someone from the crowd shouted:

- A thousand golden dragons for the Lone Wolf! - and Brandon Stark, who wanted to put his sword in the Young Raven, charged on ser Arthur Dayne. Viggo, and all the people with him, was disorientated and just stood and watched the brutal fight between men. They throw their swords and just punching with their fists until stronger and bigger Brandon Stark pin down Arthur Dayne and the Dornishman cought up:

- Yield! I yield! - this was his last words before the great silence. It was like the world stops for a very long moment. Dolores could not believe that her brother’s dream could be real. That the last fight will be between Viggo and Brandon. She looked on them and a few moment later on the silent crowd. Only a small boy was walking between the lords and took form them a gold - he was the one whom bet on the Lone Wolf. Beside her, just like a ghost, came Soul.

- Tell me your truth, lord Stark - whispered Dolores when she broke the sigil with golden rose and started to read.

 

282 year after the Aegon’s conquer

 

I thought that the Spring was coming. The snow was fading on the South. There were a first flowers in the Highgarden. But this was just a delusions and false hope. They all perished soon enough. I have already got the invitation from lord Whent on a tournament in Harrenall. It will be the most glorious and extravaganza tournament in the whole history, even bigger and more fabulous than the last tournament in Casterly Rock. Not because there will be all lords from North and Dorne, East and West, Crownlands, Riverlands, Stormlands, Reach and Iron Islands. And not because there will be king Aerys The Second of His Name, who was avoiding fresh air and his subjects, since last nine years.

All Seven Kingdoms live only for this tournament: the ladies are preparing their silks, the knights are preparing their swords and the lords are preparing for the bloody negotiations. There is no mystery, that lord Whent does not have enough dragons for such a costly airs, but who will openly admitted that this is lord Tywin Lannister’s and prince Rhagar’s plot. No one. But everybody know, that they are plotting against the king since Duskendale. The country is one step to the war, but no one want to turn back even for the good of the realm. The fools pay their life for a mistake, but the royal fools pay life of the subjects for their royal mistakes.

The Lords, whose do not know, how bad was the king’s condition, quickly change their site. Because they saw an old man, with a yellow than white skin, with eyes cast by the shadow of melancholy and madness, with a long, thick nails, crushing whenever king Arys took the cup of wine. Within fortnight. Even his truest allies were against him.

At the beginning of the tournament there was a celebration of anointing ser Jaime Lannister as the new member of the King’s Guard. He was the most beautiful and bravest foul in the history. His golden armor blinded with its bright, his white cloak blew proudly on the wind. Who could imagine that his happiness and pride, soon became his burden and curse? Only I and his father - lord Tywin Lannister, whose absence was noticed as soon as the tournament begin, spreading the gossips about his involved in the conspiracy.

For seven days, the bravest knights and lords were fighting in the melee and brim. And for seven nights, they were sneaking to the ladies’ chambers to get their rewards. Why the measters are silent about this events, for the nights are more fascinating than the events in the daylight? It is known that everybody want to hear about how the bravest and the most honourable ser Barristan Selmy break the secret vows for lady Ashara Dayne’s smile. How the handsome and strong heir of Winterfell spent every night in the arms of beautiful ladies to forget about his future dull wife, the daughter of the lord Trout. The song of steel is not such fascinating as the song of ice and fire, where prince Rhaegar Targaryen crowned lady Lyanna Stark as the queen of love and beauty.

It was lie, that he wanted to gain the favour of the North. Because, if he wanted to persuade them on his site, he will send them one of his father’s pyromanc to warm their cold, northern bones. He does not want to make a fair judge, as Robert Baratheon said. Lady Lyanna was not the fairest lady in the kingdom, as her fiance said - she was a she-wolf of Winterfell, not as bright as the light of the West or as beautiful as the princess of Dorne. Lady Lyanna had a short, black hair, bind in the northern style and she preferred the boiled leather than the silk gowns.

But she was and the Ice and the Ice was Rhaegar’s obsessed, as he thought about himself as a Fire. And for this obsess he decided to burn the Seven Kingdoms. After the False Spring, Winter came back with double forces and covered King’s Landing with ice. But not Rhaegar, nor Lyanna knew about it - they ran out the south, to the quiet Tower of Joy in Dorne, to conceive the Prince that Was Promised. And the whole country ran after them.

The news about “the kidnap” of lady Lyanna, caught lord Rickard and his son Branson in the way to Riverrun for the wedding of the Winterfell’s heir with lord Hoster Tully’s daughter, lady Catelyn. They changed their way. King Aerys welcomed them warmly in the capital. When the Starks demand to release lady Lyanna by trial by combat, the king agreed and make a fire his champion. Let the screams of the lords and knights boiling in their armour, will be a nightmare forever, to those whom done nothing to stop the king’s madness. In that moment, the kingdom was split between those who stand by the site of the Mad King and those who wanted to cast him down. Robert Baratheon, Eddard Stark and Jon Arryn call the North, Vale and Stormlands against Crownland, Reach and Dorne.

The most important battle took place at the bank of the Trident, where flower of the knighthood died, like ser Jonothor Darry and prince Lewyn Martell. All of them fight for a false honour of the stupid girl, whom name was the last word of dying prince Rhaegar, when Robert Baratheon crushed the last dragon with his warhammer. Firstly, the ravens ate their flesh then, the raves took the message about the fail to the capital. The rebels turned their march to King’s Landing. But Tywin Lannister was faster.

Within few days, the golden army of the West was at the gate of the city when the worst nightmare of this war begin. The city has been sacked. Tywin Lannister, covered with blood of the inocentes, came into the Red Keep, where he saw his beloved son on the Iron Thrones with the dead corps of the late king Aerys at his feet. And then, his dogs, brought him three bodies, covered with the Lannister’s crimson cloaks. Princess Rhaenys bleeded from many wounds. Price Aegon was unrecognizable, because his head was crushed by the hands of the Mountain. Princess Elia looked like she was sleeping, but she was dead and her lips were wet with the poison.   

The most powerful dynasty in Westeros was faded with this blood, but it does not stop Robert  Baratheon from sending the first of many assassins after prince Viserys and princess Daenerys, to avenge the death of his beloved Lyanna. To make country in one piece, he took lady Cersei Lannister as his wife and arranged the marriages between lord Eddard Stark and lady Catelyn Tully, and lord Jon Arryn and lady Lysa Tully.

Many houses, whose stand by the site of Targaryen’s fall. The last woman from house Connington, beautiful lady Arlena, whom supposed to marry prince Oberyn Martell, was married of to poor but lovely lord Gwilbert Peakholt from the North. Rich and powerful lord Selwyn Tarh, lost his money over the Estemont’s, the king’s family. Lord Stannis Baratheon, brave defender of the Storm’s End was send of to Dragonstone as the lord of the old-Targaryen’s holdfast on a grim island and his family legacy were gave to young and spoiled lord Renly Baratheon. Ser Jaime Lannister, after the events during the sack of the capitol, known as the Kingslayer, was pardoned by his brother-in-law and stand as the King’s Guardian. On the king Robert’s place, I would not be so sure about the Lannister’s honour (both his queen and his knight).

But do not worry my sweet summer children. There is a time for a true Spring. There is a time for a true peace. But not of this will last forever.

 

That is how ends the first chapter of “The Song of Ice and Fire. The Chronicle of the Seven Kingdoms after Targaryen's Fall” written by the Woman in the High Garden