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Great Council Part 2

Posted on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 @ 10:01pm by King Aethan Velaryon & Lord Triston Fell & Lord Myles Lannister & Ser Stevron Velaryon & Lady Cyrenna Grimm & Lady Claryse Grimm & Lady Elenda Fell & Lady Shireen Velaryon & Lady Lynora Lannister & Lady Daena Celtigar & High Septon & Lord Garth Blackwater & Lord Samwell Tully & Lord Jonah Tully & Ser Renn Baratheon & Lady Joanna Hightower & Lord Jorah Farman & Lord Alfaric Dondarrion & Lord Omer Redwyne & Lord Yohn Arryn & Lord Parmen Blackwater & Lord Brannis Baratheon & Lord Robed Rykker & Lady Elaena Suggs & Lady Arya Farman & Lady Renara Rykker & Lady Lileander Baratheon & Lady Celyse Blackwater & Lady Helja Greyjoy & Prince Nymor Martell & Princess Tyene Martell

Mission: The Great Council
Location: Dragonpit
Timeline: Two Days after Day One of the Great council

There was much less pomp involved in the second day of the Great Council gathering. The Hand was not stationed at the entrance to greet everyone as they arrived, much to Lord Sunderland's relief. There was real business to attend to today, choosing a monarch for the last time.

It was clear to anyone observing where certain player's allegiance lay. There was an unspoken divide and a tenseness that hung in the air. It didn't take very long from the hall to fill up. And as the last of the Lords and Ladies of the realm settled into their seats, Lord Sunderland rose from his. "Good morning, and thank you all for coming once again." His voice resonated through the open air. "When we last convened, a proposal to amend our style of rule was made. Discussion and voting followed, and the proposal passed. Today we gather to choose, for the last time, a ruler. Unlike before, the individual chosen will father a dynasty that will govern the Six Kingdoms for time to come." He looked to his gaggle of Maester's, who were accompanied by the High Septon today. "Without further delay, we will open the floor to discussion and nominations."

Jon rose from his chair. Where the last Council meeting he had only Jevan at his back, today it was different. In the last few days several Riverlords, minor and major, had arrived at King's Landing. All but a few had joined Jon's side, especially after discussion with their liege lord, Samwell Tully.

With a hand resting comfortably on Crossroads, Jon spoke. "My lords and ladies. In our last session we dismissed the elective monarchy, and now we choose for the last time. Many worthy men will step forward, to offer themselves up to rule. But I shall be frank, I am both the first to step forward, and from among those that wish to rule the most suitable."

His hazel eyes travelled over those seated in the pit. "Some know me personally, and can attest to my skill at arms, or the hosts I've commanded. But that is not relevant. Not at this point. More important is those that can attest to my character." Jon gestured to the group of men and women behind him, but also select numbers in the crowd. "I am not only a Riverlord, I have been made the Heir to Riverrun and the Heir Lord Paramount of the Riverlands. My Uncle Samwell has that much trust in me." Another moment to let it all settle in. "Others might find themselves to be more suited. They may boast of stronger military might than my House, but that does not matter. Or they might boast of renown in Essos, but it is not Essos that the King rules. Nor is a King a merchant man." His eyes landed on Aethan for a singular moment before Jon finished. "So tell me my lords, who would make a better King than I?"

There was only brief moment before Lord Myles Lannister stood. “There are many who would make a better King than you.” He spoke with venom. “Until recently you were a lesser Riverlord, and you speak so highly of becoming heir to Riverrun but are the first to stand up and throw that away.” Myles shook his head. “My lords, what we need is a young leader with a mind for innovation. We need Lord Aethan Velaryon.”

Aethan stood. “My Lord Lannister speaks with good intentions in his heart. I must accept his nomination.”

"Lord Velaryon also has the support of those sworn to his House and to his intended's House and doubtless of his own aunts and uncles as well," Lord Farman said.

A smiled traced Aethan's lips at the word of support..

"Hear the disdain with which the Lord of Casterly Rock talks about 'lesser Lords'" came the booming voice of Prince Nymor, as he rose to his feet. He towered over those around him and, in his eye, was a look of amused derision. "Is not this room filled almost entirely with 'lesser' lords and their stock? You would think that Myles Lannister thought himself better than all of you, and you would be right! I, on the other hand, an a Prince, and presently the highest-ranked man in the Six Kingdoms. Lord Jon is a man of honour, skill, and intelligence, seasoned by years of joy, pain, poverty, and plenty; he has known many a battle and earned many a coin for his lands. No mater how low the Lord, he is the right man to wear the crown and sit the throne. Aethan, on the other hand, is proven in nothing, and if he had not the hair of Valyria, we would think of him not at all. Are we all so taken in by the legend of the Targaryans that we will hand our realm over to anyone with white hair? Because he holds Dragonstone, we should give him our daughters to wife, our sons for his armies, and the fruits of all our fields? NO! Jonah Tully is of a house that is longer to Westeros anyway. Let him be King."

Garth watched his technical ally with interest but said nothing. He would wait until the end to speak if he spoke at all. In the game of thrones, he had bet on both sides, and now hoped he could avoid upsetting the table. He watched as the lords of Dorne cheered their Prince on in his speech and felt the eyes of all of his own Lords on him. They were waiting for a cue on who they should give their support to. They had views of their own, of course, but no King would be as valuable to them as staying in the good graces of their own liege. He gave them no sign or clue; they would just have to wait.

"We are supposed to be turned against Lord Lannister because he spoke candidly of the social standing of noble houses and yet Lord Martell displays the very arrogance with which he charges Lord Lannister," Lord Farman said as he rose again. "We are to listen to him because his ancestors maintained the title of Prince and thus might speak down to the descendants of the Kings of the Rock or to the other noble lords present here. My ancestors were Kings of Fair Isle. We bent the knee and joined our fortunes to the Kingdom of the Rock centuries before Aegon's Conquest and we have never broken our oaths to House Lannister but neither have we hesitated to speak our minds truly in council. I spoke my concerns about the restoration of the hereditary monarchy, though my liege lord was in support of it, but my concerns were answered and now we speak once more in unison. I am convinced a young, strong king shall read us forward. The glory of Valyria, true, does inspire men but not overly so. My daughter's Pentoshi singer has the blood of Old Valyria. Moreso do I value the character of the man, shown to us all, and I do not neglect to notice that his children will be born of as old of blood as to be found in Westeros. Shall we hear from any of the applauding Dornish lords, no doubt independently convinced of the logic of Prince Nymor's choice, or shall they simply applaud on command for their Master's favor?"

“Lord Farman should listen before he speaks.” Prince Nymor said, a confident grin still on his face. “I called no one low but for his character. And my Lords are freer than you, sir, have ever been. They vote with me freely..because they trust and respect me, thank the Gods....perhaps I should be King?”

The men and women of Dorne laughed brashly at that and several other lords around the pit could scarce help themselves but laugh as well.

“Most of us have been bought at this point, with loyalty and with other things.” Nymor continued. “In all respect, is there anyone here who has not yet decided who wishes to put some questions to these men to see who is best to rule?”

"I spent most of my life very far from lords and courts, Prince Nymor. Very far," Lord Farman answered.

Sunderland raised his hand to silence the unproductive exchange between Prince Nymor and Lord Farman.

Lord Redwyne fidgeted in his seat. Lady Oakheart began to stand but Lady Hightower was on her feet first. "My lords and ladies, I am hesitant to speak. The vote of House Hightower is already determined and any argument or testimony I might offer sure to be dismissed as the product of a woman's love and loyalty. However, I do believe there is an important point here. Many of us are torn. Prince Nymor is correct that, by a certain definition, most of those here are lesser lords. Nonetheless, here, as at no other time, one lord has one vote. I would not dismiss the natural bonds of affection between liege lord and bannermen as Lord Farman seems to do. I know that, along with the protection of the Citadel, the most important duty of a Lady of Oldtown is to maintain our ancient ties with Highgarden and I know also that I have always been respected and valued by Lord Blackwater. It is understandable that such loyalties weigh on most of us here. I would not ask anyone to forget it. I would also not ask anyone to forget that we nonetheless have, uniquely at this moment, a duty to exercise our own judgment and cast our own vote. Moreover, I would ask us all to remember that the Six Kingdoms are one and we shall again be neighbors and fellow subjects with a single king, whatever the outcome of this Council."

For his part, Yohn Arryn sat quietly. His family sat besides and behind him. A goblet of water rested in his hand, half drunk. Yohn merely studied the arguments. He had no love for Oldtown, less for Casterly Rock, and least for Dorne. He had been treated well when he last visited the Twins, but he been feasted respectfully when he last visited the Velaryons. "My love." He finally whispered to his wife. "Are they truly complaining about how arrogant both Martell and Lannister are? It's like they've not met them before."

"Farman and Hightower are also arrogant," Lady Sharra said quietly. "I suppose one does not turn to lords for humility." She took a sip of her own water and frowned slightly. "Tully and Velaryon should have courted you more." Her pride in her husband's House, justified in her mind by their proud history and her husband's own high character, seemed nothing like the arrogance she had condemned others for.

"We both know that if they had come, we would have held them in more disdain than I do now." Yohn dismissed. "Look at them. Velaryon and Tully both stand silently as their camps argue about the fact that Lannister insulted Tully, and Martell rising to defend him. Already this discussion has spun away from their suitability and has turned to mud slinging." The lord of the Vale sighed.

"I would think only that they gave my lord husband the respect he is due," Sharra said quietly, "and now I think only that they do not." She had a rather narrow focus in politics at times.

Yohn Arryn put his hand over his wife's and squeezed gently and fondly. "It is not a lack of respect, though not calling on me might have been a fault that will hobble at the least."

"Perhaps so, my love," Sharra said.

Sunderland looked around the room, "Are there any other candidates?" The Maesters to his side watched the room closely. Lord Sunderland continued. "If there are no others, we will allow questions for the candidates."

"I am not interested in debating how beholden each lord here might be to his liege," Lord Redwyne said, already planning to vote however Lord Blackwater did. "It is for the gods to see into the hearts of men, not for us. I have not yet decided who has my vote for the kingship," he said, technically truthfully as Lord Garth had not yet made his will known, "and I would ask each man what he feels it means to serve and what he feels it means to rule?"

“To serve is not only to act upon the interests of the realm but also the interests of the people.” Aethan said, rising to his feet again." I once read that ‘a ruler needs a good head and a true heart,’” he smirked knowing the remainder of the quote. “I believe I have both. Not only did I excel in lessons with my Maester on matters of history, politics of the world, and strategy but I also seized an opportunity to explore and see the world firsthand. Not only the sights one goes abroad to see like Qarth or Slavers Bay but the world close to home as well. I assisted the shipbuilders on Driftmark, saw the crabbers of Claw Isle, the armourers in Kings Landing, and the grape farmers in the Arbor. I have seen the people. And I believe in my heart that I know them as well. That is why, Gods allowing, I should be chosen to lead them.”

"A good speech." Jonah Tully said, nodding to Aethan. "You're well travelled for your age Lord Aethan. Tasted of many a cup of wine, so to speak. I myself cannot say I looked at the peasants pulling crabs out of the mud, or waved at the fair ladies of Qarth on my boat as I sailed by. My time as a boy was spent learning of ruling, first at my father's knee and then at my uncle Samwell's knee. When I was old enough to be a squire I was in Essos. I learned to squire, then I learned to fight, and finally I learned to command men in battle." He took a moment of silence. "When I returned, I came to a House in ruins. A house I entrusted to my mother who had lost her sense. I had to rebuild my house, and my reputation. I did so by working diligently at home, and then at travels. I've seen The Wall in the North, and I've travelled to Dorne. I've had the pleasure of hospitality at Casterly Rock, and the honour of that small tavern in Coldwater." He turned his gaze to Aethan but spoke to the larger group still. "While Lord Aethan has developed quite the palate for the many lives the Kingdoms offer, I can say I've truly tasted what the world offers. This the experience I will bring as your King."

Lord Triston Fell shook his head as Jonah spoke. He couldn't help it. Speaking of ruin and rebuilding, was he fishing for sympathy. No, this was not enough to sway the Lord of Felwood.

It might be a stretch to consider Lord Fletcher undecided. It would take a great deal to convince him to vote against Storm's End or to vote with Sunspear. Still. he was not completely closed to being persuaded so he rose with a question. "Lord Jonah, Lord Aethan, there are differences in the established rules for succession in some of the kingdoms and, in the past, Westeros has known war because of disagreements over the proper interpretation of the order of succession or because of attempts by sitting kings to designate a different heir. If king, how would you act to secure the succession?"

Aethan stood again, "As is tradition, male offspring regardless of birth order should take precedence in order to continue the line. In absence of a male heir I see now reason against a female being named as heir." He looked around. "The issue has been raised in the past about the continuation of a House through a female line. For continuity of the Royal House it is of upmost importance that females of royal blood who are direct heirs be granted the right to continue the house name."

"As both Dorne and the North have proven," Jon rose after Aethan finished speaking."women are as capable of ruling justly and capably as men. I see no reason to restrict any daughter of mine to rise to the throne if she is the eldest of her siblings. I would make it law for my own house, but not for the realm at large. As it would be law, I would trust my Small Council to see it done."

Brannis Baratheon rose, "And there you have it my Lords of Westeros. The spread of alien Dornish influences, contained to their sandy stretch until Lord Tully, as experienced and seasoned as he is, would welcome it into King's Landing as to how Westeros makes it sovereign lords. See how that will sow discord in our Kingdoms. We are not of the Rhoyne in Storm's End, in Highgarden, or Casterly Rock. We are Andals and First Men and the blood of old Valyria."

"Lord Brannis." Jon turned to face the Stormland's senior most lord. "Are you so worried about a daughter of mine perhaps becoming queen? I Have clearly stated that I would not expect Storm's End, Highgarden, or even the Rock to follow my example." His eyes narrowed ever so slightly. "Any discord or disorder that would arise from this decision would be a failure of my Small Council, and the lords of the realm to follow the King's will. So tell me, my lord, if there were a female heir chosen by your King's royal command, be it Lord Velaryon or myself, would you rise against such a command to install a son over the appointed heir?"

Brannis brushed at his mustache, "My Lord my issue is whom you may take to your wedding bed. I'd not see a Martell and your heir favor Dorne over Highgarden or Storm's End. My Marchmen well-remember what the Wyls of Dorne did so mercilessly to the people of Nightsong." He gestured at Aethan, "Lord Velaryon has chosen a suitable bride who offends none. In fact, her realm uplifts us all- Lady Hightower holds the seat of the Citadel. What would a Dornish wife offer you? And greater Westeros?"

"My heir will be taught not to favour any of the Kingdoms, as they will learn that it is one realm before it is six kingdoms. As for my wife to be, while she may not hold the Citadel as her seat, she does offer me a chance at love, children to hold, and a perspective on the world that is not my own. This to better guide and lead the people I rule. But a wise man takes wisdom from many corners, so if you are worried that Dornish would be the only words I hear, fear not for my councillors will be from the realm at large. Not only from the Westerlands, or the Reach, or the Riverlands. "

"My Lord," Brannis was fighting a touch of irreverence or impatience, his brow reaching up and dropping, "As a family that once held this seat and lost it to the acumen of greater politicians than warriors, heed my words. I can say we have learned: your power to control your heirs and wife ends at the grave. And you would not be the only man with your child's ear. In fact you would be too busy with the kingdom to make such a promise." He straightened, "I deeply appreciate that you have found something so rarefied as a love match. But again, is it in the best interests of this kingdom? We are the scions of long-lived families. We do not often enjoy the privilege of marrying for love."

"Yes, Lord Brannis. I think the match is in the best interest of the realm." Jon simply replied. He wanted to continue, but the sound of another's voice cut him off.

Helja Salt-hair rose in her misty gray attire-cum-uniform, with accents of chain and brigandine. She eyed Jon with the stormy hatred of a Greyjoy to a Tully. There was no love between them and they had made no bother of courting one another. "I can gut any man who says my sex can't rule," her mouth switched coldly into a rictus of a smile, "I have. And he choked on his balls as he died." She glowered at the gathering. "Are we here to choose or watch old men fight like spoiled children?"

Lord Sunderland looked about the room, is there anymore discussion to be had?” He asked, sounding tired and a bit downtrodden.

Many eyes looked to Lord Arryn and Lord Blackwater, the only two Lords Paramount who had not spoken. For all the talk of independent judgment, most intended to vote with their liege lords. It was not that they were incapable of doing otherwise. In four civil wars, Westerosi had proven themselves capable of resisting authority when, in their view, their gods, their owner, or a more legitimate claimant demanded it. However, so far, their division did not cut so deep. That was a good thing.

Garth of Highgarden rose slowly and leaned on his golden rose cane for several breathing space. Her wore a coat of deep green with inlaid gold and a gilded chain around his neck encrusted with large emeralds. He displayed his great wealth today where normally he dressed with humility. He had chosen his words days ago and now had every intention of making his case in his own way.

“My Lords and Ladies, how civilized we have become indeed, voting instead of fighting.” He remarked, his eyes friendly and full of amusement. “But as we stand here at the final vote, we make our voices heard once more with words and with raised hands rather than with ships and swords. Though we are doing a great thing, however, I fear we are not doing so in a great way. I have heard comments here that were offensive, and perhaps not as honorable as their speakers thought they were. Lord Aethan is a man of 27 years, hardly a boy by any standard, and I think the questions about his age and fitness are greatly exaggerated. Lord Jon, on the other hand, is a man of only 37; I don’t mean to point this out too loudly, but if he is old then what am I? For he is less than half my age.”

Garth paused for another breathing space, his eyes falling on Lord Jon and Lord Aethan respectively. “Both of these men have equal time and opportunity to build a dynasty that will stand the test of time, and whether supported by Dornishmen or supported by Iron Islanders, both are supported by true and full members of the realm, all of which have married into the royal family in the past; or need I remind you that Prince Rhaegar’s children were born of a Dornish bride before the Mountain dashed their little heads?”

The old man cleared his throat and gazed on the stands and the people sitting in them. He would have made a fine King in his day, but that lot was chosen for very few and he did not want it even now.

“But, to settle your burning curiosity, I am a man who likes to go with experience, and Lord Jon has the most experience. Therefore, my support shall rest on him.”

A wave of reality washed over Aethan. Until now, Lord Garth had kept his intentions quiet. Now that it was out in the open, it was public knowledge that the Reach was divided their choice.

Indeed, Lady Hightower sat in silence along with her lords bannermen, her uncle Lord Fossoway, and the Dorne-hating Lady Oakheart. She seemed neither surprised nor distressed at her lord's words. Lord Redwyne, however, rose in leading the great majority of the Reach lords in thunderous applause for the speech of their Lord Paramount.

Lileander's grief was palpable at her sons' sides, shoulders slumping as if a wire of hope and resolve had snapped in her spine. Her rally became a cold, stoic stare that looked at none, save for something she spoke sidelong to her eldest son. Brannis rose with a smile. "Well, with that. Perhaps my Lords, let us conclude our duties for the day. Be they glorious or unpleasant." He nodded at Renn who rose and excused himself from the chamber, hands clasped behind his back as his long frame retreated.

Sunderland raised his hands to quiet the murmur that always seemed to fill the council. "We will call the vote then. " He paused. "As we have only two candidates, should the vote result in no clear winner, as determined by the Maesters of the Citadel, we shall move to a second vote. Should the second yield a similar result the tie will be broken by the High Septon." He indicated the religious leader. "As before, only the ruling head of each house, or their assigned proxy, are permitted a vote. No house may abstain. With 265 houses represented today, we will require a majority of 159 houses in order for a vote to pass."

The Hand nodded to the Maesters, who promptly dispersed to their places around the room. "Today we have two candidates. Lord Aethan Velaryon, Lord of the Tides, Master of Driftmark, and Lord of Dragonstone. Lord Jonah Tully, Lord of the Crossing, and Heir to Riverrun. I call for votes in favour of Lord Jonah, stand now."

A number of Lords stood as the Maesters began to jot down their count.

Jon rose, speaking for nearly the whole of the Riverlands. He stood proudly and glanced across the faces standing with him. He nodded to Garth and Nymor in appreciation.

Lord Garth and almost all the Lords of the Reach rose in support of Lord Jon. Amongst themselves, they chattered and looked around to see who had joined them and who had not. Save for a smattering of Lords who had strong ties to the Tides or to Oldtown, most had voted with their liege.

Prince Nymor and all the Lords of Dorne, or their proxies, stood in concert. They displayed a united front, but this was not unexpected.

Aethan watched as Lord Jonah stood amongst his supporters. The number seemed rather jarring to the young lord, but he still felt confident.

Lord Sunderland waited until the Maester's nodded to him. "I call for votes in favour of Lord Aethan, stand."

Old Lord Lannister was the first out of his seat. He looked confident and prideful as he stood. His gesture was followed by Lord Fell, Lady Grimm, and Lady Celtigar.

Lord Baratheon rose. With a roll of eyes from Erac- and a stoic stare from Neia- the Greyjoy Lady, Helja, rose to show her support of the young Velaryon.

Aethan stood, and peered around at his loyal supporters. He blushed at the show of steadfast support.

Lady Hightower stood, as did her Lords Bannermen and her uncle, Lord Fossaway. So did Lady Oakheart, driven more by hatred of Dorne than love Dragonstone or Oldtown.

Yohn Arryn remained seated. Neither man, he decided, was worthy of his support.

The Maesters once again made their counts. One Maester, a relatively thin man with very thin red hair moved towards Lord Arryn whom had remained in his seat for both candidates. "Pardon my Lord, but no one may abstain from the vote. Who will you vote for today?" He lifted his quill to his parchment and waited for the Valemans answer.

A long suffering glare landed on the spindly maester before Yohn Arryn answered. "I'll cast my vote for Tully then."

With that satisfied, the Maesters convened to total their numbers. Lord Sunderland looked on and waited for the final count. A Maester handed Sunderland a slip of parchment. He cleared his throat. "The Maesters of the Citadel have called the first vote too close to make a determination."

There was a general murmur that erupted amongst the gathered.

Raising his hands for silence, Sunderland spoke again. "As stated before, we will vote a second time. If the outcome is a similar result the High Septon will make the determination." He waited for the Maesters to take their places once more. "I call for votes in favour of Lord Jonah, stand now."

The Lords of Dorne rose again, this time with more conversation than before. Lord Garth Blackwater, however, remained in his seat. His Lords and Ladies watched in surprise and some who stood up right when the vote was called timidly sat back down. This time, he would vote with his family and his friends, and he would do what he said he would do from the start. But the shocked faces and chatter from around the Dragonpit were quite noticeable.

Standing again Jon saw Nymor standing with him. His heart fell when he saw Garth stayed seated, then deep anger rose in him but he did his best to keep his face clear.

The Maesters made their counts. Their eyes scanning the crowd in their assigned sections.

"I call for votes in favour of Lord Aethan, stand now." Sunderland said after a beat.

Aethan rose, as did Lord Lannister, Lady Grimm and then Lord Fell. His Aunt, Lady Celtigar was quick to join them.

Brannis Baratheon rose to Aethan's name. Then Helja Salt-hair among her brood also rose with an icy gaze at nothing but fixed forward, as if she were stomaching this last unpleasantry among these Westerosi.

Lord Farman stood.

Lord Garth rose now, his head held high. He had been the landmark man in selected who would rule, and he knew everyone in the room would see it that way for better or for worse. He had hitched his wagon to Aethan Valeryon, but in a way that let people know he wasn’t a partisan. Now he would have to see how the game of thrones faired him. His Lords and Ladies joined him, the uncertainty of his change causing all of them to vote in concert with him out of fear for what the alternative might mean.

The Maesters hurriedly calculated their totals and combined each section count. They noted the final tally and passed it to Lord Sunderland.

Reading the parchment carefully, the Hand of the former King cleared his throat. "The second vote has yielded a result. The Maesters of the Citadel have determined that Lord Aethan of House Velaryon has been chosen to lead the Six Kingdoms and father a new Dynasty that will lead in perpetuity."

There was a brief moment where the occupants of the Dragonpit were silent, taking in the announcement that had just been made. Lady Celtigar began the applause. The Grimm's, the Fell's, and the Lannister's followed suit.

So did the Oakhearts, the Farmans, the Fletchers, and, of course, the Hightowers and those close to them. So, too, did the Redwynes, although Lord Redwyne still looked somewhat puzzled as to exactly what had happened. "I suppose you were hoping for this, son?" he asked Brandon.

Brandon nodded. “Lord Aethan was the natural choice in my mind.” He smiled rather toothily.

"I hope you are right," Omer said. "We will soon see what manner of king he is."

With wonder in his eyes, Brandon spoke again. "One like never before I'd reckon."

Aethan could hardly believe it. Stevron clapped him on the back. His family was beaming around him as applause came from all over the Dragonpit.

The coronation had not happened yet and there were vacancies to be filled on the Kingsguard but, nonetheless, Ser Denestan Bulwer, white cloak shining brightly, quietly strode over to stand near Lord Aethan along with his own personal guard.

The newly named king regarded the white cloaked knight. He hadn’t noticed the Kingsguard was present before now. “Ser, we will take our leave soon and return to Seasmoke Hold.”

"With your permission, I would like to accompany you. In the past, the Kingsguard always protected the royal family and, especially, the heir, even before he was crowned. I am glad we will be returning to the old ways of government, Your Grace," Ser Denestan said.

Aethan nodded and smiled at the knight. "How many are left in your ranks Ser?"

"There are five of us, my lord," Ser Denestan answered.

Nodding again, Aethan began to consider his options to fill the remaining spots. "Very good Ser. Do you have horses with you, to follow the wheelhouse?"

"Yes, my lord," Denestan answered.

"Lets get on then, shall we?" Aethan stood, He peered around, his perspective was much different now than when he had first come to the Dragonpit that day. His head was held a bit higher. With his Uncle, Aunt, and Grandmother in tow Aethan descended the steps from where he had been seated and started toward where the Lord of the Crossing was. "Well fought Lord Jonah." He said, extending a hand towards the Riverlord.

A deep frown covered the face of the Lord of the Twins. He rose to face the King for a long moment before letting free a sigh. "Congratulations, your Grace. May your rule be ever peaceful." He shook the hand of the new King.

Aethan felt a small smirk pull at the corner of his mouth. "It would please me if you could come to Seasmoke Hold tomorrow morning, I've something I wish to discuss with you."

"I'll be there." Jon replied.

Aethan smiled and continued towards the exit, his party in tow.

The Baratheons looked on with pride- but it was a mixed bag of origins. Renn, who had rematerialized from the crowd, looked on with respect and a mixture of trepidation for the young King, and genuine happiness. Brannis looked on with his ever-charm, watching the new King and wondering how it would expand his commercial Empire.

Helja Salt-hair nodded once to her daughter and gestured. They were to leave. As soon as possible.

The frown on the face of Nymor Martell was matched on those of all the Dornishmen. They had been treated quite roughly in this so-called 'Great Council' and they had suffered a humiliating defeat. If his Lords had anything to say about it, and they would, Dorne might now have no place with the Six Kingdoms. They had been handled like the scum of the earth, and their necks were getting tired of bowing. Nymor stood and led his lords out of the Dragonpit. They would hold a council and the fate of the realms would be decided.

 

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