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Mother Show Mercy

Posted on Thu Apr 7th, 2022 @ 7:32pm by King Aethan Velaryon & Ser Renn Baratheon & Lady Joanna Hightower & Grand Maester Othro

Mission: The Iron Price
Location: King's Landing

Aethan Velaryon donned a simple tunic as he readied for the day. While he would've preferred to be at the front with his councillors, it was put to him that his presence in the city would be more helpful. After all, how would it look to leave when the city was attacked instead of staying to help those affected. Many had lost their homes or family members, even their livelihoods.

The Maester's were working on full accounting of the loss. Something Aethan expected to have reported today. He wanted to be armed with that reality when he took to the streets to be with the people of King's Landing and aid in whatever way he could.

"Will you help me with this fastening?" The King asked of his protector and companion Ser Renn.

Renn had become quiescent in the wake of the devastation: a sort of cool calm as if his internal world was all he had any control over. Brannis had gone hunting down the Greyjoy fleet- the Ironborn fleet, it so seemed, on account of the dead in King's Landing. Every Iron Islands banner had been present save two. At the King's request, Renn pushed from the wall. He wore the coat of the King's Guard-white- and a black of mourning under. "Yes my King," he complied.

His fingers, nimble but still marred by the knicks and gouges of battle, moved for the fastenings of the King's garment. "How did you sleep last night?"

Aethan sighed. "As well as one can when his people have suffered as they have." He grabbed his lover's hand. "Have you heard from your brother?"

Renn's breath was a soft pour against the King's nape. "No My King. I would certainly hope he'd contact you before me." Renn's fingers splayed out in an offer to Aethan's. "Do you want a sleeping potion tonight, from the Maester?"

The king shook his head. "I should share in my peoples suffering, shouldn't I?" He caressed Renn's hand with his long fingers. "That's what today is about."

"The people need someone to rally behind," Renn counter-offered. "Its hard to lead a charge when you haven't slept," Renn finished. His hands soothed down Aethan's arms. "If you change your mind, I will see to it. Done." He confirmed as the fastening. Renn shifted and lifted the polished silver of a mirror.

The sound of a knock turned Aethan's attention to the door of his chambers. "Come in." He called out.

Grand Maester Othro came in. "We have the accounting, Your Grace," he said with a bow.

"Go on." King Aethan was genuinely interested to hear the extent of the tragedy.

"85 dead and 102 injured, Your Grace," Othro said. "11 buildings were burned completely to the ground and 26 more were significantly damaged. Two shops and 25 boats were sunk in the river. The total damages come to 25,051 gold dragons."

Aethan rubbed his temple. “I know the Master of Coin is not here, but I want us to make certain that everything is taken care of. If we need the Velaryon vaults can spare the expense as well.”

"I also believe Lady Hightower wanted to distribute relief in person, Your Grace," Othro volunteered.

"Thank you Grand Maester, I should like for her to come with us." The King paused, "In your opinion, what sort of help could we give today? Clearing rubble? Serving food? Tending wounded?" He gulped slightly at the thought of the many wounded countrymen.

"All of those things, Your Grace," Othro agreed. "I think it will hearten the people to see you among them."

Renn looked on in silent agreement, having faded back to his place as sentinel to The King and his ministers. He wondered if the King would attend services for The Seven, to pray for the dead.

As if connected to Renn on another plane, Aethan spoke again. "I think I would like to pray at the Great Sept and commune with the High Septon before we make our way to the streets of Kings Landing." He looked to the Maester again. "I think Lady Joanna would want to pray with me. Will you fetch her?"

"Yes, Your Grace," Othro bowed again and withdrew to carry out his orders.




Crossing the drawbridge from Maegor's Holdfast, Aethan Velaryon made his way into the central courtyard with Ser Renn in tow. In the courtyard already were Lady Joanna and Grand Maester Othro. "Good morning my Lady." He said, reaching out for Joanna's hand.

"Good morning, Your Grace," Joanna said as she slid her hand into his.

Aethan grasped Joanna's hand in his. It was soft and warm. He leaned down and brought her soft hand to his lips. When he rose from kissing her hand he kept it in his grasp."I thought we might walk to the Sept and pray before we take to the street to aid our people."

"I would like that, Your Grace," she said softly, smiling at the gentle kiss and entwining her fingers in his. It felt good to be near him. His body felt so young and strong next to her.

Knowing that continuing their entangled hands while walk would be viewed as inappropriate, Aethan released his grasp and hooked his arm around hers.

She smiled at walked with him. The walk to the Sept was not the most eventful, nor was conversing with the High Septon, but being seen and putting up with officials was part of Aethan's life now.

"Seven Blessings your Grace, my Lady." The High Septon gave thoughtful bows to both. "Myself and many devout members of the Faith will also be out, aiding in the relief effort."

"Thank you your Holiness. I'm sure the help is appreciated." Aethan said, with a polite smile.

"Thank you, Your Holiness," Joanna said.

"I'd like to light a candle at the Warrior's altar before we go. For our brave countrymen in the West" Aethan nodded, hoping the High Septon would leave their company.

"Please do Your Grace. It will be in good company." The High Septon smiled. "I will leave you to your prayers." The ancient man offered a shallow bow and then backed away from the King to a group of waiting Septons and holy brothers. With his flock in tow, the High Septon began climbing the steps to leave the Sept.

"I thought he'd never leave." Aethan admitted, starting towards the Warrior's statue.

"He is a man of many words," Joanna said quietly as she walked with him, sinking to her knees before the statue.

The King followed suit, kneeling before the Warriors idol. "May the Warrior give strength to the men who fight for their King. The strength and might to serve justice to the traitors they pursue."

Joanna bowed her head. She waited until the prayer was done before she raised her head. She stared at the image for a moment before looking once more to the King. Ready to move to the next of the Seven.

The pair move through the rest of the Gods with speed, though Joanna also lingered at the Mother, praying for her mercy. Aethan rose from the final altar. "The people are waiting." He said, holding out his hand to Joanna.

She took his hand and walked out with him.

"Ser Renn, can you make sure the way is clear?" King Aethan looked to his guard and lover.

The floppy haired knight nodded once, "Of course My King." He said. He stepped forward and beyond the couple, and then out into the streets.

The streets of Kings Landing were wrought with destruction and despair, even still. It wasn't the prettiest sight to behold for the young King, but it was necessary. Deep down he feared that the images might be too harsh for Lady Joanna. But another part of him, the part that had know her since they were young, knew she was stronger than most women.

"The High Septon mentioned that there was a makeshift hospital set up near the Alchemists Guildhall." Aethan said, grapsing Joanna's arm tightly.

"Then that's where we should go," she agreed.

"My King, My Lady," Renn beckoned them out.

As they walked through the streets, Joanna seemed sad but not unable to deal with what she was seeing. She just looked out over the damage.

In the last stretch before the Guildhall the smell hit them. The scent of decay and death hit them like a wall before the waves of afflicted were viable. Busy Silent Sisters tended to the piles of corpses, Septons and Septa's comforted the injured and the throngs of grieving families, while Maesters of the Citadel tended to the wounded. Despite her stoic demeanor, Joanna shifted closer to Aethan and her face paled.

Aethan caught sight of the Grand Maester who had evidently arrived before the King. "Grand Maester." He called with a look of concern.

"Your Grace, my lady," Othro said, bowing. "It is a terrible scene."

Keeping his eyes on the older man, and purposefully away from the afflicted, Aethan asked.“Where can we be of assistance here?” He squeezed Joanna’s arm.

"I believe it would cheer them to simply speak with you, Your Grace," Othro answered.

"May I administer medication?" Joanna asked.

Othro hesitated. He looked uncomfortable. "If my lady knows how," he finally, somewhat grudgingly, allowed.

It was all that Aethan could do not to allow his mouth to fall open at her request. He couldn't imagine doing so himself, though he was sure it was well within her capability. He decided to follow joanna's lead in this, and speak with those she helped to treat.

"Thank you," Joanna said, taking a salve and sitting by one of the wounded, applying it to a wound on his shoulder. She smiled at him gently. "How are you feeling?" she asked.

"I'm...I'm...I've been better," he said with a rueful laugh.

"You should recover," she told him, carefully not making any promises. Then she smiled gently, but almost playfully. "Have you met my betrothed?"

"I..." the man started. "Your Grace?"

"Good Ser, " Aethan said, smiling at the man. "I hope you will recover. My lady says this salve will help."

Joanna smiled as she continued to apply it. Then she moved on to a little girl. "Hello there, sweetling," she said as she started to change her bandages, washing the wound once more gently and then replacing them with clean ones.

Aethan was used to being around children. On Dragonstone and Driftmark there were many children in the fishing villages and around the docks. He knelt down near Joanna and smiled warmly at the young girl. "How are you little dove?" He asked.

The girl met Aethan's purple eyes with her own hazel ones. She looked as though she was worn out. "Did she say you were the King?" She asked, her accent clearly indicated her origins in Flea Bottom.

"That's right." Aethan looked from the girl to Joanna and smiled.

"I was at the steps of the Sept when you got your crown." The girl spoke excitedly, clearly proud to have been there. "Mum said it was a once in a lifetime sort of thing."

"I thought I recognized you." He allowed his smile to grow. "It was such an honour to have had you there my lady..."

"Meris."The girl was smiling ear to ear at the King's apparent recognition.

"Lady Meris, did you know we're getting married?" He asked her, indicating Joanna.

The young girl shook her head

"He's going to be my husband, Meris. I'm very excited," Joanna said, grinning down at the girl as she worked.

The couple continued down the rows of affected. Some needed the care of Joanna's gentle hands, others seemed to take more comfort in the sight of the new King and his intended. The conversations were enlightening for Aethan. Shopowners told of how they staved off Iron Born Reavers as they attempted to set fire to their livelihood , father and mother told of navigating the smoke filled streets to find their children or deliver them to safety. It touched him, and made him feel rather inadequate that he couldn't do more for them.

He reached for Joanna's hand and took it tightly in his.

Joanna squeezed her husband's hand tightly. "The Mother show mercy," she said, almost under her breath.

 

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