In the final days of Robert's Rebellion, after the death of Crown Prince Rhaegar upon the Trident, the forces of House Lannister sacked King's Landing in the name of the new king, under the command of Tywin Lannister. During this horrific massacre the infant children of the late Rhaegar Targaryen were murdered in their chambers, along with their mother, Elia Martell - an act that many considered necessary, though brutal. The remaining children of King Aerys II -- Viserys, and Daenerys -- fled east across the Narrow Sea.
When at last the forces of Robert Baratheon came upon the city, the would-be king found two small corpses waiting for him there, wrapped in Lannister cloaks. The first - the body of Rhaenys Targaryen, Rhaegar's daughter. The second - a mangled mess of flesh and bone, indistinguishable -- but named as Aegon Targaryen, the Crown Prince's heir. Most accepted this grim truth, burying the grisly remains and assuming that any true hopes for House Targaryen had died with the young boy.
But the body buried that day was not the young Prince Aegon. Unbeknownst to all, Varys the Spider and spirited the true Targaryen away, placing a peasant child in his place. The son of Rhaegar Targaryen lived - hidden from all the world.
While the boy grew in secret, protected and tutored by knights and nobles from across the Seven Kingdoms, his aunt Daenerys Targaryen suffered her own tests in the Free Cities. Their journeys would see the pair of lost and exiled dragons come into their own as warriors and leaders of men, culiminating at last as they turned their eyes westward -- to the Kingdom that had been taken from them.
The Conquest Edit
The Fall of the Stormlands Edit
The Golden Company's arrival in the Stormlands was unexpected by the many factions vying for the Iron Throne. Fragmented after a storm, the forces of the Company were split from the center of the Stormlands to the southern half. The men of the Company quickly set out - taking Griffin's Roost, the Crow's Nest, Rain House, and even Greenstone.
Storm's End, however, is the greatest prize, and after a period of discussion Aegon himself leads the offensive against the fortress. Using uniforms and armor taken from Griffin’s Roost, Jon Connington has several men disguised of mercenaries attack the besieging army of Mathis Rowan, driving them off. Using this victory as proof, the 'mercenaries' gain access to Storm's End, telling it's castellan that they were sent by Stannis Baratheon to provide aid. When at last the main army of the Golden Company arrives, the disguised soldiers open the gates. Led by Aegon himself, the men of the Golden Company attack - leading to a bloody battle for the impenetrable fortress. The young Prince is victorious - and at last the banner of House Targaryen rises over Westeros once more.
Letters are sent out to the distant corners of the realm, declaring his intentions.
The March North Edit
The next decision was critical for the Dragon. Was he to continue on towards King's Landing with his forces, or would he wait for allies as the ever cautious Harry Strickland of the Golden Company wished? The Dragon dismissed Harry's suggestion as cowardice just as a Viper arrived as an envoy to meet this purported Dragon.
Arianne Martell arrived that day, and Jon Connington successfully predicted that she came bearing a potential alliance. The Princess would meet with Aegon and was struck with how his men flocked to him, alongside the authenticity of Jon Connington, who couldn't be denied. Despite some reluctance, Arianne would write to her father Doran, informing him that this Dragon was indeed his nephew. Doran, ever calculating, did not commit himself just yet -- waiting instead for his son to return from his mission in Meereen.
The City of Kings Edit
Outside the walls of King's Landing, Aegon is greeted under a banner of peace by Lord Randyl Tarly. After much discussion Jon Connington manages to convince the stubborn lord of Aegon's legitimacy, encouraging him to side with the Targaryen youth over the Lannisters. The Lord of Hornhill bends the knee to young Aegon, and they move to surround the city.
The Sparrow and the Lion Edit
Tensions already high, the siege of King's Landing proves to be too much for the tinderbox of a city to handle. The High Sparrow and his Faith Militant enter open conflict with the Goldcloaks and Lannister household guard, fighting in the streets as they struggle for control. Queen Ceresi Lannister unleashes the full force of her guards against the Sparrows, slaughtering the unarmoured peasants. The High Sparrow is killed, his forces breaking apart, but the whole of the city turns on the Queen Dowager. Goldcloaks defect by the score, and riots become a daily occurence. In one such riot, King Tommen is wounded, attempting to speak with the people on the behalf his mother and family. Lacking a Maester after the murder of Maester Pycelle, Tommen Baratheon continues to suffer of a fever from the infected wound, won during the riots of King's Landing. The situation inside the Red Keep is truly dire - food stores begin to run low and wine cellars are also depleted.
At this time, Varys emerged from the Red Keep through use of the secret passageway, young Margaery in tow. Sending letters out, Varys announced that Tyrek was alive and well and that he supported the true king of Westeros, Aegon. Before the eyes of men and gods, indeed, Tyrek was brought before them all. Tyrek revealed the truth behind Robert’s death, pointing to Lancel Lannister and Cersei. Declaring Martyn Lannister of a line unfit to rule, Aegon agreed to bestow the rights to rule House Lannister, the Westerlands, and Casterly Rock to Tyrion.
The siege continues, even after Tommen dies of his infection. With the goldcloaks ranks depleted, and the small folk growing ever more uncontrollable, eventually a group of malcontents force open the Mud Gate of King's Landing. Aegon and his forces take the city, but not the Red Keep almost bloodlessly, while the Lannister loyalists retreat to the Red Keep. Unable to march away and abandon the city, Aegon is forced to set up camp in the Dragonpit -- and wait.
Aegon, still operating out of the Dragonpit weeks later, knew that his conquest had hardly even begun. He still needed to see the collective knees of the realm bend to him, and conquer those realms that defied his rule. Doran Martell had lingered on his vow of fealty though his daughter remained an envoy in service to Aegon. Mace Tyrell had received Margaery and marched against the reavers of Euron Greyjoy. The Riverlands was once more in turmoil with Lord Baelish away in the Vale and Lord Edmure Tully fighting for control once more - Freys dying left and right. Aegon knew he could not abandon the siege, and so came to a hard decision. Keeping the host of Randyl Tarly and half of the remaining Golden Company to help hold the capital, he ordered the other half under control of Harry Strickland to march to the Riverlands and investigate Lord Tully and empower him.
The War in the Riverlands Edit
Harry Strickland and the Golden Company arrive in the Riverlands, discovering a far greater mess than they had anticipated. Armies were scatted like dust to the wind, though with word that the war in King's Landing was over many Lannister men had abandoned their posts to return home in the face of the great winter that was coming. Leading his men cautiously to Harrenhal, Harry there discovers Lord Edmure Tully and his uncle, the latter having freed the former with the aid of the Brotherhood without Banners. Strickland offers to fight for their claim in exchange for a vow of fealty to Aegon - involving the Golden Company in a hectic war against the Freys and the remaining Lannister forces. It was a hard fight; though many Riverlords threw their lot in with the Trouts of Riverrun their foes were still numerous, and not merely men alone. Winter had come in earnest, making food hard to find, and there was already not a house in the Trident that had escaped the depredations of the earlier fighting. In the end it was the internal collapse of House Frey that made victory truly possible - the death of Walder Frey saw his progeny immediately turn to civil war, even as Freys began to go missing in the dark of the woods and hills. Word came from the North that the Frey army there had been crushed by Stannis Baratheon, those that had survived the battle soon slain or captured by their former brothers-in-arms as Northmen turned coat by the hundred. Eventually Black Walder emerged as the victor in the Frey succession crisis, succeeding in the Bleeding of the Twins. Black Walder would enter the war against the Tullys and Golden Company, pushing them back enough to force a stalemate in his favour.
The Queen ArrivesEdit
With the war thus ground to a halt on all fronts, due to winter and weariness both, it seemed to many that peace would never come, and that the early success of young would-be King Aegon would be lost in the mire of attrition. The siege of the Red Keep stretched onward, and the Riverlands prove a long and dreadful slog. In the North, Stark loyalists warred against the forces of House Bolton, and Stannis turned his eyes beyond the Wall.
It was into this morass of hopelessness and desperation that Daenerys Targaryen first arrived in Westeros, seated atop Drogon with two other dragons at her back, and a small fleet of ships and soldiers at her side. The Stormborn had forgone any further attempts to gather a large army, having recieved word from Dorne of the situation. She arrived straight-away on Dragonstone, where Loras Tyrell still recovered -- the garrison, at the sight of her dragons, surrendered.
Dragons All Edit
When word arrived in King's Landing that Daenerys had taken Dragonstone, Aegon and his men quickly began to fear. The siege had been long, and taken a toll upon their own ranks -- this fresh force, aided by dragons, could prove too much. Hoping against hope, the would be Conqueror sent an emissary to his kinswoman -- offering her equal shares of the kingdom, and joint rule of Westeros, if they would but merge their forces. By way of answer, Daenerys soon appeared in the sky above King's Landing; Drogon beneath her, and Rhaegal at her back.
Daenerys and Aegon talk for some hours -- in private, away from their councillors. To this day no one knows all that was said, or what agreements or disagreements might have been made; but when the son of Rhaegar walked Aerys' daughter back to the dragonpit and her dragons, Rhaegal turned and lowered his head.
That was the first day Aegon Targaryen flew a dragon, but it would not be the last. As the future King took to the skies, beside the future Queen, their alliance was forged -- not in steel, but fire and blood.
Breaking the Chains Edit
With two dragonriders on their side, the Targaryen caused now seemed unstoppable. Daenerys mounted Drogon and took wing to the Red Keep, setting one of the uppermost towers aflame. Hours later the gates flew open, the remaining guardsmen throwing down their weapons. Queen Cersei, they said, was dead. Unwilling to surrender, but staring defeat in the face, she had taken her own life, upon the pyre of her son.
With the Red Keep and King's Landing firmly in their control, the Targaryens turned their eyes towards the West. Taking the rest of his host, Aegon marched towards the Riverlands, while Daenerys flew towards the Reach. Returning Loras Tyrell to his father, and reminding Highgarden of her oaths, Daenerys took the oaths of fealty from Mace Tyrell and all his bannermen. The Dornish, too, marched up from the passes of the Red Mountains -- Doran having heard of the arrival of Targaryen Queen.
The Reconquest of the RiverlandsEdit
Aegon and his host arrived in the Riverlands in late 300AC, and immediately began gaining ground on behalf of Lord Edmure Tully. Harrenhal was a stark reminder to all recalcitrant Riverlander houses, standing as warning of the fate that came to those who defied the dragon.
As half of the Golden Company marched up the King's Road under Jon Connington, and the other half along with Aegon reclaimed Fairmarket, Black Walder Frey was slowly forced to retreat. The Lord of the Crossing and much of his host pulled back towards Oldstones and the defensive stronghold of that tall hill -- but it was not enough to save them from their foes, and the Battle of Oldstones was joined. Black Walder was defeated, captured by the loyalist forces, his army routed or destroyed. With Walder in tow, Aegon struck a deal with the remaining Freys -- offering to hand over their black-hearted kinsman in exchange for their surrender and fealty henceforth.
The War in the ReachEdit
King Euron III Greyjoy was oft remarked to be a clever man - a sneaky man - who chose subterfuge and feints to win the day. Though Daenerys carried with her the means of the Ironborn defeat, he rarely granted her the opportunity to fully unleash the might of Drogon. Dragonfire is indiscriminate, and when battle was joined had a habit of burning all -- the Queen of Westeros could hardly turn loose her beast on the ranks, lest she burn her new-won allies as well. Time and time again Euron skirted the Reachmen or beguiled them into danger, but when at last he chose to make his move -- it was the Arbor that he threatened.
The island was the richest port in the west, with gold and foods and women worth taking. Best of all, it was only armed with a third of its strength, as the Redwyne Fleet had been moored at King’s Landing and was only just returning. Seeing the threat to the Arbor, Mace Tyrell sent out a portion of his soldiers and ships alongside House Hightower to defend the Arbor and had the remaining navy set up in a strike formation, hoping to take out the heart of the Greyjoy fleet.
But it was not the Arbor that Euron Greyjoy wanted. It had been a feint, as Euron and his fleet instead struck directly at Oldtown and its surrounding lands, pillaging villages along the coast all while the Tyrells blundered in their rush to defend the Arbor, leaving the riches of Oldtown behind unprotected. The war with the Ironborn looked to be extended years because of this colossal blunder, as the Reachmen simply did not have the resources to engage the mobile Ironborn despite the assistance of House Tyrell.
But King Euron had not expected the arrival of the Dornishmen led by Franklyn Fowler nor the return of Randyl Tarly to the Reach. Their forces swept in towards Oldtown and took the fight to the over extended reavers, crushing their vanguard in a fierce battle and forcing the Ironborn to flee back to their ships. Euron was furious and sent word to the Iron Islands requesting reinforcements, as the battle at sea would soon begin with the Redwyne Fleet returning. His call was ignored and it was revealed that Asha Greyjoy had returned to the Iron Islands and was bolstering her hold over the Islands with her uncle, Rodrik the Reader. His niece refused to send the Crow's Eye anything. Euron was forced into a battle severely undermanned and out resourced.
Caught in a difficult position, the Crow's Eye pulled back from Oldtown and fled down the Whispering Sound. His retreat presented the perfect opportunity for Queen Daenerys Targaryen -- she, atop Drogon, swept down upon the retreating Ironborn, and turned the waves red with dragonfire.
Euron's army and fleet were destroyed that day, burned upon the Whispering Sound. Euron himself, armoured in Valyrian Steel, laughed as the flames washed over him.
Mace Tyrell reaffirmed his loyalty in gratitude shortly after his son Garlan reclaimed the Shield Islands, ending the Ironborn threat to the Reach. Leaving the Tyrells to see to their lands, Daenerys Targaryen moved north, to rejoin the forces of her nephew.
The Wolves of WinterfellEdit
A Set FieldEdit
While Aegon and Daenerys warred in the south, the North and the Vale had troubles of their own. In the North, Stannis Baratheon defeated the Freys and Boltons holding Winterfell, but then turned his forces towards the Wall to face the growing threat. Stannis and his men marched into the blinding snows and howling winds, never to be seen again -- though legends amoung the wildings tell of a man with a flaming sword, who turned back the Others and slew their undead king, saving the realms of men from eternal winter.
In Winterfell, Jon Snow worked to organize the resistance against House Bolton, his meager forces gathered to fight against Lord Roose and his black bastard, Ramsay. Their war would continue even as winter came in force, slowing the fighting down to a near stand-still.
Meanwhile, in the Vale, Lord Petyr Baelish continued to gather pieces to his cause, preparing himself to make a move for even greater power. He arranges a marriage between Sansa Stark and Harrold Hardyng, the self-centered heir to the Eyrie agreeing, at the sight of Sansa's beauty.
The Plans of Men and MockingbirdsEdit
With the Lords Declarant ready to grant Baelish a full year's reprieve, it seems that Petyr has the space he needs to work. But when the deepening winter sees young Robin Arryn catch a chest cold, all of the carefully laid plans of Baelish and thrown into dangerous crisis. Seeing an opportunity, Sansa works upon her husband-to-be -- using many of the same tricks she had learned in the past few years to secure the brash, head-strong boy to her cause. With Hardyng's loyalty secured, Sansa needed only wait and see what the gods would provide -- and in late 300AC, Robin Arryn's cough took him.
The very night that Robin fell, Harrold Hardyng -- now Harrold Arryn -- ordered the arrest of Lord Petyr Baelish, at the behest of Lady Sansa Stark. Littlefinger's attempts to flee were thwarted by the Lords Declarant, Lord Yohn Royce at last recognizing the young Stark woman for who she was.
Sansa levels several accusations against the Lord Petyr Baelish, including the murder of her aunt, Lady Lysa. Despite begging for mercy, offering bribes and threats and pleas, Littlefinger is found guilty. Lord Harrold Hardyng asks of his bride what punishment she would wish, and at her word Lord Baelish is executed.
The Lady of the ValeEdit
Secure now in the Eyrie, with her husband at one hand and the Lords Declarant at the other, Sansa convinces them that their honour demands that they act. At her request, the Knights of the Vale set forth -- mounting ships in Gulltown and along the coast, and sailing up the Bite towards the North. They land in White Harbor in early 301AC, flying the banners of House Arryn -- as well as the banner of House Stark. Sansa herself arrives with them, unwilling to remain behind, and Lord Manderly informs her of Rickon's location on Skagos. Several ships are dispatched to ensure his return, only to discover that Rickon had already been retrieved by Davos Seaworth on the orders of Stannis Baratheon. Lady Sansa remains at White Harbor while the Vale forces, bolsterered by reinforcements from House Manderly, march up the White Knife towards Winterfell under the command of Lord Yohn Royce.
The Reclaiming of the NorthEdit
The timely arrival of the Vale forces turned the tide of the Battle for Winterfell, leading to the death of Roose Bolton and the recapture of the ancient seat of House Stark. Jon Snow and a contingent of Wildling volunteers met up with the Baratheon and Vale forces shortly after the Battle of Winterfell. The Northmen hailed Jon as Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, and the White Wolf assumed command of the Northern and Vale forces and pursued Ramsay toward the Dreadfort. Lady Sansa traveled from White Harbour to hold Winterfell in her half-brother's stead while he prosecuted the war, and took custody of the heavily pregnant Walda Frey.
The Battle of Weeping Water takes place within sight of the Dreadfort, as the last of their armies - commanded by Ramsay himself - clash with the combined forces of Winterfell and the Vale. Roose Bolton's spies became aware of Davos Seaworth's mission and sent men to intercept Seaworth and bring Rickon Stark to the Dreadfort as insurance. Ramsay Bolton proudly displayed the flayed skins of Rickon Stark and Davos Seaworth on wooden frames outside his camp in the hopes of provoking the Northern forces into a rash attack. This stratagem was not nearly enough to overcome the crushing numerical advantage of the Stark army, and the Bastard of Bolton was captured while trying to flee to the Dreadfort and executed by Jon Stark, breaking the power of the Boltons. The Stark army besieged the Dreadfort, which was opened from within by the hopeless and the loyal. The Boltons, their commanders, and those lords and knights who remain loyal, are one and all put to the sword as the price of Ramsay's cruelty.
Jon Stark returned to Winterfell with Rickon’s bones, where he was reunited with his half-sister Sansa. Despite some of his bannermen urging him to take up the mantle of King in the North, Jon followed the Lady of the Vale’s counsel and declined to call his banners. Not wanting to subject the North to further bloodshed and the ravages of dragonfire, the new Lord of Winterfell sent a raven to King’s Landing to pledge fealty to the Targaryens. Aegon and Daenerys recognized Jon Stark as the rightful Warden of the North and confirmed his legitmization. Sansa returned to the Vale and to her husband, to live as the Lady of the Eyrie.
Following the death of King Euron and Petyr Baelish, any true hope for organized resistance to Targaryen rule ended rapidly. Messages flew back and forth, ravens winging above King's Landing constantly for a fortnight, as the continent of Westeros bent the knee for King Aegon VI, and Queen Daenerys I.
Though there would be those who resisted the return of the dragons, the return of actual dragons made most of these rebellions minor and short-lived. The Targaryens were strong, if few in number, and their rule was absolute. Though later years would see further trouble, as the realm grew used to the return of its first-conquerors, the Second Conquest would prove to be aptly named; for once more did an Aegon sit the Iron Throne, and once more did the Seven Kingdoms bend the knee to one king -- and, this time, one queen.