AN: So here is the next chapter, hope you all like it. I'll admit it was a pain in the arse to write at times but I managed to get something out. Which is always a bonus.
Thanks a lot for reading, and I hope you all continue to read the story. If you have any questions do feel free to PM me and I'll try to answer. If not please do review, or if you're interested I have a discord channel, so please check out my bio if you're interested in that.
Disclaimer: I do not own Game of Throne of Percy Jackson.
( - )
Even from where he stood up high and what had once been called 'The Fist of the First Men', his sharp gaze could pick out a line of black cloaked men approaching his position, they were still miles off, but that distance would not save them. They were as good as dead, they just didn't know it yet.
Once again he smiled slightly at that, his lips tugging upwards as he scanned the swarming horde of undead around.
The army was all but complete, there remained only a few thousand more live bodies on this side of the Wall.
Once he had gathered up his full forces, then then, and only then would his war, the last Great War, truly begin.
Soon, very soon, this would all be over.
( - )
( - )
(With Percy/ Tytan)
Smiling to himself in contently, Percy lay back against a large trunk in the godswood and basked in the early morning sunlight. Taking a deep breath, he could smell the scent of pine and of the wild flowers around him.
A slight grumbling to his side made his smile grow a bit more, as he opened his eyes and saw a pair of golden reptilian eyes gazing reproachfully back at him.
"Sorry, Oz." Percy smiled, reaching out and knuckling the green scaled dragon's head.
He had to be careful as he did this as over the last few weeks that he had been absent, the dragon had not only grown two feet, but had also gained a jagged crown of sharp horns and spikes around his head. With similar spikes also noticeably protruding down his spine. Though these were spaced slightly further apart than the ones on his head. Additionally he also had similar spikes running along his tail, with the tip of his tail now resembling a spiked club.
Young Ozmandias, Percy mused, was becoming truly fearsome.
Already the dragon was the size of a young foal, and was growing several inches every day. He also now stood at roughly three and a half feet tall at his shoulder, which when combined with his length and the growing musculature of his broad body, made him quite intimidating.
Of course his intimidation factor was greatly reduced by his general demeanour, as currently the growing and soon to be fire breathing lizard was purring like an overgrown housecat and nuzzling against Percy's hand as he tried to seek more head rubs from him.
Somehow, Percy thought as he smiled down at the dragon as he suddenly warbled and rolled on to i-his back, his large wings splayed out beneath him as he then proceeded to writh around gleefully in the long glass, he had ruined this world's version of a weapon of mass destruction.
He had totally spoilt and pampered Oz into domesticated bliss.
"Who's a good boy!" Percy grinned as he rubbed the dragon's slightly less scaled underbelly.
He had no regrets.
Letting out a sound half way between a yip and a loud purr, Ozymandias twisted around and shoved his large, spiky head onto Percy's lap. Firmly if quietly, demanding more attention from the former demigod.
"You know," Another voice spoke up from just beside him. "In all my ten thousand years of life, I've never seen a dragon act like that. Somehow, Perseus, you've ruined this world's apex predator. I don't know whether I should be impressed, or horrified."
"Ahh it's not that bad, Leaf." Percy grinned, his smile widening as Oz let out a slight puff of smoke and a gurgle in agreement. "Oz here is as fearsome as any of his ancestors."
Oz let out another purr at that, and nuzzled further into Percy's stomach. His actions ripping and ruining his cotton doublet as his horns and spikes shredded the thin material.
Fortunately, Percy thought as he pushed Oz back so the dragon was resting his head on his leather breeches, it didn't breach his skin. Though, it did make him note down the fact that he may need to start wearing a leather jerkin or cuirass the next time he went to pet the dragon.
"And besides, didn't I tell you to call me, Percy?" Percy smiled, tickling the rough, cream coloured scales under Oz's neck.
"Percy, it just doesn't feel right. It does not roll off the tongue the way Perseus does. The name Percy, it feels too mundane and mortal. It lacks the weight to it that the name Perseus has." Leaf rolled her golden eyes. This was not the first time in the days he had been back, the days since they had first made love, that he had tried to get her to call him Percy. "I will continue to call you, Perseus."
"Hmm," Percy smirked. He honestly wasn't too bothered, he had grown accustomed to being known as both Tytan and Perseus for long enough now, that the name Percy didn't hold the same weight in his memories that it had used. "You think Percy sounds too human, and mundane. Then what about Leaf?"
Leaf's lips curled into a cat like smirk at that, her golden eyes twinkling with amusement. The entire effect gave her already preternaturally beautiful face a new kind of radiance, less austere than usual, and instead more mortal. "The reason I go by the name Leaf, is that my true name cannot be pronounced by the mortal tongue. It's a feeling, a part of my essence, one that I do not so much need to say but that others can sense from me. My true name is synonymous with my soul. But since you humans love to ascribe verbal names to each other, I chose Leaf as it was simple enough for even your petty mortal names to comprehend."
"Uh huh," Percy grinned, taking his eyes off of Oz as he instead leaned against the trunk and looked over at the bronzed hair wood elf beside him. "Sounds to me that that is just your excuse for your own lack of imagination."
Leaf sent him a long look at that, her ancient golden eyes unreadable for a moment, before the slight up tilt of her lips gave away her amusement. "Maybe, but as you like to say, 'it felt like a good idea at the time'."
Percy grinned again at that.
The past few days had been nice, nothing too exciting had happened. He had managed to walk around and have a proper conversation with his bride to be, and then a drink with his friends, and finally had been able to spend most of the morning with Leaf and Oz in the godswood where they now permanently resided.
During his time in the Vale he had had some carpenters, under the watchful eyes of his Hand, Kevan, install a palisade around a large portion of the woods. Bounding off the area that Oz would reside in whilst under Leaf's care.
It was an area that only he, Percy/ Tytan, was able to go. A home away from home where he could be with Leaf and Oz, away from the demands of the Court. A place where both he and Leaf could raise Oz in peace.
Any other trespassers, he had made sure to make known, if they even survived a run in with Oz and Leaf, would be imprisoned regardless of their status. That said the likelihood of them ever running into Leaf was low, as the she elf tended to travel the land these days when he was not around and Oz was sleeping, visiting the Heart Trees that still existed in the south and nurturing them. That or she flew around in her hawk form and planted new Heart Tree in remote, hard to get to places, far away from the destructive and vindictive reach of the Church.
Unfortunately however his several days of peace and pleasure were soon to come to an end. He had a Small Council meeting arranged for the afternoon, and before that he needed to track down Ivar, in whatever brothel or tavern he had been holed up in the last few days, and have a discussion about the goings on in Dorne.
He already knew the broad strokes, and had sent a perosnal missive to Sunspear condemning the murder of Prince Doran at the hands of the last Targaryen, Viserys, and his loyalists, and making offers of a reward for the loyalty of House Dorne. After all as everyone knew, Prince Oberyn was cut down while trying to do his duty to Westeros, by putting an end to a growing rebellion inhis very own country.
Honestly, it left a bitter taste in his mouth going through such subterfuge, but not enough to make him regret his actions.
Where before he would have probably gone to a brothel or gotten drunk to avoid facing up to such feelings of guilt, now he could just ignore them and count on his returning demigod physiology and psychology to mute such negative feelings so that he would never have to face them.
Already he could feel pieces of himself that he never knew were missing, returning to him. His demigod soul, still with all of its memories and it's semi-divine essence, was stronger than ever now. So much so that it was changing his previously human body back to how it should be.
As Leaf had told him previously, magic was rapidly returning to this world and with it, so too were all those born of magic or with magic running through their veins, strengthened. After all, just as he himself was regaining his strength, so too were the dragons once more walking the land, and the Greenseers, Rhoynar Water Mages and Asshai Shadowbinders once again capable of great feats of magic.
It was both wonderful, and worrying, Percy knew. With it being wonderful in the sense that there was once again magic and all it entailed in this world, and terrible in that not all those who practiced magic were good. As magic didn't differentiate, it could be used by both the virtuous and the evil.
The rising evil in the north was evidence enough of that. Not only was he being strengthened by this magical resurgence, but so too were the White Walkers and the other evil eldritch beings of myth and legend that lived out there in the wide world.
It was enough to make him start to think about the Seven Divines and the Old Gods, and the gods of all the other religions and Pantheons out there.
If both magic and the Divine were around in his world, then did the presence of magic in this world mean that the Divine were here too, and that they would be strengthened by the resurgence too?
Would he have to soon worry about the gods interfering in his life and plans?
Would they even tolerate him, a spawn of an alien god, residing in their world?
A frown spread across Percy's face at that thought.
Such things had begun to concern him of late.
"You are worrying about what may yet be, aren't you?" Leaf's voice suddenly intruded into his increasingly dourer thoughts.
"Not worrying, more… pondering." Percy replied, his smile slightly dimmer than before as he tried to pull his mind away from his theological ponderings and his concerns over the growing evil in the north. The last thing he needed to do right now was overthink things, and then act rashly.
Especially since he didn't wanted to do something stupid, like to panic and order a purge of all those that worshipped the Seven Divines or the Old Gods, and the implementation of a new state religion.
The unmitigated trouble and chaos that such an order would bring, was even now giving him a headache just thinking about it.
Especially since the Faith of the Seven, which his family, friends and soon to be wife mostly followed, currently held him up as a Blessed figure in the Faith. Whilst his lover, Leaf, and some of his other friends, were deeply connected to the Old Gods.
An overreaction like that would be a lose lose situation, no matter which way he looked at it.
"Then stop it." Leaf said simply, her lilting, melodic voice lowering slightly in worry. "What will be will be. Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy."
"Hmm," Percy hummed. Oz perhaps sensing his concerns nuzzled his hand again. "You're right. I need to focus on the here and now, and not worry about things that might ever not even come to pass."
"It is a good way to live one's life. Fate, Perseus, is inexorable." Leaf nodded, before she smoothly stood up and turned to look at him, her hand extended to as if to pull him up too. "Now come, let us dance."
"Dance?" Percy asked curiously.
"Yes, we will dance and then battle, and then sport. That I believe will take your mind off of your worries." Leaf nodded, her golden eyes boring challengingly into his own.
"Sport?" Percy asked as he took her hand and allowed her to pull him on to his feet.
In response, Leaf just sent him a sensual smirk.
( - )
"Hey, Tytan!" Ivar called out, the thin, blonde Valeman waving the king over from the corner of the high class brothel he was residing in.
It was the brothel that until recently, Petyr Baelish had been imprisoned in.
"Ivar." Percy nodded a slight smile on his face as he passed the house madame, Matilda, an older woman that must have once been beautiful before age had taken its toll. Absentmindedly waving his hand as the older woman genuflected. It had only been a year or so since he had been both the Crown Prince and the nominal owner of this establishment, as well as the rest of the brothels in the city. Her boss.
Technically speaking, he was still actually the owner too, even if he had passed off all of the running responsibility on to other trusted people, and the control of his spy network onto his Master of Whispers, Qyburn.
On top of which he had folded much of the profits he personally made from this venture into funding his private army of Goldcloaks.
Thinking on it now, a part of him was still amused by the irony of paying his soldiers the same money that many of them spent here in the brothels in the first place.
Shaking his head at that unusual, if amusing thought, Percy lowered his hood and allowed one of the whores assisting the madame to take his cloak as he instead, after a smile and a thanks to the two women, took the seat across from Ivar.
Behind him both Luke and Martin took up positions by the door. Both of the armoured men noticeably trying in vain as they did so, not to look at the many beautiful, scantily clad women running around the town house's luxurious rooms.
"If we may have the room, Matilda." Percy smiled to the house madame, his green eyes twinkling as the woman curtsied once more.
"Of course Your Majesty." Matilda said respectfully, before she stood up and began to chivvy away all the curious whores, and a couple of the young looking men that also worked in the brothel.
The older woman was a good sort, and very loyal. She was one of the people he had foisted his managing responsibilities onto after he had blackmailed and torn the control of these brothels out of Baelish's slimy claws.
"Also, if you could keep my presence here quiet, Matilda. It would be greatly appreciated." Tytan added on, as he smiled and nodded at the two naked girls that previously were clutching to the half naked, Ivar. Both of whom sent him sultry smiles in return, before giggling as Matilda quickly shooed them away.
"Of course, not a word of your being here will leave either my, nor any of my girls' mouths. As always, you may trust me to be circumspect." Matilda bowed, before leaving the room and preparing to pull the beautifully crafted, rosewood doors closed behind her. "If you need anything, anything at all, please don't hesitate to ask."
Percy smiled at that and waved her off as she closed the door and left the four of them alone in the room.
"You look like shit." Ivar broke the silence that followed, a sly smirk on his face as he filled a silver goblet with some red wine and pushed it over to Percy, after which he then topped up his own goblet. "It looks like you've just been dragged by a horse, through a hedge backwards, several times…"
"That's an odd way of describing it." Percy replied, cocking an eyebrow at the comment before he checked out his reflection in a nearby mirror.
It was an odd description, but still quite apt. He really did look like had had a fight with a thorny hedge and had come out the loser.
His hair was a mess, and now he looked closer he could still see it still had pine needles and small bits of leaves in it that he had not noticed when he was trying to make himself halfway presentable earlier. His face he also noticed, also had several minor abrasions and cuts, and his clothing too, beneath his leather jerkin, was clearly ripped, dirty and very ruffled.
It was almost amusing, especially since he actually did know what he had been doing to make himself look like this.
"So," Ivar grinned cheekily, raising his cup and clinking it with Percy's as he did so. "I'm guessing you're here to ask about Dorne?"
"I know generally what happened, but I always like to hear a first hand account." Percy smiled, taking a sip of his wine and sitting back in his chair as he then gestured for the sly faced Valeman to continue speaking.
"Well it went as planned. I took the whiny princeling out of his cell, made a big show of being a traitor and then used him to foment rebellion." Ivar shrugged nonchalantly, completely unbothered about talking about his treasonous acts in front of the King. "I dragged him through the Crownlands, Riverlands, Westerlands and even the Stormlands, before finally arriving at Dorne. It was a right pig of a journey, let me tell you. And that Targaryen brat was a whiny little shit all the way."
"And you managed to gather up the remaining Targaryen loyalists?" Percy pressed. He had already met Viserys and thus knew what a nasty piece of work the former Prince was.
"As far as I know, or at least those ones that were stupid enough to throw their lot in with Visrerys. Most of them were from poor Houses that supported the Targaryens the first time around and were dislanded and impoverished for it." Ivar shrugged, before a slight grin crept across his face. "They really hated you and your father, you know?"
"I can imagine." Percy replied dryly. "Any surprising names?"
"There was an arrogant shit from a cadet branch of the Hightowers, a couple of minor lords and knights from the Riverlands. The biggest name of course was Oberyn." Ivar said, taking another sip of his wine now. "He was more than happy to stick it to you and your family, especially the Lannister side."
"Yes, that was disappointing. I thought dealing with Lorch and gelding the Mountain, and then sending him to take the Black would be enough for the Red Viper to get over his animosity to me and my family. I guess he was more stubborn and spiteful than I thought." Percy said with a disappointed sigh. It was a shame, as from what he had heard Oberyn was a smart man, and could have been useful in the years to come. "Was he as good a warrior as he was rumoured to be?"
"Ha!" Ivar snorted. "I'm not sure about that. He was drunk and didn't even have a proper weapon. In the situation I caught him in, he could have been as good as you, Tytan, and he would still have been killed."
"Pity, I had never seen him fight before." Percy sighed. A part of him, the part that liked to challenge himself, had wanted to test his martial skill against Oberyn. After all if he could best Jamie and keep up with Barristan Selmy, probably beat him now actually, then he wanted to see his he was as good with a spear as Oberyn was rumoured to be.
Alas it was not to be though.
"You didn't miss much." Ivar shrugged. "He's dead now, him and the rest of the traitors."
"Yes, the news has already spread through King's Landing and the rest of Westeros." Percy nodded. The news had been rife by the time he arrived back from the Vale. Already the stories about what had actually happened were changing and evolving as time passed, with each new retelling adding extra flourishes and exaggerations.
"Yeah, poor martyred Martel." Ivar rolled his eyes.
"Yes, well what's done is done." Percy nodded, a back smile on his face as he reached over and filled up both Ivar's and his own cup with more wine. "Now let's toast to your return, Ser Ivar of the Vale, and discuss your reward."
"Ha! I'll definitely drink to that!" Ivar grinned, clinking goblets with Percy again.
Smiling at this, Percy then settled back into his chair and continued to talk with Ivar, discussing as he did what had happened to him in the Vale, and the new opportunities that there now were in the Vale, now House Arryn and a number of traitor lords had been culled.
( - )
(Later in the day)
Entering Small Council chambers, Percy, now decked out in a fresh set of black boots and leather breeches, with a light, tightly woven doublet and a dyed, red leather jerkin with engraved images of a crown stag on, smiled as he looked around at his now standing, and waiting, advisors.
Atop his head he also wore his father's crown. It fit quite comfortably.
"My lords, ladies." Percy smiled and nodded, his gaze momentarily lingering on an intruder in the room, Tywin, before he looked around at the rest of the Council and then took his seat on the largest, most ornate chair, at the centre of the table.
Around him the others, who had stood at his entrance, sat too. With Tywin noticeably, and presumptuously, taking the seat that was usually reserved for the Grand Maester. a role that Maester Qyburn currently held, alongside his other role as the Master of Whispers.
Around the edges of the room six armoured warriors, an even mix of his Kingsguard and his own personal guard stood alert and at attention.
"My King, I am glad to see you are safely back and well from your war in the Vale." Olenna Tyrell, began with a nod of her head. "I had hoped to have been able to greet you properly when you first arrived, but alas my knees and hips weren't up the task."
"Think nothing of it, Lady Tyrell." Percy smiled, waving away her fake apology with his own perfunctory response. "Your son was representative enough."
"Oh, I hope not," Olenan shot back, a smile on her wizened face. "My grandchildren are far better representatives of House Tyrell than my idiot son."
Percy smiled at that, but didn't answer. It wouldn't do well to mock his son to be father in law, even if the man was the moron that the man's mother quite happily told all and sundry that he was.
"I hear it was a grand spectacle." Renly added in next. The Master of Law, though perhaps in name only, bowing to Percy as he spoke. "Even now they are singing songs of the Mountain King, the man that tore the Eyrie down with just footstep!"
"You flatter me Uncle." Percy waved him off, and really he was. Renly was a treacherous, two faced, snake, and was only kept in check by his own natural cowardice.
He was a far cry from his brothers. One of whom had been loud, crass and blunt to the point of rudeness. Whilst the other was stern and unyielding, and completely lacking in both subtlety and moral fibre. This difference however, was probably also why he was the most dangerous of his brothers, and why he needed to be kept in check.
It was a shame they were related, Percy mused as Renly continued to wax lyrical about the destruction of the Eyrie, after all if they weren't then he could have had Renly killed like he had Baelish, Varys and Pycelle, the other vipers that had infested the Capital. But alas they were, and the one line Percy wouldn't willingly cross, was that of kinslaying. Every fibre of his being was repelled by the very thought.
"Your Majesty, I am glad you are well and that you have returned as promptly as you did." Qyburn chipped in next. The Maester, his mother's suggestion, came across as a decent enough person. He was reliable and practical. Percy liked that.
"Yes, well I didn't want to be away from the Capital for too long. Not after hearing about the goings on in Dorne." Percy replied with a nod.
"Ah yes, poor Oberyn. A brave man, but alas a foolish one too. He should have known better than to recklessly rush in and confront those rebel lords like he did." Qyburn shook his head sadly.
"Yes, I have already seen to it that our official condolences were offered. I also offered some gold from the Crown's treasury to pay for the Prince of Dorne to have the lavish funeral that he so truly deserves." Keven chipped in.
"Good, he might not have gotten on well with my family, but in the end he did his duty all the same. We should honour that." Percy nodded, smiling at Kevan now.
His Lannister Uncle might have the charisma of a piece of wood, but he was very competent at what he did, and his lack of ambition also made him the perfect person to have as Hand. He was one appointment that Percy didn't regret.
"Also I was thinking about offering the position of the Master of Ships, to Doran too. I believe it would be a good way to round out the Council." Percy added on. It was a tentative suggestion, as he still wasn't sure whether or not to offer the position to Dorne, or to the Vale, or maybe even to the North or Riverlands. After all it was a political decision, one that would need to be assessed carefully as by offering it he would be showing favour.
"An interesting idea, Your Majesty." Tywin broke in next, a slightly condescending smile on his face as he looked over at Percy. "But one that I think needs to be fully thought over before any decisions are actually made."
"That's true grandfather, and that was why I was putting it forward as a suggestion to the Small Council." Percy nodded, before his gaze sharpened. "Speaking of the Small Council though, I have to admit that I am surprised to see you here grandfather?"
Tywin's eyes noticeably narrowed at that comment.
A few of the other members of the Small Council also tensed. Though Olenna just looked delighted by the proceedings.
"And where else do you think I should be, Tytan?" Tywin asked, his eyes locking unyieldingly with Percy's now. "I previously sat on the Small Council as Hand of the King for over twenty years, Tytan, and after hearing how you had not even managed to fill the positions of your Small Council yet, I thought it would be prudent, and useful, that I attend and take up one of the vacant positions during my time in the Capital."
Percy could almost taste the danger in his grandfather's words. The man was annoyed.
Looking around at the other members of the Council, Percy could see that all eyes were on him now.
His grandfather, one of the most powerful lords in the Kingdom, and certainly the most wealthy, just publically had challenged him. He needed to respond.
Already he could feel his mouth going dry as the silence continued to linger, and the tension rise, as the two of them locked eyes.
He wasn't sure what to do.
He could quite easily snap back and kick his grandfather out. He certainly didn't fear the man on a personal level. But that would destroy his already lacking relationship to his grandfather, and gain him the enmity of the famously spiteful and grudgeful lord. Which was especially bad as the Crown still had a debt to the Lannisters, and he wouldn't put it past Tywin to call that debt in just to humiliate and humble him. The man was dangerously unpredictable.
On the other hand however, he could play his grandfather's comment off as a joke, and allow him to remain. That would appease his grandfather, but it would also mean showing weakness to the rest of his Council, and that his grandfather could browbeat him any time he chose to. That too brought with it a number of different issues.
Off the top of his head he could think of no right answer. This was a situation he had never been in before, as previously he had always known what to do. There had always been a right answer in his mind.
"I think." Kevan blessedly spoke up, the short, balding blonde man looking between grandson and grandfather nervously as he did so. "That we should perhaps get back to the matter at hand, if Your Grace will allow it?"
The man was offering him an olive branch.
But Percy wasn't sure whether to take it or not, after all would taking it mean that he had backed down in the face of his grandfather's provocation?
"Yes, can we please get on with it. As I'm not sure about any of you, but I at least have other things to do with my day then stay in this stuffy old room." Olenna snapped out, her eyes still glittering with amusement as Percy finally broke eye contact with his grandfather and looked over at her.
"Indeed, especially as I've have a number of concerning reports that we need to speak of." Qyburn tagged in now, opening the ledger in front of him as he did so. "And by your leave, Your Majesty, I would like to speak about the most recent, and troubling, reports from our spies in Essos?"
"And what is happening in Essos?" Tywin asked, the older man's attention now moving on to the Maester.
Qyburn though didn't respond, but instead looked to Percy.
"Is this about the Targaryen girl?" Percy finally asked breaking his silence.
He had a sinking feeling in his stomach that he had just lost that confrontation.
"Yes, the most recent reports we have tell us that her fleet has now left the city of Qarth with Stannis, one of the ruling leaders of Qarth, and that they are soon to be make land in the city of Astapor." Qyburn nodded pressing on.
"Slaver's Bay?" Kevan asked with a frown. "What is she doing there?"
"I would imagine that she is looking to buy some slaves." Olenna replied dryly. "Unsullied if I were to hazard a guess, slaves raised in the art of war from birth. The greatest warriors to have ever lived."
"And very expensive too." Tywin countered.
"Yes, but with the support of a wealthy member of the ruling Council of Qarth, more than possible." Qyburn replied. "The man is called Xaro Xhoan Daxos, and is reputed to be the wealthiest man in Qarth, which itself is one of the wealthiest cities in Essos."
"But what would such a man be doing allying with some Targaryen girl? Surely he doesn't think that she will ever be able to take the Iron Throne, and actually sit in it?" Renly scoffed, rolling his eyes.
"Why does Stannis support her if you think that such a thing is so impossible?" Olenna snapped back.
"Because my brother lost his mind and found religion. Don't you remember Lady Tyrell, Stannis has become enamoured with some crazy, fire cultist from Essos. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if the only reason he is over there, is because this cultist is leading him there by his cock." Renly rolled eyes. His words were crude, but certainly to the point. "Honestly, I can't imagine what is going through my brother's mind. He was never one for fanciful jaunts, or for turning his back on his duty. This witch must have truly made him lose his mind."
"Hmm, it is true that the Priestess of R'hllor, Melisandre, still sails with them." Qyburn nodded. "And that religion has a significantly larger following in Slaver's Bay than it does in the free cities. It is more than possible that there is a religious aspect behind the alliance supporting the Targaryen girl. But she does have two dragons with her though, so they too could be the price for this Xaro's assistance."
"We should send out some assassins and have the girl, her dragons and her chief advisers slain. Or at least the girl." Tywin said abruptly. "I'm sure the crowd could afford some Faceless Ones to do the deed?"
"Should I look into it, Your Majesty?" Qyburn asked, looking over at Percy now.
"Er, yes. Please do Qyburn." Percy nodded, he couldn't bring himself to disagree. If this Targaryen girl truly was the threat that the Small Council believed her to be, then she had to die. He would not allow her to invade Westeros and cause chaos and bloodshed. "Though don't arrange anything until we know more. For now your main priority should be finding out more about this alliance and the threat they pose, and what protections there may be in place around the Targaryen girl."
"Yes, Your Majesty." Qyburn bowed, before he then turned another page of his ledger. "After that there is also the issue of increased piracy in the Narrow Sea."
"Isn't that what the King's Royal Navy is for?" Renly suddenly asked, his tone almost, but not quite, snide.
"Yes, and we have sent the ships that didn't go with the king to the Vale, out to patrol the seas and escort trade convoys. As you should remember, Lord Baratheon. But the problem still remains all the same." Qyburn replied swiftly. "It is a temporary remedy, but not a cure."
"Pirates have always been a problem in the Narrow Sea, and they always will be so long as the Stepstones are infested with them." Tywin said dismissively.
"The fact that they have always been a problem shouldn't stop us from trying to solve it though." Olenna returned smoothly, her eyes now on Percy.
"Yes your right." Percy nodded, tapping his hand on the table now as he tried to organise his thoughts. He was still a bit out of sorts. "Perhaps we should look at driving the pirates out of the Stepstones, permanently?"
"You mean to suggest that we should invade the Stepstones?" Renly asked, shaking his head with amusement. "It's funny you know, I remember Robert suggesting that very thing before."
"It's not an idea without merit." Olenna shot back, her shrewd gaze still on Percy.
"If we drive the pirates out we can set up a naval base and trading outpost on the islands. Not only will they assist in keeping the trade between Essos and Westeros uninterrupted, but they would also help in keeping the amount of pirates down." Percy nodded, seizing onto the idea now. "We have a modern and fully furnished fleet, and the resources and men to do it. As such, I believe we should."
"But should we really proceed on such a venture with the threat the Targaryen girl poses out there?" Renly asked, his eyebrow raised.
"And why not? If we took the island we could use them as a base to attack the Targaryen's fleet if she ever attempts to cross the Narrow Sea. We could attack and chip away at her forces, force them to group up and then send a few fire ships into the massed up armada?" Percy continued seizing onto the conversation now.
"I can look into the financial implications?" Olenna nodded after a few moments of silence enveloped the table at Percy's words.
"It should be easy enough to put together supplies, especially after how quick the campaign in the Vale went." Kevan nodded hesitantly. "Though I do think that this decision is something we need to think more on? Especially as we don't know how Tyrosh, Myr and Lys will react to our invasion and colonisation of the Stepstones."
"Yes, I would agree with you there." Percy nodded, before looking at Qyburn. "Could you dig up some information on the pirates numbers though, and perhaps the locations of the main pirate strongholds in the Stepstones, and along the coast of the Disputed Lands?"
"I can at least look into Your Majesty. Just how much I'll be able to find out though, I can't yet say." Qyburn nodded, adding another note into his ledger. "I'm afraid I don't have too many spies out in that part of the world."
"That's understandable, but still it is something we can look into." Percy nodded.
"Yes, but unfortunately the piracy problem is more widespread than the Narrow Sea." Qyburn replied.
"Oh?" Percy asked.
"Yes, the Ironborn have been causing trouble on the western coast again. Something has stirred them up, and made them far more active than they've been in many years." Qyburn nodded, a scowl gracing his features at the mention of the infamous reavers.
"The Ironborn up to no good again." Olenna said bitterly, a scowl on her face too. "We should have wiped them out when we had the chance!"
"Ah yes, now that too should be another job for the Royal Fleet shouldn't it?" Renly sniped.
"I will look into this problem." Tywin suddenly spoke over the others, his words less a question and more a statement of fact. "I will speak to Lord Redwyne and Lord Tyrell, and then see if we can't put together a way to counter the Ironborn and their actions."
"Yes, and in the meantime I will write them a missive, demanding that they stop, and threaten them with sanctions too should they not." Kevan added on.
Percy wasn't sure how useful a missive would be to the famously ornery and aggressive raiders.
"That seems like a reasonable approach to start with. Though Kevan you should also offer aid to those who have been attacked by the Ironborn. Additionally I will contact Ser Beric Dondarrion and have him send several cohorts of Gold Cloaks out to patrol the coast line. Also Kevan, send word to Lord Stark and Lord Tully too, tell them to be on their guard against possible coastal raids." Percy spoke up, his hand tapping on the table again as he regained some of his rhythm.
Honestly he couldn't think of a reason why the Ironborn would be acting out like this after so many years of silence.
"I don't have many resources in the Iron Island, but I will try to find out more about has stirred Balon Greyjoy into acting so irrationally." Qyburn added in.
Percy nodded at that, before looking around at the rest of the group. "So any other business?"
This meeting had not gone the way he had hoped it would. His grandfather's presence and attitude had thrown him off.
He could already feel a headache coming, he just hoped things didn't get any worse.
( - )
(In the North)
"Are you sure this is a wise move, my lord?" Luwin asked Robb Stark, a slight frown on his wizened face as he leant in closer to the young lord so that no one else at the table could hear what he was saying.
Currently, they were both sitting at the head table in Winterfell's great hall. The two of them having a quiet discussion whilst the rest of the family, and their guests, celebrated Sansa's name day.
Nearly the entire Stark family was assembled, save for the former patriarch, Eddard, and his brother Benjen, and all of them were happy and healthy.
He could see Arya further down the table speaking quietly with Bran. Which was not surprising as the two of them had become unusually close since Arya's return from the Capital, and could often be seen together, with her wheeling him around in his wooden chair, or walking alongside Hodor as the gentle giant carried the boy around.
Sitting near to the siblings was Sansa and her friend Jeyne, both of them talking animatedly to each other. Most probably, Luwin thought, they were talking was about who Sansa would end up being betrothed too, as Robb had announced that he had already received a few offers from lords both from the North and further south.
On the other side of Robb, was his mother, Catelyn, a slight grimace on her face as she saw her youngest son, Rickon, making a mess of the pie he was eating. Noticeably gravy was smeared all over his face.
The sight of the family he had watched over for so long, being so happy and at ease was enough to make him smile.
Unfortunately though there was one other person in this room, neither a lord or lady, that his eyes kept being drawn to, and she was the focus of his current conversation.
"He likely will soon be my good brother, and thus deserves to know." Robb replied just as quietly.
"Yes, my lord, but he will also soon be wed and to the lady of a powerful noble house too. Is it truly worth the risk of drawing the soon to be new queens attention and anger on us?" Luwin pressed. Usually he wouldn't be so pushy, or so opinionated. But unfortunately Robb was still young and new to his lordship. As such he needed more of a steer than Eddard had prior to his taking the Black.
"Even so, it is the right thing to do, the honourable thing. It is something I believe my father would certainly do. The father deserves to know he has a child, and the child deserves to know he has a father. The child might be a bastard, but so too was Jon, and if Jon can be raised with his family, knowing who his father is, then why shouldn't he?" Robb replied. His intent was obviously good, but Luwin couldn't help but feel anxiety gnawing at his stomach at the thought of what the young lord intended.
"It's not the same, my lord." Luwin whispered. "He is a royal bastard. Surely you remember your history, and the Blackfyre Rebellion?"
"Yes, I do." Robb nodded. "But I will still send a message in secret to the King, telling him the truth."
"He may not appreciate you doing that, especially if it falls into the wrong hands." Luwin cautioned.
Robb frowned at that, but didn't answer. Instead he forced a smile on to his face and turned to Lord Umber when the massive man sidled over to talk to him.
( - )
(The Narrow Sea)
Narrowing his one remaining eye against the spray of the sea, the captain of the large, black sailed vessel grinned wildly as he finally sighted land.
Knuckling his eyepatch with one hand, he then threw his arms out wide and howled loudly into the fierce stormy weather.
He had sighted land.
Soon, very soon, he would be meeting his destiny.
It would be glorious, just as the Drowned God had howled at him that it would be in his dreams.
( - )
AN: So what do you all think? The peaceful times of contentedness are coming to an end. Percy will soon be tying the knot, and now has to deal with piracy and the growing worry of what else the resurgence in magic might have caused. On top of which he now has to deal with his grandad, who is just a stubborn as him, and far more politically talented.
And NO, before people ask, Percy wasn't scared or cowed by Tywin. He was just uncertain about how to proceed in regards to dealing with him. He isn't often put in that situation, so was obviously left unsure of how to react. It's not the same as the other people he brow beats, as not only is Tywin family, but he is also a major player in Westeros, perhaps the biggest player, and one that metaphorically has the kingdom by the balls in terms of the debt that is owed. So basically he for once didn't know what to go with in regards to lashing out and resisitng, or giving in, both of them had shit outcomes.
In the far north things become more dark and chaotic by the day, the shit has truly hit the fan there. In Winterfell things are quite chilled at the moment, and the Stark family is mostly happy and whole, let's hope that continues ey. In Essos Dany is still causing trouble. And finally a weird on a ship is sailing around howling at the wind.
Either there are lots of storylines at the moment all over the two continents, and things are not quite as the seem.
Honestly summary aside, it was a difficult chapter to write this one. As I had to be careful with Percy's evolving character as he awakens more of his Demigod abilities. I also had to be careful with the Small Council scene as there are a lot of big personalities in that room. That said I think it came out ok, what do you think?
Hope you all enjoyed the chapter, and leave a review.
Thanks a lot for reading, and stay safe and sound out there. Catch you all next time.