50 years later
On The History of Westeros, after the end of the Second Long Night.
Recovery Efforts for the Six Kingdoms, from 0 ALN to 10 ALN
(ALN refers to the new unit of time, adopted after the Coronation of Aegon I Tarstark, standing for After Long Night.)
Aegon I Tarstark was crowned the King of the Six Kingdoms shortly after the slightly miraculous defeat of the Night King. In a pompous ceremony celebrated within Harrenhal, Jaime Lannister was proclaimed the Hand to the King, while Tyrion Lannister became the new Lord Paramount of the Westerlands. An argument can be made that Jaime Lannister was not up to the task of being the Lord Hand. However, it stands that Jaime Lannister helped keep the Realm together, and ensured that when the Iron Bank finally came around to collect it's dues, only one kingdom rebelled, rather than several.
The Kingdom of the North And The Riverlands was the most devastated kingdom of them all. The new king poured a massive amount of coin into trying to make this region habitable for humans again, and, although it took almost a decade, the North And The Riverlands did begin a recovery. The Westerlands weren't as devastated from the Long Night, but several years of war before that had taken its toll. Lord Paramount of the Westerlands, Tyrion Lannister, did his best to ensure that all damage was repaired, by taking loans from the Crown.
An interesting question posed by several maesters is how the Crown still had enough coin to not just fund themselves, but also give out loans? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is still not known, and few theories have enough sustenance, one of the more popular theories is that Arya Stark was sent on a mission to rob the Iron Bank, located within the Ruins of Braavos, and returned a wedded woman, along with five ships, filled with gold. Of course, this has to be dismissed as mere highway gossip, as Gendry Baratheon, the Lord of Storm's End, proposed to Arya Stark much after the much discussed and dissected sea voyage.
The former Crownlands and the Vale were merged into the Easterlands, a smart move in order to give the largely unscathed Vale a reason to help out the completely devastated Crownlands. Unfortunately, this plan backfired horrendously, which will be covered in Section II of this chapter.
The Reach's immense food supplies, combined with Lord Samwell Tarly, a close friend of Aegon I Tarstark being appointed Lord Paramount of the Reach was a boon and a curse, for it gave short term benefits in the form of an extremely helpful Reach, which aided the North And The Riverlands very much with their recovery, yet caused tension to arise within the Reach itself, as many believed that Samwell "One hand bear" Tarly was showing the King way too much loyalty and affection.
Maesters, however, are supposed to be factionless, so the opinion of the writer will not be inputted into this.
A notable event of this time period, that still shapes politics to this day, is Harrenhal. After the Long Night, more and more displaced peasants came to live in the massive fortress, as costs of living there were much lower than living elsewhere, and it was a lot safer, as well. This was what caused the birth of what is known today as the Capitol, the city within a fortress.
With a population of well over two hundred thousand, the Capitol is the second largest city in all of Westeros, with only Oldtown being larger. The fortress that was formerly known as Harrenhal, transformed into a city.
It was quite a feat of engineering, to turn an almost completely uninhabited Fortress into a city, but it had been done.
The War of the Vale's Rebellion, 30 ALN - 32 ALN
Out of the Six Kingdoms, five had completely recovered, including the north, thirty years after the Long Night. The only kingdom that didn't recover, ironically, was the very kingdom which was left almost untouched: The Vale.
In order to make bureaucracy easier, and to help the completely ruined Crownlands recover, Aegon Tarstark merged the Vale and the Crownlands into the Easterlands, to give the Vale an incentive to help out the Crownlands. This, however, was a mistake. The proud Vale lords refused to accept any help from the Crown, and so tried to make the Crownlands recover on their own, meager incomes. Combined with the fact that winters were still harsh, so the Vale made little income, and the fact that the Vale had no central leadership, only loose coalitions of lords, it was a recipe for disaster.
The first signs of disaster showed in 30 ALN, when His Grace visited the ruins of King's Landing, and was shocked to see that every usable material had been plundered from the city, and that the Red Keep was ruled by bandits. He sent an ultimatum to Lord Robert Royce, the de facto ruler of the Easterlands, to fix the Crownlands, or to turn it over to the Crown. Lord Robert Royce himself made a good portion of his income from the sea pirates and bandits that blockaded the Kingsroad and the Blackwater rush, and did not want to see this income vanish.
To be fair, Lord Royce did have good reason to be relying on such shady sources of wealth, as he did put almost all of his new wealth into improving the Crownlands, and the Vale itself was not making much profit, plus, the bureaucratic of the other Lords of the Vale prevented him from efficiently capitalizing on what little money the Vale was making.
However, justification aside, Lord Royce did not want to see his secondary source of income just vanish.
Therefore, he allowed the bandits and pirates to stay and continue to pillage, and focused his attention on rebuilding other parts of the Crownlands.
Around the same time, the remnants of the Iron Bank, destroyed by the Night King in Braavos, wanted to collect the dues that the Crown owed them. Creating a massive conspiracy, they somehow convinced several of the Vale lords that Jon Snow had usurped the throne following the Night King's defeat, and that he and Lord Royce were hand - in hand about oppressing the people, and allowing bandits to freely roam the roads.
The Iron Bank began to scheme, preparing to launch their conspiracy on May the second, 32 ALN. A series of bad decisions on the Iron Bank's part caused them to accidentally leak some of their plans to Gendry Baratheon, who promptly rallied his armies, intending to crush the planned rebellion before it even began.
The War of the Vale's Rebellion can be divided into three stages: The political/assassinations stage, defensive war, and the fall of the vale.
The first stage began on December the first of 31 ALN, months before the Iron Bank intended it to.
On December 1st, 31 ALN, Gendry Baratheon was assassinated. On December the eighth, His Grace Aegon Tarstark declared war on the Iron Bank. On December the twelfth, Aegon Tarstark narrowly escaped an assasination attempt by the Iron Bank. On December the thirteenth, Robert Royce was assassinated by his own lords, who seized control of the fortress of the Vale itself. On December the thirty first, Rhaegal, the dragon, was poisoned by maesters likely bribed by the Iron Bank. The poison used was powerful enough to kill an elephant with a few drops - and the dragon swallowed several gallons - yet, the dragon did survive, although it was severely injured.
Legend has it that when Gendry Baratheon was assinated, Arya Stark - Baratheon proclaimed that she would murder everyone who supported the Assasin. A few days later, the Assasin was found dead in a gutter, having been stabbed to death by someone who "Looked like Walder Frey."
The second stage began on New Year's day, 32 ALN.
His Grace Aegon Tarstark commanded a royal levee, and also commanded that all those loyal to him raise their armies.
Below is a comparison of the forces.
The Monarchy of Aegon Tarstark:
7,000 Northmen (Could not send more due to a harsh winter)
2,000 Riverlanders (Could not send more due to needing to defend their own lands)
10,000 Lannister troops
35,000 Reachmen (Samwell Tarly did not have full support of his Lords, therefore, was unable to send his total armies.)
2,000 Stormlanders (Some Stormlanders defected)
Total: 56,000 men
The Rebel Alliance:
1,000 bandits (Number widely disputed)
2,000-6,000 foreign mercenaries (Number widely disputed)
Total: ~20,000 (Number widely disputed)
From January to March of 32 ALN, there were no real large scale battles, however, raiding parties were hard at work. His Grace Aegon Tarstark himself hoped that the Vale would collapse in on itself, and that his dragon would heal soon. However, with the Iron Bank supporting the financially bankrupt Vale, this was unlikely. Additionally, the poison used could kill a fully grown elephant in seconds, so it was a miracle the dragon was even alive.
On March the third of 32 ALN, Storm's End was laid under siege by three thousand Valemen, and four thousand mercenary forces. Arya Stark - Baratheon's garrison of 800 held them off for three weeks, before Aegon Tarstark's forces arrived.
Aegon Tarstark's army of twenty five thousand was defeated at the battle of Storm's woods, when the Royal Army was ambushed in a forest. The Royal army fought them off successfully, but mounting casualties caused Aegon Tarstark to command a "forwards retreat", knowing that there were plains ahead. Unfortunately, he forgot about the famed Knights of the Vale, who rode down the disorganized Royal Army as they left the forest, causing thousands of casualties.
In spite of this, the Royal Army stayed in one piece, and, after camping for the night in the plains, were able to drive off the next Valemen charge, and then counterattack themselves, forcing the Valemen into a retreat.
However, the damage was done, and the Royal Army couldn't continue. Instead, they waited for Dornish naval reinforcements, who supplied Storm's End with critical food and weapons via sea. Knowing that the Siege as a whole was a failure, the Valemen commanded a general retreat, whilst using scorched earth tactics to stay ahead of their pursuers as they marched north, towards the Blackwater Rush.
Here, they were reinforced by five thousand valemen, and eight thousand foreign mercenaries, as well as hundreds of bandits. The now much - stronger army made a stand on the northern bank of the Blackwater.
The Royal army tried to cross the river, overextended, and were trapped by pirate ships. The decisively defeated Royal Army retreated southwards.
From April of ALN 32 to almost September of ALN 32, Both sides were reinforced, and sent out small armies into the Kingswood, both of them acting from different bases, the Royal Army was based in Storm's End, while the Rebel army was based in the ruins of King's Landing. However, after all these months of Skirmishing, on September the tenth, the royal army drew forwards, reaching the Blackwater river.
In the north, Jaime Lannister led ten thousand forces to help liberate the eastern Riverlands from the rebel grasp, and then, around August, laid siege to the Bloody Gate, although that was a very pointless endeavor.
With his armies now numbering around 40 thousand, Aegon Tarstark tried to cross the Blackwater again, but was forced back.
Around this time, Rhaegal, Aegon Tarstark's Dragon, was finally healed enough to fly.
The final stage: The fall of the Vale
On september 25th, a failed assasination attempt was carried out on Jaime Lannister, by the remnants of the Iron Bank. It is assumed that, while dying, the Assassin revealed that the majority of the rebel leaders, including were all gathered at the Vale itself, out of fear of Aegon Tarstark's dragon.
On that very day, Aegon Tarstark flew Rhaegal to the mountain fortress of the Vale, and obliterated the entire fortress, cracking open the mountain upon which the fortress was based upon itself.
Because almost the entirety of the Vale's leadership was obliterated at once, the rebel forces fell into disarray.
On November 24, ALN 32, the last official army of the Vale, the garrison of the Bloody Gate surrendered when Aegon Tarstark threatened to attack with his dragon, ending the war.
Politicking, from 32 ALN to ~50 ALN
Because nearly ninety five percent of the lords within the Vale and Crownlands were killed, either by the Iron Bank, or by the Fall of the Vale, there was no possible way that anyone from within the Vale could become it's new Lord Protector. Coincidentally, it was Aegon Tarstark's son's eighteenth name day that very day, and Irliois, wanting her line to have more power, recommended that their son, Morghon be made the Lord Protector of the Easterlands.
Hoping to rectify his largely loveless marital life, Aegon Tarstark accepted the proposal. However, he left out one key detail: Morghon Tarstark would become the permanent lord of the Easterlands. Meaning, he was no longer in line to the Crown, and one of his younger siblings would become King, while he would stay, a mere Lord Paramount.
Many maesters have debated exactly why Aegon Tarstark did this. Did he hate his son? Or did he merely believe that it would be best for the Easterlands if his own blood ruled it? Or did Aegon Tarstark want to expand his dynasty?
Whatever the reason was, Aegon Tarstark now had a son who, for lack of better wording, hated his guts.
But we have spent two thirds of a chapter on the Vale. Let us focus elsewhere, shall we?
The Reach was very politically active during this stage. Samwell Tarly had been dumped into the position of Lord Paramount of the Reach, a position that he was not at all suited for. To elaborate further, he was very well suited for the nitty gritty details, like accounting, bank balancing, and managing his armies, but was not so well accustomed to looking at the overall picture, or politically maneuvering. Therefore, he was put in a unique position:
He had turned the Reach from a Kingdom full of cheats and turncoats and scammers, into a Kingdom full of high - level political gamblers. There was a saying that originated around this time: "Never cheat the one armed bear, unless you invite him to a feast with a lot of food." It was completely true.
However, House Hightower, for one, was not very well allied with the new House Tarly. For one, they had assumed that they would become the new lords of the Reach, especially after the mysterious vanishing of Garth Greenhand, along with most of House Tyrell's cousin branches.
More than once, poison in Samwell Tarly's drink was attributed to someone from within Oldtown, but never was the blame ever truly placed upon the Hightowers. The situation in the Reach is very politically active.
The North had a different scenario. The Wall had declared itself independent.
The Wall had declared itself a sovereign power, and claimed all the lands north of the Wall, along with the New Gift. With its capital in Eastwatch In The Sea, an island fortress on the eastern end of the Wall, which had once been destroyed by the Night King, the Wall has a thriving economy in the fur trade. Combined with the fact that the Wildlings and the Watch's old rivalry was practically over, it meant that that The Wall was now a Kingdom in its own right. However, due to the old rules still in place over the Night's Watch, they could neither declare a King amongst themselves, nor declare themselves the seventh Kingdom. Instead, the Lord Commander became all but King, and ruled over the Wall, the New Gift, and the Northlands.
Lord Commander Berith Snow, a bastard child of Ramsey Bolton, did not have splendid relations with Sansa Stark (In spite of wedding Brandon Tallhart, she kept her old surname, and lived within Winterfell.), a feeling that only grew along with Berith Snow's fascination with torture devices.
Brandon Stark, the Three Eyed Raven, went north of The Wall, where he would stay, with little contact with human civilization.
And That is the entirety of what happened in the years between the last story and this one. Please leave reviews and comments, negative or positive, both are appreciated.