Month three of being a Dothraki khal. Cultural shift was working well with the Dothraki. With silly, trivial things like starvation out of the way, it was surprising to see the transformation of the people. They probably would have favourably compared with my old world’s more savage jungle tribes.
Though, despite my efforts, I could not get the damn savages to stop screaming so damn much- a failing which I will never own up to. No matter, After realizing the futility of my efforts,I instead focused my efforts on quickly learning to modify my silencing charm so that it only blocks out noise above a certain pitch.
Such a spell has allowed me to sleep well, once more.
But, onto more recent news.
Just now, the disrespectful kos who’d opposed my releasing of the slaves challenged me to a fight to see who would lead the khalasar.
He’d long chafed under my rule. The men I had executed in my first few weeks as khal were the kos’ friends- or rather, his underlings. He, himself, hated the way the Dothraki horde was changing. He hated the new sports activities designed to curb the Dothraki’s more homicidal tendencies. He hated the fact that they needed to hunt much less.
He hated the fact that another Dothraki khal, a man by the name of Pono, had allied his khalasar with mine and taken these sports activities for his own- with my blessings of course.
He hated the fact that Qohor had given us an army of fifteen thousand men- or, more accurately, eunuchs. To him, the Unsullied were a stain upon the Dothraki people, and needed to be slain. I ended up punishing him for it by removing his role of leadership and passing it on to Joqo, who was already responsible for thousands of warriors, already.
That, for him, was the last straw.
And so, here he was before me, arakh drawn and raised high into the air, the sun reflecting off of his well used blade.
“You are a disgrace to Dothraki!” He snarled as he circled me slowly. “I will tear your entrails and feed them to you!”
I was a disgrace to Dothraki? Well, shit, I wasn’t Dothraki to begin with…
I stared at him impassively, not even bothering to draw my sword or staff. What was the point? I’ve watched this man fight, and while he was strong enough to be able to command thousands, he was nowhere near my own martial ability.
And he knew it, which made even less sense!
I wasn’t going to waste any more time humouring this wanker.
Best end this quick.
“Are you going to fight?” I asked, bored already. “Or are you going to cry like a little girl, like you have been for the past few months?”
That got a laugh out of the surrounding populace.
That paltry insult was all that was needed to set the man off, as he blindly charged forward, crying in rage as he attempted to slice at my neck in a poor attempt at decapitation. I took a step back, easily avoiding the slice, and grabbed his arakh with my armored right hand before he could go for his follow up strike, a thrust meant to cut at my face.
I knew his tactics, he would try to land a cut above his enemy’s eyes so that they would be half blinded for the remainder of the fight. He looked surprised for a moment, before getting a startled look as I pulled him over and did an uppercut with my elbow straight into his chin.
He was knocked out before he hit the ground.
I shook my head and knelt to cut his ponytail off, before gesturing to the khalasar and hopping on Hestia’s back, leaving the useless shit of a former kos behind.
“You didn’t kill him.” Bronn was craning his neck up to look at me.
“No.” I said, spitting to the side at the mere mention of him. “He was not worth my time.”
“Might come back to bite you.” Bronn reasoned. “When you least expect it.”
“It might, but..” I replied, throwing the Dothraki’s ponytail to the sellsword. “Who’d follow an unhinged, defeated warrior?”
“Fair enough.” Bronn said unsurely.
“More importantly, I think it’s time for a little reconnaissance.” I said, patting Hestia on the neck. §Up we go!§
§Sure thing, father!§ Hestia said and stood on her hind legs, stretching her wings so that she overshadowed dozens of the horses who, by now, were no longer spooked by her behaviour, instead following their rider’s commands to clear the area for us to lift off.
A few powerful flaps of her wings, and we were airborne.
§Get us as high as we can get.§ I said, pulling out my wand and casting the Bubblehead Charm on both myself and Hestia, while also pulling out my map. §This way I can figure out where we are. My Dothraki scout minions have said we were approaching Meereen, but I would just like to be sure.§
Hestia only flapped her wings in response, raising us higher and higher until the land below us became a smaller and smaller thing. The air cooled and thinned as we went up higher and higher up the mesosphere, though Hestia’s body still exuded heat like a furnace would.
“Hm.” I hummed and looked over the distance, observing the landscape and noting its details while simultaneously consulting my map to compare.
“Yes, I see it.” I murmured to myself as I began to recognize the surrounding area. “We’re on the edge of the Dothraki sea. I would say… three hundred miles off from Meereen? Maybe four hundred. Two hours with you, Hestia. With the combined Dothraki and Unsullied army.. I’d have to account for the land being treacherous, and the lack of established road, as well as resting times… Twenty five miles a day- assuming no forced, longer march.”
“It would take them around three weeks of 8 hour marches per day, more or less.” Erebus said.
“Us. It would take us.” I corrected.
“Indeed.” Erebus continued. “Your fascination with having your own army is amusing. But I suppose we do need them for the grunt work.”
“Exactly.” I said. “It’s already been a nightmare enough, getting them up to snuff so that they don’t kill anyone we meet- that’s how we gained the Unsullied in the first place, and the allegiance of khal Pono.”
§He did quite like the spear throwing game.§ Balthazar cut in.
§Pft, booooring!§ Hestia said. §All those games were boring.§
§You’re just mad you didn’t get to play any games of your own.§ Balthazar teased.
§BOORING!§ Hestia insisted childishly, getting angry over Balthazar’s teasing.
§True enough, Hestia.§ I smiled indulgently as I interrupted whatever spat my dragon and viper were going to start. §But I only host them to keep my army docile and under control. We don’t want thousands of men attacking us for no reason.§
§We could kill them, easy.§ She dismissed them with a negligent wave of her long tail.
§You’re right.§ I agreed honestly. §But it won’t come to that. They’re our friends now, right?§
§Yeah!§ Hestia turned her head to me and grinned with teeth as sharp as daggers as we began our descent. §One of the girls loves to scratch my back.§
Scratching her back, she called it. The woman in question was given a steel spear since nothing else seemed to even affect Hestia’s hide. A sharp stick might as well have been as effective as a particularly strong breeze. Even with steel, Hestia barely felt anything.
I turned my attention back to the general direction of Meereen and pulled out a telescope I had fashioned out in my months here among the Dothraki. I had gotten the idea after seeing a few crappy Myrish spyglasses the Dothraki had taken from travelers. Gazing through its lens, I searched the horizon for what I was looking for.
“Rocks, sand, more rocks.. A river… There it is.” I smiled as I laid my eyes on the Ghiscari city of Meereen. I gave a whistle of appreciation.
§What is it, father?§ Hestia asked curiously. §What do you see?§
The city itself rested on high ground, boasting high, strangely multi-coloured walls, and seemed to be pretty much comprised of bricks. Its most prominent feature are the humongous, stepped pyramids which overshadowed all of the other buildings.
§It’s really pretty.§ I said, impressed at the architecture. §A bit of a mix between Egyptian and.. Aztec, I believe? Granted, I’m no history expert..§
§What are Egyptians and Aztecs, father?§ Hestia asked innocently.
Oh, right, she wouldn’t know of those, huh?
I frowned for a few moments, thinking of home, before squashing that thought ruthlessly. §It’s nothing important, little one.§
§I’m not little anymore, father!§ She sounded irritated.
I smirked. §I suppose not. Let’s-§ And then I froze at what I saw.
§Hestia, stealth mode, now.§ I ordered, and she obeyed immediately, her blue scales shimmering for a few seconds before turning transparent.
§What is it, father? What do you see?§ She asked curiously.
§I see dragons.§ I said, trying to process this information. §Three of them, they’re just circling the city, like.. they’re playing around with each other?§
§Dragons!?§ She looked excited. §What do they look like, father?§
§I can’t tell how big they are from this distance.§ I said. §But, one is black and red, looks to be the largest. Another is green, and the third is… yellowish orange? I guess they come in all colours, then. You’re blue..§
§Can we go see them, please?§ She asked excitedly.
I frowned and considered her question.
“We don’t know who their owner is.” Erebus counselled. “It could be dangerous.”
“It’s obvious who it is..” I retorted. “That Targaryen girl Illyrio kept harping on about. Mother of Dragons and whatnot.”
§I was just about to say that.§ Balthazar cut in. §You think she’s trustworthy?§
§Unknown. Not enough information to make a judgement call like that.§ I closed my eyes and felt out with my magic.
My eyes narrowed at the feeling of Red God power.
“There’s a Red Temple, there.” I said in English, before cursing under my breath.
§That doesn’t necessarily mean anything.§ Hestia argued.
§I understand your excitement, Hestia.§ I said sympathetically. §But, can you wait a few weeks for the army to make it to Meereen before we do anything foolish? We don’t know the extent of the power the Red Temple has over this Daenerys Targaryen. Best not take chances, until then. You saw what happened to Robb and.. Geryon..§
§…I understand.§ Hestia sounded completely unhappy even as she agreed with my reasoning. §I just wanted to…§
§I know.§ I leaned over and hugged her neck. §You know I’d never do anything to hurt you. We’ll see them, soon enough.§
§I trust you, Father. I love you.§ She said, and I choked on whatever I was about to say.
I smiled fondly, instead, and hugged her neck tighter.
§I love you, too. Let’s go back down to the khalasar. I’m sure I can get Miqi to scratch your back again, just the way you like.§ I said as she complied and dove downward.
A few minutes later, we rejoined with the khalasar and resumed our march, albeit at a faster pace to accommodate for Hestia’s feelings.
“Found somethin’, then?” Bronn asked when we’d stopped to eat and sleep for the night.
I gave him a scrutinizing look for a few moments, and nodded, before returning my gaze to Hestia, who was feasting on an enlarged goat she’d caught earlier.
“Daenerys Targaryen and her three dragons.” I informed him while sipping on some water. I really needed to figure out how to manufacture soda in this dump.
“Good one.” Bronn said, and I gave him a flat look. “…Fuck me. Three dragons?”
“Yes.” I pinched the bridge of my nose and moved away from the fire, instead lying on my back and staring up at the stars above. “It was all I could do to convince Hestia not to fly over to them immediately. I could feel the presence of a Red Temple- who knows what they’ve done?”
“Aye.” Bronn said. “Only one of their like who I could stand was this fat priest at King’s Landing.”
“Thoros?” I smiled at Bronn’s nod. “Yeah, he was all right. Likable man, didn’t constantly prattle on about the Lord of Light and how everyone should follow him. I doubt he even believed in any of it.”
“Think he believes in it now?” Bronn asked.
“I hope not.” I replied with a frown. “I don’t want to kill the guy, after he’d helped me out. Something about that doesn’t sound right to me.”
Which brought another matter to me. I’d been in Essos for quite a while, now. I often wondered what was going on in Westeros, but the people here had no clue. I’d left a stone with Jon, infused with a Protean Charm to let me know if he’s ever in trouble, but it never went off.
I assumed everything was going according to plan. Tyrion was supposed to raise up levies to bolster the Riverlands and North forces. Lords Stannis and Renly Baratheon were having a pissing contest, and Joffrey was executing his subjects for kicks while Cersei controlled King’s Landing by proxy.
Months had passed, and there was no proper way of reaching me. I worried for a few seconds, before shaking the feeling off.
No. Jon and Robb could deal with their end of the world. I had to trust them while I did my part in Essos.
Kill off the Red Priests who’d declared war on us.
“Think that Stormborn girl is as pretty as they say she is?” Bronn asked curiously, taking my attention away from my thoughts.
“Pretty?” I repeated. “Where’d you hear that?”
“People in this khalasar know who she is.” Bronn replied. “They were all part of khal Drogo’s khalasar. And she was their khaleesi.”
“Interesting.” I said, remembering the distinctive energy signature I’d felt back in her room at Pentos. Gentle, it felt like. “What did they think of her?”
“They thought she was a looker, if a bit irritating.” Bronn repeated. “Skin as pale as the moon, with silvery gold hair and violet eyes.”
“Why’d they find her irritating?” I asked curiously.
“Oh, same reason they found you irritating, except she didn’t give them anything in return for them sacrificing their way of life.” Bronn said. “Stopped the rape of women in a Lhazareen village. Not that it did her any favors, in the end.”
“Elaborate.” I said.
So, he did. Apparently she trusted some kind of blood mage to help her heal khal Drogo, and ended up losing the child in her belly and Drogo in one swoop, causing the huge khalasar to splinter into many different ones- one of which was now mine.
“You think she’ll consider us part of her army that she wants to reclaim?” I asked.
“Who knows.” Bronn replied. I heard him shifting slightly. “But I doubt she’d let blood mages like the Red Priests influence her, not after what she’d been through.”
“True.” I said, having reached the same conclusion after a few moments of thought. “Well, no sense in wondering. We march.”
And march we did. With the increased pace I’d imposed on my Dothraki minions, it took us two weeks to arrive, instead of the three I’d originally predicted.
Funny what adding two hours to the march did to the overall length of the trip.
I certainly made use of that time, polishing up on my High Valyrian in case it was needed- it would not help me if whoever I met up with spoke amongst each other in Valyrian while I stood there trying to make sense of it all.
If I wasn’t reading, I was practicing my combat forms, as well as my magic. Progress was slow, but I expected that, having long reached the point where I was only receiving diminishing returns for the amount of effort I put in.
But, it was no matter; some returns were better than none, and this way, my skills didn’t atrophy.
I could feel Hestia’s excitement, today- we would reach the city in a few hours. We’d already spotted a few men on horseback, staring at the army, and then at Hestia through their spyglasses. I’d even cheekily waved at one of them while holding my own telescope, finding their reaction to it amusing.
The view of Meereen from below was more awe inspiring than the view from above. I wondered to myself how such structures were built without the aid of either magic, or advanced technology.
“Lots and lots of slaves.” Erebus whispered to me. “Think of the Egyptians.”
I frowned. The amount of labor required to build this place by hand… The city looked even more awe inspiring, though the suffering those men and women must have gone through tainted the experience.
I shook off these thoughts.
“Joqo.” I called, and the man bowed his head in deference.
“Yes, my khal.” He said.
“Here’s what’s going to happen.” I ordered and pointed towards the open area in front of the city. “We’re not going to have a siege or anything so silly. We’re just going to stand outside of their doors. They will come to us.”
“And if they don’t?” Bronn asked the question my ko was unwilling to ask.
I pulled out my holly wand and twirled it in my finger. “Then the doors will open- of their own accord, of course.”
“Of course.” Bronn rolled his eyes.
“I understand.” Joqo said unsurely.
“Don’t worry, my friend.” I said. “It matters not if the khaleesi Targaryen refuses to hand over the Red Priests. We are coming for them. Inform the others.”
“Yes, my khal.” He gave a full blown grin and went to tell everyone the plan.
“You really think they’ll just let us pass through the gates?” Bronn said disbelievingly.
“No.” I replied simply, but didn’t elaborate.
“They’ve got three dragons.” Bronn said, pointing at the flying dragons overhead, who seemed to be converging around a balcony on the highest pyramid, where I briefly saw a white figure in the distance. I grabbed my telescope to get a closer look, but there was no one there.
Damn, missed my shot to get a glimpse.
“You’ve only got the one.” Bronn said. “Sure, she’s bigger, but tha’ usually means slower.”
“Heh.” I turned an amused look to Bronn, trying to project as much confidence as I could. “You’ve not seen my true power. You haven’t seen anything close to it.”
Bronn kept his eyed glued on the dragons.
“I’m stronger than Hestia.” I said simply as he and I moved to stand in front of the assembled Dothraki/Unsullied army at the city gates.
And then, we waited.
“You know any games?” I asked Bronn out of the blue as the occupants of Meereen stared at us from their high walls.
“Like that silly board game for the highborn?” Bronn scoffed.
“Uh…” I frowned. “Cyvasse, you mean? With knights and kings and dragons?”
“Never liked it, either.” I said.
Truth was, it had its own set of rules that I really didn’t want to learn at the time. Knowing chess was enough for me. Doubtless, Ron would’ve relished the challenge of Cyvasse.
“What do you do when you’re bored, then?” I asked, grasping for anything.
“Drink and fuck, mostly.” Bronn said, before wincing. “Or at least, I used to.”
“Anything else?” I asked.
“Sing, mostly while drinkin’.” Bronn said, before grinning suddenly. “I know afew songs the bards would sing- you’d not like the Rains of Castamere, eh?”
“It would probably not fit with the current setting.” I smiled in amusement. “Don’t want to accidentally piss off the Queen khaleesi mother of dragons. Any others?”
“The Bear and the Maid-“
“No!” I interrupted, before looking sheepish. “Sorry, I’ve heard that one too many times.”
“The Dornishman’s Wife?” Bronn tried.
“I think I’ve heard that before…” I said, before shrugging. “Okay, let’s hear it.”
He cleared his throat and opened his mouth.
“The Dornishman’s wife was as fair as the sun,
and her kisses were warmer than spring.
But the Dornishman’s blade was made of black steel,
and its kiss was a terrible thing...”
I almost gaped. As it turned out, Bronn had a really good singing voice.
Did not expect that.
When he was done, he got a whistle of appreciation from the Dothraki who had taken the time to learn Common. I clapped, impressed.
“Should’ve been a bard, eh.” I complimented. “The amount of gold you’d make…”
“Not enough.” Bronn smirked as he drank deeply from his waterskin. “Bards don’t make that much.”
I snorted. “Well, at least you’ve got something to fall back on, if that sellsword thing doesn’t work out.”
Bronn fished out the gem I’d given him a while back. “And this.”
“You’ve seriously kept that on you, this whole time?”
“It’s been weeks..”
“Aye, you’re right.”
I opened my mouth to say something mocking, but closed it as I saw the great gates of Meereen open with a loud clank, revealing two figures on horseback.
“Finally, they come.”
“Two men?” Bronn scoffed.
“I suppose they’re here to treat with us. I’ll go talk to them alone, see if I’ll be allowed an audience with this so called Mother of Dragons.” I said, before shifting my attention to Hestia. §How about we play a prank on them, Hestia?§
§A prank!?§ Hestia sounded excited.
§Yes.§ I smiled. §Just scare them a bit. We’ll fly a few circles around them, you’ll roar a few times, and then land in the noisiest, most flamboyant way you can imagine.§
§I like it.§ She said, puffing up her chest and leaping to the air, her piercing shriek making everybody wince. With a few powerful flaps of her wings, we reached the two men in a matter of seconds, circling above them in an almost bored, yet still predatory sense.
Like they were so easy to kill we didn’t even visibly bother to take precautions.
Finally, we landed in front of them, the shaking ground spooking the two men’s horses.
I got a good look at the two.
The first one was.. A Mormont? Wearing the plate armor I’d seen on many knights, with a green tabard emblazoned with the insignia of the House he came from, a black Bear of Bear Island.
“What the hell is a Mormont doing all the way over- oh… This must be Jorah the traitor who sold men into slavery for a gold digging bitch from the Reach.” I thought to myself, having heard the tale from Jon at some point. Apparently it was a big scandal, back then.
The other one was a man with dyed blue hair, dressed in all golden yellow finery which matched the golden hilts- of naked ladies?- on his dagger and.. arakh? So flamboyantly confusing…
“Greetings.” The man who I assumed to be Jorah Mormont began to speak. “My name is-“
But, that’s as far as he got, as Hestia threw her head up and roared, pulsing with power as she sent her flames up high into the air.
I tried to hold back a laugh at the intimidated looks both men sent me.
I shook my head and muttered “show off” under my breath.
“You were saying?” I asked when Hestia was done with her little display.
“Ah..” The man said. “I am Ser Jorah Mormont, Queensguard to Her Grace, Daenerys Targaryen-“
“And you?” I pointed to the other man, not really willing to play the title game, right now. “What’s your name?”
“Daario Naharis, sellsword.” He said simply as I eyed the extravagantly dressed man.
“Sellsword, huh.” I looked amused. “I hope you can fight as well as you’re dressed, Daario Naharis.”
“Better.” He answered easily, a smirk on his lips. How many times had he heard that line, I wondered?
“That remains to be seen.” I waved his comment off before addressing Jorah Mormont. “My name is Harry Potter, Dragonlord and khal of the great army behind us. Take me to your leader. I wish to have words with my fellow Dragonlord; or is it ‘Dragonlady’, in this case?”
The two men shared a quick glance.
“How can we know that you come in peace?” Daario asked.
“Fair question.” I said. “Why wouldn’t I be?”
“You’re no ally of the Targaryens, for one.” Jorah said. “The last I’d heard of you, you were allied with the Starks in Winterfell, known enemies of the Targaryens.”
That was amusing, considering Jon was a mix of both families.
“Who said the Starks were Targaryen enemies?” I asked innocently.
“But, Robert’s Rebellion-” Jorah argued.
“A Rebellion against Aerys Targaryen the Mad King, not House Targaryen, itself.” I corrected with narrowed eyes. “Surely you can understand the difference?”
Jorah grit his teeth at the insult. I thought of mentioning his resentment of the Starks for sentencing him to death for his crimes as a slaver, but that would probably be pushing it.
“Still, what stops you from using your dragon to aid you in killing our Queen in this meeting of yours?” Jorah asked skeptically, trying to keep the frustration out of his voice. “The Dance of the Dragons comes to mind when thinking of a meeting between Dragonlords.”
“Well reasoned.” I acknowledged, surprised he didn’t just rage further at my insult. “Very well.”
I hopped off of Hestia’s back, and walked to the two men, gesturing for Daario Naharis to move forward and let me ride with him.
“Take me to your leader, then.” I ordered the two men, before turning to Hestia and giving her a quick look. “Go ahead and play with the other dragons.”
Here’s a stray thought; if Daenerys is the Mother of Dragons, does that mean I’m the Father of Dragon- singular?