- King's Landing - Sometime Later -
Varys was a Master of Whispers. It was his trade earned from years of practice and doing things that would scar him to the end of his life. Did he regret it? Any of it? Some. Not all of it. But some. Still, information being relayed back and forth through his little birds was a necessity for the good of the realms and knowing what was happening so he could plan accordingly with those in power to benefit the realm as best as he could.
It had been difficult when the Mad King went mad. Seeing enemies in every shadow. The invisible whispers the man heard that no one else did. Varys tried to do what he could in keeping the madness from destroying the Targaryen dynasty. Being "loyal" and of course valuable in finding all of the King's supposed enemies had prevented the Spider himself from being burned alive. Oh Gods how he hated those moments. Remembering them all as if they were yesterday. The smell of the smoke. The harsh blaze of the fire set in the middle of the room that threatened to lick at his flesh from a distance. The silence of the people forced to watch as someone was burned alive. The screams of the victims being the only other sound echoing through the room. The inability to look away out of fear of someone seeing it and saying something to the King.
And the Mad King himself laughing with each life taken by fire. How he would **** his own sister and Queen following each moment with no one coming to the woman's aid. Not even the Kingsguard despite some wishing they could if not for their damn Oaths to protect only the King. Varys had felt the Oaths extended to the Queen too and that a King should be allowed such things to pass even if he was the King. But the Spider could do nothing to stop it. For all his skills, talents, and knowledge obtained in his lifetime, Varys was for the lack of a better word...powerless against the Mad King. All he could do was try and hold back a fraction of the chaos unleashed at the time while hoping Rheagar would take the Iron Throne when the time was right.
'And look how that turned out,' thought Varys bitterly due to Rheagar being the future of the Seven Kingdoms and Robert Baratheon ending it at the Trident, which resulted in the horror that followed with the sacking of King's Landing by Tywin Lannister.
Gods how he hated those memories. It was those kind of moments that made Varys curse his ability to recall practically every little thing he witnessed in his life.
And now things were no better. If anything, they were worse! The Stag wasn't mad like his predecessor, though Varys wondered if it was another kind of madness that plagued Robert these days. The man drank wine like it was going to be lost for all time. He went on hunts to pass the time over dealing with matters related to the Crown and leaving it all to his Hand and the Small Council. Not only that, but the man had not been faithful to his wife by laying with whores, tavern wenches, and any other woman who caught his fancy that wasn't his beautiful wife.
It had irked the old lion quite a bit when he found out about this from his daughter and the King shamefully taking the whores, multiple whores in fact, while in the Red Keep. The old lion's temper grew even shorter when Robert had sired one bastard after another with these women and thus could challenge the Queen's children for the right to rule if they wished.
Though Jon Arryn had assured Tywin Lannister that none of Robert's bastards now or those in the future would not be legitimized. The Falcon's assurance had kept the old lion from doing something infamous like the last time someone had scorned him, but Varys knew such things would only last so long as Jon Arryn was alive.
And the man was showing his age more and more as time went on.
'To think, the people were so happy when Robert became King. One who wouldn't burn them alive on a whim. Now they are worse off then ever! The city was slowly bleeding itself to death with the state Robert has been leaving it in since becoming King. My Small Council members not helping in the slightest. By the Gods, it feels like I am living in one big run down building infested with snakes, rats, and disease breeding insects,' thought Varys before a little bird came up and gave him a scroll.
Smiling at the child, he gave the girl a nice sum of gold dragons to spend how she saw fit before focusing on the scroll in hand.
A Rooster has joined the cause with his associate. Obtained the Targaryen children for us. Keeping them entertained with songs and stories of old. Prince shows signs of being like his Father. The Princess still pure in all things. Awaiting further instructions.
-A Friend from Pentos
Varys was well aware of the mysterious associate that his Magister friend had mentioned to him in a previous message. A strange young man named Dooku from House Tyranus. A House that Varys did not know. A man who wore all black and an intimidating mask you could not see through to determine what the man was thinking. The way his friend described Dooku made Varys believe he was a dangerous variable in the plan to put the dragon back on the Iron Throne.
A variable Varys could not hope to control from here in King's Landing.
Even more interesting was Illyrio had been under the impression Varys himself had sent him to assist with obtaining and protecting the Targaryens. Something Varys wanted to correct, yet stayed his hand since he was unsure if doing so would make things worse. This Dooku clearly knew that both the exiled Prince and Princess were in Pentos, on the run, starving, hiding, and struggling to survive. If Varys revealed the man was not his own, Dooku might find out, kill the fat Magister, and seek out the Targaryens for some horrible purpose.
So when he read the message of Jon Connington joining them and backing Dooku being there, it put the Spider's mind at ease. Jon Connington would never put the Prince and Princess in any danger or near anyone who would. Clearly Jon had met Dooku during his time in Essos and the latter believed in the cause to support the dragon. For the moment, Varys had to hope his friend could keep things under control with the Rooster protecting them from all threats, including this Dooku if he turned out to be someone not truly as loyal as he claimed.
Carefully burning the parchment against a nearby torch, Varys made his way to the Small Council room where he would report some "stirrings" in Essos about the Targaryens. Oh he would play it off as nothing. How they were begging for scraps. Clawing for life. The King wouldn't care. He would probably laugh when the news reached him. The mighty dragons crawling in the ground like worms. It would amuse Robert to the point until his anger would come into play and order some assassin be sent to kill the two out of some benevolent act of mercy on his part.
No Varys knew no one would believe it was out of mercy. If anything, the assassin or assassins would be paid extra to make sure the deaths of the Prince and Princess were slow and not clean. Varys shuddered at the thought. After what happened to Elia Martell and her children, the Spider knew Robert would reward anyone who could repeat such horrors on those two children.
He would simply play his part and warn his friend to possibly expect some unwelcome guests near his home. And hope Jon and this mysterious Dooku had the skills needed to repel such attacks until their plans could move forward.
- Pentos - Magister's Home -
Aegon was clearly not amused with Viserys or his behavior to those around him since he felt everything here was his to claim in the name of the dragon. He walked around the place acting like he owned it. He talked to the servants in a demeaning manner as if they were slaves or he owned them. And the fool was easy to manipulate, as he listened to the honey dripping words of the fat Magister telling him how people were sick of Baratheon rule. How they were holding secret meetings and toasts to his name. All awaiting the day when the dragon returned to claim the Iron Throne. How women were sewing dragon banners in secret and praying to the Old Gods and New for his safe return to remove the Usurper from power. How all the young women were ready to lay in his bed and give the Prince child after child to keep the Targaryen bloodline alive to protect his legacy after the Usurper nearly ended it.
And of course, the naive Prince drank it all up without even considering the Magister was lying through his teeth. Aegon knew for a fact none of these things were true. Far from it. While the people living in the Seven Kingdoms did not really care about Robert's slowly declining rule, they were willing to tolerate it over the alternative of fighting after dealing with his rebellion and the Greyjoys having theirs not that long ago.
Aegon's aunt Daenerys was far smarter then people gave her credit. She had seen the way people spoke to her brother. Knew the signs of lying and half truths. Of course, the poor girl couldn't call the Magister out on it. He was the host! They were the guests. If she did anything, it would jeopardize their stay here. Something Viserys would lash out at her for doing, even if he had done it numerous times with other hosts who took them in.
Sometimes, Aegon had to restrain himself when he heard Viserys speak horribly to his sister or threaten to hurt her if she spoke out of turn. Waking the dragon his masked face. The Viserys was no dragon. He wasn't even a snake as a snake had fangs. No. If Aegon were to put him in some kind of animal based group to classify Viserys, it would be that of the toothless worm. The only reason no one hurt the fool was because he was deemed too valuable because his bloodline gave him claim to the Iron Throne.
And having an actual King of Seven Kingdoms owing you favors in the future was what many would consider the ultimate investment.
Not that the Magister would be alive to enjoy those investments. He had made it clear to Jon that the fat man was going to die before they left. The fat man may have been the Spider's contact here in Essos, but the Magister was far from loyal, and if allowed to his own devices, he would cause more harm then good.
"The Dothraki? The horse riding savages I have heard about in passing?" asked Viserys with Magister Illyrio Mopatis walking beside him.
"While it is true they are savages, their reputation as being fierce warriors is known from here to the end of Essos and back to your home in the Seven Kingdoms. The Dothraki Hordes, as they are called, are commanded by a Khal. Each Horde can range from a few thousand to well over a hundred thousand people in size. Their skills on horseback are considered unmatched on the open field and they can even fire arrows while riding with deadly precision," said Magister Illyrio Mopatis with Viserys thinking it over in his head.
"And they can help me take back the Seven Kingdoms?" asked Viserys with the Magister acting like he was thinking it over.
"It is quite possible your Grace. As I said, they are fierce warriors. Of course, it will be a challenge to convince any Dothraki Khal and his Horde to cross the narrow sea. For all of their bravery in battle, the Dothraki fear any water their horses cannot drink or food they cannot eat," warned Illyrio Mopatis with Viserys scoffing.
"Then I have no need for such horse riding savages if sea water makes them all skittish in losing their beasts. I need an army Magister. A loyal, well disciplined army capable of winning me the Iron Throne," stated Viserys while Aegon simply rolled his eyes behind his mask.
One flaw in the Dothraki and the fool thinks they are useless. No army is perfect. It is why you have variety when putting an army together.
"They don't have to be used to take the Seven Kingdoms your Grace. They could be used elsewhere here in Essos under your command. To help consolidate your power and gather people to your cause through fighting in different regions of these lands. By building a powerful and strong reputation here in Essos, you can gather an efficient army through them to your cause before heading back to Westeros with the resources needed to win the Iron Throne back," replied Illyrio Mopatis while Viserys thinking it over.
"Using the filthy savages as fodder to win me victories and to gather others who actually can be useful to winning me the Iron Throne. Interesting. And what of the Dothraki? If they won't join me through the narrow sea?" asked Viserys with the Magister shrugging.
"Simply leave them here in Essos your Grace. Give them or their Khal something of great value in return for all of their troubles. This way, they will not feel scorned or slighted for you leaving for Westeros with your forces beside you," answered Illyrio Mopatis simply with Viserys thinking of what to give the savages for serving him.
Glancing at his sister near them, Viserys smirked in a way that made Daenerys feel a bit uneasy. And she wasn't the only one. Aegon knew instantly what was going on through his Uncle's mind.
He wanted to use Daenerys to secure a large Dothraki Horde. And the only way to do that was to arrange a marriage with the Khal of said Horde.
Jon bristled at the idea, but an quick hand gesture by Aegon made the Rooster stay his had and sword on the matter. Now was not the time to object or react since this was only two men thinking, talking, and planning. It had not happened yet so there was no reason to react as though it did.
"Who has the largest Dothraki Horde in Essos right now?" asked Viserys with Illyrio Mopatis smiling now.
"Why that would be Khal Drogo your Grace. It is said he has never lost a battle and his Horde has nearly 100,000 members in it. And it is growing I might add," offered Illyrio Mopatis with Viserys thinking over the idea more and more.
"Can you arrange a meeting with this Khal Drogo? Arrange for him to marry my sister in exchange for his army?" asked Viserys with Daenerys looking concerned now though she was doing her best to hide it.
"Of course. Though Khal Drogo may not accept your sister your Grace. Each Khal has different tastes and while your sister is a dragon like yourself, these savages will not be impressed so easily by such things like a bloodline or titles," warned Illyrio Mopatis with Viserys not really listening to the last part and brushing it off.
"When this savage sees my sister in all her spender, he will be pleased to have her for a wife and gift from his King," commented Viserys while looking pleased by the idea of such savages under his command to become a stepping stone in the much grander scheme of things.
"As you say your Grace," replied Illyrio Mopatis in agreement though deep down, even he wasn't sure if Daenerys will please someone like Khal Drogo.
With the two men and Daenerys walking, both Jon and Aegon stayed behind to talk about this new development.
"Selling the Princess to the Dothraki? The nerve! If he sells her to them, to their Khal, she will be in a Hell from which only death can free her. If this Khal Drogo doesn't **** her right away, the men in his Horde will if she isn't to his liking or standards. And to make things even worse, they may throw her to their horses and have them violate the Princess too for some sick and twisted amusement!" stated Jon furiously with Aegon nodding.
"Agreed. Fortunately, time is on our side. Khal Drogo's Horde is far away from Pentos at the moment. Meaning any messages delivered back and forth between here and the Horde will take time. Which we will use to our advantage," said Aegon with Jon nodding since he knew not to question how his King knew things.
The power Aegon had mentioned the first time they met had proven to not only find the two royal family members so he didn't question it. Jon also believed there was more to the power Aegon wielded, but felt it wasn't his place to question his King about it. For all Jon knew, this power could be magic born from the dragon's blood in the King's veins or some gift from the Gods to make the world right again. Whatever the case, Jon was going to trust his King and this power he wielded to do what is right.
"How long do we have?" asked Jon curiously.
"About four to five moons. Per message. Plenty of time. We will focus on Daenerys and educating her in secret. Let Viserys think he's the only one who matters. His pride will be his downfall," said Aegon with Jon nodding.
"When the time comes for marriages in the future your Grace, will you be marrying your Aunt?" asked Jon despite this being a far into the future thing.
"No. That practice with my House gives birth to madness. Daenerys can marry whoever she wants to marry, provided the person in question is a good man and will make her happy," said Aegon before walking forward and Jon right beside him.
"And you your Grace?" asked Jon with Aegon being silent for a moment.
"I will do what I must for my House and the good of the realms if an arranged marriage is required Jon," replied Aegon quietly with Jon nodding.