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Westeros

The Prodigal Returns

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Princess Daena has been found. Or, rather, Princess Daena has returned, for the princess—missing for several moons, causing a great uproar in the royal household and the king’s court, and many a fervent prayer from King Baelor—appeared at the quays on the Blackwater Rush. Her hair was dyed black, even to her brows, but the imperious violet eyes and the way she spoke was enough to make the customs sergeant she presented herself to uncertain, taking her to his superior, and from there rumor spread and a great commotion began. A motley troop of watchmen were quickly gathered to escort her, as word of her ran like wildfire and throngs appeared to gawk at her.

Had she been kidnapped and stolen away across the narrow sea? Had she taken refuge in Dorne? Had she found the secret lairs of the children of the forest beneath the ground? None could say, but she looked as mortal and earthly as any woman might, she seemed fit and not having lived a harsh life of toil or abuse, and she surely still had her confidence as she kept her head high despite all those who watched and slowed the pace of her escort.

By the time she had reached the Red Keep, most of the court had turned out, and the king was there to sweep her up in an embrace, tears on his cheeks as he praised the Seven again and again, saying that the vision they had sent him had been right and true. That vision? The need for dragon eggs, long left virtually forgotten in the vaults of Dragonstone. The king had only lately sent Lord Velaryon on a ship to fetch some of the old eggs, for the king said the Seven had shown him that with prayer they would hatch, and his sister would return. Her uncle, Prince Viserys, seemed more curious as to what had happened to her, and where she had been; after all, his sons had repeatedly been part of search parties chasing after vague rumors and claims, but neither Aegon nor Aemon found anything… and they were but two of many guards and knights who had devoted themselves to attempting to find her. But Daena had no answer for Viserys, or indeed anyone at all. She seemed not especially pleased to be back in the Red Keep, and it was with marked coldness that she said she was ready to return to her cage.

What the king made of it, who could say? He directed an escort, and commanded maesters and septas to make sure she was well and comfortable in the keep with her sisters. And indeed, at the mention of her sisters Rhaena and Elaena, Daena softened a little. Some who went with her to the threshold of the Maidenvault swear that her gaze softened, and in fact there were those who said that as she passed through the shadowed gates that tears had begun to gather. Tears of joy? Few who know Daena think so.

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