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Westeros

A Princess. Then, a Prince.

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A fortnight has passed since Lady Barba Bracken, the king’s royal mistress, gave birth to a natural son. In that time since, the lady has been most pleased with herself, as has been her lord father the Hand, and indeed as has been the king himself. Aegon, Fourth of His Name, had even had her nurse the boy Aegor in his audience chambers as he greeted lords and officials. Rumors run rife that he means to bestow on the boy some great parcel of land and make him a lord so that his mother might benefit from the revenues.

There are those on the small council who are said to be resistant to such gifts, and each passing day since the birth of Aegor Rivers and the evidence of Lady Barba’s overweening pride has slowly begun to make some of the lords, knights, and ladies at court to begin to look askance at the matter. Even some of Lord Bracken’s oldest friends and allies, men who he brought with him into the king’s court, have begun to suggest to him that he allows the king to indulge too much excessive attention on the lady. Matters are not helped by the fact that Prince Daeron, heir to the Iron Throne, has begun to meet in private with some of the great lords at court, and to take counsel with none other than his uncle Prince Aemon, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Through this all, King Aegon seems unmoved and uncaring, indulging his passion for Lady Barba and doting on the robust, strong-lunged boy she’d given him.

But matters may soon change, for there has been another birth: Prince Naerys, who the maesters long ago warned might die if she was with child, has gone through her labors after weeks of seclusion in her quarters due to her delicate health. Midwives and maesters have attended on her, and when the labors began the king was informed, but he made no appearance; instead, Prince Aemon came from the White Sword Tower and stayed by Naerys’s side. Hours passed before the cries of a newborn filled the room: a daughter, a new princess. A small infant, the maesters exchanged looks, showing their concern… but matters grew worse when Naerys groaned and her labor continued. After examination, a midwife said that she had another child to deliver. That effort nearly killed Naerys, if the tales are true, and the result was a prince… a stillborn one, smaller even than his sister. The labor went too long, some said, and the child suffocated in the womb. Others say that even had he survived his birth, he would likely have not outlived his sister. Or perhaps even his mother.

That sister, Naerys named: Daenerys, a name shew knew from family history and which she always thought beautiful. But even the effort of saying that much left her exhausted, and the maesters were gravely concerned that she would not survive the night. Word was sent to the king, of course, but he could not be roused from his bed. Only then did Prince Aemon, face like a stormcloud, leave his sister’s side to personally give Aegon the news. Servants would later gossip that the two men shouted at one another, though none dared repeat the words.

Now, the Veiled Ladies and the septons and septas of King’s Landing pray, some holding vigil, Outside the walls of the Red Keep, there are Kingslanders holding their own watch, praying to the Mother Above that the pious Queen Naerys will live, and her daughter Princess Daenerys as well.

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