shipping these two with the power of a thousand burning suns

A Promise (A Maeve Fic) - ACOMAF and TOG Crossover

Okay, so this was a really interesting idea that I found on @greenfire2908art‘s blog. It gave me like a million ideas, so I decided to put as many as I could in here. Enjoy everyone! 

The throne room was dark. Shadowed, black walls curved sharply away from the ebon-stained tiles of the floor, tilting up and up and up to meet in a dome a hundred feet above. This should’ve opened up the room, dispelling any claustrophobic thoughts, but instead it made it seem as if there was no space at all, as if the walls were closing in and the floor collapsing. The lack of proper furniture and ornamentation only accentuated the crushing emptiness of the great hall, and any unfortunate visitor would feel like a deer in an open field. The current subject of this strange torture was sweating and wringing his hands nervously, his words stuttering and uneven.

Queen Maeve sat stiff-backed in her throne. She did not remember any other way to sit. Her bones were made of iron, same as her heart, and her backbone did not bend. The man continued his mumbling, and Maeve stared at him unblinkingly. His lips moved, but she could not hear.

Blood-red hands, plunging deep into a human chest.

“Me wife,” the farmer said. “She’s caught the flu and I’ve not a coin-”

A shrill wine, slowly, slowly building into a scream. Then many.

“Soon the kids’ll get it, too-”

“How many?” she said, not really wanting to know the answer even as she asked.

He swallowed, dark hair shifting as his throat bobbed. “Four-thousand.”

“So, you see, m'lady-Queen, that is-”

Her hands were wrapped around his neck, nails painted crimson looking like bloody claws as they gripped tighter.

“-to ask for help-”

Tighter, tighter. The fingers went white as they squeezed the life from her King. A wraith-like face laughed, taunting, skin pale and colorless but for her hair. The hair that seemed to grow brighter with every pool of blood spilled.

“O’ course, you don’t have t’-”

As those fingers went taut, a crack chased all other sound away, buried it in cotton. The silence made the noise that much louder.

“Rhysand!”

“My son, Queen. He-”

“That’s quite enough.” Maeve’s voice was calm, amenable even. It was a horrible contrast to the shrieking hum beneath her skin. She made a gesture to her guards, a single sweep of her left hand that had three full-blooded Fae males setting down spears in favor of sword or axe.

As they neared, the farmer seemed to come back to himself, glancing back at the approaching Fae. “What’s this?” he asked.

One of the males roughly pulled his hands behind his back. That was when the old farmer began thrashing.

“What is this?” he asked again, panic edging his voice. “Put me down!”

Maeve watched without speaking.

The second guard pushed the man to his knees, pressing against his shoulders to keep him from squirming away.

And the third, he snapped gloves onto his hands, to lessen the mess that came afterwards. He tested the edge of his blade on his thumb, found it satisfactory. The farmer screamed, twisting and turning, but the arms that held him were like iron bands. The third Fae hefted the sword and leaned back to give himself room.

“I’m innocent!” the farmer shouted. “I’m innocent!”

Maeve leaned forward then, a cruel light behind her eyes. “No one is,” she crooned.

“I’m inn-”

A rush of air, a geyser of blood, and the third male had eyes like granite as he wiped the farmer’s life from his blade and walked back to his place. The two Fae who’d been holding down the man did not speak as they took up their posts by the door, leaving a crumpled, headless body behind.

#

Mild irritation could be seen in the feathering of Maeve’s jaw. If she could have, she’d be drumming her fingers along the deep blue manchette of her armrest. One of the typical meetings again, complete with tittering court ninnies and pompous fools. Hundreds of kingdoms she’d conquered, and not one managed a decent court without its share of idiots. She’d gotten used to it, and usually the ordered murder of the courtier of her pick was enough to shut them up. But her guards were not currently present, out on a scouting mission in search of Aelin Galathynius.

A thrill ran through her blood at just the thought of the Queen’s name. She’d escaped the iron prison, somehow. One day, Maeve had pried opened the door and found it empty, naught a trace left but for a swirling series of marks, sketched out in blood. There had been no sign of the Queen since, but rumors spread quick, and Maeve heard the whispers of an army rising in the North.

A donkey’s laugh burst from one of the courtiers, bursting her bubble of calm. He was surprisingly ugly for a Fae, with a sloping brow and protruding nose, and his guffaw did nothing to help his predicament. Maeve’s eyes tightened, and she put just a bit more effort into ignoring them.

As her violet gaze drifted around the room, her thoughts burrowed deep into lost history. To a very different kind of promise.

“You will not die. Not now or ever. Not until the world is a forgotten whisper of dust between the stars.”

Those were the words that the gods had cursed at her, centuries ago, after the death of…everything.

“Your Majesty?”

Maeve flicked her eyes to the one who’d spoken her title.

Strangely, he did not balk. She’d have to break him in soon. “Your Majesty,” he said, green eyes bright and black hair waving, “Aelin Galathynius has been sighted.”

Maeve smiled.

#

No one knew Maeve’s secret, the one of the Queen Who Was Promised. Promised not just to Elena and her gods, but also to her. She did not fight for Erawan, not for pleasure, not for power or some darker purpose. No, she sought freedom. One that none could give her but Aelin Galathynius.

It was with cold anticipation squirming in her gut that Maeve watched, from the safety of a long-boat, her armada crawl forward to meet the approaching one. It was anxious suspense that gnawed at her stomach as she saw just how many men had been gathered under the same banner to kill. And it that was definitely fear that thrilled through her when she realized it was her they wanted to kill.

Another emotion bubbled to the surface, one that had been pushed down for a thousand years to keep her sane. It was excitement, joy, that turned into a burning relief. So long, and finally her dream approached. Her salvation came in the form of pikes and spears and longbows, warships slicing through the water. It came in the form of a golden-haired queen with eyes a blazing blue that would’ve been better replaced by the line of molten gold rimming the irises.

Terror coursed through her like never before. Of course, it did not show on her face, wouldn’t even if she’d wished it to. Maeve let a cruel smile split her face in half, throwing a hand in front of her. Her ship lurched forward, careening towards the opposite bank. Rows of archers stood along each and every of the ships’ railings, the ones at the head of the armada like tiny dots in the back of her vision.

“Fire,” she whispered, and it was black flames that licked at her fingers as the first volley of arrows clotted the grey sky. Shields emblazoned with a rising sun rose up to defend from the wicked-edged points, but still, faint shrieks could be heard from the lines of enemy men.

A trickle of shadow she sent, a calling, a beckoning. Immediately she was answered. A balmy wind slammed into their ranks, cutting and eddying through the sea breeze. Maeve looked up, and she met eyes of blue and gold, even from over a quarter mile away. Her raging emotions halted when she saw the prince of snow next to her. He stood taller and stronger than he ever had at her side, and through the severed bond, she could feel where his endless sorrow had been replaced by a strange king of fullness.

The hollow cave that had once housed her human heart was suddenly prominent. Once, she had been them. Happy and complete, with a wisdom that could only be gained through the acceptance of another into your life. Hatred raked its oily claws down her insides. Together, the Queen and her mate, a reminder of what had been lost, why she still wanted to kill them.

“I won’t let you.”

Maeve growled and whirled around, the shadows leaking from her in waves. Her eyes widened when she saw who the voice belonged to. A woman, with long, golden-brown hair flowing down her back and eyes like pale-blue ice. Her form was bright and shimmering, and the power that spilled from her was enough to rival that of Aelin.

“Long time no see, Mora,” Maeve snarled. “How’s the afterlife suiting you?”

Mora’s eyes tightened. “I won’t let you kill her,” she said.

“I know. That’s why you’ll have to go first.”

Quick as lightning, a needle-sharp thread of shadow shot out. Mora didn’t move as the shadow darted for her chest, merely twitched her lip. The shadow was swallowed by a cloud of ice.

Maeve bared her teeth. “Why are you here?”

Mora met her gaze evenly. “The gods have come to collect their Promise. I won’t let you kill her.”

No, and I wouldn’t even if you hadn’t threatened me.

“Of course,” Maeve said coolly. “But why are you here?”

“Because I asked her to be.”

The breath caught in her throat as she turned slowly to meet the hazel-brown eyes that she had not seen since her Mate’s death. “You,” she said, because she had no idea if she should speak in a familiar or formal manner, and the awe did not leak into her voice, even though it was there, thick and stifling.

Vaguely, she could hear the battle cries of her men, but she knew she was safe here, in the thick of her armada, for at least a few more minutes.

“Me,” Mab said, and a sad smile lined her eyes.

Salty tears spilled down her face, running through the blood that splattered her cheeks. She caressed the leathery membrane of the wing, brought it close to her chest. He was gone.

“Leave,” Maeve said bluntly, any good feeling lost as she realized a war raged around her. There was no time for distractions.

Mab flinched and took a step after Maeve’s retreating form. “I came to tell you something.”

Maeve paused.

“I came to say something He would’ve wanted you to remember.”

“Elain,” Mora ground out, and Maeve closed her eyes at that name.

Elain…

Mab ignored it, continuing, “He said he’d always love you. He would still love you, you know. Even with…with how you’ve turned out. And I-”

“Elain.”

“-I still love you. Nesta still loves you, even though she won’t admit it-”

Maeve turned just in time to see Mora strike Mab with an open palm. “Elain,” she said, and cold fire danced in her eyes. “I told you to stop. I told you-” Her eyes turned to Maeve, seething with hatred. “I do not love you, Maeve. I loved Feyre, and she’s been gone a long, long time.”

Gone, ever since her Mate’s death. When she’d felt that other line of the bond die, go taut and then snap, she’d erupted.

“He’s not breathing,” Mor whispered. “Shit. Azriel.” Her quiet sobs were muffled by the shadowsinger’s shirt, and he too let the tears fall.

They’d all been in a room together, and then he’d barged in, violet eyes wild.

“She’s here,” he breathed. “She’s here.” And when they all glanced at the doorway he’d come through, a shudder of fear passed through each of them. A woman with a plain face and blood-red hair, smirking.

“Hello, Rhysand,” she purred.

The attack came too quick to follow, and they were all frozen with shock anyway. When manicured nails had torn through his flesh, she had lunged. It was with half a thought that she killed Amerantha and rushed to her Mate’s side, the tears already stinging the back of her vision.

“Fuck,” Cassian swore, voice cracking. “Can’t someone do something?”

Slowly, they shook their heads.

Gone, gone, gone.

A scream was ripped from her throat, and the damper on her glamour fell. Wings extended, talons cut through flesh, and solid black filmed her eyes. She’d kill them. Kill them all. She’d burn the world.

And then she had.

Cassian. Mor. Azriel. Amren. All of them gone. Velaris, too. And so the gods had brought her before them, and they’d determined her fate. A curse, to live forever, until her Promise was born.

Hearing her name again brought immeasurable pain. She had learned to hide it behind a mask of porcelain skin and violet eyes, a wrath greater than that of her lover’s killer. And with each word against her, the steel of that mask thickened. “Leave,” the Queen of the Fae said, ice coating her words. “Before I lose my temper.”

In truth, she already had.

“Feyre,” Mab breathed. “You are good. You are kind. I see beneath your mask.”

The crackling of magic as the armada at last came upon the shore, and armored bodies heaved themselves into the shallow water. Maeve thought it cruel that fate decided to gift her sister with those same words as she had once told her Mate. It felt like a slap to the face. So it was with venom that she said,“We all start out good.” A cruel smirk. “But it doesn’t last long.”

The ship exploded into black mist.

#

Maeve let the madness show on her face as she crept up behind the Queen of Terrasen. There was none of the fear Maeve felt on her face, none mirrored in Aelin’s face.

“I’ve come to kill you,” Maeve announced, and the swirls of shadows thickened around her.

“Funny,” Aelin murmured. “I was about to say the same thing.”

And then she struck. Maeve dodged, quick as thunder, and Aelin whipped back into a battle stance. They fought long and hard, viciously trading blows. Their magic whipped out in time to the strikes of steel, up and over. Rowan did not make any move to help, she noticed, though his fists were clenched tight and his legs were tense, as if he was ready to jump in at his Queen’s first command. He glared at her with all the menace of four-hundred years of servitude.

Distracted for a moment, Maeve did not see the knife coming until the last second, and for the first time in a millennium, Maeve’s blood spilled. It flowed free and unabashed into the hard earth, hissing and popping like hot oil. The pain was nothing, a child’s hurt, but it still left her gasping. She hadn’t felt the ill of a wound in so long, that she found herself fascinated by the glossy beads dripping from the tear in her flesh, so like that deep scarlet hair.

Aelin had paused momentarily, watching curiously. She was still tense, on edge, but something had shifted in her. The hostility had lessened more to…wariness.

“Fireheart,” Rowan muttered, voice dripping with warning. “No.”

“But what if-” Aelin began, but then Maeve shook her head and was up again. The battle began anew, and she felt her strength flagging. Her well of magic was bone-dry, while Aelin continued to spew flames from her outstretched hand. She knew what was coming before it did. There was only a moment to quell that instinctual fear and replace it with the excitement, the possibility of-

The sword that plunged through her chest was burning-hot, and it rekindled something in that empty cavity where her heart should’ve been.

“I love you, Feyre.”

Aelin jerked the blade free, leaving Maeve gasping on her knees.

I’ll love you, forever and always.”

She fell to the ground as her strength failed to her, chest still heaving. Two words burst from her lips in an unintelligible gasp. Blood leaked through her fingers. Despite her lover’s protests, Aelin moved forward to crouch beside Maeve. Her eyes were cold, and no pity shown in them, but-

Aelin leaned in, the smell of crackling embers punching through the sweat and tears. “Say it again,” Aelin commanded.

Maeve breathed, “I’m sorry.

The Queen of Terrasen studied her for a long moment, gaze assessing, then gave a sharp nod. That was all, nothing more before standing up and turning away to face her own fate. There was nothing more to do, she supposed wryly, and a bit of her old spirit returned, the one that lay slumbering beneath the mask. At least she’d die with dignity, her name whispered for years after the crows had pecked her bones clean.

She missed her Mate. She could admit it with the knowledge she’d be gone in a few minutes. Cassian would’ve laughed himself hoarse if he knew she had gone celibate for so long. But the passion she’d once felt had died with a pair of violet eyes that her shapeshifting magic could never replicate.

As the blood gushed from her torso, the fear subsided, and finally, finally the overwhelming relief took over.

Maeve, Feyre Cursebreaker and High Lady of the Night Court, lay back, closed her eyes to the darkness, and felt the completion of a promise that had been prolonged for a thousand years.

Ah, peace…

MBTI Aesthetics (Including my own)

(I have not met all the types, so not all of this is from any sort of personal encounter.)

INTJ: Blood dripping from fingertips, marble white skin, the threatening sound rumbling thunder makes on the horizon, a city drenched in rain, the click of high-heeled shoes on a marble floor, staircases wrapped in dark red velvet, the essence of darkness draping itself over your skin, the contrast of gold over black, breezes that make you shiver, dark skin gleaming in golden lighting, fingers tugging at the roots of hair, hands folded behind the back, the sound of water tinkling in a cave, the ripples water makes when you dip your hand in it, the sensation of cool leather over skin, the drama of moonlit shadows, long silences.

INTP: Hieryogliphic handwriting, the sensation of apathy, warm weather, a rubix cube, explosive anger, a late report, running to work, chin resting on a hand, working underneath the hood of a car, slowly spreading smiles, liquid mercury, grains of salt scattered over a counter top, water sloshing in a glass, the spinning of a metal top. 

ENTJ: Power in reserve, dark eyeliner, perfectly trimmed fingernails, the sound of tapping feet, hands pulling someone in by their shoulders, hair braided into a crown, mahogany desks, feet planted apart, level gazes, earthquakes, the sounds of thousands of people screaming, huge cities, shedding tears in the darkness, rich laughter, a firm handshake, a punch to the face, fingers gripping a microphone.

ENTP: Fire crackling across gunpowder, salt popping in a flame, quick laughter, polished knives, back-slapping hugs, red lipstick, thoughtful silences, hair in messy spikes, a noose hanging from a tree, running as fast as you can, drunken declarations of love, back-breaking sobs, bells tinkling, sardonic smiles, the sound the ocean makes slapping against a rock.

INFJ: A well-loved leather journal, a bird spreading its wings, falling to your knees, fingers sifting through sand, a pencil tapping against a desk, two-toned hair patterns, looking over your shoulder, smiling whistfully, kissing while holding hands, clenched fists resting against your sides, teeth grinding in your mouth, the colour white, leading someone forward, a ship hitting the ground.

INFP: Soft smiles, wrapping hair around one’s finger, a pool slowly filling with water, the sound a piano makes when a wrong chord is struck, fall colours, sunflowers growing in a field, hundreds of pencils scattered over a scratched wooden desk, clear jars filled with art supplies, a laptop cover the colour of a daffodil, long phone conversations, hugs you can bury your face in, staring at the night sky, early rising, string lights, quiet crying.

ENFJ: The joy of feeling inspired, early mornings, sleepy smiles, a plane landing, waving a flag, squeezing someone’s shoulder, straining your eyes, altruism, walking down a flight of stairs, walking slowly to let someone catch up to you, covering your mouth when you laugh, the sensation of cleanliness, a pillow freshly plumped, slow-dancing at a party.

ENFP: Throwing your head back to laugh, hyperactivity, scurrying around, the colour purple, curling around you at night, hugging you from behind, pointing at whatever one is looking at, pages and pages of essays, ink spilled over scented paper, envelopes in shades of summer, hair in wild curls that tumble all over the shoulders, huge grins, string lights, late nights, sprawling as you sleep.

ISTJ: Dove-coloured flats, hair pulled back in a bun, slightly tanned skin, papers stacked neatly, a shiny red apple on a desk, a bowl full of hair pins, soap cut into a bar, the tips of hair just barely dyed, a white shirt perfectly ironed, the sensation of being on time, soft sweaters, a pat on the back, lips pressed tightly together, a lamp on in a room, utter silence.

ISFJ: A backpack full of supplies, the sound a sword makes being drawn from its sheath, dusty old books stacked on top of each other, an intense longing for adventure, wisterias, bowing from the waist, quiet smiles, clinging to rocks as you hang off a precipice, a wall made of stone, a box of memoirs, quiet rain falling, the colour green.

ESTJ: Adjusting glasses, the ticking of a clock, notebooks stacked neatly on a shelf, drinking a glass of wine, kicking off one’s shoes, folding hands, intense gazes, the words, “I apologise”, loud laughter, sudden anger, a waterfall roaring over rocks, balancing a tray of drinks, short showers, sand grains swirling in an hourglass, an organised room, pillows stacked on top of each other.

ESFJ: Blowing out the candles on a cake, your shadow falling over a crowd as they scream your name, fireworks, the sensation of your stomach dropping out on a rollercoaster, traditionalism, hiding your pain, a warm smile, throwing a giggling child up in the air, catching aforementioned child, a hand rubbing your back, nightmares that have you gasping for air, a cat purring.

ISTP: Hands pushing through water as you swim, a green flame burning relentlessly, loyalty, falling in love with your best friend, an organised schedule, long baths, quiet voices, small smiles, sniffly tears, running your fingers over the keys of a piano, angular facial structure, paint splattered over your hands, adjusting goggles over your eyes, a disorganised tool-box, an enigma, the colours of a kaleidoscope.

ISFP: The sensation of chaos, falling from a building, hands gliding over skin, an intimate desire for truth, stepping onto a stage, nervous grinning, blushing from the ears, scrubbing a hand across your face, climbing a mountain, drawing with a white pencil over black paper, a love for animals, compassion, arms wrapping around you in a hug.

ESTP: Impulsive behaviour, running through a field, thinly veiled smirks, darting movements, hair that is quickly rumpled, staring at the sun, lungs inhaling air, feeling the ground crumbling underneath you, the sound of a triumphant scream, the colour gold, ears pricking up, getting caught up in a single moment, holding up a medal, sunburned skin,a solid punch.

ESFP: Dancing by yourself, holding a martini by the tips of your fingers, sobbing into someone’s shoulder, fingers gripping someone’s shoulder in a hug, musical laughter, the fear of being late, a boat skidding across waves, a fan whirring out of control, sunlight filtering through a dusty room, deep red roses, salt on the rim of a glass, walking down a crowded street.

My Pleasure Barge Awaits: Thoughts on a Journey That Never Came

Three times Daenerys Targaryen’s dreams of returning to Westeros were almost derailed by men trying to take her further east. The first of these men was Khal Drogo, who prior to Varys’ assassination attempt was making plans to take his khalasar across the Bone Mountains and launch a Dothraki invasion of civil war plagued Yi Ti:

“Drogo says the stallion who mounts the world will have all the lands of the earth to rule, and no need to cross the poison water. He talks of leading his khalasar east after Rhaego is born, to plunder the lands around the Jade Sea.” (GoT Dany VI)

Following Drogo’s untimely death, Ser Jorah pleads with Daenerys to let him take her across the wonder and pleasure filled Jade Sea:

“Come east with me. Yi Ti, Oarth, the Jade Sea, Asshai by the Shadow. We will see all the wonders yet unseen, and drink what wines the gods see fit to serve us.” (GoT Dany X)

When they arrive in Qarth, Xaro proposes to take her into the distant east as his wife, promising her wonder and pleasure filled adventures strikingly identical to those promised by Jorah:

“Your dragon has a good nose.” Xaro wiped his lips. “The wine is ordinary. It is said that across the Jade Sea they make a golden vintage so fine that one sip makes all other wines taste like vinegar. Let us take my pleasure barge and go in search of it, you and I.”

“Let this be your kingdom, most exquisite of queens, and let me be your king. I will give you a throne of gold, if you like. When Qarth begins to pall, we can journey round Yi Ti and search for the dreaming city of the poets, to sip the wine of wisdom from a dead man’s skull.” (CoK Daenerys III)

But the prospect of going further east finds no favor with Daenerys. She secretly despairs of Drogo’s decision, she turns down Ser Jorah’s offer, and she decisively rejects Xaro Xhoan Daxos’ marriage proposal. Following this third and final escape from the clutches of the east, Dany heads back west aboard the ships Magister Illyrio dispatched. Yet, what if her resolve had weakened before the House of the Undying? What if she had instead left Qarth aboard Xaro’s pleasure barge? What would that have meant for her? What would it have meant for her dragons? And what would it have meant for the lands around the Jade Sea?

The answer to each of these questions would ultimately have depended upon the success or failure of Xaro Xhoan Daxos’ plans. While it’s never revealed what exactly Xaro wanted with Dany’s dragons, it’s clearly more than a simple collector’s interest. The notably clairvoyant Quaithe warns Dany that people would desire her children principally for the raw power they offered:

“Beware,” the woman in the red lacquer mask said.

“Of whom?”

“Of all. They shall come day and night to see the wonder that has been born again into the world, and when they see they shall lust. For dragons are fire made flesh, and fire is power.” (CoK Dany II)

But power can be realized in many different ways and power derived from dragons is no exception.

It seems very unlikely that Xaro Xhoan Daxos was seeking to become a dragon conqueror in the manner of the Targaryens. Such would be a rather drastic and dangerous departure from his whole lived experience, wherein he lives in comfort within the greatest city in the world while his various underlings and slaves assume all the physical risks of east-west commerce. Does Xaro really have it in him to mount a dragon and lead armies? And, even if he did, would that really be the wisest course of action for him to undertake? Doubtful. It could be he was just delusional, as the Good Masters and Hizdahr zo Loraq clearly were, but Xaro and the Qartheen evince none of the palpable Ghiscari desire to reverse past humiliations and ancient defeats with the Valyrian’s own weapons. (And why would they? Qarth was never conquered by Valyria.) So Xaro’s motivations were no doubt far more parochial, namely, to increase his wealth and status within Qarth itself. He could do this in two ways: by using the dragons to subdue his city or by selling them.

Ser Jorah speculates that Xaro wants the dragons solely to break the endless game and become the supreme man in Qarth, observing that “With one dragon, Xaro Xhoan Daxos would rule this city…” (CoK Dany III). By marrying Daenerys, Xaro would not only secure said dragon, but also a Targaryen Princess. Xaro would then become founder of a new royal dynasty, a dynasty whose Dragonlord blood would put them well above the Pureborn.

A crucial component of Xaro’s plan is to eventually smuggle Daenerys and the dragons out of Qarth. The three times he proposes marriage it is always accompanied by a reference to his pleasure barge sailing them around the Jade Sea:

“My pleasure barge awaits, even now,” Xaro Xhoan Daxos called out. “Turn away from this folly, most stubborn of queens. I have flutists who will soothe your troubled soul with sweet music, and a small girl whose tongue will make you sigh and melt.” (CoK Daenerys IV)

“I see you happily abed, with our child at your breast. Sail with me around the Jade Sea, and we can yet make it so! It is not too late. Give me a son, my sweet song of joy!” (CoK Daenerys V)

Three growing, hungry, hostile dragons would eventually threaten the city and unsettle its rulers and factions, prompting them into united action against Daenerys and hence against Xaro. A honeymoon on his pleasure barge is the perfect excuse to get away. And as it so happens, the shores and islands of the Jade Sea are absolutely brimming with all sorts of magical knowledge and dragon lore that a prospective dragon owner might find useful when it comes to the difficult matter of controlling them:

“Dragon’s eggs, from the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai,” said Magister Illyrio. “The eons have turned them to stone, yet still they burn bright with beauty.” (Dany GoT II)

“Have you ever seen a dragon?” she asked as Irri scrubbed her back and Jhiqui sluiced sand from her hair. She had heard that the first dragons had come from the east, from the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai and the islands of the Jade Sea.

Magic had died in the west when the Doom fell on Valyria and the Lands of the Long Summer, and neither spell-forged steel nor stormsingers nor dragons could hold it back, but Dany had always heard that the east was different. It was said that manticores prowled the islands of the Jade Sea, that basilisks infested the jungles of Yi Ti, that spellsingers, warlocks, and aeromancers practiced their arts openly in Asshai, while shadowbinders and bloodmages worked terrible sorceries in the black of night. (Dany GoT III)

The islands of the Jade Sea would be the place where the dragons could be safely raised, trained, and tested before Xaro’s triumphant return to claim the Queen of Cities for himself and his heirs.

Alternatively, Ser Jorah was thinking like a Westerosi warrior rather than a Qartheen merchant prince. For Westerosi raised on tales of Harrenhal, the Field of Fire and the Dance of Dragons, dragons are inseparable from rulership and war. But a Qartheen merchant prince could easily have seen the dragons in commercial terms, as rare beasts/weapons who could be bartered or sold. For someone like Xaro, it might have made far more sense to simply sell the dangerous, unpredictable dragons to foreign rulers for an absolutely astronomical price. The profits and concessions so won could then be transformed into greater political power at home, while the risks of actually mastering the dragons would be left to their buyers. And as it so happens, there are at least four potential buyers within the Jade Sea. Amidst the general anarchy currently besetting the Golden Empire of Yi Ti, there is a three way civil war between the Azure Emperor in Yin, the “Yellow Emperor” in Carcosa and the Orange Emperor in Trader’s Town:

Today Yin is once more the capital of Yi Ti. There the seventeenth azure emperor Bu Gai sits in splendor in a palace larger than all King’s Landing. Yet far to the east, well beyond the borders of the Golden Empire proper, in the city of Carcosa on the Hidden Sea, dwells in exile a sorcerer lord who claims to be the sixty-ninth yellow emperor, from a dynasty fallen for a thousand years. And more recently, a general named Pol Qo, Hammer of the Jogos Nhai, has given himself imperial honors, naming himself the first of the orange emperors, with the rude, sprawling garrison city called Trader Town as his capital. Which of these three emperors will prevail is a question best left for the historians of the years to come. (World Book 303)

There is the unnamed Empress of Leng, historical rival to the Golden Empire:

In the four centuries since Leng threw off the yoke of Yi Ti, the island has flourished under the rule of a long line of god-empresses. The first of the current dynasty, still revered in the east as Khiara the Great, was of pure Lengi descent; to please her subjects she took two husbands, one Lengii and one YiTish. This custom was continued by her daughters and their daughters in turn. By tradition the first of the imperial consorts commands the empresses’ armies, the second her fleets. (World Book 307)

And there is also a huge, magic obsessed eldritch city populated with sorcerers and literally filled with precious treasure and valuable secrets:

Every land beneath the sun has need of fruits and grains and vegetables, so one might ask why any mariner would sail to the ends of the earth when he might more easily sell his cargo to markets closer to home. The answer is gold. Beyond the walls of Asshai, food is scarce, but gold and gems are common…though some will say that the gold of the Shadow Lands is as unhealthy in its own way as the fruits that grow there.

The ships come nonetheless. For gold, for gems, and for other treasures, for certain things spoken of only in whispers, things that cannot be found anywhere upon the earth save in the black bazaars of Asshai. (World Book 308)

Xaro Xhoan Daxos had watched the whole exchange [with Quaithe] from his cushions. When Dany climbed back into the palanquin beside him, he said, “Your savages are wiser than they know. Such truths as the Asshai’i hoard are not like to make you smile.” (CoK, Dany III)

For a merchant in possession of three imperial status symbols/superweapons/magical creatures, this is a heaven sent opportunity. If one of the three Yi Ti Emperor’s purchased a dragon, the other two would feel strongly compelled to follow suit. If the Empress of Leng felt threatened by the prospect of YiTish dragons then she’d have to outbid the three Emperors. And if the Asshai’i wanted one of the dragons for their own mysterious purposes then they’d have to outbid the three Emperors and the Empress. And so on and so on. A skilled merchant could easily play the various buyers against one another and maximize his potential profits. Xaro would thus become vastly richer and his power and status within Qarth would increase accordingly.

Daenerys of course would naturally object to Xaro selling his dragon, let alone the two that were supposed to remain hers. Here things get complicated. Xaro could content himself with much smaller profits and sell only his dragon, but that seems unlikely. More likely, he would bide his time until he could pacify his wife, any protectors she brought along, and the dragons. The dragons in particular would be extremely tricky, as even baby dragons can destroy a ship. But Xaro is no stranger to deceit, treachery, and gaslighting. On his barge, in the Jade Sea, within his ports, he would be in his element and Daenerys would be as adrift as she was in Qarth, if not more so. The Jade Sea does not lack for poisons or sorceries that could potentially tame the dragons. Perhaps Xaro would end up set ablaze like the Undying. Or perhaps Dany would find herself at his mercy, quietly enslaved or even murdered. Perhaps one of the Emperors, in particular the one who wears yellow, would desire a bride with his dragon, in emulation of Emperor Chai Duq.

CHAI DUQ, the fourth yellow emperor, who took to wife a noblewoman of Valyria and kept a dragon at his court. (World Book 302)

Xaro after all comes from a culture where slavery is an everyday reality, where the casual murder of inconvenient persons is a simple fact of life, and where foreign persons are despised for their racial and cultural inferiority. And a foreign wife who stands in the way of the greatest trade in Qartheen history, and who would serve little purpose after said trade’s completion, would be very inconvenient indeed.

anonymous asked:

Klaine in season six got some of the worst writing any TV couple has had ever. Ross and Rachel bad. Some of it is Ryan Murphy pissing on the fans, which is high level bullshit given how much we've put up with from him. But I think a lot of it is that after Cory's death they didn't have any other couples they could give drama to, so Blaine and Kurt got a double dose. And in season six, they couldn't do anything to Brittana because they wanted to please the fans, so Klaine got 3x the conflict.

Its been a year and a half since Glee ended and I am still just as pissed about everything as I was last March.  Hopefully, the intensity will lessen over time, but I will always look back on this show and be grateful that it gave me Klaine and at the same time, feel disgusted over the way they were treated.  There isn’t anything about season 6 that doesn’t make me twitch with rage.  I honestly can’t fathom what the hell they were thinking when they started pitching storylines around. How does breaking them up (again and this one a complete and utter clusterfuck) and then shifting things back to Lima, giving neither Kurt nor Blaine any kind of actual story (and no, being Rachel’s personal cheerleader does not count) or songs of their own, shoving them into a wedding that they barely participated in and then unceremoniously dumping them back into the background for the final episodes honor the legacy of this show or have anything whatsoever to do with pleasing the fans?  It doesn’t.  I don’t know why, but after a while, it started to feel vindictive.  Like they were deliberately trying to one up themselves to see what new kind of heinous torture they could inflict on us.

You expect me to believe that in 6 months’ time, Kurt Hummel went from “I choose to love and trust you through everything” and “I am here because he is the love of my life and nothing and no one is going to come between us” to “maybe I don’t” and “we had a good run?”  WE HAD A GOOD RUN?  What the actual fuck is that?  This isn’t some guy he met at a random coffee house and was casually dating for a month or two but decided it wasn’t working out. This is Blaine.  BLAINE.  Who loves him more than life itself.  Who thinks the sun rises and sets with him.  Who thinks he’s the single most interesting kid in all of Ohio and more than likely the most talented student at NYADA.  Who gave up his safe place at Dalton to be with Kurt at McKinley.  Who took a slushy to the face for him and would do it a thousand times more without hesitating.  And yeah, he screwed up in season 4, but so did Kurt, and he paid the price for it. Who organized the most amazingly romantic perfectly done proposal in the history of the world.  Who just wants to be with him.  To end them in that cold, cruel flashback the way they did wasn’t just a slap upside the head a la Gibbs but a knife to the back.  A knife they kept twisting deeper and deeper the longer the season went on.  

To an outsider, it probably sounds a bit nuts to go all conspiracy theory over a tv show, but I don’t know how to explain it.  What else would compel RIB to deliberately keep them miserable and apart for more than half of the final season?  I felt like I was being punished for shipping them, like they went out of their way to spite us.  It was like, “oh, so you want some happy engaged NYC Klaine planning their future and their wedding and starting their lives together?” “Well, how about instead of that, we break them up and have Blaine’s entire life crash down around him, send them both back to Ohio, have Kurt realize he fucked up and wants Blaine back but we’re not going to have him do anything about it, he’s just going to spend time holding Rachel’s purse at McKinley, we’re going to have Blaine be involved with the bully who assaulted Kurt and threatened to kill him (because that absolutely doesn’t go against every thing that makes Blaine Blaine), Kurt’s going to sort of date a guy who lied to him and turned out to be old enough to be his grandfather and then…ugh, fine, we will have them get back together and get married just so you will stop complaining about it.”  You mean this isn’t fun for you?  You guys don’t like this?  Any of it? Oh well, too bad, its our show and we can do whatever the fuck we want with it, fans (or good taste) be damned.

This show meant so much to so many people and they turned it into a punchline.  The ratings weren’t giving them a clue that people were pissed? Everyone I knew IRL who watched this show gave it up sometime around season 3 - even my BFF who was the one who turned me onto it in the first place.  She checked out around then because what initially drove her to watch the show wasn’t there anymore.  But not me.  What if there’s Klaine and I don’t see it?  So thanks to that, I was the idiot sitting on my couch on a Friday night sobbing because I allowed this stupid stupid show to break my heart again. And this time, there was no LLL to make it better because that joke of a wedding they had was the ultimate “fuck you.”

Having to watch Brittany and Santana get the wedding planning that Klaine deserved and then seeing Kurt helping Brittany with things when earlier you wanted me to believe he was completely uninterested in planning his own wedding?  Kurt Hummel wasn’t into his own wedding planning.  The kid who married off his Power Rangers and was psyched to plan his dad’s wedding to Carole didn’t want to help Blaine with anything?  Are you fucking kidding me? They get a weekend honeymoon in Provincetown while Brittana gets an entire month in Jamaica?  Then they disappear completely from the next episode only to come back to Dalton having burned down.  Its literally like they are trying their damndest to erase how important Klaine was to this show.  Did they even have a scene together after they got married - just the two of them somewhere - until the hallway scene in the finale?  From what I remember, they mostly spent time standing near each other, not actually speaking to each other.  And heaven forbid singing.

I am not opposed to drama; I don’t need it, but if it makes sense, doesn’t drag on for ages, and is resolved in a manner that is consistent with the characters involved, I can deal with it.  Nothing in season 6, however, was in any way remotely watchable.  It didn’t move their story forward, there was no character growth for either of them and it for sure went on for way too long.  Everything they had them doing was completely OOC and goes directly against the characterization they spent 5 seasons building.  They were in full “burn the house down” mode at that point and didn’t seem to care at all.  Which is incredibly sad because its tarnished this show for me.  

I will always love Klaine and they will always be in my heart but I also can’t forgive or forget the unmitigated disaster that their final episodes were.  And the fact that it seemed to be purposely aimed at their fans is something I will never understand.