A Clash of Kings-Chapter 12
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
|Place||Somewhere in the Red Waste - Vaes Tolorro|
|Page||138 UK HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
Daenerys Targaryen decides to follow the Red Comet deep into the Red Waste of the Dothraki Sea. Many are lost before they find an abandoned city. While her khalasar rests, her three bloodriders scout ahead. The last to return, brings three men from Qarth.
Daenerys Targaryen is having her small khalasar follow the Red Comet the Dothraki name shierak qiya (Bleeding Star). The old men mutter that it is an ill omen, but it appeared the night they cremated Khal Drogo and her dragons awakened; she considers it the herald of her coming. She is told by Doreah that it is grim in that direction, but she really has no choice with khalasar of Khal Pono or Khal Jhaqo and others to the north; their hundred people with only four warriors would be no match. When Daenerys had told Ser Jorah Mormont that Pono had always spoken to her kindly, he reminds her that he was first to leave, and would kill you. When she mentions that she has dragons, he replies that a swipe of an arakh would kill the hatchlings. He also tells her that a living dragon is very valuable, and every man would want them. Nor could they withstand the peaceful Lamb Men to the south, who had no love for her. The only way seems to be into the red lands, and when she tells her people, while garbed in the pelt of a White Lion with the head covering her bald head (from the cremation), they will follow comet, no words against it are raised.
They ride by night. Their horses dies as they travel—Pono, Jhago and the others had taken the best horses—and soon many are forced to walk; they find little forage or water in this desolate land. Then the weakest of her people start dying. It is worse than Ser Jorah had expected.
With little to eat and drink, Daenerys suffered with her people, and she shed weight and her milk dried up so Daenerys could no longer suckle the frowing dragons. They did not eat the meat fed them, but Daenerys remembers Viserys saying that only men and dragons eat cooked meat. The cooked meat they eat. Daenerys starts every night carrying one of the dragons on her shoulder, while Irri and Jhiqui carry the other two in in a cage slung between their mounts.
One day Aggo states that the black dragon is Balerion come again. Daenerys recalls that Aegon’s dragons were named for the gods of Old Valyria, but she decides to name the dragons after those the gods have taken: Rhaegal for the green, Viserion for the cream and gold, and Drogon for the black. The dragons prosper.
Doreah who had been ill for a while, gets worse with a fever, and finally drops from her horse. Daenerys stops khalasar from pressing on, and personally cares for the woman that taught her the art of pleasing Drogo, and finally, as Daenerys is holder her hand while she is shivering, she dies.
Daenerys is despairing that the Red Comet had shown her wrong, but outriders return with news of a city, a city that even Ser Jorah can tell her nothing of. She sends her bloodriders to scout the city: Aggo, Jhiqui and Rakharo. They return to report that the city is dead, with Jhiqui stating that cities where the gods are gone, and the ghosts feast at night are best avoided. This does not dissuade Daenerys, and she leads her khalasar into the crumbling city. Inside Daenerys finds an empty plinth and is sure that its statue probably now stands Vaes Dothrak. They find fruit and sweet water. When Irri mutters about ghosts, Daenerys tells her that they have dragons which are more powerful; more importantly there was food, water and grass for the horses. When Ser Jorah arrives after she had settled in her tent and been bathed in sand, he has a peach for her. Daenerys tells him that the gods were good to lead them here, and Ser Jorah replies that they should rest and become stronger.
Daenerys tells Ser Jorah her handmaidens say there are ghosts here and Ser Jorah states there are ghosts everywhere. So Daenerys asks about his ghosts and he tells her of his second wife, the very beautiful Lynesse Hightower and youngest daughter of Leyton Hightower—Leyton was the commander of her father’s Kingsguard. He then tells her of his home of the remote Bear Island. How it is cold in the winter and their hall was built of logs surrounded by an earthen palisade. Then of his first wife, Glover of Deepwood Motte, who was chosen by his father before he took the black, who he loved after a fashion. She died with her third miscarriage, ten years after they were married. Then he fought in the Greyjoy Rebellion, earning his knighthood when he followed the Thoros of Myr through the breach at Pyke. After the victory Robert Baratheon held a tourney outside Lannisport where he met Lynesse. He won jousts against Lord Jason Mallister, Yohn Royce, Ser Ryman Frey, Ser Hosteen Frey, Lord Whent, Strongboar, and Ser Boros Blount. He then fought to a draw with Jaime Lannister, and was given the decision by King Robert. of the Kingsguard. That night, drunk, he asks Lord Leyton for Lynesse’s hand, and they were married there in Lannisport. His home was a disappointment to Lynesse. He went to great expense to bring what she wanted, and when that failed to work, started entering tourneys but he never distinguished himself again; the magic was gone. Each loss in a tourneys cost a suit of armor and a charger, and soon he was broke. Lynesse was unwilling to give up her jewels, so for gold he lost his honor. When he heard Eddard Stark was coming, he fled with his wife to Lys. In half a year his gold was gone, and had to become a sellsword. While he was fighting, she moved in with a merchant prince named Tregar Ormollen. When asked Ser Jorha tells Daenerys that Lynesse looked much like Daenerys. He now hates and loves her. He asks her leave, and Daenerys gives it.
After he leaves she feels she understands him better; he loves her and wants her. She, however, realizes that she does not want him. She also felt his longing to return to Bear Island. That night she dreams of Drogo.
The next morning she calls her bloodriders and tells them each to take three horses and supplies and to go on scouting missions: Aggo southwest, Rakharo south. Jhogo southeast. She does not want to go forward blind again.
In the city they name Vaes Tolorro, Daenerys waits many days for their return. Rakharo returns first with a report that to the south the waste stretches till in reaches poisoned water. Along the way he passed the bones of a dragon whose jaws he could have ridden a horse through. Aggo returns next having found two deserted cities smaller than Vaes Tolorro and crumbling scrolls. Jhogo was the last to arrive, and very much later, with three queerly garbed strangers riding massive beasts: Pyat Pree, the great warlock, Xaro Xhoan Daxos of the Thirteen, a merchant prince of Qarth and Quaithe of the Shadow. They had come seeking dragons.