Rego Draz

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Rego Draz
Alias The Lord of Air[1]
Title Lord[1]
Master of coin[1]
Culture Pentoshi
Born At Pentos[1]
Died In 59 AC[2], at King's Landing[2]
Book(s) Fire & Blood (mentioned)

Rego Draz was a merchant-trader and money-changer from Pentos. He became the master of coin in King's Landing during the reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen after the king reached majority.[1]

Appearance and Character

Rego was said to be corrupt, stealing from the king, charges which he denied, stating he himself was wealthier than the king was. He showed off his wealth by wearing silken robes, ruby rings, and using a gilded palanquin.[3] By 59 AC, Rego had grown quite stout, and had taken to moving between his manse and the Red Keep in an ornate gilded palanquin.[2]

Rego worshipped a small household idol which looked like a pregnant woman with swollen breasts and a bat's head.[3]

History

Rego started out with nothing, but rose to become the richest man in Pentos. However, due to his low birth he was largely shunned by the other wealthy Pentoshi and denied a seat on the city's council of magisters. Because he had enough of the scorn of the other Pentoshi, in 50 AC Rego was glad to accept the offer of the Westerosi King Jaehaerys I Targaryen to come to King's Landing and become the new master of coin on the king's small council. Rego moved to King's Landing with his family and fortune, and was granted the title of lord by Jaehaerys. As he was a lord without lands, castle or sworn men, some wit japed he was the Lord of Air, which amused Rego.[1]

Although offered residence within the Red Keep on many occasions,[2] Rego chose to live in a manse on the Street of Silk, below the Dragonpit.[4] He never married, but he had fathered three bastard sons, who learned their father's business at his knee.[2]

Rego excelled as master of coin and was one of the key men responsible for rebuilding the realm's economy after the wars of King Maegor I Targaryen had left the crown severely in debt. He reached out to the Iron Bank of Braavos, and its rivals in Tyrosh and Myr, arranging three substantial loans. With these loans, the construction of the Dragonpit could finally continue. Together with King Jaehaerys Rego abolished the deeply unpopular trade taxes of Lord Edwell Celtigar, who had been the previous master of coin appointed. In place they instituted a series of luxury taxes on expensive foreign imports, as well as on castle crenellations.[1]

Rego quickly grew to be as unpopular as his predecessor had been, on account of his alleged corruption, his religion, his ancestry, his wealth and the fact he was a foreigner.[3] When the taxes on silk, spice, and crenellations proved to be insufficient to cover all of the crown's expenses, Lord Rego imposed a new levy: a gate fee, required of passing the gates of the city, with additional fees for animals, wagons and carts.[3]

After Elissa Farman stole three dragon eggs from House Targaryen and fled Dragonstone in 54 AC, Rego aided Grand Maester Benifer by reaching out to his agents across the narrow sea for any news on the eggs, dragons, or Elissa herself, to no avail. That same year, Rego suggested bribing some of the Most Devout to assure that the new High Septon elected would be favorable for the Iron Throne, but the suggestion was rejected by the king.[3]

After several mysterious deaths on Dragonstone were put before the small council, Rego, having read Maester Anselm's accounts, declared the sickness to be caused by the tears of Lys, a poison.[3]

During the harsh winter of 59 AC and the ensuing plague of the Shivers, famine set in throughout the Seven Kingdoms. So many of the City Watch of King's Landing had died of the sickness that the city became lawless outside of the Red Keep. One day, as he was traveling in his palanquin through Flea Bottom, Rego came upon a starving mob who became enraged at the sight of him. They dragged him from his palanquin and killed him, blaming him (as a foreigner) for bringing the plague to Westeros. Rego's head was bashed in using a cobblestone from one of the new streets he himself had helped pay for, and his fingers were cut off to take his jewels. Learning of Rego's death, an enraged King Jaehaerys went forth into the city with what few guards were left, found the men responsible, and had them hung from the walls of the castle with their entrails hanging out.[2]

Quotes by Rego

If I could tax air, I would be a lord indeed.[1]

—Rego on being called the Lord of Air

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Fire & Blood, A Time of Testing - The Realm Remade.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under Jaehaerys I.
  4. Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.