Loyalty Binds Us
In 184 AL, Aegon’s eldest took the throne as King Daeron II. Known to history as “the Good,” Daeron’s rule began well enough, as he peacefully annexed the troublesome realm of Dorne by taking Myriah Martell to wife and bringing many of her Dornish customs to court. Many objected to this, and rumors arose Daeron was not even Aegon’s son but rather the result of an adulterous liaison between Aegon’s queen Naerys and the legendary Aemon the Dragonknight. Given Aegon’s faithlessness, few could have blamed the queen for seeking solace outside her marriage. If the rumor was true, however, Daeron’s claim to the throne was invalid, and rulership should have passed to one of Aegon’s legitimized sons.
Chief among these was Daemon, who had been knighted by his fatherat age twelve and who bore the Valyrian sword Blackfyre. Known — depending on who was telling the story — as Daemon Blackfyre, Daemon the Pretender, the King Who Bore the Sword, or Daemon the Traitor, the young princeling declared himself king in 195 AL and raised his own standard, a black three-headed dragon on a red field, the reverse of traditional Targaryen arms.
Blackfyre was joined by his half-brother Aegor “Bittersteel” Rivers and many other great knights, such as Robb Reyne, Black Byren Flowers, and Ser Aubrey Ambrose, as red dragon fought black for control of Westeros. It is said Daemon was invincible in combat while wielding Blackfyre, but his end came as it does to all men, when Daeron’s son Prince Maekar and Lord Hayford brought him to battle at Redgrass field. At first, all went well for the pretender—Hayford was slain, and Blackfyre engaged Ser Gwayne Corbray of the Kingsguard in single combat. Just as it seemed the black dragon was on the verge of victory, a second loyalist army under Prince Baelor arrived and took the rebels from the rear, known as “the Hammer and the Anvil.” From there, Brynden Rivers the Bloodraven—another son of Aegon who had remained loyal to Daeron—commanded his archers, the Raven’s Teeth, to rain arrows upon the pretender’s forces. Blackfyre fell to one of the Bloodraven’s own arrows, and the black dragon’s host fled in disorder.
Bittersteel rallied the disheartened rebels and led a charge against the Raven’s Teeth, taking Bloodraven’s eye in the process, but in the end, Bittersteel’s efforts were futile. Baelor’s Dornish spearmen surrounded and destroyed the surviving rebels, though Bittersteel escaped to the Free Cities along with the sword Blackfyre.
During this tumultuous period, House Bael was formed.