The journey back was overall uneventful , Kael was looking incredibly tired and a bit down for the first couple of days, but his soldiers managed to cheer him up with the gambling game that he came up with.
He didn't know how much the soldiers liked that game, on the second night when they were camping the soldiers asked if they could borrow the pot he used when he taught the game to them, and from that day forth the game known as "Golden Pot" or "Pot of Gold" came to existence, much to his amusement.
Auris was a faithful and loyal unicorn, always by his side during the cold winter nights of Skagos, those little gestures made him happy. When one only looks far ahead, one tends to ignore the little things along the way, and many of those little things are, sometimes, as important as the end goal.
Now the host was already seeing the wooden walls of their main camp on the horizon.
"My Lord, it seems our little adventure is coming to an end." Said Aren with some melancholy in his voice.
Kael chuckled "Well, it's not like it will be the last, don't worry my friend, the world is big and I won't be exploring it all alone" he patted Commander Aren on the back.
"That's true, how long until your vassals move in on their entirety, my Lord?" He asked.
Kael started thinking about it "The plan is to slowly move my men over the course of five years, first I'll send the army to get us situated and protected, then the slaves, not all of them but I will select the better half, then will come the specialists such as builders, crafters, cooks, brewers, sculptors, alchemists and the remaining of the healers. Once we have a place settled, I will ship my vassals here, we have plenty… Valyria is big and I have over ten vassal families, I just don't think I can bring them all here without getting the attention of the other Dragonlord families."
Aren was in deep thought "Do you really believe in the Targaryen girl? You know… about the destruction of Valyria?"
Kael just shrugged "In some ways I do" those words made Aren a bit scared "Remember Aren, destruction doesn't always mean extinction. Did you know about the Twin Dragons of the Belaerys family?" he said, trying to ease his commander's worries.
To which Aren shook his head.
"Two firstborns of the most powerful Dragonrider family came to life at the exact same time, from two different wives… tell me, doesn't that spell disaster?"
Aren went pale when he finally understood, the Tharn family was vassal of the Regallyons for centuries, they obviously were knowledgeable about a few things about their history.
"The old Belaerys will do his best with the time he borrowed to try to curb this conflict, but when there are ambitious men on the helm… conflict is doomed to happen… Families have fallen for less." He said while they kept moving closer to the camp with their soldiers behind them, maintaining a comfortable silence that eventually eased Aren's worries, they would be long gone by then so there was nothing to worry about.
As they entered the camp, all their men saluted them with respect. It seems that during the week they were away, they managed to improve the situation here. Even with the newly arrived troops and personnel.
Aren kept looking towards the camp with a happy smile on his face "I wonder how my family will react when they come over… will they enjoy the cold and snow… or miss the Freehold?"
Kael chuckled "Well… your family is one of the most loyal to me, I plan on naming them a noble house when you move over."
"House?" Aren raised an eyebrow "Like Westerosi Lords?" the noble part wasn't an issue, his family was already a noble one, albeit not Dragonlords.
"Aye, since we will be living here, we should at least adapt a bit. And let's be honest, it's easier to identify families when you can just memorize their banners and coat-of-arms instead of having to know every single person… Valyria never adopted the heraldry culture, which is sad."
Letting out an amused laugh Aren replied "Aye, I guess you are right on that my Lord, so will you become Kaelarys of House Regallyon? What will be your Heraldry?"
Looking up Kael took a few seconds to think about it "A two-headed silvery-white dragon spewing red flames on a black field…" he took a pause thinking "Two heads to represent me and my sister… the silverly white is to represent our Valyrian traits and origin, the red fire is to represent our magic and power, the dragon represents… well that one is obvious, isn't it?"
"What about the black field? Is there a reason or is it just because Dragonlords love that color?" Aren asked actually curious.
Smirking at Aren's curiosity he replied "Well one can't go wrong with wearing black, but there is a reason for it, the black represents the fate of my enemies and what will be left of them when they raise arms against us, coal and ash." His eyes narrowed as he said the final words.
What he didn't say is how he wanted the two-headed dragon to look like, he would mirror the two-headed eagle that represented the Holy Roman Empire, The Valyrian Freehold itself was inspired by Rome of old, from its rise to its fall, and that banner would be his own symbolism of his origin that no one in this world would understand.
"I wonder how my House Banner will be then," Aren said while touching his chin. "I can't use a dragon, so I need to think about something that would represent us."
That made Kael laugh.
"Well, I have time to think about it, and when we build our own place, I will make sure to build a cozy little corner for you as well Galan," he said as he patted the brown unicorn he was riding, which earned him a happy unicorn sound from his faithful steed.
"Galan? You named your unicorn?" Asked Kael even more amused.
"Why of course! If my Lord does it…then, so should I! Don't you think? On top of that Galan is such a good boy" he said almost as if pampering the horned mount.
'Yeah, he is a dog dude alright' Kael was laughing while watching the interaction of his commander and his unicorn, ironically Auris seemed a bit jealous of Galan and wanted attention too, so she obviously 'voiced' her desire, which made Kael laugh even louder.
"Why don't you go for a Unicorn heraldry then, Aren?" He said while patting Auris, what a good cute girl she was.
"A Unicorn you say? That's… not a bad idea…" He said as if he started to contemplate the idea.
Once they stopped moving, everyone went to their tents. The journey was long and cold, the soldiers wanted to eat and rest, and so did Kael.
The next day, Kael woke up early to put on his armor, he equipped himself properly with his sword, a knapsack with emergency necessities and fresh water and left his tent.
After reaching Neltharion's 'little pen', he walked to his dragon who was already waiting for him. Once his items were all safe inside the leather satchel on the back of the saddle, Kael sat down comfortably.
"Alright buddy, let's see if we can find an actual comfortable place for you to rest… if there are no volcanoes here…" he sighed "Then this was all a waste of time… let's go…"
Neltharion grunted and flapped his wings, taking to the skies and flying fast toward the center of the island. They were pretty high in the skies but Kael could still watch the land below, they were not moving at full speed, where everything blurs.
The mountain range was massive, the snow-covered peaks, ice cold waterfalls connected to rivers that ran between mountains, it was beautiful but impossible to be settled, not unless they reshaped the land with magic, but that was no easy feat… Kael had a guess that at least half of the landmass of this island was enveloped by mountains.
The closer he got to the heart of the island, the taller the mountains would be. It was reaching a point of ridiculousness; it was like the center of the island was surrounded by a mountain range as tall as the throat of the world from Skyrim!
Commanding Neltharion to go up and above the mountains, both dragon and rider started feeling incredibly uncomfortable with the cold and lack of air, Kael couldn't even use his own fire to keep himself warm here due to the low oxygen.
Once they finally passed through the mountain, both the dragon and rider were shocked.
Beyond the ring of ice peaks that touched the clouds, there was a huge valley of green grass, with beautifully colored plants, trees, and crystal-clear rivers, the scene was magical. Who would've guessed that those mountains protected this place from the snow and cold? Does it make any sense? He didn't know, probably not… but again he was flying on top of a dragon and he could breathe fire.
As they started descending to a comfortable altitude while moving forward, Kael was observing the rolling plains of green and grassy hills, the grass was green and healthy and looked like a perfectly flat green carpet from this altitude, rivers dividing the land, with vast patches of forests and others of green mountainous regions that reminded him of the Scottish Highlands from his previous world.
The closer he got to the center of what he called "Greenlands" the warmer it got, Neltharion was esthetic at this feeling and started to fly faster, partially ignoring his rider's commands.
Once they reached the center of the area, Kael found a massive hole in the ground, it was like a chasm that went deep into the earth. So big that it could swallow a whole city the size of Kingslanding, and still have room for Volantis, Oldtown and White Harbor.
Commanding the dragon to fly above the round-shaped chasm, Kael looked down and was surprised by what he saw.
Down below was a massive lake, with all the rivers of the region pouring down the huge hole. Taking a closer look, he noticed that there were many holes in the walls at the lake's height.
'Probably some underground rivers that connect to the rest of the island's rivers…'
That was not all, the whole lake down below had steam coming out of its surface, creating a layer of mist between the grassy land above and the deep lake below, as if it was extremely hot.
"So, this is why they call this place … Deepdown…" said Kael in realization "There must be volcanic formations underground the lake… and considering how the whole area is so warm and comfortable…" he gulped "the layer of lava beneath this place must be absurdly huge!"
Suddenly he remembered that Winterfell had hot springs and his eyes went wide 'Is the river of lava below so big that it connects this place to Winterfell, or is this a different one?'
The duo of dragon and rider kept scouting the whole area, and it was huge, the more Kael discovered about this place, the happier he got, he was excited about what kind of society he could build here, this place was legendary.
He then looked at the huge circular mountain range that hid and protected this place from outside interference "Even the mountain range around this place is perfect, it's the best natural defense against dragons, as only extremely experienced riders with strong dragons can actually fly above those peaks…" He then looked at the huge chasm "And that is the perfect 'Dragonpit'. It's so massive that we can house all the dragons in there, we just need to open huge caves on the sides so they can have their own room to rest while they are not flying above"
He grinned 'And with those mountains... no one from outside will see our dragons flying, and no dragon of ours will be able to wander outside… they would never volunteer themselves to that cold and uncomfortable altitude…'
"This place is perfect! Come on Neltharion… let's find the human settlement of this place"
A loud dragon roar echoed through the hidden valley as they flew into the distance.