Their women were either soft and fleshy or as dry as old sticks, their face paint streaked by tears. “I want your leaders,” Dany told them. “Give them up, and the rest of you shall be spared.” “How many?” one old woman had asked, sobbing. “How many must you have to spare us?” “One hundred and sixty-three,” she answered. She had them nailed to wooden posts around the plaza, each man pointing at the next. The anger was fierce and hot inside her when she gave the command; it made her feel like an avenging dragon. But later, when she passed the men dying on the posts, when she heard their moans and smelled their bowels and blood... Dany put the glass aside, frowning. It was just. It was. I did it for the children. Her audience chamber was on the level below, an echoing high ceilinged room with walls of purple marble.
It was a chilly place for all its grandeur. There had been a throne there, a fantastic thing of carved and of a savage harpy. She had taken one long look and commanded it be broken up for firewood. “I will not sit in the harpy’s lap,” she told them. Instead she sat upon a simple ebony bench. it served, though she had heard the Meereenese muttering that it did not befit a queen. Her bloodriders were waiting for her. Silver bells tinkled in their oiled braids, and they wore the gold and jewels of dead men. Meereen had been rich beyond imagining. Even her sellswords seemed sated, at least for now. Across the room,
Grey Worm wore the plain uniform of the Unsullied, his spiked bronze cap beneath one arm. These at least she could rely on, or so she hoped... and Brown Ben Plumm as well, solid Ben with his grey-white hair and weathered face, so beloved of her dragons. And Daario beside him, glittering in gold. Daario and Ben Plumm, Grey Worm, Irri, Jhiqui, Missandei... as she looked at them Dany found herself wondering which of them would betray her next. The dragon has three heads. There are two men in the world who I can trust, if I can find them. I will not be alone then. We will be three against the world, like Aegon and his sisters. “Was the night as quiet as it seemed?” Dany asked.