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Sites of Interest
A Wedding Tourney, a Feud Reborn: A Bevy of Brawling Brackens and Blackwoods
IC Date: Day 20 of Month 12, 163 AC. (8 AM)
RL Date: August 19, 2012.
Participants: Aisling Ryswell, Andred Stone, Argett Prester (Argett Tailcutter), Astos Corbray, Balian Blackwood, Benedict Rogers, Brus Bracken (Bloody Brus), Brynden Tully, Dagur Saltcliffe (The Iron Serpent), Elrone Darklyn, Eon Hunter, Farin Prester, Hoster Bracken, Humfrey Westerling (Knight of Ashes), Janden Melcolm, Jan Marbrand, Jannia Tully, Josmyn Reyne, Jostyn Grell, Jyana Arryn (the Jewel of the Eyrie), Katla Serry, Kendros Goodbrook, Lira Arryn, Luthor Rivers, Othan Bracken (Othan Blackmane), Pennei Massey (Pretty Pennei), Reyna Saltcliffe (The Silver Rose), Ryckon Westerling, Tomas Rivers (The Bastard of Riverrun), and Willard Ryger.
Locations: Riverrun: Red Fork Field: Tourney Lists.
Comments: [NPC's of the Houses Blackwood and Bracken, Tully and Ryger, Arryn and others; were ran by staff memebers, Damphair, Syrax, Missandei, Balerion, and Nymeria]

Summary: [A tourney to celebrate the wedding of Ser Willard Ryger and Andrya Tully is ended abruptly and turns bloody, as the old feud between the Blackwoods and Brakens is rekindled by death. And a mystery knight proves a murderer, again.]

It’s as if even autumn has held its spite in check to allow as perfect a day as possible. Thick sunlight flows like amber across the broad field, making the brilliant display there seem even brighter—the banners of famous lords and knights, the silken finery of their wives and daughters, the gleam of helm and harness. The constant clamour of the crowd advances and recedes like the tides of the sea. The thundering of hooves and the crack of lance upon shield drift unceasingly upon the cool breeze.

There, in the place of honour, is splendid Prince Aegon, red-eyed from a night of excess but more subdued for it; there, contented Lady Tully and proud Ser Patrek, Lord Terin laughing beside them. Lord Jonothor, grave and careful with his smiles, the new bride, Lady Andrya, all but aglow.

And on the field, where for a little while now there has been a lull after the first two rounds, the starting field of 80 whittled down—famous names and bold squires alike left to rue their misfortune this day—others still await a chance at glory. There are names of great renown there; far-famed Balian Blackwood and fierce Othan Blackmane; Ser Brus of bloody repute; Dagur Saltcliffe, the dreaded Iron Serpent. And others as well that are making a name for themselves—the bold Janden Melcolm who unhorsed a knight of the Kingsguard just two days past; the bride’s brother, Ser Brynden, who has proven his skill in the lists beyond doubt; Luthor Rivers, who has shown that he has his infamous father’s steel at the least; the groom himself, taking to the field to prove he hasn’t spent all his vigour the previous knight.

And then, the trumpets sound. The jousting is to begin again!

Janden is a knight many eyes are on this day. In large part, it is because of the stories already being told of the nine-round tilt in practice with Ser Jaesin Lannister of the Kingsguard, one which ended when Melcolm unhorsed him. Practice though it was, it surprised many people for the length of it, the skill both showed, and the way Janden kept his seat numerous times.

So far Janden’s success in that has carried over through the early rounds of the wedding joust, little needed to defeat lesser opponents. Perhaps surprisingly, in spite of the attention garnered the other day, he still rides without the favor of a lady, his armor as plain as it comes. Though not a flashy knight, he knows how to acknowledge the crowd and often rides with the exuberance shown by someone like Whalon Rosby, the Jousting Lord during his better, happier times.

During a break, Janden sits outside his tent in quiet conversation with the squire, Malwyn Hightower. Today he looks more confident and sure of himself than he has in some time as he splashes water over his face, sipping from the skin as well.

Ser Josmyn Reyne has been strangely aloof since their last stop at Acorn Hall, seeming very preoccupied with his wife and their own entourage. Even the wedding itself has seen the Reyne contingent fairly quiet, but now at least the young lion is in the saddle of his charger, dressed in the splendid armor that had been one of his wedding gifts. As the trumpet sounds, he returns to the tourney ground to wait for his name to be called at some point.

When the herald is ready, the next round of the tourney is discussed. Four white-washed lanes stand ready, to see the jousting resume: “Ser Willard Ryger, heir to Willow Wood, shall ride against the squire Andred Stone, Ser Farin Prester will meet Ser Benedict Rogers, Ser Brus Bracken shall contest against Ser Tomas Rivers, the Bastard of Riverrun, and the Knight of Ashes will meet the squire Ryckon Westerling!” The crowd cheers, but loudest of all are the cheers for Ser Willard and Ser Tomas, one newly wed to Lady Tully’s daughter, the other the lady’s famed bastard brother.

In the break between the early stages and the final rounds, Elrone Darklyn has moved about the crowd a bit chattering with this lady or that with her guard in tow, her septa haven taken the time to tend to her own needs in the lull. A small amount of coin could be seen passing between her hands and those of a sharp-eyed man who seemed to be the recipient of many such little exchanges during the break.

Now that the trumpets are calling spectators and knights alike back to the lists, the girl moves merrily back to the stands to claim a decent seat, wrapped in a red cloak with her coppery braid trailing down her back.

Riding on a grey drestrier is Ser Eon Hunter. His tourney armor has been polished and checked for rust or other damage. His surcoat is brown with the sigil of his house, five fanned silver arrows. His first tilts had gone rather well, for him, having dealt with a couple of Riverland lordlings. Having kept himself out of trouble and getting a good night’s rest, the Hunter knight seems to be well-rested and ready to continue with the tourney. As usual, one of his more junior guardsmen is serving Eon as a squire today. Eon holds his helm in one hand as he rides about, awaiting only the results of the next set of tilts.

The Lady Serry is settled in the stands in her Greyjoy splendor, for once looking interested in a tourney - an oddity worth noting. She gives her swollen abdomen a dark look, resting a hand on the swell of the child she carries, and her eyes are set firmly on the field to watch the jousters.

Near to her amongst the gathered ladies sits Halanna Ryger, a former lady-in-waiting to the once-Queen Daena and now betrothed to Lord Kennoth Bracken. The pair speak quietly to one another, the Ryger maiden, it seems, explaining to her companion some further nuance of jousting - and then Halanna claps with clear joy at the name of her brother, and a half-smile crosses Katla’s lips.

Riding on a black destrier is Ser Jostyn Grell. His armor shines in the sunlight, but some signs of wear and tear are visible. He sits easily, smiling to the world. Clearly the first two rounds went well for the Riverland knight,easily unhorsing a few lordlings. He makes his way towards the tourney ground, to wait for his name to be called.

With the crack of lances on the air and the rattle of armor in the wind, most erupt in cheers; Andred erupts in only snores. With his back against a tree, the bastard boy has dozed off between his tilts. In sleep-filled, but carefree realm, the boy roars out his snores like he were some dozy brown bear. With each passing roar, more sweat leaks from his pores, sweat smelling of the drink from the evening previous. It is that evening previous where so little sleeping was done that induced the squire’s drowsy state.

The trumpets rouse him. He jolts up suddenly like a gopher popping out of its hole. His ill-fitting and dented armor rattles as he rises. Such suddenness causes a momentary imbalance. The balance holds out his arms groping the tree in an attempt to regain this balance.

Once balance is regained, he looks around for his squire and usually faithful companion, a dwarf always with a lewd jape on his lips. But, that dwarf has most likely gone off to find wine, women, or both. Alone, Andred tends to his horse, armor, and lances readying himself for his next tilt

The Knight of Ashes is attended by a begging brother in charcoal robes, a scarecrow of a man with long, boney fingers, and a seven-pointed iron star hanging round his narrow neck. Each time he hands the knight a lance the wind whips at his robes, drawing them close to his skeletal frame. The Begging brother is never far from the Knight-turning his head to follow each pass, stepping with two feet of the burnt knight at the end of each pass, and hovering beside him, until the next tilt. Like a pet crow, or a specter at his shoulder.

Astride a half-starved onyx and ash caparisoned black courser, the Knight of Ashes is the spitting image of King Mern, roasted alive in the conflagration unleashed by Aegon the Conqueror. His breastplate is twisted and scarred, with cruel spikes at the upper joints between breastplate and pauldron, and, again, inches from his sword belt.

Visible, albeit dimly, is a seven-pointed star, cut in deep, severe strokes, upon his black breastplate. A high, visor-less and severely peaked helm hides his face, atop its prominence: a ring of small black spikes taper upward like plumes of oily smoke. His shield bears the same sharp seven-pointed star, set out in charcoal on a field of ash.

Luthor stretches his neck and roll his shoulders as he surveys the lists to the sound of the trumpet blasts. The bastard knight, dressed in his dull black steel is wrapping a strip of cloth cut from his daughter’s swaddling clothes around his left hand. Satisfied that it is tightly fixed ties it off and then lets out a breath. With two victories so far and a famous field between him and the prize the bastard knight finds himself smiling with anticipation. “It’s going to be a good day,” Luthor assures himself aloud.

Then when the next set of tilts are called and Luthor does not find his name among them the knight moves off to his camp chair to down water and cheer his cousin Farin on.

Also in the stands is Reyna Saltcliffe, dressed today in her husband’s colors to suit the occasion. Silver glitters in her brown curls, which are elaborately braided and twined with silver ribbon against the wind’s ravishment. She spent some part of the early rounds of jousting with Lady Tully, speaking to her on some small business of Highgarden’s before merely chatting with her about the jousting.

Now she is sitting with Elrone, very near to Lady Serry. It is clear that she loves the jousting, her eyes alight. She watches the mystery knight with some interest. “Not the most romantic choice of identity, is it?” she observes, frowning a little.

If there was an antithesis to men like Janden, who prefer a plain set of armor with little regard to heraldry, it would be Ser Farin. The Prester lordling’s love for heraldry is perhaps as widely whispered about as his deeds as Warden, and it is on full display today: a fearsome set of wargear adorns the man, a beautifully deadly set of polished full plate with every edge sharpened to a point, and pauldrons that bulk up his shoulders.

A flowing cloak that is ermine pattered on one side, bearing the crimson ox of Prester at is center, and pure crimson on the interior is on his back. The surcoat on his chest is patterned the same, and the black enameled links about his neck proclaim his loyalty to the Brothers of Battle as well. But it is the helm that sets him apart: it begins at the ears and curves down into deadly spikes, pointed in alignment with the eye sockets, with a crimson enamel on the tips, giving it the look of bloody horns.

A gown of damask in the hue of Tully blue drapes the youngest daughter of Lady Tully’s form as she sits near to her mother, slashed at the shoulders and lined at the sleeves with cloth of silver. Jannia’s hair is down and curled in a riotous sort of way. Small spiraled curls frame the right side of her face, leaving the left side pulled up and out of her face with a silver trout hair piece.

Jannia’s moods as of late are as fickle as the breeze, today she seems to be in a splendid sort of mood. Clapping politely as knights make their way back to the lists after the trumpets herald the coming of another round of tilts.

Janden snorts once as he witnesses the Warden, Ser Farin, actually in the lists. “You figure he’s compensating for something with all that?” he asks his squire, gesturing at the man in the expensive crimson. Green eyes have also found the strange Knight of Ashes, an interesting thing. “Been a while since I’ve seen someone doing that. Wonder who it may be.”

Wending her way through the crowds to the stands, the Jewel of the Eyrie, shimmering in her blue and white gown, waves to those she recognizes and speaks briefly with any who might be more familiar than just a passing greeting warrants. One such moment ends and her gaze sweeps over the filling stands—to spot a lady dressed in Saltcliffe colors, and another lady in red. Jyana edges her way through the stands to find if there is an open seat beside them, calling out, “Rose! Elrone—oh, isn’t it a /lovely/ day!”

Looking up to the sound of trumpets and heads back to don his helmet, mount his steed and get ready for the main event. Benedict hears his name and Ser Prester’s as his opponent, he grits his teeth as he rides over to the lists, he is another knight without favor. He looks longingly at the stands, but doesn’t seem to find his mark, he sighs in disappointment beofre closing his visor, and tilts his lance to the prince, the married couple, then to Farin himself before charging

Ryckon Westerling is riding in the tourney rather than aiding his master, wearing the plate armor that his disgraced cousin Humfrey bought him some months ago—the Westerling sandy yellow, perhaps an unwelcome sight, with a blue wave motif to match the blue chief on his shield, the arms inherited from his father.

He is in a better mood than he was at the wedding, no doubt cheered by the prospect of jousting. The squire is already ahorse when his name is called, being aided by the page in the absence of his own squire, and he casts a curious eye over the mystery knight he is due to fight.

...and then the blooded horns of Ser Farin’s helm turns, as he is called already into the third round. He kicks his golden spurs into his chestnut charger, and rides out to the field to salute the parties - the Royal Box, the wedded couple, and finally his opponent, before setting spur to flesh and setting off down the list at Ser Benedict, his lance ready.

Benedict lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Farin strikes a poor blow after the lance dips unsteadily in the final moment before impact.

Farin is roughly jolted in the saddle, struggling for a few moments to keep to his seat.

“Oh, I think it is, Reyna! But I always did favor the darker stories. Perhaps he has a ballad of his deeds already in mind?” Elrone studies the mystery knight as well, and Ryckon as well as the squire who once wore her favor lines up opposite the Knight of Ashes. Her smiles is broad as she waves Jyana over. “It is, Jyana! Seven blessed, even.”

Near to Rygers and Lady Serry sit Lord Terin’s niece, a Serry by birth and the intended of Lord Sarsfield. She exchanges the occasional word with her cousin Halanna, but it is well known that the two do not care greatly for each other. The same could be said for the relations between Sylvina and her step-sister Aisling, who keeps her own counsel more often than not. She does display a keen interest in the jousting and has been seen cheering on her Blackwood kin in the lists.

Out comes Ser Brus Bracken on his heavy horse, the red stallion bright on his shield. Bloody Brus he’s called, and not for his red face; he overthrew Ser Halder Frey, the surviving Twin of the Crossing, with such ferocity that Frey’s nose was broken and his face was awash with blood. Brus’s second foe hardly fared better.

But now it’s Ser Tomas Rivers that he’ll meet, a knight sure of lance and great in experience in the lists. The Bastard of Riverrun provides his salutes, as does Ser Brus before that knight slams down the visor of his helm. And then they’re on one another, charging down the lists.

Brus’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Tomas delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.

Tomas finds himself forced from the saddle by his opponent’s charge.

Katla shakes her head at Reyna’s words, and glances to Elrone and Jyana, nodding greetings to them. “I would not find ashes romantic,” the Greyjoy says, “but then again, I am not particularly romantic. Ask my lord husband, and he’ll have no qualms about telling you how terribly unromantic I am.”

Ser Jan Marbrand sits, just he and his squire, in a small tent nearby. He’s mostly quiet, tending carefully to his horse and occasionally pacing to burn off the nervous energy. Then the trumpets blow, and he paces even quicker, eventually taking a small sip of wine to calm the nerves before turning to watch the tilts with interest. He claps and lets out a cheer of appreciation at at the first shattered lance of the day. “Well struck, Ser Benedict.” he calls.

“It’s such a grim story,” Reyna says with a shiver. “Oh, there goes Ser Farin,” she says with a cluck of her tongue. There is a great roar from the Bracken contingents when Tomas Rivers falls, and a groan of disappointment from Ser Patrek in the Tully box. “It -is- a lovely day, Jewel,” Reyna says, shifting along the bench so there is room for the Arryn maid.

Benedict rides through the break, only turning to look back after he reaches the end of the tilt, he turns to the end, grabs another lance and charges again

There is no Westerling squire to toss a new lance Farin’s way after his rough start to the third round, but the Prester heir does not yell any less loudly at the page who has temporarily taken Ryckon’s place. A new lance is provided, and then couched - and Farin is launching himself back down the list at Benedict.

Benedict’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Farin manages only the poorest of blows, lance skittering ineffectually off the corner of a shield.

Farin struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

Benedict again rides through the tilt, he turns, and rides over to farin, “good joust, Ser Farin”

The Warden falls finally, suddenly hitting a rough patch after early successes. The fall is not terrible; he is not launched out of the seat, but rather slips finally after a rather skillfull push. While no fall is graceful, it could have been a lot worse, and that polished steel of Farin’s armor is only marred so much. “Indeed, well struck,” Farin calls back out to the victor, as he picks himself up and pushes away.

As the herald calls his name, the Knight of Ashes turns toward the lists, his mail and plate grate and crack. He halts, and, one more, is still as a lich yard stone. A moment, and the Knight of Ashes dips his lance, low, with solemn severity, then raises his lance, charges, and brings the length of plain ash in line with the one of the seashells on the squire’s shield.

After he grabs one from his page, Ryckon dips his lance as well, to the important people in attendance and to his mysterious opponent, before lowering it and aiming it at his opponent’s breastplate as he charges.

Knight of Ashes lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Ryckon’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Knight of Ashes is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

Standing in front of his tent is Ser Willard Ryger, the newly wed heir to Willow Wood, on his right arm - a green and white favor, the colors of his house, now also his wife’s. In front of his tent stands a large shield, steel, painted upon it with great skill and detail are the Ryger arms - those who were at the wedding feast the day before might recognize this as the present from Ser Farin Prester.

Unlike the previous days, when he wore garments of finest quality and the most fashionable clothes, on the field he can be himself once more - simple gray armor, no etchings, no adornments, nothing flashy nor gilded, with just the surcoat and shield branded by his house’s sigil. As his name is called he nods to his Westerling squire and the lad brings him his helmet and shield, strapping them both deftly. His gray destrier is being brought over by his servant - the short, wiry man known as Teak.

Willard sits on his horse and waves to the cheering crowds, a deep nod reserved for his lovely wife in the stands. Who knows how much strength has he lost the previous knight. It is not that often that the groom rides in his own wedding tourney, but Willard, having been forced to miss the previous melee at Acorn Hall, seems intent on not missing out on this one. His deft hand leads his horse to the lists, where he salutes his opponent.

And then he’s off, riding at a quick canter, his lance held steady, his seat balanced. The tip of his lance aimed sternly at the middle of his opponent’s shield. Horse and knight blur into one shape defined only by motion as the two opposing jousters connect…

With a few second delay, Andred eventually hears his name. The bastard rubs his temples which throb. He looks at his helmet reluctantly not wishing to put it on, but he must. The bastard just shoves it onto his head. Then, he looks to his old courser and hops on him.

In this late moment, his “squire” comes not with a lance, but more drink. With a sheepish smile and a shake of the head, Andred lowers his visor and kicks the flanks of his horse so he moves towards the lists and the groom, Ser Willard.

Andred makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.
Willard’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Andred struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

“Well I suppose he is not /properly/ romantic…” Elrone replies to Katla, her eyes on the field as the charges begin. She laughs and applauds for Ryckon as he unseats the mystery knight with one strong blow. “That was well struck! He only gets stronger, doesn’t he?”

As she sits, Jyana’s blue-green gaze takes note of the other lady’s of note in their midst—she nods to Katla, flashing her a bright smile. Her fingers twitch over the folds of her skirts, managing their splay into something appropriately fetching. “Oh, I had heard we could expect a surprise in the lists,” she nods her head towards the newly unhorsed Knight of Ashes, “I don’t know that he would have expected /that/, though.”

Janden has stepped up to watch the latest round. A shake of the head follows as Farin is unhorsed on the second pass. “I hope the ransom is worth all that,” he snorts to his squire, then he catches sight of the Knight of Ashes falling as well. “Hmm. Well done by the squire. Keep an eye on him, Malwyn. You think we’ll see who this ‘Knight of Ashes’ is before the day is done?” It’s more a rhetorical question. Usually this has been custom.

“He will be a fine knight once he finishes his training under Ser Farin,” Katla answers Elrone. “He is making up for not being able to fight in the melee, I think.” Her eyes rest on her cousin in question as he has slid to the ground, unhorsed - her lips twist in a smile. “Oh, at least Lady Aurana will find her husband in good repair after this bout… but if he rides again, I do not know if I can give her such assurances, though I hope so.”

Looming and ominous in harness so black it seems to swallow the sunlight, the Iron Serpent stands out here as starkly as he does elsewhere—for amidst the splendid, fantastical accoutrements of the other knights, that grim armour makes him seem like a man come to fight a battle, not ride in the lists. Standing outside his pavilion, he drinks from a waterskin and speaks desultorily with a Reachknight who was sent out of the tourney in the second round. The wind stirs his sweat-damp hair—drops of it trickle along the line of his jaw—and his gaze is ever on the lists, noting the clashes.

And around the bulky vambrace on his right forearm, a delicate, pale scrap of lace and ribbon flutters incongruously. It seems the ironman is riding with a woman’s garter as his favour. Presumably his wife’s.

Jannia has had enough of ‘mysteries’ it seems, she claps as Ryckon knocks The Knight of Ashes off his horse. “Say what you will of the Westerlings, Mother, that Ryckon is a natural knight.” She says nodding to her words. “I missed the last melee he attended, but I heard he was knocking knights out of the tourney as quickly as they could be paired with him. I know how much you like melees.” Jannia sends her mother a bright smile before turning back to the lists.

The squire’s coronal cracks and snaps sharply against the Knight of Ashes’s breast plate, cutting a deep scar next to the deeper scars of the seven-pointed star. The rider’s cadaverous mount screams in protest, as the knight falls from his horse and collides with the ground in a symphony of grinding joints and shrieking mail. Despite the discord and chaos of his fall, it takes the Knight of Ashes only a few seconds to struggle to his feet. His fire-blackened helm grates, as he turns to face the squire, stares at the lad for an instant, then nods.

The Begging Brother is on the field, quieting the knight’s mount, running a boney hand over the horse’s nose. Knight, brother, and horse leave the field without a word.

Ryckon lands a better blow than he usually does and unhorses his anonymous opponent. He removes his helm and returns the mystery knight’s nod, and begins, “Ser, you…” but the Knight of Ashes is already leaving the field. Ryckon blinks in confusion for a moment and then raises his shattered lance in salute to the field, riding back to the sidelines until his name is called again.

Somewhere in close vicinity to Lady Serry and Lady Halanna Ryger sit Lady Belissa Corbray and her husband, Ser Astos. He is wearing a black doublet with white sleeves and black breeches today. Unusual attire for him on a day of a tourney. In the last two wedding tourneysas he wore dark grey plate armour and was among the knights breaking their lances against each other in the lists - but not today, obviously.

Astos watches intently the contestants on the tourney field, especially the mysterious Knight of Ashes. He winces slightly as he sees Andred being pushed from the saddle by the groom himself. “Nevermind, Andred!” he calls with a good-natured laugh to his cousin’s squire.

And in that blur, Andred falls. His lance hits, a good hit, but Willard hits better, much better. Will’s lance explodes into a thousand pieces and that explosion is too much for Andred. The bastard struggles for a moment, but his struggle is in vain. He eventually slips from the saddle down to the dirt and a bed of lance shards.

The bastard boy rises from that bed of shards, only to have to run again and with his back so sore. His horse has run off to the end of the lists and he has no squire to fetch it as his dwarf is off gallivanting elsewhere. In a rattle of armor, he chases the animal down and eventually catches it by the reins. If not stopped by others, he would walk back to his “pavilion” otherwise known as a tree. His head would be shaking as he walks murmuring about what he did wrong.

An easy first tilt finds Willard still safely on his horse. He stops and turns to the Vale bastard “You ride well, Andred, but you must work on your aim. I’m sure you will do better with time” the Ryger says and nods to the lad before riding back to his tent. He waves once more to the stands who, apparently, have his back this day and dismounts handing his helmet to his squire “A good day is ahead of us, Tymos. Be sure to keep some lances at hand, if I ever meet my uncle in the field…”

The Bastard of Riverrun falls victim to Bloody Brus Bracken, falling amidst the rain of splinters from Bracken’s lance, and tumbling heavily on the ground. He rises groggily, with the help of a squire, but once his helm’s removed he can be seen to not have suffered Halder Frey’s fate: his nose unbroken, his face unbloodied, and only his pride injured. He raises a hand to cheers… but Willard wins the greater share of applause, having defeated the bold young squire.

And then the herald comes forth, as the liveried servants clear the lists: “Ser Janden Melcolm shall meet Ser Eon Hunter, Ser Luthor Rivers shall meet Ser Hoster Bracken, Ser Jan Marbrand will meet Ser Roger Ryger, and Ser Jostyn Grell shall meet Ser Josmyn Reyne!”

Josmyn looks fairly bemused to be meeting a man who bears almost the same name as himself. “I hope they will remember that I’m the one to be cheering for.”, he jokes to his squire, as he accepts his helmet and a lance and rides into the grounds, ready to meet his adversary.

“I would prefer to say -nothing- of the Westerlings at present, Jannia,” Tinssa says quellingly. “Least said, soonest mended. Is Reyna Saltcliffe really letting her husband ride with her -garter- for a favor?” She squints to see, leaning forward a little and then dismissing it to speak to her husband.

Jostyn hears his name called out, and chuckles. But he rides out onto the field all the same, ready to meet his adversary, with lance in hand.

Josmyn calls out a greeting to the Grell knight, then lowers his visor and gets ready to ride…

Josmyn’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Jostyn makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.

Jostyn just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Jostyn struggles to stay on his steed, but he prevails and sits upright again. Immediately he turns back, and gallops towards his opponent once again, his lance aiming at the man’s chest.

Although Josmyn’s lance finds solid purchase on his opponent’s chest and splinters, the Grell manages to hang on to his saddle. Muttering a curse, Josmyn returns to the far end for another lance to attack again.

Jostyn makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.
Josmyn’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Jostyn finds himself forced from the saddle by his opponent’s charge.

Watching the tilts silently, Eon waits until his name is called. Placing the helm on his head and receiving a lance and shield from his guardsman, the Hunter knight takes his place at the end of the list. Eon levels his lance at Janden and spurs his horse forward.

As one part of the next round finishes and the next four pairs of knights are summoned, Janden turns to Malwyn. “Our turn,” he says simply, leading the way back to his courser to mount up and set his helmet in place. Knight and squire enter the field and as before, no doubt extra eyes are on him this time. It will be another Valeknight, Ser Eon, and as the Royal Huntsman claims his lance from Malwyn he rides in front of the box to give proper salute to all there, an extra note of respect paid to Jonothor Arryn among the rest. He then gestures with a smile to the rest gathered, visor flipped down afterward.

Setting himself, he rides with certainty toward Eon, lance dipping at the last moment as he focuses on the spot he knows is most likely to unhorse a knight, stance solid in the saddle.

Janden strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Eon delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.

Eon is knocked from horseback, armor rattling as he falls.

“I was only praising the lad…” Jannia cuts off her protest to stay out of trouble, and to see what her mother squints at. “I… I’m not quite sure.” She looks a bit harder for a moment then dismisses it herself in favor of the tilts. Wincing slightly as Eon slams to the ground.

Catching some of Tinessa’s words, Elrone bites her lip to prevent any errant snickering about garters from escaping. Instead she studies the field- mostly the matches between her good friend’s brother and the Huntsman, and that between Ser Jan and the Ryger knight. “Oh, I should like to cheer for Ser Eon for Lady Bessa’s sake…. but with Ser Janden’s performance against Ser Jaesin in practice he must have the upper hand here….” And then Eon does fall, which elicits a sort of half-smile from the girl.

Josmyn roars with relief when the Grell knight is finally unhorsed and approaches him to offer a hand. “Well fought, Ser Jostyn.”, he smiles before leaving the grounds.

Jostyn falls to ground, but in a heartbeat he is on his feet again. He nods at his opponent, and then storms off towards the stands, clearly mad at his loss.

Pennei sits somewhere in the stands watching. When her husband is called to the list, she clutches a handkerchief tightly with both hands.

His name called, Luthor sets down his cup and stands. Once on his feet he kisses the strip of swaddling clothes wrapped about his left hand then produces a white stone star from under his breast plate and kisses that too in turn.

His ritual complete Luthor arms himself and mounts his destrier that his squire helpfully holds in place. Then mounted and ready he takes a lance and proceeds towards the lists to await his foe.

As Bloody Brus departs the lists, he passes Ser Hoster, his own son. He rides near enough to clap him on the shoulder, voice booming, “Ride well, boy!” And so Ser Hoster must needs to well, and better than well, after his father so neatly dispatched the Bastard of Riverrun. He rides up with his lance striped red and gold, and gives his salutes. And when he charges down the lists toward Ser Luthor, it’s with wild speed, his warhorse rushing headlong under his spur, his lance held high until it lowers and sweeps across to try and find the shield of Luthor Rivers.

Hoster lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Luthor’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Hoster is roughly jolted in the saddle, struggling for a few moments to keep to his seat.

After applauding with enthusiasm and cheering loudly for Ryckon’s unhorsing of the mystery knight, Jan hears his own name called and quickly vaults himself on the back of his ashen steed. His armor is nothing audacious, with only the burning bush symbol of House Marbrand affixed to his chest. He eases his horse into the list to face Ser Ryger, dipping his lance to his opponent and the crowd.

Lord Terin can be seen to smile contentedly when the herald calls Roger Ryger’s name—and why not? For his brother is reputed to be one of the finest lances in the realm and has proved it well today, overthrowing his first two opponents with ease.

And now for the third. The famed Ryger knight—who has just called encouragement to his nephew for winning his contest—mounts and readies himself at a deliberate pace, ably aided by his squire. Then, he is ready, spurring his horse into the lists; the well-trained beast thunders towards Ser Jan, and Roger’s lance swings down smoothly, inexorably. The smallfolk roar their approval.

Roger’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Jan’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Both riders weather the powerful blows and remain on horseback.

One pass and Janden moves on unbothered so far, though the contact made was just good enough. He rides back toward Eon to offer complimentary words and a helping hand should the knight want or need it, another salute made to the crowd before he retires to his tent again to await the next round.

Eon finds himself on the ground soon enough, what little luck he had must have been spent on the previous tilts. Rising, Eon lifts his visor and makes his way off the tourney ground, muttering a little under his breath.

Astos takes a sip, nodding with a knowing smile as he watches Eon go down from Janden’s lance. “A tough one, that Ser Janden Melcolm.” he remarks to his wife. “He has bested me twice, once at Princess Rhaena’s nameday tourney, and then at a wedding tourney… A remarkable jouster from the Vale.”

Ser Farin is busy on the sidelines, cleaning his armor for his next pass. The yard page assigned to him is nervously scratching the dirt out of his cloak, while Farin himself takes a wet cloth to his armor…as Ryckon passes close by. “Unhorsed a Mystery Knight. They will be speaking about that, boy. Keep it up, and you may yet have your own spurs by the time this day is done.”

From the sidelines, the Knight of Ashes, a bit dented from his fall, turns to watch Ser Janden and Ser Eon tilt. When Ser Eon falls, the knight merely stares staid as the Stranger. When Ser Roger and Ser Jan collide, the Knight of Ashes turns, just in time to see a maelstrom of broken ash enwrap both riders. The, seemingly, plague-wracked begging brother hovers over the knight watching, intently, with cold myopic eyes.

“Oh,” Jyana noises when her bastard brother falls to the newlywed Willard; she grimaces, shaking her head. Her lips move silently, as if mouthing a prayer of some kind, and then the Arryn lady angles her head back to the other ladies. “I’m still amazed the Melcolm knight held up so long the other day—and succeeded so thoroughly!” Her lips twitch into a lopsided smile, “Rather well-planned on his part, concussing a known champion of the lists in practice, first.”

But it seems Jan Marbrand is a stouter opponent than the two Ser Roger has already faced, for he stays ahorse; more, he deals a blow that makes the Ryger knight shift in his saddle with its force. Tossing the shattered stump of his lance aside, Ser Roger rides back to take another one. And on the way, as he passes Jan, he calls to him, “Well ridden, ser!”

Then, it is time to try anew, and the thundering of hooves sounds again as the Ryger knight races along the wooden barrier.

Jan’s lance aims true, landing solidly on his famed opponent’s chest; but the Ryger knight’s is as well, as both lances explode in a shower of splinters. “Well struck, ser!” he calls, laughing and reveling in the competition. He grabs another lance from his squire and wheels his steed around for a second pass.

Roger’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Jan’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Roger is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

Ryckon smirks at the sight of his master cleaning his own armor, and the smile stays there as Farin dangles the carrot of knighthood in front of his face. “I will certainly try, ser… thank you.” Glancing at the lists, he witnesses Jan unhorsing the apparently famous Roger, and he lets out an excited whoop for his fellow Westerman.

The Darklyn girl leans forward as Jan makes it through the first tilt, nodding somewhat absently toward Jyana. “I doubt he planned it like that, but it did work in his favor, surely… Is Ser Jaesin much recovered, do you know?” The second tilt begins, and the girl looks a bit concerned- but as it turns out, Jan’s lance strikes quite true. With a small gasp, Elrone bursts into applause as Jan unseats the famous knight. “Well done Jan!”

“It’s good for Ser Jaesin to be unhorsed by someone he thinks is lesser,” Reyna opines, shading her eyes with her hand. “Gods, that knight and his brother give me a horrid creeping feeling up my spine,” she says then about the Knight of Ashes. “Like worms slithering up and down my back.”

Lady Tully, meanwhile, gives her daughter another look. “There are many other lads to praise,” she says after a moment, her tone softening a tiny bit. “You may praise any of them to me, Jannia.” There is another roar of disappointment as Roger Ryger goes down, and Patrek calls for wine with which to solace Terin.

When Hoster appears at the end of the lists and signal to charge is given Luthor kicks his horse into a slow building charge that sees his lance strike home against the Bracken knight’s chest. Riding through the splinters of his lance and then turning to see his foe is still in the saddle, Luthor rounds his mount about the lists and takes up a fresh lance ready to charge again.

Rocked by Beslon the Bad’s bastard get, Ser Hoster nearly falls as Rivers breaks his lance clean against him. Yet he recovers his seat, showing something of his famed father’s skill in the saddle. Throwing aside his own broken lance callously, he rides back up to the lists to fetch a second list, to give Rivers another try. He hardly waits for Rivers to be ready in his eagerness: as soon as he himself is prepared, he charges, his horse’s gaits rough at first, then smoothing as it comes nearer. The lance lowers…

Hoster’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Luthor strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.

Luthor just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Willard exclaims in surprise as Ser Roger Ryger gets unhorsed by the Marbrand and clearly has trouble constraining his happiness at the fact. He leans over to his squire and whispers something all the while clapping for his uncle’s victor. He only stops when he notices his father’s cold stern look from the stands.

If his first lance landed well, his second lands spectacularly, exploding with even more force than before. After weathering Ser Roger’s own solid blow, Jan spins his steed around and sees the Ryger knight on the ground. For a few seconds, he blinks in confusion, as if surprised of himself. But he quickly rides over and gives a respectful nod to Roger. “Well ridden, ser. An honor to have faced you.”

It takes Ser Roger a while to rise from that heavy fall. But not because he is hurt, for when his squire comes running to aid him, he comes to his feet easily enough. No, it’s likely because of the surprise of finding himself bested—a surprise that still shows on his face when he tugs off his helm.

But for all of that his gallantry is untouched, and he returns Jan’s compliment with a courteous nod, “Not as well ridden as you, ser. That was boldly struck!” And then he mounts again as his squire brings his horse to him, riding back to his pavilion.

There is certainly surprise as Janden watches Jan unseat none less than Roger Ryger. “That will be spoken of, to be sure,” he says with an impressed tone. “I remember falling to Marbrand, myself.” As other tilts come to an end his focus turns to the one between Luthor and Hoster.

Grinning as Jan exits the field, and clapping vigorously, Elrone hisses something in Jyana’s ear. “He ... ... me ... ... amount ... coin. ... ought to ... on ... more ... it they’re ... ... ride like that.” Ceasing her applause to watch Luthor’s clash, she turns a sympathetic eye toward Pennei. “Ser Luthor weathered that blow well, Lady Pennei!”

“Damn,” Luthor curses as he recovers his seat after weathering a powerful blow from eager Bracken knight. He steadies himself in the saddle at the far end of the lists and then returns to get a fresh lance. “Calmly, calmly,” Luthor tells himself as he sets up in the lists again. When the signal to charge is given again he kicks his mount forward and charges steadily towards his foe, eyes fixed on the other man looking for an opening into which he can strike and put Hoster on his back.

Hoster Bracken’s shouts with ill-grace as his lance breaks and Rivers is left struggling to keep his seat, and the Bracken knight goes so far to twist in the saddle, looking back ... only to be disappointed. But after that pass, his mood is up, and he does not saw at the reins to force his destrier to turn sharply. He rides past Ser Luthor with barely an acknowledgment, focused on his own coming victory. So he takes another lance up, his horse circling around eagerly, and when he’s ready he charges down the lists again, barreling on.

Hoster’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Luthor’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Hoster is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

Eyes firmly placed on the lists as Luthor makes a good pass at the Bracken knight. She claps as she waits for him to make another run; attentions torn away to look at her mother. “Of course, mother.” Jannia flashes her a smile. She looks back quickly to the lists to catch the run of Luthor and Hoster. A sigh of relief and a light clap as Luthor manages to keep his seat. “There are many good riders today, I will be sure to make note if any are worthy of such praises.” And a heavy handed clap as Luthor unseats Hoster.

“Lady Arryn saw him last—she believes he’s recovering well enough,” Jyana replies to the Darklyn lass with that half-smile still on her face. What comment she might make next is lost beneath the shouts of a few watching nobles behind the ladies themselves. She shades her eyes to peer curiously at the field, nodding in agreement with Reyna before Elrone’s next comment causes her to bark an indelicate laugh. “Oh, well played, dear.”

Pennei blanches when Luthor is nearly unhorsed in the second pass, clutching her kerchief all the tighter. She manages a nod and weak smile to Elone’s kind comment. After the successful third pass, Pennei rises to her feet, color flooding her cheeks. She smiles then, turning a bit sheepish at her excitement, retaking her seat.

Riding through a storm of splinters Luthor curbs his horse at the end of the lists and turns in the saddle to see his foe on the ground. The bastard knight nods to himself as though satisfied with his work then rides back to his end of the lists with second nod to his foe. “Bracken,” he says in salute, but that is all before he moves on to dismount his horse and get ready for his next foe.

Bracken falls and rolls in the dirt, armor clattering, but when he stops he’s well enough to slam the ground with a gauntleted fist once, twice, thrice. The bastard Luthor Rivers has his applause and cheers, amplified by Ser Hoster’s loud disappointment. Bracken rises with a squire’s aid, and his salute to Ser Luthor’s a paltry thing. It all seems temperamental and childish, until one sees red-faced Ser Brus looking grim, speaking with Othan Blackmane and shaking his head in disappointment.

But the lists are cleared, and the next contests are called: “Ser Othan Bracken shall meet Ser Willard Ryger, Ser Benedict Rogers shall ride against Balian Blackwood, Ser Argett Prester will meet Ser Janden Melcolm, and Ser Josmyn Reyne will meet Ser Dagur Saltclife!”

Each tilt, Ser Jan’s brief thrashing of Ser Roger, and the hard fought tilt between Ser Luthor and Ser Hoster, causes the Knight of Ashes to turn his charcoal-caked helm. He stares, for some time, at the champion of the former tilt, the Knight of the Burning Tree, Ser Jan. All the while the grim Begging Brother runs a brush through the mane of the knight’s horse.

And the herald voice booms across the commons. The begging brother, turns to the bright pavilions and stares, clacking together the last two teeth in his head.

Jan soaks in the crowd’s appreciation, taking perhaps a little bit longer on the way back to his tent than is necessary, and allows himself a small grin. But when he returns, the smile is replaced by same look of nervous concentration he had worn before. He hops off his horse and gives it an appreciative pat on the neck before his eyes flick over the current tilts.

Josmyn heaves an inward sigh when he hears that the lot brings him to face his near-invincible former leader in the joust. But he nods to himself, accepting the challenge and returns to the grounds, where he puts his helmet on and accepts a fresh lance from his squire. the Bracken knight.

The Iron Serpent is mounting moments after his name is called. There is that well-worn routine; his open-faced serpent helm, scarred shield, and finally, a lance. He dips the lance in salute, then—but not to Prince Aegon as the other knights have done. No, he dips it to Lady Tully, and then to his own wife, that garter fluttering gaily about his forearm, and the omission is not missed.

And then he starts his charge, and it’s a strange thing to hear the noise from the stands. For the smallfolk are making their disapproval of him clear—little wonder, given how loathed the ironborn are in the riverlands—while the highborn roar their approval of him, for many of the Riverknights have ridden with him and under his command in Dorne.

Dagur lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Josmyn lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

As she was not included in the whispering, Reyna can only show her general approbation for the various tilts by clapping and calling out. Now, however, she takes a keen interest—her husband has entered the lists. She sits very still, lip firmly caught in her teeth, and watches the first run while nervously twining a black and silver streamer around one hand. “Oh, he’s riding well today. Very solid.”

Katla is, perhaps, almost as interested in Dagur’s tilt as Reyna. She has no one in this field today, and her eyes are on the Iron Serpent alone, biting down on the inside of her cheek, trying - in vain - to keep the interest from her face.

The crowd cheers on the native riverlords: Ser Willard, Andrya’s new husband, Othan Blackmane of House Bracken, and the famous Balian Blackwood.

A middling pass, and the Iron Serpent wastes no time in ruing it. Dropping his broken lance, he rides back to take up another lance—nodding to Josmyn agreeably enough when he passes him on the other side of the barrier—and then it is into the charge again!

Dagur’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Josmyn lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Josmyn struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

A better course this time, and it wins the Iron Serpent the contest; his seat is steady, his shield angled cleverly, and his lance so firm it is as if his arm is made of the iron he is named for. He rides through the hail of splinters, and then he is bringing his horse back; he can be seen to lean from the saddle and say something to Josmyn, then straighten and ride on to his pavilion.

Josmyn weathers a first blow evenly, but the second impact is too much for the Reyne and after a short struggle to remain in the saddle, he is forced to give up and drops off the horse. He gets to his feet, smiling faintly at Dagur for whatever the man said to him, then leaves the tourney ground, looking a little frustrated.

Jyana’s hand darts out to grab hold of Reyna’s shoulder as the Iron Serpent’s second strike echoes across the field. “Oh, Rose! That was /fabulous/,” she praises, taking her hand back just as fast to put together an eager bout of applause.

“Oh! Well ridden, my lord!” cries Reyna, and for a moment, as she applauds, one can see an image of the girl she was once at Highgarden, all bright eyes and romantic enthusiasm. Her applause is nearly as enthusiastic for Balian Blackwood, who is known to be one of the few men her husband calls friend.

The announcement of another joust for raven-cloaked Balian Blackwood meets with cheers from his kin in the stands, among those lady Aisling, who has paid some visits to Raventree Hall in the past and knows her kin well enough. Lady Sylvina, set to wed another cousin of the Blackwoods—though he bears the Sarsfield name—also joins in, though with less enthusiasm than her step-sister.

Only once out of the saddle and seated does Luthor glance towards the stands, he spots his wife, Pennei, retaking her seat and he flashes her a smile before producing the stone star from under his armor again and kissing it. Then his eyes are back on the lists as the star is tucked away again to await his ritual before the next joust.

From the stands, Pennei meets Luthor’s gaze and returns the smile, her grip on her kerchief not quite so white-knuckled as before.

As the next contestants are called out Willard is already ahorse, his helmet and shield being strapped by the squire. He then takes a lance in his hand and rides off to the lists where he salutes his new opponent - Ser Othan Bracken. He shifts in his seat for balance, nods and then launches himself forward, his lance held tight in his hand aimed at

After having consulted with his kinsman Bloody Brus, Ser Othan mounts his destrier and takes his up lance and shield as his squire hands them to him. Where Prester is known for the ox tails he wears as crests, Blackmane gets his from the long black tail of horse hair falling from the top of his helm. As the crowd cheers him on, he gives his salute, and then smooth as silk his horse is racing down the lists. The lance slides down and across, aimed squarely at his foe’s shield.

Othan strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Willard strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.

It isn’t long before Janden is called to the lists again, his foe to be a knight he’s never faced before: Argett Prester. “This ought to be a good one,” he says to Malwyn as he gets into the saddle again. “I’ve heard of Argett Tailcutter before, especially from his prowess in Dorne.” Before, the prospect of riding against such a man might have made him nervous.

Defeating Jaesin has changed some of that, not to mention others he’s faced both in tourneys and real battles. “Let’s find out whose lance is better this day.” Salutes are made to the box and people, same as before. Then Janden sets himself, lance at the ready, and he rides with the confidence of a man who believes he will remain in the saddle.

And the great Ser Argett Prester, a champion in the west, a hero in Dorne, comes forward. The ox’s tail—freshly acquired, by the looks of it—hangs as a crest from his helm, drops of blood splattering the steel of his helm. There are applause for the fierce knight, but muted—he’s driven too many riverlords from the saddle. He’s quick to his place, quick to salute, quick to ride towards his foe.

Janden strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Argett lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Janden just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Once Farin’s primary concern is clean again, he turns finally to the lists, to watch his uncle Argett. The first pass against Janden marks him for having a slight advantage, but no victory yet. The Prester heir remains seated, frozen in a stifled awe, watching Argett and Janden wheel about for the next pass.

“Hmmm… this one may take a bit of that back.” Elrone studies the field, looking first toward Janden and Argett, then glancing over to her lady as Dagur rides- applauding with a broad grin as he unseats the Reyne knight. “Such a strong blow, Reyna! Oh, and Ser Janden is keeping his seat well against the Tailcutter.”

Blackwood rides out in a cloak of raven feathers over steel armor that cover shim from head to toe, the breastplate worked and embossed with a tree surrounded by a cloud of ravens in flight. Black and gold is his long lance, and he gives due deference to Lady Tinessa, the bride Andrya Tully, and his foe. And then he charges forward to meet his foe.

Balian lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Benedict lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

The lances slam into shields, and some shatter, and some do not. The crowd roars its approval, and those who still keep their seat ride around to fetch new lances and try once more. Almost twinned, Tailcutter and Blackmane round the end of their lists at the same time, both taking fresh lances at the same time, both putting spurs into their horses’ flanks at the same time. Down the lanes they go, the two renowned knights, lances at the ready…

A tied pass. The Ryger heir shakes his head and throws away his cracked lance. “Lance!” he calls out and his Westerling squire runs quickly to him with a new one. Willard shifts in his seat, salutes his foe once more and again starts his canter down the lists. His eyes focused on the man before him, his lance held straight.

Othan’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Willard lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Willard struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

Willard tries to keep his seat, but… no. It doesn’t happen, the gravitation pulls him stronger than his riding skill can keep him on the horse. He falls with a clatter, but is up immeadiately saluting his opponent as he rides on. The Ryger heir then goes back to his pavillion, seemingly content and quiet. Well, underneath the helmet - who knows.

The first pass sees Janden absorbing a solid impact that jolts him in the saddle, full effort made to successfully keep him upright as he loses hold of his cracked lance. “Felt that,” he grunts, tested truly for the first time so far today. His damaged lance is fetched and tossed aside, Malwyn replacing it with a fresh one. “Let’s make it better this time,” he says, acknowledging Tailcutter before setting heels to his courser for the second charge.

Janden delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.
Argett’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Janden just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

A steady seat and a steady lance, but neither are enough to dislodge Ser Benedict Rogers, the son of Arson the Bastard. The stormlord throws his lance away just as Blackwood does, to take up unbroken lances. Balian’s horse protests a moment, half-rearing up, but then with a jab of the spurs and a shout, the horse races down the lists toward Benedict Rogers,.

Benedict knows Balian love of his family is little, now was his time to prove himself, he grabbed a second lance and charged at Ser Bailan

Balian lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Benedict makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.

Benedict struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

Benedict feels the lance hit his shoulder and catch him in a way as to throw him off balance, his hands reach for the saddle, but he cannot catch it as it slips from his grasp, and his horse slips from him.

Clapping lightly as Janden seems to hold his own with Argett, no easy feat as most would know. “Ser Janden, is doing well today. He also did well against Ser Jaesin the other day.” Jannia says as she turns to her mother. “Such respect Ser Dagur showed you, my lady.” Jannia notes belatedly with a tilt of a smile.

As Balian Blackwood sends Ser Benedict into the dirt, Argett Tailcutter runs his second course against Janden Melcolm—and the royal huntsman seems more capable than Prester thought the knight would be. Even with a clean break of his lance against the man’s shield, even with him rocked in the saddle, the knight from Old Anchor keeps his seat. Ser Argett throws aside the remains of his lance and rides back up the lists, only to barely have a new lance in his hand when he reins around and charges his destrier down the list again with a shout. Iron-willed and iron-armed, perhaps the third time shall prove charmed….

Janden is struck hard by Tailcutter without getting anything behind his own strike, nearly paying for it much like he did against Jaesin a couple times. Fortunately for him, the Melcolm knight somehow recovers just before he falls and he takes a moment to gather himself, adjusting his helmet and visor. “Let’s..not repeat that.”

Better. He just has to be better. Be the one to hit the best. That’s what it takes. He gets the same lance as before, having lost his hold on it in the interest of not falling, and a new charge is made. As he nears impact with Argett, he rises up slightly to put something extra - he hopes - into his effort to strike clean.

Argett lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Janden lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Argett’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Janden lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Janden is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

Three, then four passes, and Janden is unsuccessful in gaining any advantage against Argett. This time the Huntsman is lifted out of the saddle before he has much of a chance to adjust, landing roughly in the dirt. He gets to his feet, a step slow, then waves quickly to those watching as he trudges back to his tent for a rest, shaking his head.

And with a mighty charge, Tailcutter drives Melcolm from the saddle! Some cheer, some boo, and wagers change hands. And liveried servants run to the lists now, to clean up the mess of broken lance shards, of divots in the once-smooth lanes, while some knights take refreshment and others wait eagerly to be called again.

Though doubtless Farin has both won and lost money on the result of the round, the 4th tilt between Argett and Janden sends an almost poisonous smirk to his face. “Well fought,” he offers quietly, to no one at all, as though he were the one who had knocked Janden about.

Watching the tilt between The Iron Serpent and the Reyne knight with great interest, the Corbray knight jumps to his feet as he sees Josmyn being pushed from the saddle in the second pass. “Well ridden, Ser Dagur!” Noticing Katla’s eyes are on the Iron Serpent as well, Astos remarks in her direction with a friendly smile: “As your own husband is not riding today, your bet will probably be on Ser Dagur - being the only other ironborn at court.”

Seeing his fellow Valeman Janden go down from the Tailcutter’s lance, the Corbray knight clenches his fist. “There goes the Vale…”

Katla glances sidelong at Astos, and laughs softly. “I do not gamble on such things as this, Ser Astos. I wager my money on other things, ships and trade. I cheer for my friend - and would regardless of whether or not Justyn found himself on the field or not.”

After a pause, the next contests are announced by the herald, his voice rising above the noise of the crowd. “Ser Kendros of House Goodbrook, heir to Goodbrook, shall meet Ser Brynden Tully!” the herald announces, first and foremost, and the crowd has never been so loud. And then once it grows quiet, the other contests: “Ser Othan Bracken will meet Ser Brus Bracken, the squire Ryckon Westerling will meet Balian Blackwood, and Ser Argett Prester shall meet Ser Jan Marbrand!”

“And why not?” asks Tinessa Tully with a smile. “He is reputed to be a stickler for formality, is he not? Anyway, he wed a Tyrell. Smart man to know when a match is good for him.” She sniffs, then smiles. “There goes your Ser Janden.” But she is watching him speculatively until he leaves the field. “Ah, Brynden!” And she and Patrek both focus most keenly on the field now.

“Oh, family against each other? That must be hard.” Elrone listens carefully, and frowns as she hears Jan’s next opponent. “I hope he has the same luck as he did against the Ryger,” she murmurs, before her cheers join with those of the other highborns for Ser Brynden and the rest.

Brynden Tully has his own cheering section: friends and relations from his many years here at Riverrun. He acknowledges them as he mounts a grey destrier, a heavier beast than he normally rides, but a fine looking monster nonetheless. He is in his colorful jousting armor: enameled red and blue, the house sigil worked into the plates often, edges and waves meant to redirect lance tips away. His helm too is a stylized thing, no visor - only guarded holes meant for breathing and limited sight. After all, the horses only go in one direction at a time. His shield is painted red and blue with the silver trout embowed on the field, the edge of the thing steely.

His brother the squire hands him up a lance, this painted in red and blue spiraling up the shaft towards the blunted tip. Brynden salutes the box, horse and rider walking a circle around as he does, then he moves to his starting line on his end of the list. He dips his lance to salute his opponent then sets his horse in motion.

The crowd at the end of the lists parts and allows Ser Kendros Goodbrook, the Longaxe to enter the field. Mounted on a black destrier and clad in a gleaming suit of armor inlaid with blues and yellows—the colors of his sigil. He looks every bit a riverlord in his prime.

Taking a moment to acknowledge the stands and the man who trained him, Ser Patrek, Longaxe rides to the end of the field and gives his horse the spurs.

Brynden strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Kendros’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Brynden finds himself forced from the saddle by his opponent’s charge.

“Very true, mother. I always find him pleasant enough.” Jannia nods and chuckles lightly. “Smart man, indeed.” Not that he or she had much choice in the matter. She looks at the lists to watch Janden trudge back to his tent. “Too bad that, he did well though. At least he can say he unhorsed a Knight of the Kingsguard, even if it were just practice”

Jannia says with a small shrug, she turns to the lists Brynden’s call to joust, she sits on the edge of her seat and sighs as he is quickly pushed from his saddle. “A shame, though, Ser Kendros is a formidable opponent.”

It only takes one pass and already Brynden is on the ground. He rises slowly,but salutes Longaxe once he is on his feet… though he doesn’t muxh expect a response. He makes his way off the field, letting his squire collect the horse and lead it away.

Longaxe rides through Ser Brynden, weathering the Tully knight’s own blow smartly. Once he reaches the end, Kendros pulls on the reins and turns his mount to look behind him. He returns the salute from Ser Brynden coldly—observing the minimum of etiquette, and then waves to the crowd before retiring to wait his next go.

As Ser Janden falls, the Knight of Ashes watches, impasively, through the airholes in his black helm, then turns to listen to the herald, as he calls out the next four tilts. All the while, the black brother rubs down the flanks of his knight’s wasted courser. The beast catches the brother’s scent, whinnies, kicks at the ground, and pulls away from his sharp, boney hands; the brother merely grabs the beast, by the neck, like an unruly child. The Courser shrieks, once, in protest before sinking into an alarmed stillness. The Knight of Ashes turns to watch Balian and Argett tilt. Two champions of great renown.

Out come the Bracken kinsmen, Othan Blackmane and Bloody Brus, and despite their friendliness earlier, they’re keen competitors who’ll hold nothing back for a chance at the rich prize. The Blackwoods and Blackwood men-at-arms and servants in the crowd hoot and cajole them both—those with less courtesy than others, in any case—but the Brackens largely cheer them on. Bloody Brus’s son must be sulking in the tents, but his brothers and cousins are there.

Othan lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Brus lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Brus lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Othan’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Brus is roughly jolted in the saddle, struggling for a few moments to keep to his seat.

Brus lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Othan’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Brus just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Brus strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Othan strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.

Brus lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Othan’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Brus just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Brus’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Othan’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Both jousters are driven from the saddle!

Seven courses go the Bracken kinsmen, implacable, and for much of it, Blackmane seems to have the better… but Ser Brus gains strength with each pass, after a time, and at the last the two slam into each other with such force that their lances explode in a rain of shards, their shields split, and they’re driven from the saddle after futile efforts to keep their seat…

And when all is said and done, when squires rush out to try and help them up, it’s only Bloody Brus Bracken who gains his feet. Ser Othan’s squire lifts off his helm, and any man or woman in the stands can see Blackmane’s in a daze. A stretcher is called for, and after consultation the herald announces, “The victory goes to Ser Brus Bracken, the last knight to quit the list!”

There’s applause and cheers, and there’s curses too as coins change hand. The Battle of Bracken was a ferocious thing, and given how spry Ser Brus looks, it’s like enough he’ll seek to bring that same ferocity to his next contest…

“Next time, Brynden!” roars Patrek, enjoying himself too much to be openly disappointed. Indeed, he is just as pleased to see his protege do well as his son, and he cheers the Longaxe. Tinessa is likewise disinclined to disapprove, and Brynden is cheered as long and as loudly as Kendros is—for they are both sons of the Riverlands.

Watching the brothers go at it, it’s difficult for Janden not to envision doing something like that to Dorik. Still, he winces by the time it’s over after seven passes and.. “I’d thought Ser Othan rode better, but he can’t make it up!” he exclaims to Malwyn, sounding surprised. This, after witnessing the other tilts between knights he knows and..there went Jan Marbrand, too. “Pity,” he says, sounding like he means it.

Benedict walks over to where the Knight of Ashes has stationed himself, “Ser Knight, you, and your fellows look hungry, might I intrest you in some food over at my tent? We have some stew brewing, and I am sure I could find some food for your horse.” He spoke as if he had a smile on his face, but his helmet concealed the truth of the matter.

Ryckon seems vaguely disappointed as his cousin Janden finally falls to the Tailcutter. “Wait, who was well—ah!” The squire looks up as his name is called. “Two Brackens? They should have put one up against the Blackwood.” Shrugging, he dons his helm again and rides into position across from his opponent, the not-quite-knight. He grabs a lance from the page and dips it around, including once to Tinessa, and waits for Balian to ready himself.

Jan can only shake his head and chuckle as the next tilts are announced. “I guess one legendary knight wasn’t enough…” Jan mutters to his squire before hoisting himself back on the horse. He rides back up to the list and sizes up the opposite Prester knight warily, then tips his lance in salute to his more famous opponent and fellow Westerlander. Gritting his teeth, he lowers his helm before readying for the charge.

The crowd roars as Balian Blackwood and Ser Argett ready themselves; two warriors of such fame riding in the lists is a thing to savour. Their opponents receive their share of acclaim too—but when it comes to the Westerling squire at least, their appreciation of his pluckiness seems a small thing before the favour they show to Balian.

The Blackwood warrior dips his lance to Prince Aegon and Lady Tully, and then to the squire facing him with no less courtesy. A moment later, he is spurring into the charge, lance swinging across the barrier, rising slightly in his saddle in the moment before impact.

And in the next list, Ser Argett has likewise dipped his lance in salute before charging against his fellow westerman, steady as a rock in his saddle.

Balian’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Ryckon makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.

Ryckon just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Argett’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Jan delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.

Jan finds himself forced from the saddle by his opponent’s charge.

Ser Farin Prester continues to watch from the sides, his ‘bloody’ horned helmet resting at his side. A small cheer is given when his good uncle, Bloody Brus, is the one to weather the storm of Brack on Bracken…but openly cheers and raises a glass of wine as his uncle dispatches one of his officers, Jan Marbrand. Regional loylty only goes so far as familial loyalty, it would seem.

The Blackwood has the better of it, taking Ryckon’s blow solidly on his shield and placing his lance well in return. Indeed, when he brings his horse around at the end of the lists, he seems surprised to see the youth still ahorse—or so it seems at least, for his face is covered. But he nods in acknowledgement to Ryckon, then rides back to take another lance swiftly—and it’s into the charge again.

Miraculously staying in the saddle with a good show of horsemanship, Ryckon lets out a grunt at the pain of the lance’s impact and a laugh when he realizes that he is not on the ground. He returns Balian’s nod, and charges again as well.

Balian’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Ryckon lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Ryckon is struck down as if by a hammerblow, tumbling from his saddle to the hard earth below.

The sound of Ryckon getting hit resounds through the high viewing box with the crack of a lance and the rattle of armor. Jannia gasps at the sight of it, and watches intently to make sure he rises.

This tilt goes far less well than the prior one, and Jan hurtles to the ground as Argett’s lance lands with tremendous force, as expected. He gets up to his feet slowly, unsteadily, but when he takes off his helm he is smiling nonetheless. “You live up to your reputation, ser. Well struck,” Jan says, with only a tinge of disappointment as he ducks into his tent with much less fanfare than before.

A sigh escapes Elrone as Jan falls, but she claps all the same. “Rough draw, two such strong knights for Ser Jan in a row…” Her eyes move to Ryckon, and she almost jumps at the force with which he is knocked to the dirt. “Oh! I hope he isn’t hurt! That was quite a blow.”

The Knight of Ashes inclines his helm toward Ser Benedict, there is a long interlude of silence. When he speaks, his voice reverberates eerily through his helm. “Your gallantry does you credit, Ser—but I can take no meat or drink, I cannot doff my helm whilst I wear the charcoal raiment. I wish you well in the tourney, Ser.”

Benedict responds quickly with almost mirth lacing his voice, “Well, if mystery is what you require, you can eat inside my tent, but if you absolutely cannot allow it, then at least give your squire and horse the food, hmm?” He winces slightly, watching Ryckon fall, “ouch, that looked painful…”

Farin watches dispassionately as his squire is so roughly catapaulted from his saddle, but in the end, his gaze is not on the boy he trains…but rather on the Blackwood that unhorses him. There is a quiet malice in his eyes, a cold fury that follows the Blackwood. But no words are spoken, as Ryckon has his own temprary page to assist him.

To compensate for his survival in the first tilt, Ryckon is struck down especially hard in the second one, flying through the air and landed with a crash. He lies on the ground for a few moments, dazed, before signaling his page to help him up. The younger boy is unable to lift the much larger one up, still dressed in plate as he is, but he at least provides the support Ryckon needs, and the squire stands unsteadily. He removes his helm, revealing that he is still wincing, and nods to Balian once again. “Well fought, ser.”

It’s as fine a blow as any Balian strikes against Ryckon, his weight behind it for he has risen a little in his stirrups at the moment of impact again. And it does the trick, winning him the contest in fine style—too fine a style perhaps, for it’s a fearsome tumble the squire takes.

Balian seems to know it the moment he strikes, curbing his horse swiftly and bringing it around before it can thunder to the end of the lists. Tossing the stump of his shattered lance aside, he rides back to the fallen squire. It’s only when he sees Ryckon rising—and acknowledges his compliment with a kind word or two—that he rides on to his own pavilion.

And now, those who are watching point out to each other that the squire has some small measure of revenge at least, for when his lance struck Balian—a true blow if not a very powerful one—it skidded up along his shield and glanced off his shoulder. The result is that the Blackwood now rides with a roundel sheared clean off, dangling by its strap. Tugging on it with a gauntleted hand, he shakes his head, then dismounts near his pavilion. He lingers a moment to instruct his squire who nods, then leads the horse off—and Balian himself disappears into his pavilion, no doubt to have the damage seen to.

In the stands, Pennei rises to her feet once more, concerned for the young squire so violently thrown down. When it is clear that the boy is not seriously injured, she applauds politely and retakes her seat.

More knights—and a squire—fall, and the servants are kept busy clearing the lists. OFf to one end of the lists, broken lances and lance-shards are piling, to be used later for a fine bonfire after tourney’s end. But for now, while the crowd surges with approval, more contests are called: “The squire Andred Stone will meet Ser Josmyn Reyne, the Ser Farin Prester shall meet Ser Janden Melcolm, Ser Eon Hunter shall face Ser Benedict Rogers, and Ser Jostyn Grell will meet Ser Willard Ryger, heir to Willow Wood!” And again, the crowd cheers the newest Tully good-kin, Ser Willard, as if he were one of Riverrun’s own.

After it is clear that Ryckon is well- and has even managed a bit of revenge on his opponent- Elrone slides back from the edge of her seat, applauding as the next group takes the lists, maybe a bit more for some names than others, though of course she joins in the wild support for Ser Willard- after all, it is his wedding they celebrate.

When the boy who knocked him into the mud of Riverrun falls, the Knight of Ashes turns, and stares, for a long time at the crumpled youth in pale gold plate. His cold gaze leaves the boy after a young page helps him to his feet, and turns just in time to see Argett unhorse Ser Jan Marbrand, the knight of the burning tree who, some minutes before, unhorsed another great champion.

Then the herald calls the next round of tilts, the Knight of ashes listens intently, then turns to Ser Benedict, “Ser Eon is a fair jouster, goodluck to you, Ser.”

The only remaining Tully maiden, Jannia, sighs with a bit of relief as Ryckon rises. “Thank the Gods, I always get worried when a knight or squire goes down with such force. Especially at a wedding tourney.” Jannia says with a nod, “Ah, Ser Willard, splendid.” she says as she settles herself for the next tilt.

When Farin’s name is called, and his opponent is revealed, the man openly laughs. And it is a good, hearty, full laugh that is every part mirth. And with that, he withdraws something that had been tucked up under a pauldron - three ribbons, tied together at one end. One red, one black, one white. Beyond that, when he rides out, he looks nearly the same as before - you would have to be on ground level and very close to see the dirt stains that have yet to be removed from his earlier fall. Then the salutes are given…though the one to Janden is so muted that it might be mistaken for a shrug of the lance. And then it is couched, and golden spurs are struck to flesh.

Janden will face another Prester, this time Farin, the Warden? No doubt /that/ announcement will have some people talking. It’s no secret there’s been bad blood between the two in the past, even though they’ve managed to put most of it behind them with their newer positions. Old things may not be forgotten, however. Will it be along the lines of the tilts between Kendros and Josmyn?

The Royal Huntsman turns to Malwyn and says simply, “Let’s get this over with, one way or the other.” Janden assumes nothing now, sure enough of himself as he is. To the field he rides, going through his usual basic preparations and salutes, and when he sets sight on the adversary down the line from him, his eyes narrow prior to the charge, visor flipped down. He rides the same as he always does, no outward sign of anything underhanded as he seeks that sweet spot.

Farin strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Janden’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Farin is knocked from horseback, armor rattling as he falls.

Janden doesn’t even look back as he passes Farin and destroys his lance on the Warden. Only after he pulls up on his courser does he turn to bring himself back over toward the fallen knight, visor flipped up. There’s enough of a smirk in him that it’s clear what he still thinks of the man. “I think I’ll enjoy that ransom, for all that fancy armor of yours must have cost you. Gods know I don’t want it. Tell me, did you bet on me anyway to lessen the loss?” He asks this in a quieter tone while offering a hand, the picture of chivalry.

Again, the Prester knight’s fall is not a terrible one, and he has taken some bad falls before. When again his cloak is pushed aside and he can rise to his feet, the Prester knight smiles. “I might have. Fear not, Ser Janden, you will get your ‘cut’,” he promises, tongue clicking. “Do enjoy the rest of your pageantry, ser. Well ridden,” he offers, saluting with feigned enthusiasm, before bowing to the box and making his way from the field.

More cheers from the Darklyn girl as Janden makes quick work of Farin. Elrone leans toward Reyna. “Ser Janden is making me glad I put a bit of coin on him- though whatever I get from wagering on Ser Jan against that Ryger should more than cover any losses.” Another knight and a squire down, and Elrone applauds more reservedly for those victors.

Eon cheers as the two Brackens tilt multiple times, though the double unhorsing seems to provide a spectacle for the audience. He seems to have forgotten that he was recently defeated. When his name is called he rises from his chair. Hearing little support for him in the stands, Eon shrugs, expecting as much. Mounting the drestrier again, he is handed his lance and shield as he ride to the lists. Seeing Benedict he raises his lance in salute to Lady Tully and her guests, and charges down the list, his lance aimed at Benedict.

The roar of the crowd, the thundering of lances crashing against plate armor, the mood was set. Benedict bows to the Knight before he remounted his horse, he quickly appeared opposite Bessa Hunter’s older brother, and charged after tilting his lance to the prince, the married woman, and Eon. He also charges,

Benedict strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Eon delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.

Eon finds himself forced from the saddle by his opponent’s charge.

Benedict knows Eon’s jousting style, and doesn’t charge as fast as he can, instead he gets a steady pace up, not wanting to brutalize his opponent, but just push him off his seat. Benedict does just that and guides Eon down to the ground. He speeds up to round the List to help Eon up, “Well done, Eon, care to join me at my tent for stew?”

Scowling as he rises from being unhorsed again, Eon looks up to the Rogers knight and lifts his visor. “I will decline, ser.” With that the Hunter knight again storms from the list as his horse is led by the guardsman that is doubling as a squire for the day. Upon reaching his tent he is able to drink a bit from his wineskin, seeming a little frustrated.

Josmyn looks faintly bemused when he hears the pairing o Ser Farin and Ser Janden. “I hope this won’t end badly.”, he mutters to his squire as he returns to his hourse to mount up and get ready for another joust. He doesn’t seem to have a particular opinion on his own opponent and rides back into the ground looking calm and at ease as he gets ready for Andred.

Andred has been relatively quiet during the excitement of the last few rounds. He has hydrated himself from a water gourd, not the wine his dwarven friend continues to push on him. He has brushed his horse and even gifted the loyal animal a carrot. He has even been heard to let out a holler or two for Ser Janden and other knights of the Vale. But, other than that, he has been quietly preparing fro his next tilt.

When he hears his name, he snaps back into action and the quiet mental preparation is being put to the test.. He remounts his old courser and takes his helmet from Felton the dwarf. With a kick of his horse’s flanks, he would be off towards the lists to line up across from Josmyn. He would return any salute given, but his actions lack substance and are done out of mere custom, not sincerity. His true focus comes when he is given a lance. He handles that hunk of and readies it before he spurs his horse on down the lists towards his opponent.

Andred strikes a poor blow after the lance dips unsteadily in the final moment before impact.
Josmyn’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Andred is knocked from horseback, armor rattling as he falls.

Josmyn watches Andred’s actions and smirks a little, then rides against the man with full power behind his lance, making a good impact. Seeing Andred topple, he turns his horse around with a triumphant gesture and trots back to the fallen squire to offer him a hand and a smile. “Well ridden, Andred!”

Lady Tully, always a gracious hostess, summons a servant and directs the woman to ensure a maester sees to Ryckon Westerling after his nasty fall. She says nothing to Jannia about her show of concern, though her eyes narrow a trifle in thought. The maesters are, in any event, busy as bees round a hive in the knights’ pavilions, running to and fro tending wounds. She carries on cheering with all the rest, smiling here and gasping there.

Hearing the next pairings being called out by the herald, Astos rises to watch the tilt between Eon and Benedict. “Go and teach the Rogers a lesson, Ser Eon!” he calls.
And the Corbray knight jumps to his feet again, as he sees Ser Janden unhorse the Prester in one single pass. “Well ridden again, Ser Janden! You make the Vale proud!” he calls with obvious enthusiasm.

Then as his cousin’s squire falls to the Reyne, Astos winces slightly. “I know you can do better than that, Andred!”

Andred’s focus falls apart when he gallops down the lists. He becomes dizzy due to the bobbing up and down of his horse and the drink from the night before. Such bobbing causes his lance to dip and an opening to be given. Josmyn takes that opening and propels the bastard boy from his saddle.

He falls with the lance shards to the dirt and looks up at the blue sky when he is there. He just lays there for a moment, before crawling up to his feet, an awkward process in full plate. The rattling of armor is heard as he rises. He offers a nod lacking enthusiasm and equally joyless. “Well struck, ser.” To Josmyn. He walks off to his pavilion otherwise known as a tree.

“Now about that wine…” he says to his dwarf. He would disappear followed by that waddling dwarf who leads the courser.

“Well done, Ser.” Jannia yips, yet there is a slight cringe at Andred’s fall. She turns as her mother summons the servant, and smiles lightly with a nod of approval. She turns missing her mother’s last look to her and brings her attentions to the field for the next tilt.

Ser Jostyn, was lounging with his father, the Steward of Riverrun, when he heard his name being called. He quickly made his way back to his steed, and with some help, sits on it soon. He waves to the crowd, and is then handed his lance and shield as he waits for Willard to come to the lists.

With the groom retired due to injury, Ser Jostyn Grell is waved on by the herald and announced as the victor of the contest, advancing to the next round. The household knight of the Tullys is cheered by some in the crowd, but it’s muted compared to other Tully knights and men-at-arms that have appeared today: Grell is not the most liked of men, it seems. After the splinters and shards are collected, the next series of jousts are being decided on by the herald, who now consults with Tinessa Tully.

The crowd grows more animated in the lull, and there are those who already begin to predict the victor of the day: some say that ironborn snake, Dagur Saltcliffe, has what it takes, others speak of Longaxe, others still will not count out either Balian Blackwood or Bloody Brus Bracken.

As Farin Prester, Eon Hunter, and Andred Stone each fall, in turn, the Knight of Ashes does not gape or wince, but merely stares. All the while, the sinister begging brother wrings his frail fingers, clacks his teeth, and clicks his tongue, as though he were a lord surveying a choice dish laid out on the table of his hall. As the Dwarf attends Stone, the Knight of Ashes titls his head and a dark chuckle slips through his air holes.

No doubt the joust between Janden and Farin was quite amusing, but the latter’s squire is hardly paying attention, still recovering from his nasty fall. But apparently Ryckon soon finishes recovering, as when a maester arrives the frowning squire hastily assures him that he is perfectly fine, and sends him back to Lady Tinessa with thanks.

As Janden returns to his tent he passes the spot where stands the Knight of Ashes. A pause follows, a long, considering look that may be an effort to see through the mysterious armor the man wears, then he continues on with nary a word. “I do enjoy unhorsing the knights that see the need to spend extra on their appearances,” he comments to Malwyn, likely a reference to the Warden.

As a knot of Blackwood squires and young knights come up from the pavilions and horse lines, laughing and joking, Balian Blackwood’s squire hurries on from among them to go back to serving his master in his own tent nearer the lists, where Blackwood’s having his rondel and associated straps replaced in a hurry.

Even at the same time, the herald calls the next contests: “Ser Kendros Goodbrook, heir to Goodbrook, shall meet Ser Luthor Rivers, Ser Josmyn Reyne shall face Ser Brynden Tully, Ser Roger Ryger shall face Ser Janden Melcolm, and Ser Benedict Rogers shall meet the Knight of Ashes.”

Roger, whose own wife is a Melcolm, rides out to the lists and salutes Janden with apparent good will. He salutes Prince Aegon and Lady Tully as well, drops his visor, couches his lance, and puts spurs to flank to start his run down the lists.

After the Knight of Thorns, Jannia has found little and less like for Mystery knights. She shifts a little in her seat as the next names are called. “Ah, the Riverlands have a fair showing this round. It shall be exciting to say the least.” She dips her head as the Ryger knight shows respect for her mother and the prince.

That wife of Roger’s is one of Janden’s own half-sisters. No animosity exists between the Huntsman and the Ryger knight that he’s aware of, but the man is now another target to hopefully fall to his lance. Regardless, whoever does go down will be a spectator the rest of the way. A salute follows in return to those gathered along with Roger, and he seeks to ride the way he has for most of the past few days.

Roger’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Janden makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.

Janden just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Josmyn winces a little as he hears he’s facing Ser Brynden again - remembering their epic joust at the poor man’s wedding. “Fear not, Ser Brynden, this time I’ll make it quicker!”, he can’t resist teasing the Tully as he returns to the field once more for another tilt.

A chance for redemption for several failures, Brynden eagerly prepares himself once his name is called to ride against Josmyn Reyne. He performs his usual ritual - mounting his horse, collecting his lance, saluting his parents and the prince, one for the Reyne across the way… muttering prayers all the time. This time he waits for the opponent to begin before he sets his horse to run.

Josmyn lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Brynden’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Josmyn just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

When Luthor’s name is called he rises from his seat once more to attend his ritual. He kisses the strip of cloth on his left hand and then with his right he removes the stone star from under his breastplate. He kisses the star and tucks it away again before he pulls himself into the saddle and takes his shield and lance before moving to the lists.

When the salutes are done and the order to charge is given Luthor kicks his horse into slow building charge as his lance lowers to point at Ser Kendros’ chest.

Having been called to the lists, Ser Kendros appears presently, lance in hand. He salutes the crowd, and then Lady Tully, and then Ser Luthor. He trots to the end of the lane and lowers his visor, giving the spurs at the same instant. He charges.

Kendros strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Luthor’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Kendros struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

Kendros is not able to get a good strike with his lance, and is pummeled by Ser Luthor in return. It clearly hurts, and though he manages to keep to the saddle a few seconds, it is not meant to be. He is unable to maintain the grip and slides off, giving the victory to the son of Beslon the Bad. It is a moment before he stirs, but when he finally stands to salute Ser Luthor, aggravation lights colors his eyes.

Longaxe leaves his mount to a squire and stalks off.

Luthor is jerked back in his seat by Kendros’ lance even as his own explodes around him. He rides through the splinters and looks back to see Kendros lose his seat. Luthor breathes a relieved sigh, but then kicks his horse back towards his end of the lists, stopping to give Kendros a nod before carrying on.

Josmyn eagerly takes up the challenge to unhorse the Tully again, but finds himself at the receiving end of a very well-pointed lance instead. He curses loudly when he feels the impact underneath his armor but manages to remain in the saddle. Accepting another lance from his squire to ride again.

Brynden is struck well, his opponent’s lance breaking, but he keeps to his seat. He wheels about at the far end of the list and nods to himself. His brother hands him up another lance without a word and Brynden resets. “Warrior guide my lance again.” he prays, though noone but he might hear it over the din.

Brynden strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Josmyn’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Brynden just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

The grey-blue eyes of the Corbray knight are on the Melcolm - the last knight of the Vale still in the contest. He stands and watches intently as Ser Roger and Ser Janden are readying themselves for their tilt. “Oh if he only could…” Astos mutters, and cheers as he sees Janden manages to remain ahorse after the first pass.

The Begging Brother gives a chuckle that sounds less a lough and more a death rattle, the knight of Ashes rises from a ramshackle camp stool, mounts his cadaverous courser, takes his seven-pointed star adorned shield and a fresh, lance from his macabre squire and rides to the end of the lists. As the Little Lion of house Reyne nearly falls from his saddle, the Knight of Ashes spares him an intent stare, then turns to Ser Benedict, dipping his lance in a salute—he charges, bringing his lance in line with Benedict’s breastplate.

Benedict hears he is bound for the tilt against the Knight of Ashes, the knight of Amberly quickly rides over and couches his lance, having not unhorsed between rounds. He understands this matchup means the end of one of their days in this tourney. As the Knight of Ashes approaches, Benedict tints to the prince, the bride, then to his opponent before charging, and bracing for impact.

Benedict delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.
Knight of Ashes strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.

Benedict is roughly jolted in the saddle, struggling for a few moments to keep to his seat.

It looks like the Reyne and the Tully are set for another epic bout. This time it is the Reyne’s lance that strikes home and splinters into pieces and yet the Tully manages to hold on to his saddle. Josmyn curses under his breath and returns to the far end to ask for another lance.

Brynden is struck a batter blow on this pass, this time almost falling as the Reyne’s lance explodes before him. Still, he does keep his seat after a struggle and he tosses his cracked lance aside as his brother rushes to hand him another one. “Pray for me, boy.” Brynden says to his squire as the knight dips his lance in salute to Ser Josmyn. He spurs his horse on, setting it in motion to thunder down the course.

Josmyn’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Brynden’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Both riders weather the powerful blows and remain on horseback.

They make another pass at each other, thundering hooves herald the pass as the pair aim for each others breastplates.

Josmyn lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Brynden’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Josmyn struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

Josmyn Reyne seems to have exhausted himself and for the fourth tilt he can’t maintain a good hold of his saddle, sliding to the ground after Ser Brynden manages a solid blow. While he mutters a curse to himself, he rises to his feet again and bows to the victor.

A fourth pass is the decisive one after three going back and forth. The Reyne knight’s lance breaks on Brynden’s shield, but he keeps his seat. Brynden can see his squire raising his hands in victory even before he can wheel his horse about to see his opponent fallen. He salutes Ser Josmyn. “Well-ridden, ser!” he calls, but if the other knight can hear is of course questionable. Brynden dismounts and leaves the beast to his squire while he heads for his camp chair. He acknowledges his Riverrun friends with a wave as he goes.

Josmyn did hear! But then he wanders off, accepting his defeat.

Benedict remembers this exact same strike’s feeling from the tilt with Bailan, but this time, his hand finds the saddle, and he pulls himself back onto his saddle. He lost his lance in the process. As he turns to the end of the list, he grabs another lance and charges at this mystery knight, even though his heart was pounding.

The lists shudder with the footfalls of coursers and great destriers. Reyne and Tully, Melcolm and Rhyger, Goodbrook and Rivers collide—as The Knight of Ashes’s lance cracks upon the Knight of Amberly, Ser Benedict’s lance skips off his foe’s shield. The Knight of Ashes takes a fresh lance from the spare begging brother, brings fire-blackened spurs to the flanks of his his and charges, bringing his ance in line with Benedict’s breastplate, once more.

Knight of Ashes makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.
Benedict strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.

Knight of Ashes just manages to keep to the saddle after weathering a good blow from his opponent.

A grimace, Janden losing the lance again as Roger’s strike is superior but not quite enough to knock him off. He recovers and rights himself in the saddle with a shake of the head, silently willing himself to be that much better with his aim the next time. With a new lance, he races down the line toward impact again, lance angling for the spot on Ryger’s armor he knows so well while preparing himself for that moment.

Roger Ryger tosses the remains of his shattered lance and wheels, calling for another lance. Then he is charging down the lists again at Janden, lance couched and ready.

Roger’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Janden strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.

Janden just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Benedict looks up at his, yet again, unbroken lance and curses silently, he throws the lance clear and grabs another from the squire before charging at the Knight of ashes again.

This time, it is the Knight of Ashes who receives the worst of it, his lance hits Benedict, albeit without the force requisite for to do more than tickle the knight of Amberly. The Knight of Ashes rides to the end of the lists, as at ease on a horse, as a Dothraki screamer, born in the saddle. His voice booms out across the lists. “You are a fine jouster, Ser. Another lance?” He does not wait for a reverb, but, rather, takes a fresh lance, and charges, aiming for Benedict’s shield, this time.

Benedict’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Knight of Ashes’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Both riders weather the powerful blows and remain on horseback.

Benedict’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Knight of Ashes’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Both riders weather the powerful blows and remain on horseback.

A rain of splinters accompanies the last tilt between Benedict and the self styled mystery knight, The Knight of Ashes. Both riders toss their spent lances aside, gathering fresh ones before barreling down the lists once more…

Benedict strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Knight of Ashes’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Benedict struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

Benedict is unhorsed again…the saddle slips through his fingers as he cannot seem to hold onto the horse and slowly falls from his destrider as if time had slowed for him. Just as he had almost made it to the end of the lists, he tumbled from his steed, rolling through the crash rather painfully.

The next two tilts are storms of shorn and shredded ash, in the fourth, the knight of Amberly’s coronel smashes one of the spikes off of the burned knight’s pauldrons. Undaunted, the Knight of Ashes takes a fifth lance his sinister squire, bringing it in line with Ser Benedict’s shield, the Knight of Amberly’s blow smashes a small hole into his shield, but the Knight of Ashes manages to keep his seat. He rides round the lists, tossing aside his broken lance, then halts before the fallen Ser Benedict. “My thanks for the tilts, Ser, Stormlanders have deservedly fierce reputation.”

Benedict nods to the mystery knight, “Your jousting style is…familiar…” He said in a low, pained voice.

Elrone is on the edge of her seat, with so many of those in the lists just barely keeping ahorse- but she cheers and smiles to Pennei as Luthor emerges from his tilt victorious. “Ser Luthor is doing quite well today, Lady Pennei! How proud you must be.” But then Brynden knocks Josmyn to the dirt as well, and the roar of support for the Tully drowns out anything else she would have said in favor of more cheering.

When her husband is called up once more, Pennei holds herself still, clutching her kerchief like a lifeline. Her breath escapes her lungs in one gasp as Luthor triumphs in a single, splendid charge. She leaps to her feet, hands clasping together as her kerchief falls to her feet, lost in her skirts. Cheeks flushed with color, she gives Lady Elone another smile, “I am always proud of my husband, my lady.” She replies, barely loud enough for the sound to carry to the Darklyn lady, “And yes, he has ridden well today.”

Jannia yips and sends Pennei a cheerful smile and a dip of her head at Luthor’s success. Turning she claps and watches the other tilts. “Very good showing indeed! Brynden seems to be doing very well against Ser Josmyn.”

Her excitement is peaked as Josmyn is pushed from his saddle. “Well done, Brynden!” Jannia shouts and bounces a little in her seat. She quickly bites her lip at her excessive show of excitement and casts her mother a sheepish glance.

Much like the first pass, Janden is again jolted by the quality of Roger’s lance. His own is good but it will need to be more than that to gain the advantage. As before, Janden shows skill of a different sort in avoiding the fall, catching his breath after wavering in place.

A silent prayer is uttered as Malwyn is there with a new lance, Janden flipping his visor up for a moment to stare off into the distance before he centers his focus again. Visor once more in place, he gathers himself for a third try against the well-known Ser Roger.

Another shattered lance and it seems Roger has hit his stride. He tosses the butt of the lance away and wheels his charger with practiced ease. Another lance is in his hand in a trice and he is pounding back down the lists for his third run

Roger’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Janden strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.

Janden is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

Roger dips the remains of his lance in salute to Janden after assuring himself that his wife’s kinsman will rise again. Then he trots off the field to be congratulated by his men.

Janden, proven to be bettered by Roger on the third attempt, cleanly falls from the saddle and his day is done. The visor is up again on its own thanks to the landing, showing both a grimace and an initial look of disappointment on his face, for those that are in a position to spot it. Wiping his face after removing one of the guards over that hand, he composes himself and salutes Roger and the crowd, heard to say, “I gave you the best I could today but was beaten squarely today by men better than I. I hope you all enjoy the rest of the tilts.” Off he goes, lips thin, body sore.

There is a broad smile on the Corbray’s face as the Melcolm knight manages to remain on his horse after the second pass. “May the Warrior lend you strength, Ser Janden…” he calls, his right hand tightening on the cup of wine in his right hand, its contents forgotten about for now. Then, as the Valeknight is pushed from the saddle by his opponent, Astos lets out a deep sigh. “There goes the Vale now indeed…” And remembering the cup in his hand, he raises it from the stands in the direction of the Valeknight, before he empties it. “To you health, Ser Janden! And to the Vale!”
In the stands, Tinessa sends Jannia another look. “You are not a puppy, Jannia. Stop yipping like one.” Then she joins in the general applause for every tilt that goes by—and the air thunders with hooves and shouting and cheering and groans of disappointment when a favorite falls.

Fine jousting is on display, from Ser Roger Ryger—Ser Willard’s uncle—finding a steadier seat and lance than before and unhorsing his good-kin Ser Janden, to the mysterious Knight of Ashes who overthrows Ser Benedict Rogers in a close series of matches. Wagers exchange hands, and some now wonder at the changed landscape, with Kendros Longaxe defeated.

The field is cleared, and knights make themselves ready. From among the pavillions, Balian Blackwood’s groom is bringing back his horse from where it rested, the Blackwood esquires and men-at-arms talking excitedly and laughing at the prospect of Balian’s next contest, and there are those who wonder who the Iron Serpent will face. But all will be answered, as the herald steps forth:

“Ser Brus Bracken shall meet Balian Blackwood, Set Luthor Rivers will meet Ser Dagur Saltcliffe, Ser Tomas Rivers, the Bastard of Riverrun, will ride against Ser Jostyn Grell, and Ser Brynden Tully shall meet Ryckon Westerling!”

Pennei catches Lady Jannia’s nod and gives the lady a little smile and a polite dip of her chin in return. She looks back at the herald, hearing that Ser Luthor next rides against the Iron Serpent.

It has been a while since the Iron Serpent’s last tilt; the one in which he bested Josmyn Reyne. He has spent some of it in his plain pavilion, re-emerging a little while ago to watch the jousting—to note how these knights ride who might soon be facing him in the lists. At Longaxe’s defeat, his raises his brows, although there is no more reaction than that.

And then the herald calls his name and it is his turn to ride against the man who bested Longaxe in such fine style; a man he knows well. A faint smile flickers across his face, and then he mounts and arms himself. The helm shadows his face, then his shield is on his arm. And finally, the lance he dips in salute to Lady Tully, his wife and his opponent.

A heartbeat later, he has spurred his mount into the charge.

Luthor has time for a half cup of water before he is called to the lists again. The knight takes a moment to kiss the cloth on his left hand and the stone star before the cup of water is splashed in his face and he lets himself be armed after climbing into the saddle.

Once at the lists he salutes the Tullys, his wife, then his foe, Ser Dagur. He takes a deep breath then, and when he charges he keeps his spirited destrier in check until he is almost on his foe then as his horse thunders on beneath him he brings down his lance aimed at Dagur’s chest.

Dagur’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Luthor strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.

Luthor is roughly jolted in the saddle, struggling for a few moments to keep to his seat.

The knight of Ashes turns and direct a cool look to the black specter hovering at the edge of his shadow, a tense moment, and the Knight of Ashes turns to Ser Benedict. “I was trained by a renowned tourney knight, Ser.” The Knight of Ashes bows to the Knight of Amberly, from the seat of his emaciated courser. “Doubtless it is his style, his precepts, that you have caught your eye, Ser Benedict.”

The blush in the Tully maidens cheeks is blazing red as her mother chides her. “My apologies mother, I get excited when the Riverlands does well.” Her sheepish look turned a bright smile, prideful even. Jannia turns back to watch the joust between Dagur and Luthor and claps lightly as they make a pass.

Ryckon remarks to whoever is near him, “Finally, a Blackwood and a Bracken. I will want to watch—” He pauses when he hears his name called out, and then slowly climbs back onto his horse, sore from his fall. He rides to his position across from Brynden and only then registers that he is riding against a Tully, which provokes a frown and then a grin. Still smiling, he dips his lance to Brynden, his mother, and all the others he has been saluting, and dons his helm before charging.

Called again, Brynden makes his way to the field again atop his horse. He takes his lance and shield as always, a dip of the weapon to the high seats, then one for his Westerling opponent. He sets his mount in motion towards the other rider.

Ryckon lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Brynden lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Out from his pavilion comes Balian Blackwood, a shining new rondel attached to his armor, his black-feathered cloak rustling in the breeze. The Blackwoods esquires and knights clap his armored shoulder and back as he goes out, and one helps him mount up on his destrier which has been fetched from the horse lines where it waited.

The white weirwood on its black escutcheon is scratched and battered, the black ravens in their multitude about it, but the scarlet paint is still bright. Out he rides to face Bloody Brus Bracken, recovered from his contest with his famous kinsman, though his armor shows the dent where Blackmane’s last lance found its mark before catapulting him from the saddle; he has a demon’s own luck, to have been able to rise from that unharmed.

Bracken and Blackwood have never been friends, and so is the case now: the men salute the Lady of Riverrun and her daughter, but there’s no salute between them. Instead they spur on down the lists, lances readied…

Brus lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Balian’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Brus just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Once he’s back at his tent and Malwyn is helping Janden out of his armor prior to a change of clothes, the Melcolm knight splashes water over his face and red hair. “No shame in falling to knights such as the Tailcutter and Ser Roger, but I felt like I should have unhorsed them both,” he tells the Hightower lad. It may just be a hint of a new attitude in him.

Luthor feels his lance go off target then feels nothing more than the hammerblow of Dagur’s lance striking home and shattering into a storm of splinters. Luthor reels back in his saddle and his horse struggles to keep its feet as they carry on past the Iron Serpent. It’s a struggle for both horse and rider but both stay up and make the end of the lists in safety. Luthor lets out a relieved breath then shaking his head kicks his horse into a trot to reach his end of the list and fetch a new lance. He salutes Ser Dagur as they pass, the smile he wears beneath his helm showing through in his eyes.

Then at the end of the lists its all business again as Luthor gets ready for another charge against his foe.

The Ironman keeps his seat with ease, placing his lance well—but not well enough to unhorse his stubborn opponent. Discarding his shattered lance, he rides back for a fresh one, nodding to Luthor on the way. And then it is into the charge again with a fresh lance!

Dagur lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Luthor delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.

Luthor is knocked from horseback, armor rattling as he falls.

Jostyn was waiting for his name to be called, and once he hears it, he mounts and arms himself. He rides towards the list, and his lance dips in salute. He then starts galloping down the field, his lance pointed at Ser Tomas’ chestplate.

Tomas Rivers, well known around Riverrun, salutes his opponent and his lady sister, couches his lance firmly. With confidence born of long hours of practice, he spurs his charger down the lists toward Ser Jostyn.

Tomas lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Jostyn strikes a poor blow after the lance dips unsteadily in the final moment before impact.

Jostyn just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Tomas comes to the end of the lists and throws down his broken lance, shouting for another. His squire has it in his hand at just the right moment for Tomas to spur his charger again and start another run.

Jostyn almost falls off, but manages to get back up on his mount. He turns around and charges again, aiming his lance at Tomas.

Tomas strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Jostyn delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.

Jostyn just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Brynden is struck true, but it troubles him only some as he turns his horse on the far end. He is handed up another lance and Brynden dips it to the Westerman again. Mount and rider charge again.

Ryckon does not dip his lance again before he charges, though he did offer Brynden a nod after they both hit each other and both stayed ahorse.

Brynden lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Ryckon delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.

Ryckon finds himself forced from the saddle by his opponent’s charge.

Brynden manages to deflect Ryckon’s lance away with his shield, and though he is jolted a bit when his own strike hits, he is still seated when he reaches the far end. He tosses his lance down to his brothers, then pulls off his helmet as he turns the horse. “Well-ridden! I hope we meet again soon!” he calls after Ryckon, good-naturedly. Then he’s away from the lists, out of the way.

Balian’s blow is still taking its toll on Ryckon, as he is too slow to land a good blow or to take any maneuver to stay in his seat, and he grunts in pain when he hits the ground, though he does not hit it hard. He tries to watch Balian and Brus despite still being on the ground before remembering to get up, and he nods to Brynden again. “Well ridden, ser. You will be…” Ryckon trails off before making this last comment, apparently thinking the better of it. “Right, ser.” Now eliminated, the squire leads his horse back to the sidelines.

The blow was not so hard this time but it was enough to send Luthor from his saddle. The bastard knight finds himself rolling in the dirt accompanied by the music of his armor clattering. For a moment the knight lies there looking up at the blue sky before with a sigh he sits up then makes his way to his feet favouring his left side as he does. “Well struck,” he calls to Dagur as he removes his helm and dabs at a trickle of blood from his brow with a finger. “Gods willing we’ll meet again before the day is done,” and with a nod, the knight takes his leave of the field to let the next jousters take their place.

The Iron Serpent’s lance is not quite so well-placed this time—but it’s enough to bring him victory, Luthor’s own lance skidding harmlessly off his shield and past his shoulder. Dagur seems to have felt that victory in the shock of the impact, for it is at a leisurely pace that he brings his horse around and rides back, dropping the broken lance.

On the way, he raises a gauntleted fist in salute to the Rivers knight—and then it’s on to his own pavilion where he dismounts and tosses the reins to his squire, leaning his shield against a pole and drawing off his helm again.

Hoots of derision come from the Blackwoods as Ser Brus Bracken saws at the reins to try and keep his seat, after Balian’s lance strikes like a hammer blow on his sheild and nearly forces him from the saddle. A well-trained horse is all that saves him, as its gait shifts at just the right moment to jolt him in place above the saddle and so making it easier to keep his seat. In the struggle, he drops his lance, but just as well. A servant runs out to pull it off the lane, while an angry Brus brings his horse around and rides back up to take a fresh lance, his eyes seeing red.

As the two warriors, rivals enough to be almost enemies, charge, the Blackwoods cheer on Balian, while among the Brackens there’s turmoil as some watch and others disappear away into the tent-town surrounding the tourney ground.

Brus strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Balian’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Brus just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

“Oh- well fought, between the two of them…” Elrone shoots a sympathetic look to Pennei, before turning to ensure Luthor is well after being unhorsed. The Westerling squire goes down, and she joins in the applause for Ser Brynden. “Probably for the best, that.” And then her focus moves to the contest between the Bracken and Blackwood as their historic rivalry draws in the voices of the crowd.

Jannia’s head snaps to that of Pennei as Luthor falls, a concerned look on her face before she checks the status of Luthor herself. A moments breath is held for the man who has been like a brother to her and as quiet as a whisper it is let go.

A nod to Pennei that is added to by a look of relief. With that done she claps for her brother’s victory. “He has been doing so well at the lists as of late, mother.” Jannia says quietly.

Tomas curses when his lance only cracks and his opponent is still ahorse. He tosses his lance to the ground and shouts for another. This one he couches firmly and is charging back down the lists with grim focus.

Jostyn once again almost falls of his steed, but clings on for dear life. He dips his lance in respect to Ser Tomas, who he knows from his Riverrun days, before he charges full speed down the list, aiming for the man’s chest.

Tomas lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Jostyn strikes a poor blow after the lance dips unsteadily in the final moment before impact.

Jostyn struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

Jostyn tumbles down from his horse, he takes his helmet off, and bows to his adversary. Now eliminated he makes his way towards the castle, cursing under his breath.

Hearing the names Blackwood-Bracken and Westerling-Tully called, Jan emerges from his tent to take in the tilts as he waits. Just as he exits, he sees Ryckon fall again to the ground, and winces. “Well ridden, Ryck!” he calls out to his fellow Westerlander in an offer of support, but his attention is quickly drawn by the other closely-contested tilt as Ser Brus again barely manages to keep his seat.

Eon’s mood has improved somewhat as he allows himself to absorb the results of the lists. The Blackwood-Bracken bout is enough to keep him occupied, though the Tully-Westerling competition is also able to catch his attention. He continues to drink his wine, but keeps his silence.

Pennei winces, gripping her skirts in lieu of her kerchief, which she has still not recovered. She watches anxiously until Luthor gives some sign that he is well, then releases her breath in a slow sigh. She manages a weak smile, quite pale, and gives little nods to Lady Jannia and Lady Elone before retaking her seat.

A second time does Bloody Brus find himself barely keeping his seat, as Blackwood’s lance proves the steadier. This time, Ser Brus didn’t break his lance, making the Blackwoods in the crowd mock him all the more, and cheer Balian all the louder. The Brackens are more muted, fewer in number, some gone away—perhaps thinking Brus’s defeat inevitable?

But despite it all, Ser Brus is not one to give up. His horse froths with exertion, the froth tinted red with blood at the knight’s ungentle use of the reins, but it hurries him on to the starting place, and then back down the lists, flanks straining as Blackwood comes barreling down with the raven-feather cloak twisting in the wind of his speed.

Brus lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Balian lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

“So I have heard, Jannia.” Tinessa replies about Brynden. She is about to say more when a servant comes to speak to her and Ser Patrek—and this puts them both on alert and looking toward the tents.

There is unusual stirring there, men in Bracken colors running toward a single pavilion and shouting. The head of House Tully turns to her husband, who gestures soothingly and murmurs to her before rising and stepping away with the servant.

Luthor flashes a smile to his wife to show her he is well then takes his place by his pavilion and turns to look at the lists. “Blackwood and Bracken are still at it?” he asks his squire while he takes a seat to watch, cheering for neither at this point but watching with plain interest all the same.

Balian’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Brus’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Balian just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Balian lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Brus’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Balian is roughly jolted in the saddle, struggling for a few moments to keep to his seat.

Balian lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Brus’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Balian just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

The Knight of Ashes, seated, now, before the lists, in his ramshackle camp tool, watches Bracken and Blackwood break lance after lance, the age old animosity between the two Riverland houses rearing its head on the tourney ground. The sinister begging brother stares on, as the great knight battle on, clacking his teeth like a smitten fool in some macabre mummer’s show.

Ryckon rushes back to the sidelines, so he can better see the fight between Blackwood and Bracken. He stands next to the man who last addressed him, Jan, muttering a quiet thanks for his show of support without looking away from the joust.

Agitation in the crowd, leading even Othan Blackmane to appear from his pavilion after being fetched out, a cloth wrapped about his head and an angry, if unfocused, look in his eye. Is it Bloody Brus proving himself so bloody-minded that he refuses to lose, and indeed turns the tables on Balian Blackwood? For that’s what’s happening, and it’s the Blackwoods who become muted and uncertain, who shout exhortations at Balian, who glare at the Brackens… and then turn to their kin, growing uneasy at the looks being thrown at them.

And so the two warriors ride at one another again, lances ready.

Balian’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Brus lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Brus just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Balian strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Brus’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Balian just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Janden has risen from his tent to watch this. “How many is that, now?” he asks, his hurts momentarily forgotten.

“Gods,” the heir of Casterly Rock—silent thus far—says as the two riverlands knights go at each other. “Where’s the maester? Some magic must be at play here.” That brings some smirks from those around him, but it is unclear if it was meant to be a jest.

Balian lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Brus lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Balian’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Brus’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Brus struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

“This… is not going to end well.” Jannia says softly, casting her mother a worried glance, fleeting as it was as she casts her less than excited gaze to the lists as Brus Bracken hits the ground. A heavy sigh as she watches this and the growing tension at the lists.

“Ten! TEN!!” people begin to shout, and Janden picks up on it as it reaches the tents and pavilions. “Amazing,” is all he can bring himself to say, truly looking impressed.

Elrone stares, her mouth hanging open as the clash continues. “Nine, is that?” she finally manages after a swallow. She gasps as round ten finally grants a victor, though how they both managed such strong blows after so many passes is quite beyond her. Too invested to laugh at Jonn’s jest, she just nods to the Lannister. “Ten. That is incredible.”

Jan offers Ryckon a nod, but he says nothing until the epic tilt between Bracken and Blackwood has concluded, his eyes studying the knights’ technique and tendencies. When it has, he applauds in admiration and turns to Ryckon with a smile. “A formidable stable of knights turned out for the tourney, Ryckon,” he says, motioning as Balian shatters yet another lance. “You acquitted yourself well,” he adds genuinely.

And just a few yards from the heap of broken lances piled about the lists like a Beaver family’s orgiastic feast, the Knight of Ashes is still as the Stranger’s statues in Riverrun’s Sept. All he can do is stare, as if struck deaf and blind by this astonishing show of martial skill.

Bruised and battered though they must be, the tenth charge does it once and for all. Lances shatter *CRACK* *CRACK*, shields almost buckle and almost split, and when the debris clears it’s Bloody Brus Bracken who falls to the ground, after very nearly having managed to keep his seat. Indeed, he lands on his feet and nearly keeps them, tumbling and rolling once. It’s quickly that he’s helped up, not by his squire, but by Bracken men who push the squire aside and hurry Brus up to his feet, whispering urgently.

The knight’s helmed head turns sharply towards the victorious Balian Blackwood, and his cheering and hooting kin as well, and then he stalks away with the others, a trail of Brackens following in his wake.

Helm kept aside, sweat trickling down his face, the Iron Serpent has no attention to spare for anything; not Lady Tinessa’s unease in the stands, not the agitation among the Brackens, not Blackmane’s appearance. No, he is watching that clash in the lists, face still, gaze intent.

And at the end of it, when Balian Blackwood has the victory, he laughs aloud, making no secret of his pleasure.

“Dagur once went 12 rounds against my cousin Almer,” Reyna says to Elrone, but she is clearly as enthralled by the bout as the rest of the crowd. And when Brus finally slides to the ground, she joins the cheering that is as much for Brus as for Balian.

For her part, Tinessa watches all this carefully. She follows Brus’s progress off the field, and Balian’s as well. Another servant runs up then to speak to Patrek, and that is that. He speaks a curt word to Tinessa and departs without speaking to anyone else—not even the Prince. And he is heading toward where the Brackens are congregating, shouting for Tomas Rivers to join him.

Janden maintains a wary eye on the proceedings after that tilt, but he minds his business and directs Malwyn to do the same when the squire’s attention lingers too long on the tents of those in question. For the time being, the Huntsman finishes changing and grabs a wineskin for himself, moving closer to the stands while Malwyn keeps watch over his things. With his face uncovered, a few scratches and red marks can be seen where his helmet had been jarred against the skin, and no doubt there are other bruises that will follow elsewhere.

Green eyes follow the progress of Ser Patrek. “Ten passes is not unheard of,” Jonn says to Elrone. “But for them to be shattered like that…” His words trail off, and his attention goes to the Tully lady, his lips pursed.

“Did he? That must have been incredible to watch.” Elrone says to Reyna. She nods again to Jonn. “And between those two particular houses…” She watches Patrek move across the field with a rather apprehensive look.

“Right… you as well, ser.” Ryckon is still barely paying attention to Jan, focusing on the epic tilt, and he applauds lightly at its conclusion. “Very impressive, those two. I cannot help but feel sorry for Ser Brus, though. I know as well as any how hard Balian can hit, now.” He glances briefly at the commotion in the tents, but pays it little mind.

Almost sulking, Jannia shakes her head as her father steps off the high viewing box, setting off to handle the rising unease of the Brackens and Blackwoods. Her eyes follow her father’s decent and watches as he calls for Tomas. A sigh escapes the girl, as her interest in the joust is curtailed by the ever present weight that has hung in the air. Something that always seems to happen when those two houses are in the same location. She looks away from her father and to the Lannister heir offering him a troubled look.

Despite the confusion down in the crowd and among the tents, Lady Tinessa gestures to the herald to continue, and then turns her attention off to the side, away to where Ser Patrek disappeared.

“Ser Roger Ryger will meet Ser Kendros of House Goodbrook, heir of Goodbrook. Ser Dagur Saltcliffe shall meet Ser Argett Prester. Ser Tomas Rivers, the Bastard of Riverrun, shall meet Ser Jan Marbrand. The Knight of Ashes will meet Ser Luthor Rivers!”

Urron shifts in his seat on the stands among the Presters. Dressed in black and gold for his house, the young man sits leaning back as he watches the field with a furrowed brow. His blue gaze would shift, turning to scan the stands and observe the others in the stands that are within view.

Ryckon wishes Jan good luck as he takes the field and turns to leave, but when he hears that the Iron Serpent is riding against the Tailcutter he turns back to see, remaining outside by the field, still dressed in his armor. He remains to focused on the joust to watch whatever is happening between the Blackwoods and Brackens.

A number of Blackwoods—proven warriors and squires both, some who have ridden in the first few rounds of the tourney—have gathered around Balian as he dismounts before his pavilion, cheering him unstintedly, for what could be a sweeter victory than against a Bracken? And Bloody Brus at that! The man himself is seen to be smiling when he draws off his helm, although he seems close to exhaustion as well after that fierce clash.

And then, a Blackwood squire emerges from among the pavilions near the Brackens; his face is tight and strained, and he is jogging as if trying to stop himself from breaking into a run. A heavy-browed Bracken knight sees him and calls sharply; the squire does break into a run at that, darting towards Balian’s pavilion.

Crashing into the men surrounding Balian, he can be seen tugging at a shoulder here, pulling on an arm there, and finally out of desperation, yelling. In the beginning, no one seems to notice him. But then some among the group gathered there start to turn, and the raucous cheering slowly fades as they listen to what he is telling them.

The field is narrowing, and the knights are more illustrious. Tomas hesitates mounting his horse, for Patrek has called him, but Vance waves him off, having gathered more of the Tully men as he goes. So Tomas sets his lance, salutes Lady Tully and the Prince, salutes Jan, and starts down the lists.

Jan grins at Ryckon and gives him a sympathetic glance, but then his own name is called, and furrows his brow in focus as he mounts his horse. His focus is briefly interrupted by the commotion near the tents, but he quickly arrives at the lists, salutes his opponent, and spurs his horse forward.

Tomas’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Jan’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Both jousters are driven from the saddle!

Roger Ryger is still fairly oblivious. He is mounted already and drops his visor with little adieu. He makes his salutes, shouts something toward Kendros in good-natured ribbing, then spurs his courser forward.

Ignorant of the hubbub around the Brackens and Blackwoods—or perhaps not particularly caring—Ser Kendros rides into the lists, salutes the spectators, and stares down the lane at Roger Ryger. The Ryger knight shouts something at him; Kendros laughs and lowers his visor, and then charges.

Roger’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Kendros’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Roger just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

The crowd cheers still, wagers are still made, but some mill about now, their eyes less on the brightly-clad, richly-armored and richly-mounted knights in the lists and more towards one another, talking in confusion about the agitation beginning to develop, wondering. And that uncertainty grows…

But not for Tailcutter, he of the ox tail crest. The half-ironborn knight meets Ser Dagur Saltcliffe in the lists at half, a chance to show himself against a famed warrior from the islands, one who killed a man counted a champion by his Greyjoy kin. He makes a brave show, horse storming onto the list, the stallion tossing its mane and pawing the earth, and Ser Argett holds his lance as if hardly weighed more than a branch. He lowers it to salute the distracted Lady Tully, and Andrya Tully, and the Iron Serpent—and then he’s charging.

This time, the Iron Serpent doesn’t have much time to rest. But nor does he seem to need it, for none of his contests so far have taxed him greatly. He is in the saddle moments after his name is called, putting on his serpent-helm and taking up his shield.

But by now, he seems to have realized that something is amiss, for he turns a little in his saddle, tracking Ser Patrek, eyes glinting in the shadow of his helm. He watches for a moment, then another, and then shakes his head, turning back to take the lance his squire is holding patiently for him. Salutes to Lady Tully and Reyna as he has done all day, then—he is into the charge.

Argett’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Dagur’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Dagur just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Luthor had been watching the drama unfold between the Brackens and Blackwoods and so missed his name at first, but when his squire tugs his arm the knight shakes himself from his thoughts and gets to the business of the joust, kissing his cloth and star, before mounting and arming.

From atop his horse he notes the commotion by the Blackwood pavilions and for a moment his brows furrow before he shakes it off and takes a long deep breath. “Knocking the Knight of Ashes from his saddle is what matters, nothing else,” he tells himself before repeating his ritual to clear his head and then takes his place in the lists waiting for his foe.

The Knight of Ashes rises, to a clucking and chittering serenade from his begging brother. His horse criest out in protest as he raises his spiked and scorched frame into the saddle. A moment, to steady his horse, and he takes a fresh, unadorned ash lance from his “squire” then his scarred and punctured shield.

Black spurs bite into the flanks of his horse, twice, and he is at the end of the list, waiting for the Former Commander of the Kingswood Company—then, the sounds of dischord, from the Bracken pavillion catches his ear, he turns sparing the Bracken men, and the agitator, the Blackwood squire, but only for a moment—Ser Luthor awaits. Scorched spurs bit the flanks of his ghastly horse, and The Knight of Ashes charges Ser Luthor Rivers.

Luthor strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Knight of Ashes lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Luthor just manages to keep to the saddle after weathering a good blow from his opponent.

And then it starts, though what /it/ is exactly, is yet unknown. Jannia looks away from Jonn, her head snapping back in the direction of her father. She shifts uneasily in her seat, missing the double unhorsing that just happened between Tomas and Jan. That is, until the cheers of the crowds bring it to the forefront of her attentions. The Tully girl takes a deep breath and forces herself to watch, awaiting her mother’s call for commencement of the match in one form or another.

A jolt goes up Jan’s shoulder as his lance strikes solidly, but the jolt in his chest is just as strong. He finds himself on the ground, and pounds it in frustration, but when he gets up, he sees the Rivers knight on the ground as well. His frustration turns to glee as he tilts his head back and laughs. “Well struck, ser. I suppose this means we go at it again,” he enthuses, gingerly remounting his horse and grabbing another lance from his squire.

When Tomas meets Jan, there is a terrific crash of lances—and of armor as both men hit the ground. Tomas is up as soon as his squire runs out to help him. “I yield to Ser Jan!” he calls, bowing to the Marbrand knight as best he can in full plate. Then he is trotting off the field toward Patrek Vance and the Tully men, who are trying without much success to ease the tension with the Brackens. Indeed, many of them are armed now and gesturing angrily in spite of Patrek’s efforts.

Jan is just about to spur his mount forward, but pulls the reins just in time as he sees the Riverland bastard bowing, instead of remounting himself. He blinks in surprise and follows Ser Tomas’s path to the tumult brewing by the tents. Uncertain if he should be celebrating or not, he gives a brief salute to the crowd and trots to his tent while eyeing the growing argument warily.

Kendros rides straight through Ser Roger, satisified by the solid cracking sound as his lance shatters on the other’s breastplate; he has no trouble reminaing ahorse this time, either, despite a solid blow. He flings down his lance and, rounding his horse, takes another from a squire. Couching it, he charges.

Roger, meanwhile, wheels his mount and takes a fresh lance. Then he is charging forward again, lance couched and steady.

Roger lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Kendros’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Roger is roughly jolted in the saddle, struggling for a few moments to keep to his seat.

“Tailcutter will make short work of Ser Goldcloak,” says Jonn dismissively, turning to watch the other jousts—especially the one that results in the double unhorsing.

Urron finds his attention settling on the Iron Serpent, his expression of neutrality fading into one of distaste. As he and the Prester move to joust, the young Grayjoy sits up in anticipation of what is to come.

For the first time, the Iron Serpent is truly shaken; for a moment or two, in fact, it seems that he might go down. But he holds on strongly, dragging himself upright inch by painful inch until he can finally straighten in a rush. And then it’s back to take another lance and charge again, seeming none the worse for wear.

Tailcutter’s lance is placed just so, slamming against the many-headed serpent of Saltcliffe’s shield with such force as to leave a long gash where it traveled before it shattered.

Saltclife nearly falls, and the roar that was rumbling to see that is cut off when he holds his seat and readies another charge. Ser Argett’s waiting, his destrier pawing the earth and snorting. When the Iron Serpent charges, Tailcutter rushes forth to meet him.

Argett strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Dagur’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Argett is roughly jolted in the saddle, struggling for a few moments to keep to his seat.

The Marbrand knight is not wearing her favor, but Elrone seems to be no less nervous over his bout with Tomas. She gasps, pulling herself forward in her seat as both riders end up in the dirt- and then she relaxes, but only slightly. That match pulls more of her attention than any other, even as her lady’s husband rides and the tensions of the Blackwoods and Brackens continue to rise.

Roger holds on to his horse, though it is a near thing. He gets his balance and a fresh lance both, takes a breath to gather the reins again, then spurs on down the lists with fresh intent.

Ser Kendros flings down the stub of his lance as he reaches the end of the lane, taking up another. He wheels round and, without missing a beat, charges.

Roger’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Kendros’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Both riders weather the powerful blows and remain on horseback.

Roger lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.
Kendros strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.

Kendros just manages to keep to the saddle after weathering a good blow from his opponent.

Roger’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.
Kendros’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Kendros just barely manages to keep himself in the saddle after his opponent’s blow knocks him askew.

Pass after pass between the Goodbrook heir and the Ryger knight, splinters of lance scatter the lists in a myriad of sizes. The two knights take another pass at each other, hoof beats near deafening at the speeds the pair reach. 

Roger’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Kendros’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Roger struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

This time, it is the Iron Serpent’s turn to place the better blow—and his turn to be disappointed when he brings his mount around and sees Tailcutter still ahorse. The smallfolk are roaring now, calling for Ser Argett’s victory—not out of any great love for the man, but because he rides against an ironman, the irony of his own Greyjoy heritage paling before that fact.

But for all the attention Dagur pays those roars, he may as well be deaf. Back he rides to take up another lance and charge again.

Now it’s Ser Argett who’s rattled, jolted in the saddle by the Iron Serpent’s steady lance. But the Prester has iron in his veins, and does not give up easily, legs clining like a vice to his horse as he weathers the blow. And then it’s one more time around the lists, one more fresh lance, one more charge…

Argett strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.
Dagur’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Argett struggles to keep to the saddle for a few instants, before finally succumbing and sliding to the ground.

Roger flies from his horse and lies for a time in the dirt before letting his squire pull off his helm and help him to his feet. He reels a little for the first few steps, then raises his hand in salute to Lady Tully and to Kendros. “Good blow,” he wheezes as he heads off the field. 

Though it was a near thing a couple of times, Ser Kendros reclaims a bit of pride by unhorsing Ser Roger. “A fine round of tilts, my lord of Ryger. You are to be congratulated for your skill.”

With a salute and a flourish, Ser Kendros quits the lists to await his next summons.

With Jan’s contest settled in a yield by Ser Tomas, and the famous Ryger knight also down, Elrone focused next on the Iron Serpent. “Ser Dagur has a fierce match- though I think he shall prove victorious,” she says to Reyna.

Not much could distract the Corbray knight’s attention from the lists. He witnessed the epic tilt in ten passes between the Bracken and the Blackwood knight, and now his eyes are on the Tailcutter and the Iron Serpent. From the corner of his eye, Astos notices the commotion by the tents, and like so many other people in the stands he cannot help but glance over there occasionally.

“Some dispute between two Riverlands Houses, apparently.” he says with a dismissive gesture to his wife. “I am sure the guards will take care of it…” And with these words his attention is back on the tilt between Ser Dagur and Ser Argett. “By the Seven, they seem to be quite well matched!” And he cheers as he watches the Tailcutter finally go down. “Well ridden, Ser Dagur!”

Jonn Lannister curses. “I suppose I would do nothing but practice swords and lances if my wife were—” he begins, irritated, before casting a sidelong glance at Reyna and Elrone.

Urron is sitting up, eyes narrowed as he watches Argett and Dagur ride forth. He winces slightly as the two knights meet, following the Prester as he struggles to stay on his horse. The Greyjoy shares in the disappointment of house Prester as he leans back once more, watching the victorious Iron Serpent with half-lidded eyes, shaking his head.

The Riverland Knight’s lance clips the Knight’s left pauldron, but does not break it. Still, the Knight of Ashes grunts, an eerie echoed grunt, as his lance strikes home and the coronal snaps off with a sharp CRACK! The Knight of Ashes rides to the end of the lists, takes a fresh length of ash from his squire, dips his lance in a salute to Ser Luthor, and charges, bringing the tip of his coronal in line with Ser Luthor’s shield.

Luthor curses as he is nearly knocked from the saddle. “Knock him from his horse, that is all that matters,” he tells himself again as he rounds the lists and salutes the mystery knight when they pass each other.

At the far end Luthor takes up a fresh lance and moves to the lists again and when the time comes to charge he does it slowly, letting his horse build up speed as Luthor brings down his lance with the coronel aimed for the center of the Knight of Ashes’ chest.

Luthor’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.
Knight of Ashes’s steady lance and solid seat on his steed leads to a powerful blow. The list resounds with the crack of his lance as it shatters.

Both jousters are driven from the saddle!

Ser Luthor’s lance smashes into the Knight of Ashes’s chest, hitting the center of the Seven-pointed star, just as his own lance strikes home. The Knight of Ashes falls from his hors, landing heavily, and rolling, one of the rondels is torn from his armor, and a spiked pauldron hangs, lopsided from his left shoulder. He stands, breathing heavily, staring toward Ser Luthor. The Begging Brother rushes toward the lists to take his Knight’s horse by the reins.

Luthor is ripped from his saddle and lands hard amidst a shower of splinters. He rolls to his knees cursing, until he sees that his foe is down too. A smile crosses his face and he struggles to his feet. He almost looks to his squire for his sword but remembering the rules of a wedding tourney turns instead to the stands to heed the herald’s call.

“Well done, ser!” Jannia says of Ser Kendros. And then another double unhorsing. Though this time Jannia is thoroughly interested, Luthor against the Mystery Knight. She awaits the Heralds call, hoping to see this ‘mystery knight’ unhelmed. She murmurs something inaudible under her breath as she waits impatiently.

Even as the contest at last ends between Tailcutter and the Iron Serpent, the herald is trying to consult with Lady Tinessa regarding the unusual circumstances of the contest between Luthor Rivers and the mystery knight called the Knight of Ashes.

The sight of Dagur unhorsing Argett is met with a quiet cheer from Janden Melcolm, pleased to see the Iron Serpent - and his fellow in the Company of the Lance - come out on top after a spirited tilt. Meanwhile, as others knock each other off their horses and decisions are made, he looks on with curiosity to see what the decision will be.

The herald is attempting to make a decision with Lady Tully, who is leaning over the railing, but the activity at the end of the lists is drawing Tinessa’s attention. The Brackens, all of them armed now and more in number than the few men Patrek Vance has gathered, are done talking. Now they push past the unarmed Vance and start charging toward the Blackwoods, their shouts full of accusations of murder and crying for Balian to come and answer for his actions.

Jannia watches her mother consult with the Herald, and then, the ‘it’ finally happens. The Brackens are shouting toward the Blackwood tents where Ser Balian currently resides.“Seven Hells.” She says in a tone no higher than a mumbled whisper of a sigh. She closes her eyes slowly and shakes her head in disappointment before opening them again to look back to her mother. Waiting on edge for what she will do next.

Lady Arryn has been typically watchful and quiet most of the morning, her thoughts no doubt occupied by her elder brother’s condition. As the stirring down the lists erupt into a full blown commotion, one single elegantly arched eyebrow climbs up her forehead, as if that one eyebrow surely ought to be able to quell the mob of angry men.

Down goes Tailcutter, and the Iron Serpent raises the shattered stump of his lance to the displeased smallfolk in a clearly ironic salute—so he had heard them, after all—doing little to endear him to them. Tossing the stump aside, he brings his horse around and begins to ride back.

And then he draws rein sharply, staring at the pavilions.

For the Brackens have bared steel and are charging towards Balian’s pavilion. And leading them is Bloody Brus, red-eyed, a terrible look on his face, bared blade in his right hand and a bloody scrap of cloth in his left.

“Treachery! My son betrayed! Blackwood treachery!”

That ravaged bellow of his rings clear across the field.

And then there is chaos among the Blackwoods as they begin shouting; as Balian roars to his squire for his blade, his kinsmen plunging into the pavilions around them to emerge with maces and longaxes, others drawing the blades they’re wearing, calling desperately to each other.

Brynden exits his pavillion, his jousting helm replaced with a helmet meant for war. Though it does not match the jousting armor, it is better suited for actual combat. He bears his swordbelt now, and a long iron-shod cudgel. He does not wait to be asked to assist, but instead begins striding towards his unarmed father across the way.

Elrone raises an eyebrow at Jonn, but she certainly is not going to step into /that/ conversation- and even if she were, the Brackens are moving. “Murder? What are they shouting about?” And then the weapons are drawn. She slides back in her seat as if that will somehow be a safer place- or possibly just so she sees less of the imminent bloodshed.

Jonn Lannister rises to his feet, his brow furrowed as the shouts reach his ears. “This is bad,” he says, as he begins to leave the stand. Several Lannister retainers rise with him, following close behind.

The Knight of Ashes turns his spiked helm from the Herald, to the onrushing hoard of wroth Brackens. Turning toward the Begging Brother, it takes only a look for the man to pull an ugly, notched, longsword from out of a pile of armaments heaped beside the mystery knight’s camp stool. Though it is polished and clean, it has easily seen half a thousand battles. The Knight rushes toward the begging brother, wrenches the blade from him and rushes toward Ser Brynden. “Tully, do you intent take on the whole of Stone Hedge, alone?

Even in the stands, the tension mounts, as there are Bracken and Blackwood kin aplenty seated there. Primarily ladies, of course, but most of them are getting to their feet as well. Caught up in all of this are the two cousins, lady Halanna and lady Sylvina, who are set to marry a Bracken and a Blackwood kin, respectively. And lady Aisling, too, who is a Blackwood on her mother’s side.

It seems the herald has other things on his mind now rather than the outcome of the joust. Luthor limps his way over to his pavilion and fetches his sword, though aware of how badly his wounded side pains him he does not join the growing mob by the Blackwood tents but makes his way to the stands to collect his wife and bring her to the safety of his Smallwood kin. Once there he waits on Lord Bellos’ command watching events with a concerned frown upon his face.

Seeing the mystery knight and Brynden go and join Ser Patrek, Eon follows suit by casting away his tilting helm, exposing the coif under it, and grabbing his longsword, yelling at his guardsman to come. One guardsman is left to guard the pavilion, while the guardsman going with Eon are armed with axe and shield. The Hunter knight is not pleased to potentially have to fight in tourney armor, but it would suffice. “Sers,” is all the Valeman says as he and his retainer make their way to where Ser Brynden, the mystery knight, and Ser Patrek are.

“Have I missed some unwritten rule that these things must always have a conflict?” Janden asks nobody in particular, and though he’s already out of his armor and in nothing more than his usual doublet and other attire, he sends Malwyn for his sword. “Just in case,” he tells the lad, a frown in place. It’s not his issue to get in he middle of, but he may still be needed to do something, protect someone, or more.

Situated with the other riverlords, Ser Kendros is not far from the fray, arriving back to his pavilion just as the Brackens charge over. He tosses down his helm and grabs a skin of wine, appearing quite amused by the whole affair. “Squire, bring my axe and follow me,” he says, though fighting does not appear to be in his intention. He takes a long drink of wine and stalks over towards the ruckus, a hand resting on the hilt of his dagger.

“I intend to protect my father, whoever you are.” Brynden says to the ashen knight as the latter moves to intercept him. Still, the Tully knight moves towards Ser Patrek and his men. “If I have to beat some peace into some people, I shall do so.”

“Oh, seven hells,” Jan mutters, his left hand moving slowly and resting on a dagger at his side. Still, he knows not what to do with it, so he remains upon his horse, eyes flicking between the two sides. When chaos erupts in the stands, as well, he inches towards crowd, scanning it for any sign of trouble, worry etched in his brow.

Ryckon turns to leave again when Dagur and Argett are done, but once again he is interrupted, this time by the sight and sound of impending violence between the Blackwoods and Brackens. “Gods be good. Ser—” Ryckon’s master is nowhere to be found, however, so the squire orders his page to fetch his mace, and once he has it he begins clanking off to join Patrek, still armored.

It is said a melee at a wedding brings poor fortune. How much poorer this day, for with a final roar, Bloody Brus, Blackmane beside him and his kinsmen around, plunges amidst the Blackwoods. Steel meets steel, men cry out in anger and desperation—and blood spills, ruby-red in the noon light as it soaks into the field.

It is madness amidst the pavilions now, for Bracken and Blackwood men are fighting in deadly ernest; ropes are cut, pavilions come tumbling down and men begin to fall. Balian is trying with all his might to pull his kinsmen together, fierce enough with blade in hand that despite his exhaustion, no Bracken is able to come near him—although from the way Bloody Brus is bulling towards him, that will not last long.

And things are about to get worse. For the Brackens and Blackwoods are bound to many houses of the Riverlands and beyond by marriage and blood and old loyalties—and those loyalties begin to cause mayhem amidst the highborn in the stands now. Men are shouting, some beginning to push through to get onto the field—and then, a blow is struck not very far from Lady Tully. A man goes down with a bloody mouth and is trampled in the growing chaos—and then another blow, and a third.

Elrone lays a hand across Reyna’s arm as she is jostled by those women in the stands joining into the conflict. “Reyna, perhaps we should- try and get out of the way-” Someone is shoved behind her, and she glances back to see her own guard trying to stave off the conflict from reaching her, her septa, or Lady Reyna. But he is only one man, and soon enough a punch is thrown not far away, sending a man crashing down beside Elrone and the others, his face bloodied.

When the chaos begins to erupt in the stands, Urron pushes himself to his feet and mutters a fierce curse under his breath. Clearly not dressed for combat, the Greyjoy does, however, have a slim sword hanging from the right side of his hip and the hilt is firmly grasped by his left hand before it’s drawn. Not one to get entangled in the affairs of Brackens and Blackwoods along with their allies, he attempts to calmly and cautiously head to exit the stands.

And the Iron Serpent? He does not watch for long. On he spurs his horse, roaring to his squire as he plunges past his pavilion: “Arros! My sword! My sword, Arros!”

And then he is dismounting near the melee, for Bracken and Blackwood are so entangled, that to ride on would be to ride over both—and his friendship with Balian Blackwood is no secret. He doesn’t wait for his squire but pushes into the chaos of whirling blades; one sings towards him and he raises his shield, blocking it—then strikes the other man heavily with his gauntleted fist, felling him. A moment later, he has the man’s blade in hand and is fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with the Blackwoods.

Jannia rises to her feet as blows are struck and shouting erupts all around her, she moves to stand by her mother. Her maid, Sarah, rushes to her side from the back of the viewing box. She wraps her arms around Jannia’s shoulders as the Tully girl stands with her mother.

Rather than get in the middle of the fighting, not completely clear who to stand with or against,—in spite of having been taught about feuds like this during his time as a youth,—Janden carefully moves toward the stands once Malwyn’s returned with his sword. The Huntsman’s goal is to provide cover and a helping hand to ensure those in the crowd will have a better chance to escape to safety and avoid the spilling over of violence. “Move, people! Move!” He shouts at the smallfolk who block the way.

Harys Swyft, squire to Jonn Lannister, sprints madly from the Lannister pavilion with his knight’s sword in hand. It is taken swiftly by Jonn, who sends the boy away with a shooing motion and a hard look. It is only then that he resumes his course.

He makes a beeline for the Blackwoods—as Balian’s mother was sister to his noble grandfather, Lord Lanselyn Lannister. The Lannister retainers do not seem to share their lord’s confidence about which side to support, so they remain behind with Ser Patrek and the Tully contingent.

As bodies start falling in the stands, Jan utters a few more curses under his breath and finally dismounts, scowling. With no time to grab his sword, his hand rests tensely on the dagger as he moves to the stands. Seeing the Melcolm knight with the same inclination, he stands beside him and tries help usher innocent parties to the exits.

Lady Tully is calm enough, but there is no way out of the viewing stands just now, in spite of the guards’ efforts to clear a path—Aegon was hustled away when it first became obvious there would be bloodshed. But the fighting is in the lists now, and spilling over the plain railings that are not meant to keep fighters from reaching the audience. “Jannia, Andrya,” snaps Tinessa, trying to marshall her girls behind her. The other men—Lord Arryn, Terin Ryger—remain with the Tully men to protect the ladies, swords drawn.

Reyna holds tight to Elrone, her own guards close by. Edmund stays her when she would run. “The smallfolk are in a panic,” he shouts above the noise. “We’re safest here!”

A knot of guards in Arryn blue remain nearby the Lady of the Vale and the few ladies with her. As one of these ladies rises to her feet and shouts something into the crowd, a sharp glance from Lira and a calmly phrased, “Do please calm yourselfs. There is not a single thing you can hope to accomplish by making a spectacle of yourself. The men will have this well under hand.” After a quick glance to the guards to confirm they are at the ready, she adds, “Still, do keep yourselves prepared for a hasty exit, should it come to it.”

“My axe!” Kendros calls out as violence erupts. Taking the pollaxe from his squire, Longaxe takes stock of the situation. He is not known for having any great love of either side in this dispute. Even now he tarries, uncertain of which side to take; in the end he seems to settle on standing where he is, ensuring that the Goodbrook men stay out of it, and that the fighting doesn’t affect his own possessions. Priorities.

Jannia puts a hand to her mother’s shoulder to let her know she is there. “Sarah, fetch Andrya so that she is safely with us.” Sarah nods and is swiftly off to drag Andrya from her seat. Jannia eyes the exit of the stands, she is worried but calm. Well, as calm as she can be when the way is blocked.

Men scream, and die, all around the Knight of Ashes, a man lunges for him, with a dagger. The fire-blackened knight slashes at the man, the air whistles with the hiss of his notched steel, at the nadir of his blow crimson sprays across his helm and gorget, and the man’s arm falls, flapping wetly on the churned ground of the tourney yard. A wicked backhand opens the man’s throat—and the knight of ash and blood rushes toward the stands cutting a path through as he goes, slashing at any many who accosts the crestless knight.

With some people trying to hold their ground in the stands and others trying to move to safety, actually moving anywhere becomes difficult for most. Among them, lady Aisling, who is pressed in among some of the other ladies. But unlike most of the others, she is not looking for an escape. Instead, the pale Northern lady is staring off at where the Blackwoods and the Brackens are clashing together, a queer look on her face as she watches the unfolding violence.

Ser Patrek has drawn up not far from the melee; grim-faced, he takes a long, hard look at the chaos, then around the field at the turmoil beginning in the stands. But a man who has supported Lady Tully all these long years is not likely to crumple at a time like this.

“Men. We need more men,” he says tersely, rounding on his son. “Brynden, gather as many as you can. Swiftly!” And raising his voice, he calls to the Tully guardsmen already running towards them, “To me, Tully!”

Janden stands near Ser Jan, a brief glance shared as steps follow to continue providing protection as he can. Right now it seems as if his priority is to get closer to the Arryn contingent, just in case their guards are compromised. The Valeknight may be sore from the jousts but it will take a lot more than that to make him useless.

The Darklyn girl nods to Edmund, and pulls Reyna a bit closer- Elrone can block some of the violence from her petite lady herself if need be, being the bigger of the pair. A nod of her head toward Haensyl and he knows well enough to follow Edmund’s lead. “We shall be just fine, Reyna,” she says in a forced but soothing voice, even as some poor sod is shoved face-first into the rail, surely breaking his nose if not much worse.

Urron appears only interested in self preservation than being a hero or picking a side in a conflict such as this. Unable to find an exit from the stands however, he’s caught up in a bit of the frenzy as one of the participants in the bloodshed comes at him with two daggers. With no time to think, the left handed male lands a solid blow to one of the man’s wrists, severing it completely as blood sprays forth, splattering the kraken on his chest. A boot meets the man’s chest as Urron grunts loudly, sending him down the steps into the rest of the crowd. Lifting his right hand to wipe his brow, he starts backing up, heading back towards the high lists and where the Tully are gathering.

Once her own daughters are secure, Lady Tully moves. She starts to move through the stands, her voice raised to crack through the violence as her guards wield their cudgels to begin to spread order in the chaos. Where she goes, the men slowly stop fighting and a modicum of calm spreads from the center that is Tinessa Tully. She gathers the women behind her, so that gradually they gather with their guardsmen where Jannia and Andrya are already. Tinessa does this with grim resolve, moving even when blood spatters her gown, when men turn to her with blades raised only to check just in time. It is a small calm, but it is calm—and it spreads.

“SER MARSHALL!” the Lannister heir bellows, parrying a wild swing from a man in Bracken colors. He strikes the man viciously in the helm with the flat of his blade, causing the metal to ring loudly and sending the man to his knees, screaming and holding his head in pain. He takes a step away, gesticulating wildly with his sword in the direction of the knot of Tullys.

Marshall Falwell, the Lannister master-at-arms, approaches the Tully group with several red-cloaked Lannister guardsmen, making it known to them that they will lend support in whatever way is deemed necessary.

Despite the appearance of calm, the white knuckled hands of Lira Arryn betray a fear that no amount of good breeding can squelch. Her gaze darts here and there in the commotion, looking for faces familiar or reassuring, equally looking for faces menacing or new dangers to arise. There, to her left, she sees the stirring of another commotion as the face she seeks most is making his way directly to them.

Sarah drags an awestruck Andrya to stand behind her sister and mother to await their escape. Taking Tinessa’s hand with one of her hands, and Andrya’s with her other, Jannia takes a deep breath as the move forward. Wincing as swords come up, and exhaling as they stop themselves out of respect, or some other feeling that may be radiating from the coldest trout of the group, Tinessa. She follows obediently pulling her sister along with her maid taking up the rear of the trout chain.

Eon sees other Valemen going in the direction of Lord Arryn, but the Hunter knight does not dare leave the vicinity of Ser Patrek. Turning to his guardsman, he is about to say something when the Lannister guardsmen arrive. Nodding to these guardsmen, Eon does not make a move save to help dissuade the Brackens and Blackwoods from trying to harm Ser Patrek. “Seven hells,” is all Eon says.

Ryckon arrives at the Tully group and looks around in the chaos, battle-ready, but the Tullys are apparently waiting for more men before they enter the fight. Clearing his throat, the squire armored in Westerling takes the opportunity to approach Patrek and tell him, “I am… standing ready to support you, ser.” He blinks in surprise at the Lannisters fighting alongside the Blackwoods.

Brynden nods as his father makes his will known, he steps away, towards the men in red and blue. “You! You…” he calls, doing his best to gather what leaderless guards are still milling about. “Tully! To Ser Patrek!” He presents a colorful sight to rally around.

A couple people get too close for comfort and while Janden’s careful not to kill unless he’s pushed to it, he isn’t shy about cracking one across the head with the hilt of his sword or kicking another in the knee in the right spot to disable him. “Get back! Back, I say!” he shouts at them, now near enough to Jonothor, Lira and any other Arryns and guards for them to pick him out with that red hair.

As the stands calm, Lady Tully can begin to issue orders. “Lord Ryger, we are safe here. To Ser Patrek. And you. You.” She moves back along the stands, pointing at anyone wearing a Riverlands house badge. And they go, without question, armed or otherwise. Some take arms from their own guardsmen, others from squires able now to reach them as the smallfolk have dispersed somewhat.

It’s a tricky field to navigate, but Urron is able to back-track without further bloodshed - at least on his part by landing shoulders and boots on any who get too close to the kraken. It isn’t until a particularly large greenlander charges through the crowd that Urron’s balance is compromised and he’s sent staggering up the stairs and into the group of the Tullys.

A battle cry, half roar, half echo reverberates through the Knight of Ashes’s spiked helm and out across the bloody tourney yard. His notched sword, cleaves into another of the agitators, a man-at-arms, a boy scarce old enough to shave, the blow takes the top of his head off, revealing a sickening pulpy violet stew. The boy’s eyes roll up toward his dome-less skull as he falls, limply, to the blood soaked earth. The Knight of Ashes trudges over his fallen corpse and lifts his sword in a salute to the fast approaching Tully party, when Tinessa issues the command to Lord Ryger, he rushes to join the gaggle of Tully and Ryger swords.

An island of brown in a sea of green, red, and blue, Eon and his guardsman fortunately have not had to cut down any Riverlanders. A scowl is on his face as he sees other Riverlanders joining the force around Ser Patrek, but now it is too late for Eon to see to Lord Arryn. Standing ready to strike, the Hunter knight looks about for any trouble, though he does see that the mess being made. Cursing under his breath, Eon continues to glance around to be aware of his surroundings.

Ser Patrek has no time to do more than nod to Eon and Ser Marshall; his guardsmen are gathering about him, and then his son is rallying more and bringing them back. Still, he waits—until his wife’s calm authority in the stands begins to bolster his numbers, the men of other Riverlands lords joining him. The Ryger badge is prominent there, and why not; Terin Ryger has ties to both Blackwood and Bracken, and if he will not take sides, he is showing himself willing to try and put an end to the fighting at least.

Finally, Ser Patrek has gathered enough men to outnumber those in the Blackwood-Bracken melee. He looks around at them, then nods grimly, “Time to put an end to this.” And he strides forward, his men gathering around him—then surging past as he sends them against the melee, led by his son, Ser Brynden.

They push and shove, wielding cudgels ruthlessly, pulling Bracken and Blackwood apart and beating them down when need be. Through it all, Ser Patrek can be heard roaring at Blackwood and Bracken aside, calling to Bloody Brus and Blackmane; to Balian Blackwood and the Iron Serpent and Jonn Lannister, demanding that swords be put down.

As things calm in the stands, Elrone guides Reyna into the safe area amongst the other ladies that Lady Tully has created in her wake. She nods to Jannia, Andrya, and the others, before looking out to assess the state of things amongst the men in the field.

Ryckon follows the Tully men into the crowd, raising his mace above the head of a Bracken man-at-arms engaged in a brawl and bringing it down. Fortunately, he misses, for it is only then that he sees that the Tullys are only ending the fight, not joining it. Frowning, perhaps in disappointment, he grabs the Bracken’s shirt and pulls him away, and then steps forward to shove the Blackwood he had been fighting to the ground.

Janden studies his surroundings as things finally begin to calm in the stands, brief eye contact made with the Arryn contingent. If nothing else, he’s made it there to help in case anything is stirred up further.

Still holding hands with her mother and sister, Jannia turns back to check on her sister, giving her a squeeze of her hand for support. Catches Elrone’s nod, she returns it before turning her attentions back to the attempt of ending the fight her father and brother, Brynden are currently taking to task. She releases her mother’s hand to slide an arm around Andrya’s shoulders.

The Mystery Knight is fast behind Lord Ryger, another man-at-arms bearing a white weirwood swings at the Blood soaked Knight of Ashes. The Mysery knight paries, feigns, slashing at his left arm, then turns the stroke and opens his abdomen. A moccasin’s pit of squirming purple-brown bowels, spray out across the ground. The Blackwood man falls onto the bloody knight’s sword, screaming as three feet of steel slides into his abdomen. A hard shove and the man-at-arms falls, in a heap. The notched sword is wrenched from his body, and at the sight of Ryger and Tully men beating the agitators with cudgels, the mystery knight slams a gauntleted fist into squire bearing the crimson stallion of house Bracken.

Brynden leads on with his father, calling people to stop fighting, putting his own cidgel to use where they won’t. “My lords. Peace. For the Seven’s sake, peace!”

Now Lady Tully watches anxiously, pacing along the railing in the space that everyone in the stands affords her. When she sees something she can fix, she does so, her voice ringing out over the melee. But much of this is beyond her power as a woman. “Bloody hells,” she mutters more than once under her breath. Then, something that is -not- beyond her power: the mystery knight butchering men-at-arms with every swing of his blade. “Fifty dragons to the man who brings me that idiot and shows me his face!”

“I yield! I yield!” a young Bracken squeals, his arm twisted around and pinned behind him by Jonn Lannister. As Ser Patrek approaches and sues for peace, he lets go—but not before slapping the boy on the back of the head with the back of his hand and delivering a punishing kick to his arse that sends him face first into the hard earth.

He glances toward the mystery knight, his eyes narrowing. “Now that’s just unseemly,” he says in a detached tone.

Jostyn is standing amidst the scene, trying to help the lords of tully calm the scene, when he hears the ladies words, he makes his way over to the mystery knight. “Now now Ser, if you want to kill, at least have the decency do it without that mask on.” He says while gripping his sword tightly.

The Arryn contingent has safely seen the assorted ladies of the Vale into the safekeeping of Tinessa. As the worst of the violence returns to its proper domain of the men in the field, the Lady Arryn asserts an air of calm composure.

The briefest incline of her head is somehow reminiscent of a curtsy as she as she greets the assembled women, “Lady Tully, ladies, let us hope they make quick work of this.” As she, too, turns to watch the violence continue to unfold, white knuckled hands grip the railing in front of her.

Having merely knocked a few men at arms about the skull, Kendros has not seen much of the fighting; few people seem to want to come near Longaxe, and that suits him just fine. The mystery knight’s actions are in view, however, and that elicits a scowl. He calls out, and walks towards the Knight of Ashes, half a dozen men in Goodbrook livery trailing their future lord.

Helping to stop the fighting by yelling at the feuding families to put down their arms, Eon looks over to see the mystery knight cutting down others like wheat. Shaking his head, Eon roars at him, “Ser, put down your sword, NOW!” The Valeman does not approach the strange knight, keeping his position near Ser Patrek.

Loyal to their lady’s command—and perhaps hoping for something of that reward—the Tully men-at-arms whom the Knight of Ashes had joined to seemingly try to bring an end to the violence. This, of course, was before he proceeded to use that ugly blade of his to open heads and bellies, now they grab at him as he’s surprised, surrounding him and seizing his arms, while one slips and falls and ends up with an arm wrapped around his leg rather comically.

But a grizzled old household knight wrenches away the man’s sword, prying it from his gauntlet as the others hold him fast and bear him down under their weight.

When a young Bracken turns to face him, Ryckon smacks this fellow squire with a gauntleted hand, sending him to the ground clutching his face. With no more opponents in his immediate vicinity, he looks around for more, and sees the Knight of Ashes being restrained. He approaches curiously. “What is going on here?”

Despite the tongue lashing given to one of her own ladies over just such a thing, Lira finds herself leaning slightly forward, looking to the mystery knight as it seems inevitable his identity will be, at last, revealed.

Jostyn sees the man on the floor, being restrained by the Tully Men at arms. He turns to the Squire, ” He was hacking and slashing at everything that moved.”

Jannia turns her eyes coldly toward the Mystery Knight who slew many a riverland men. She is pleased her mother calls for his face to be reviled. She lets her sister go, now that the crowd in the stands has all but calmed to mild pushing. Looking over the railing toward where the Mystery Knight is being restrained. She stands silently, glaring at the man, her mood long since soured, returning to her previously stoic state.

The Knight of Ashes turns to Ser Patrek, then glances to Ser Dagur Saltcliff, then they are upon him, a sharp grunt as one of the Tully men take hold of his gauntlet, prying the sword from his hand. One of them reaches for his gorget, and begins to unbolt it from his helm. When the hideous spiked thing is lifted off his head-chestnut eyes, and a bloodstained face stare out upon the host, with a sardonic smile. The mail coif is next, and a mass of chestnut hair tumbles onto his spiked pauldrons. Humfrey Westerling turns to Ser Patrek and bows, ever so slightly.

“Oh, Seven Fucking Hells,” Janden Melcolm can clearly be heard to utter near the stands when the mystery knight is revealed as Humfrey Westerling, the recently disowned and dishonored knight.

Tinessa, less concerned with the masked man’s apprehension than with the situation as a whole, continues to pace. Her face is set in a mask of gravity, her eyes flashing from one pocket of violence to another, though things seem to be slowing at last. Then she finds the man before her, unmasked. “Who in seven hells is this?” she snaps when he has been brought before her.

Finally, the madness begins to draw to an end. Ser Patrek has used the greater number of his men to telling effect; the Brackens and Blackwoods have been pulled apart, and swords thrown down. But there are bodies on the ground, and it is clear Ser Patrek is in the grip of a controlled anger. Bloody Brus, droplets of blood splattered across one cheek, begins to say something loudly—only to be cut off by a terse command from Patrek that cracks like a whip.

Balian Blackwood speaks up, then, more calmly, but shaking his head; the Iron Serpent stands by him, hard-faced but holding his peace, sharing a brief look with Jonn Lannister. Whatever is said, Patrek makes only a brief reply—and then, at another command from him, the Tully guardsmen are forcing the Blackwoods and Brackens further apart, herding them away from the field, but in different directions.

With an arm around Reyna, Elrone also peers to see what will happen the the Knight of Ashes, now proven to be a knight of bloodlust instead. Her mouth works a moment when the face is finally revealed- though all that comes out is a surprised and quiet “Oh.” She bites her lip for a moment, squinting to make sure that is in fact the man she thinks it is. “Why- why would he enter the lists at all?” she utters quietly to those nearest to her, Lira and Jannia amongst them.

Brynden is more interested in seeing the fighting quelled than the unmasking of the mystery knight; so he is turned away, watching the Brackens and Blackwoods. He shakes his head as the muttering begins, but he quirks a half-grin as he presses on with a contingent of Tully men to separate the fomerly-fighting sides away from the field. “We will sort this out, my lords.”

“That is most—” Ryckon begins to say to Jostyn, before his cousin is unmasked. The younger Westerling scowls. “Are you fucking /kidding/ me? Why—” He throws up his hands hopelessly. “At least he had the wits to wear a mask. I suppose that’s something.”

Lira watches as the man is unmasked, then shakes her head, dismissing the disgraced knight from her attention. Turning, she smiles at Elrone and says, “I suspect, for the chance to sully the day. It might have been enough for such as he.”

“I do not think wits enter into the question where this man is concerned,” Longaxe observes, coming up behind Ryckon with his guards in tow. “Perhaps he is possessed.”

Rage bubbles up from her chest. “THAT,” Jannia says with a hard edge to her voice. “Is the now hedge knight, Ser Humfrey Westerling, mother.” Jannia’s cheeks turn a blazing red out of fury, and bites her tongue from further comment. She has made a life of staying out of her mother’s way, this will be no different. Her eyes flick about the field to catch that of Jonn Lannister, taking her eyes from Humfrey and her mother.

Oddly enough, the look on Janden’s face upon seeing Humfrey unmasked is not one of rage and anger, but rather disappointment and disapproval. “If you’ll excuse me,” he says, bowing to the Arryn contingent along with the rest before he starts to carefully make his way back toward his tent to check on things. Malwyn has been careful to avoid the trouble, staying back and away from it.

“It’s the Unknight!” gasps Reyna unnecessarily. “Gods, he’s shown his true colors now, hasn’t he?” But she is pale and shocked by the violence, so her words have no heat. It is the Brackens and Blackwoods that hold her attention. They are barely contained, those men, violence shimmering like heat waves around them.

Tinessa, annoyed enough that at first, she turns on Jannia to snap at her for interrupting. Then her eyes narrow and the words die on her tongue. She turns to stare at him for a moment, then waves a hand. “Take his arms. Search his tent and don’t leave him so much as a breadknife. Then throw him in, and make sure he stays, at Riverrun until I have time for him.”

She turns back to the matter at hand. “I want to know,” she says slowly, in tones ringing enough to reach even those being herded away, “what in seven fucking HELLS this is about!”

Standing between Balian Blackwood and the Iron Serpent, a spasm of rage flickers across the blood-specked face of Black Jonn Lannister. His right hand tightens on the hilts of his sword, his knuckles going white and his arm shaking. “I told Daric, to kill him and have done with it,” he spits onto the ground, taking several steps toward the Tully lady and the Westerling knight.

Jostyn’s face transforms as he sees who the knight is, clearly he is enraged. He steps toward the Westerling knight, with sword in hand, but takes time forcing himself through the wall of assembles people.

The Brackens and Blackwoods are being urged further apart, and for a few moments, they seem to be complying. But blood stains the ground and sullen rage is thick enough in the air to choke upon. Blackmane can be seen to stare fiercely at a Tully guardsman who ventures near—and then he says something bitterly to Bloody Brus.

And whatever it is, it goads Brus Bracken into defying Ser Patrek. He pulls away, turning on his heel and striding back towards the Blackwoods—at least until half-a-dozen Tully guardsmen block his path. He bares his teeth at them. And then he holds aloft that bloody cloth still clutched in his left hand and bellows, his voice a warped, raw thing:

“With this I wiped the blood from my son’s face as he drew his last breath! By the Gods, Balian Blackwood, you will answer for it! Did you think I wouldn’t find out? They found his body by your pavilion, whoreson! And I will have justice for it before the Seven!”

He has barely begun when the Brackens are roaring, hurling insults at the Blackwoods. And the Blackwoods have stopped and turned as well, trying to shout down the Brackens. Balian’s voice cuts through the din strongly, his face tight with anger, “Madness! What reason had I to kill the whelp? Every word of it a lie!”

Elrone pulls Reyna in closer, noting how shaken her lady is. The girl drapes her own cloak across her arm and over the other woman’s shoulders. Whatever words of comfort she might say, however, are lost when her mouth snaps shut in time with Tinessa’s shout. Her eyes narrow, watching as the men on the field continue to call out in anger.

“Perhaps it was the mystery knight, my lords?” Brynden offers loudly and clearly. From where he stands with Tully men near the Brackens. “Would it not please him to make your houses fight… here and now best of all?” The son of Tinessa Tully, Brynden says shouts. “Perhaps the maesters can tell us something?”

Humfrey Westerling looks upon the throngs of nobles, the sardonic smile never leaves his lips, even eight or so, Tully swords tugging at him, and holding him to the ground. “They were rather intent upon dispatching me to the Stranger, so, I dispatched them first.” When Reyna speaks Humfrey’s brows fall, he looks almost disappointed. “The Unknight, clearly Lord Tyrell neglected your education, Lady Reyna.” The Fishwife’s remarks earn her only a look of mild disdain.

Benedict looks quite unsurprised to find Humfrey unmasked, his face is more a curious one. He calmly approaches the group.

Ryckon whirls around to face Kendros when he approaches, holding his mace at the ready, though he sets the weapon down once he realizes that the Goodbrook knight is not an enemy. “That is… a good point, ser. But I do not think he is possessed, just a madman and a fool.” He turns back to observe the unfolding events with his brow furrowed in concern. He adds, a little loudly, “It is a good thing that he is no longer a member of my house.”

“And you had the ability to disable them first, rather than add to the number of dead today,” Janden says evenly to Humfrey as he stops for a moment to view him. He leaves it at that, shaking his head as he moves on further, though the renewed debate between the Brackens and Blackwoods causes him to tense and adjust his grip on his sword. Will it be needed after all?

As Brynden calls out his thought on the matter, Jannia closes her eyes. She keeps them closed until someone says something, anything other than that. Her cheeks do not lose their color as she worries her lip to the point of drawing blood. Answers, it seems, are not something she wants to hear as she slowly shakes her head back and forth in complete disbelief. She squeezes Andrya’s hand once more, then Humfrey speaks. Opening her eyes as her face pales under the red of her cheeks, giving her a sickly color. “Gods” Is all she can manage to say.

The Lannister heir pauses in his stride, looking over his shoulder to witness the yelling resume between Blackwood and Bracken. He seems caught in indecision—looking murderously at Humfrey Westerling, and then back to the screaming riverlords. He decides then, casting one last black look at the Unknight, before turning about and returning to the side of Balian Blackwood.

Tinessa ignores Humfrey for now—she has given her orders and expects them to be obeyed. She focuses on the Blackwoods and Brackens. “Have Hoster’s body brought to the sept and prepared. Ser Brus, you may keep his vigil. Turn your arms over to Ser Tomas, all of you.”

She pauses, looking with unfeigned rage and disgust over the bloodied field. “Get out of my sight. I don’t want to see any of your faces until I send for you. But no one leaves Riverrun until this is resolved. I shall be most displeased to have to put any of you in chains.” And she turns her back on all of them.

Reyna, meanwhile, only shrugs at Humfrey. “How much farther must you fall before you understand how much you are not a knight?”

Benedict moves closer to Ryckon and hears the squire speak, “Honestly…this entire situation doesn’t seem right to me…When I jousted with him, he tilted like any sane man I have tilted against…” He wore a deep frown. “Humfrey fights more like a man, mad, than a madman, in my opinion…”

They are still shouting accusations and insults at each other, the Blackwoods and Brackens. But Lady Tinessa’s wrath puts an end to it soon enough; the Tully guardsmen are galvanized into action, Ser Patrek directing them even as he shakes his head in dismay. Slowly, with resentment simmering openly, the feuding men are urged from the field—and when they finally go, large numbers of Tully guardsmen trail each group, making it clear than any attempt to start trouble again will be dealt with swiftly.

Brynden returns to Ser Patrek’s side, his own presence not seeming to be needed any longer to bolster the Tully guardsmen. That should bring him near Jonn Lannister. “Do you think he did this? You can find a way to make him tell the truth, one way or the other.”

Shaking his head in disgust, Eon steps away from his position. Turning to his guardsman, the Valeman says, “You may return to the pavilion.” He watches the Tully guards escort the feuding families away, sighing in frustration. Not wanting to cause a problem, Eon continues backing away until he is near the Arryn guards, allowing him to be near familiar faces.

Humfrey turns Janden, a sharp grunt, as one of Lady Tully’s men pulls on his upper arm, drawing it taught like a bowstring. “When I observed Ser Patrek and his men subduing them, I took his lead. I spared the last of them.”

Humfrey turns next to Ser Jostyn, he does not speak, but merely stares at the man for a moment before turning to Reyna. “A knight defends the innocent, and cuts down wicked—I have never been remiss in this regard. These men, I cannot judge them, but all three of the men I struck down accosted me with arms.”

“Gods, stopper his tongue before I put him in chains,” snaps Lady Tully. And quick as that, three of her retainers close on Humfrey. “Come, Ser Humfrey,” one says. “To your tent as my lady commands. You are not to leave Riverrun.” And they do not brook any further protest—they just start moving, and will drag him along if he resists.

A hand still on his sword, Jonn looks to Brynden for a moment. At last, he shakes his head: “I doubt it. This was subtly done, a clever move. He is neither subtle nor clever. Cunning, yes, but not the others.” He turns to watch the Tully guardsmen drag the once Westerling away.

“What a mess this has become,” he says—and to his credit, he does not allow the smile in his voice to curve his lips.

With all the combatants—including the erstwhile Humfrey Westerling—taken care of and sent from the field, Lady Tully turns and beckons her ladies and other attendants. “Jannia, come. There will be feasting, and everyone needs to clean up.” It has the snap of an order, and it sets all the nobles who can hear her to moving away from the field of contest—and battle.

“I am not talking about how he fights, I am talking about what he does. And anyway, there is more than one kind of madman.” Ryckon shrugs to Benedict, frowns at Humfrey some more, and gives a small nod as he is dragged away. “Feasting? That… is a wonderful idea, if there will be wine. I am going to get out of this armor, please send word if people start killing each other again.” Shrugging again, he sets off for the Prester pavilion.

Jostyn watches the man leave, and puts his sword back in his scabbard. He then makes his way towards his tent.

Jannia gives her mother a nod as she looks to the stains that rest on the silver cloth that sits on the insides of her sleeves; red, fresh blood splatter across its surface. She sighs and says nothing, just trails behind her mother with her sister and maid following closely behind.

Elrone makes her way with the other ladies from the field, pausing when she comes across the same sharp-eyed man she exchanged coin with earlier- joust fully over or no, the quiet exchange results in a small purse being handed over to the lady. No smile comes of it, however, and she moves off to the Saltcliffe tents in silence.

“You mean the meadow? Lead on.” Humfrey Westerling rubs at his arms as the Tully guard’s grips slacken. He walks to the edge of the field, toward the clearing followed by the begging brother, and the horse-Stranger only knows where he got the horse.

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