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The hour is late, late indeed. Many of the revelers have stumbled to their beds, yet here in the small council’s chamber, the king, his uncle the Hand, and two of his councillors—the Master of Laws Lord Ryger, the Master of Whisperers Preston Wayn—are seated about their table. Young Daeron, at the table’s head, calls for the knight to be brought in; one of his white-cloaked Kingsguard, Ser Halbert, opens the door and ushers Andry through into the king’s presence.
No one told him it would be right after the feast. -Right- after the feast. No one told him he would be interrupted in his process of sobering up and brought before the King himself. No one told him he should probably not drink because he was going to embarrass himself at a feast full of nobles and then probably in front of a King…
So obviously this can’t be his fault. One foot, the other foot. Andry has never focused so much, tourney’s have used much of his willpower, battles even more, but this, -this- is the test of a lifetime. The death of Ser Wallace, the burden which weighs heavily on him helps balance him. Another step, he has yet to stumble. Good job, Andry!
After being ushered by Ser Halbert, Andry gives a deep nod. He’s making good progress, he’s almost there! And trip. One set of toes hits the ground a little too early causing his whole body to shuttle forward. And downward, but with great mental force of willpower Andry turns the stumble into a fluid gesture which delivers him to one knee, his fist slapping against the ground. He meant to do that, clearly.
Bowing his head to stare directly at his boot, “My King. My Lords.”
There are looks exchanged between the lords of the council at the man’s appearance and manner. They’re disapproving, to say the least. Yet the king is the one who speaks, and what he says is, “Ser Andry. What _took_ so long for my cousin to send word from Dorne? We have been waiting a week and more for a bird, to explain how he is settling matters.” The young, handsome king speaks directly, without hesitation, and he doesn’t seem to care if the man’s drunk or travel-weary.
“My King, I can assure you your cousin would have wished to send word earlier.”
He looks up, clearing his gaze. He’s not drunk! Not at all. Maybe a little, “I am sure even that the fact that I am just now giving word of events in Dorne troubles him. Though he may be more troubled were his current circumstances not so unfavorable.” Ser Chester explains gently before tightening up slightly. Here comes the bad news.
“Ser Alyn Valaryon, has been captured at Sunspear.”
The words fall into a pit of silence, and are swallowed up by most unwelcome amazement. Lord Ryger flushes scarlet, while Wayn grows pale. And the king ... the king is stoic before the news; barely a twitch of his lashes, barely a furrow of his high brow. But his hands… his hands grip the arms of his chair with such force as to make them pale.
A handful of heartbeats, of breaths. And then the king asks, quietly, “How did he come to be captured?”
“Oakenfist was the guest of Prince Marence when news of Lord Tyrell’s death spread to Sunspear. Marence…” He tilts his head. “I suppose he took advantage of the situation.” Andry lowers his head again, fist still pressing into the cold ground. “His present condition is unknown, my King.” Andry glances back up.
“I have heard much rumor, even though I have only been here a short amount of time that the rumors of Ser Alyn’s fleet being mostly destroyed. This is not a fact, My King. Ser Alyn’s forces managed to pull back to Salt Shore where they make preparations to storm Sunspear and retrieve Ser Alyn.”
“Then we can at least discount the rumors that much of the fleet was destroyed,” Prince Viserys interjects, matter-of-fact and without any apparent emotion. “A small favor, at least, your grace.” Daeron exchanges a glance with his uncle, and his mouth tightens momentarily. Then, looking back to the kneeling Andry, he loosens his grip from his chair to motion him to rise. “You may stand, ser. Then some of his officers were not there? The captains took their ships to sea. And on to Salt Shore?”
And then before Andry can answer, he turns to his councillors. “Preston, you must gather what news has come in regarding Salt Shore—the garrison held, last I heard—” Preston Wayn’s nods confirms it “—and we must prepare a message for Oldtown and the Arbor, to see ships sent to supply Salt Shore—by the gods, I hope Lords Redwyne and Hightower have thought of it themselves.”
Rising swiftly, Andry stands solidly despite his head swimming. “Ser Alyn’s lieutenant gathered the majority of the fleet into Salt Shore, you speak true, My King.” Straightening his clothing, Andry bows his head. “My King, if I may interject on your orders. I have been serving in Dorne faithfully but have been sent back to give word. I am most prepared to return with most haste at your order to deliver swift retribution and deliver Ser Alyn.” Ser Chester dictates, his eyes coming up slowly to see how his offer may be received.
The offer is hardly considered before it’s rejected. “No, ser,” the king says. “Your journey has been a long one, and you deserve a rest. I shall ask a question or two more, and then you may retire—a servant shall see you to chambers.” A pause, and then he asks, “I do recall you, ser, having returned to King’s Landing from Dorne before; and Lord Preston tells me you returned to join your kinsmen at Starfall—you know what has happened there, yes? You left before Lady Dayne turned traitor and murdered your kinsman, Ser Wallace?”
The words are like a shock to the system, the effects of the alcohol all but fall out of his ears when the King delivers the message. His lips draw thin, his eyes averting to the ground for a moment.
“I am aware, my King.” His words are short and clipped. As if he wished that he weren’t aware. But the cruel knowledge remains pressing harshly against his mentality. “May he rest peacefully now that his trials are over.” Ser Andry speaks softly, his hands falling at his sides. He takes a breath.
“I thank you for your kindness, my King, but if its all the same I would rather put more service towards you in the fight rather than rest. Rest can come later. But if you wish me to rest, your wisdom is infinitely greater than mine.”
The king suddenly snaps, having kept emotion in check as much as he could—but this zeal, it seems, has caused a crack in the facade. “Enough! This is no time for vainglory! What are you, ser? A knight—among thousands at my call; one sword among tens of thousands! Why should _I_ care what you are or not willing to do? I am your king, and you do as I command—no more, nor less!” As he speaks, his voice grows louder, louder—and rises from his chair, and that fabled Targaryen beauty turns for a moment ugly as his purple eyes glare and his mouth sneers. The councillors, even Viserys, do not look at Andry as Daeron roars at him.
And then, after a gasped breath, it stops. Daeron sits heavily, and rests his brow in his hand. “I will remember your name, should I call the banners to go to Dorne. Go, ser, with my thanks. My councillors and I must speak privily.”
Ser Halbert, silent, open s the door. Its creak and scrape is loud in the sudden, oppressive silence.
“Forgive my foolishness. Obviously I have allowed the grief of my passing tutor Ser Wallace to affect my sanity.” Ser Andry answers quickly.
He answers the wrath of his king with a blank face. Stoic in the face of an angry king. The same mask that he places on in the face of the enemy. He dips into a deep bow as he takes a single step back, before turning and straightening. Making his way back to Ser Halbert, Andry makes his exit. He did it, sort of. He managed to deliver his news without falling on his face, or vomiting, or anything like that. He got yelled at, but hey, at least he’s still alive. And now! It’s time to face plant into some random corner.
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