Blood of Dragons

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' MUSH


Meetings with the Hand, Part 1
IC Date: Day 24 of Month 2, 158 AC.
RL Date: November 23, 2006.
Participants: Doran Dondarrion, called Blackbolt, and Viserys Targaryen.
Locations: Red Keep: Tower of the Hand

Summary: Doran Dondarrion meets with the Hand to speak about the matter of his ... disagreement with Sarmion Baratheon

When you are ushered into the Hand’s solar, you find Prince Viserys behind a great dark desk, seated upon a high-backed seat. A quill is in hand and parchments and scrolls are strewn across the surface of the table as he works. He looks up, a brief glance of dark purple eyes, and then he goes back to scratching away at the parchment. “Good day, ser,” he says curtly, not looking up. “I expect you have business.”

Doran strides into the Hand’s solar, his garb a courtly dress of silks and fine linens. An elegant bow is given, providing the strict formality that the Blackbolt is known for. “I have, my lord.” He offers, his voice solemn. The Blackbolt glances to the parchments that Viserys works on, but this seems only as a way to avert his gaze from the Hand himself. “I have come to ask for the Iron Throne’s assistance with what transpired in the training yard, not two days prior.”

“I thought as much,” is the Hand’s dry reply, as he sets down the quill in an inkwell. Ink stains the sleeve of his robe and even his fingers, and it’s clear enough he has been working for long hours. He scrutinizes the young knight for a moment and then says, “I am well aware of much of what transpired. It is not my place to decide the truth of your ... mutual accusations.” The gaze the Blackbolt receives is cool and reveals little. “But perhaps I misjudge what you mean to request.”

The Blackbolt’s brow furrows as he voices over the Hand’s words in his head. “I come before you in the name of the King’s Peace, my lord.” The tone of the marcher knight is still solemn, but his eyes give way to the sadness of a man who’s duty has pained him greatly. “I have served my King honorably, and have done all he has asked of me. I have shed blood in his name, and have now been cursed in the eyes of gods for I chose to serve him over the Seven.” The Dondarrion knight pauses, obviously trying to locate the proper words as his tongue comes out to wet his lips. “All I have left is my honor, my own mother and sister refuse to speak to me. I can not have my name slighted by the likes of the Stormbreaker. I come to you for guidance, as I do not have my father here in King’s Landing.” Doran pauses yet again, his hands clasping behind his back. “I have been loyal to your family, and to Westeros. I fear that soon such matters shall transpire again, and this time there will be another reason why we call this place Red Keep.”

A quirk of a busy, pale brow, at the way the young knight phrases his plea. Viserys leans back in his chair, regarding him anew. “Ser Sarmion’s name were oft mentioned in my royal nephew’s dispatches,” the prince finally says, manner blunt. “Yours, as well, Ser Doran. More so at the beginning, it’s true, but then House Dondarrion did its greatest service on the Boneway.” These facts, laid out as they are, seem to negate one another when it comes to whatever calculations the Targaryen prince might be making. . . or does it? “You do not wish to come to blows with our famous Stormbreaker. Well and good. But what, then, shall satisfy you, if it’s not coming to blows? I heard of your challenge, ser.”

Doran raises his eyes, glancing at the Hand’s face before he allows his gaze to drop to the parchments strewn across the desk. “I am not certain if I shall ever be satisfied, my lord Hand.” The Blackbolt’s tone still reflects the heavy pensive darkness that he seems to carry in his eyes. “My challenge was met with laughter, and perhaps that is why I am allowed this meeting today.” The Blackbolt allows a heavy sigh to escape him, seeming to be at a loss for his own request. “I thought of asking you to recall my brother Ser Ryman from Dorne, and allow me to take his place at the head of my father’s cavalry and foot in the King’s army.” It would seem that the young knight does not enjoy this very statement, but he states it none the less. “Perhaps if I could accomplish more in name of the King that my…” Doran pauses, the words seeming to get stuck in his throat, “... infamy may lessen.”

“Hrm,” is Prince Viserys’s initial response to that. For a good while, he says nothing, mind turning he possibility over. At the end, he plucks up the quill from the inkwell, tapping the end against the lip of the small jar. “You are hungry for honors, then. Not unusual, in a second son,” the prince then says, and if there is a hint of wryness, well, it’s no surprise—he who has to his credit the most famous second son in all of Westeros. “It is for King Daeron to decide such matters when it comes to his army. I can only recommend, you understand; I am the Hand, not the King himself.” Another long pause, as he shuffles a parchment aside and considers another, mind beginning to move away from this subject. As he puts quill to parchment, he finally says, “But in this case ... no, I do not think I shall, ser. A man accounted a kinslayer among the Yronwoods and their ilk, traipsing about the Boneway on the king’s business, will merely aggravate the Dornish. Their tempers are hot enough, and King Daeron’s task already difficult as it is.”

The Blackbolt winces visibly as the term so often associated with his sins is used, and he offers a weak smile to the King’s uncle as way of obedience. “I am at a loss, my lord. Tell me it is how my honor is to be satisfied. I am a young knight, but I still am a knight.” Doran turns his gaze away from the parchments that Viserys worked, glancing now instead to take notice of his surroundings, being this is the first time he has been granted audience within the tower. “What is it am I to do? Always have I obeyed your blood, and for you I shall do no different. If a challenge is accepted by the Stormbreaker, the King will be with one less knight to keep his peace.”

A small quirk at the corner of his lips can barely be seen as Viserys glances up beneath bushy brows. The quill stops its scratching—for a moment. “Your loyalty is duly noted,” is Viserys’ brief reply. “But how your honor is satisfied is your affair, ser. The good of the realm, on the other hand, is mine. Think on that, before you make any claims before the Iron Throne.” A last look, a brief nod in obvious dismissal, and he puts the Dondarrion knight out of his mind as he continues with the never-ending work of guiding the realm while the king is at war.

A respectful bow follows the Blackbolt’s dismissal, but the face of the marcher knight does not at all appear to be pleased. “As you command, my lord Hand. You honor me by granting my audience.” Doran’s reply still is thick with formality. The Dondarrion knight recovers from his bow, and spins on his heels, causing his thick cloak to wrap tightly about him in a flurry of motion. The Blackbolt’s brow furrows considerably, having more questions arise rather then answers from his meeting. The long strides of the second son of Manfred Dondarrion leave Viserys once again to his privacy.