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Sites of Interest
The Fifth Day’s Tourney
IC Date: Day 21 of Month 6, 159 AC
RL Date: March 14, 2008.
Participants: Aidan Dayne, called the Knight of the Twilight, Aisling Ryswell, Almer Connington, Alyce Bar Emmon, Ammena Piper, Axell Farman, Bonifer Buckwell, Carmella Dondarrion, Dagur Saltcliffe, called the Iron Serpent, Ethos Mertyns, Halbert Cordwayner, Harold Kenning, Marian Stark, Reyna Saltcliffe, Seth Blackwood, and Triston Templeton.
Locations: Outside the City: Tourney Field

Summary: The fifth joust of the grand tourney, caught in the midst after a number of knights and warriors had already been defeated. The Weeping Knight makes his first appearance with grand pagentary, but it is Ser Aidan Dayne who takes the day.

The trumpets blare, calling the contestants back for the final contests. The middle lane of the lists presently harbors a cunningly crafted tree, upon which are held by golden wires a myriad of leaves, and every one of them is made of silver or gold foil. A maiden all in white sits at its base, with a dozen doves tied with ribbons of silk to the tree’s base keeping her company. Whenever a knight broke a lance, she took a silver leaf and placed it in a basket, and when one was unhorsed, she would place a single golden leaf in the same basket. A page, also in white, would carry the two baskets to the knights in turn, from loser to victor, and hail them for their valor. It’s a lucrative event, and already many of the leaves are gone.

“Ser Harold of House Kenning, heir to Kayce shall face Ser Aidan of House Dayne, while Ethos of House Mertyns shall meet Seth of House Blackwood!”

Seth Blackwood’s destrier makes a careful walk to the lists, as if ordinarily bucking beast senses the fragile state of his master. Anyone who saw Seth perform at the archery competition, where shooting, walking, and even breathing seemed to draw out the odd spasm of pain from the young lancer, would have good thought to think him mad. Yet after a few short matches against knights of little renown, he rides among the final eight. He is encased in onyx armor, newly repaired by the very Lion of Lannister who gave him the injuries that now hobble him, and he has not dismounted since the tourney began.

Now he takes up his ashwood lance and prepares to meet Endros, who fared so well against the powerful Ser Gueren Waters. And beyond this match are knights against whom he would be outmatched even were he in tip top form. So the question may be fairly asked: what keeps Seth Blackwood coming back for more punishment? He offers no answer, but kicks his horse into a charge with a single spur from his left leg.

Called to the lists again, Ser Aidan of House Dayne seems rejuvenated after his performance in the archery. His arm still bears no favor—no lady’s kerchief, no sleeve, no bauble—to mark him in a lady’s good graces. A few talk about the Dornish bastard at least not having his chance at the joust for love, though the gods know the buggerer will likely swan about over missing it. It’s of no notice for Aidan, though, as he comes to the end of the lists and faces his opponent. He dips his lance to Kenning, and awaits the signal to charge.

Harold canters forward on his chestnut mare, his lance held low. Both horse and rider are draped in the distinctive Kenning orange. Steely eyes can be seen to narrow as his assignment is called out. His mouth takes on a grim line as he dips his lance in return to the Dayne.

As a Buckwell squire sees to Ser Bonifer’s destrier, the knight pats his animal on the neck before the barding is to be replaced.

“Pride and purpose, Tiny. Let’s see if we can’t live up to it today.”

Smiling confidently, he dangles a bucket of water before the warhorse as he looks off towards the first two competitors of the final eight.

The signal is given, and the Knight of the Twilight puts his spurs to his stallion, picking up steady speed. The blood bay gelding seems better suited to the lists than his previous mount, and his lance striped in lilac and white is steady as he closes with his foe.

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

Harold’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.

The Stormbreaker’s squire is already mounted and making his way to the lists when the herald officially calls the match. The horse is spurred to a quicker pace after the announcement, the pair reach the lane. Ethos lifts his visor to peer down at the other end where his opponent awaits. His head shakes, the visor clicks, and he readies to charge.

The land dips a salute to the audience, in the general direction of where the most royal and grand members of court sit. Then, they take off down the lane, steadily building speed.

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

Triston makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.

Seth makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.

Moving through the gathering with graceful ease, Alyce Bar Emmon makes her way to the Bar Emmon tent followed closely by her guard. He relaxes somewhat and backs away to give the lady her space as she slips down into a seat and unfolds her fan, waving it once, eyes quickly turning to the field as the competitions begin.

Ethos’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.

Seth makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.

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

Garbed for her role as a spectator now, instead of as she was for the archery contest, Aisling sits again with her step-sister and her companions, her bastard uncle a little off to one side. The two women exchange a few words now and then, though mostly Sylvina speaks to the other maidens seated with them. However, as that first run comes near to an upset, she does glance over to her sister, saying, “That Dornish knight .. was it the one you spoke to yesterday? He does not seem so very good, after all.”

Harold takes the blow square in his shoulder and he is thrown to the side by the blow, but his seat is never in doubt. He turns his steed to face the Dayne once again.

Harold rolls his shoulder slowly in an attempt to regain its use.

Rocked hard in the saddle by the westerlord, Aidan’s much-dented shield earns a knew dent as Kenning’s lance shatters against it. His horse manages to compensate for his weight being flung back and a bit too the side, and the Dornishman is able to right himself and throw down his broken lance. He pauses long enough to take a fresh one from his squire, before launching his steed forward again.

Harold throws down his lance as well, and spurs to steed soon follow.

Seth’s hold on for dear life with his legs to either side of the destrier as Endros’ powerful blow lands on his shield and shatters. Wobbling in his saddle, the Blackwood tosses his cracked lance to the ground and holds onto the stallion’s neck as it carries him to the other end of the field. A black liveried attendant rushes out to provide him with another lance, and the Blackwood takes a few moments to steady himself and collect his breath. Then there’s nothing to be done but charge again.

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

Harold’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.

The Mertyn man makes an outstanding connection, losing the lance to its force. He hurries the squire fetching him another; the moment it his grip is sure, he spurs the steed back down the lane.

Ethos manages only the poorest of blows, lance skittering ineffectually off the corner of a shield.

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

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

Harold lets the remnants of his lance fall to the turf, calling for another impatiently. His steed seems to sense her rider’s impatience and paws at the ground as the Kenning heir prepares himself for another tilt.

The crowd roars its approval as the lances meet shields and explode in a spray of splinters. They can cut like blades, and clatter of armor like a hail storm as both horsemen ride past one another. Ser Aidan is again shaken hard, bent back near to the gelding’s croup before deft horsemanship and sheer determination sets him aright in the saddle. He takes longer to gather up his fresh lance, briefly lifting up his visor to look down the lists to see how Ser Harold fares. And then he flips it back down so it rests properly, and puts the spurs to the gelding once more. Now it moves more swiftly, blood warmed by the contest. As he draws nearer and nearer, Ser Aidan lowers his lance progressively until it lies level.

Harold urges his steed forward, his lance at the ready.

Aidan’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.

Harold makes a solid impact against his opponent in the joust, though the lance remains unbroken.

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

The great black destrier handles well and Seth’s lance strikes clean and true. The horse slows immediately after Endros’ fall, coming from gallop to trot and then a simple cantor to the end of the field. Seth turns the steed and dips his lance in a gesture of respect to the Mertyn. “

“That was well done,” he calls out to the man, and then turns the steed again to walk it to the side of the field.

The crowd cheers on the Blackwood lance, as Ethos Mertyns is finally driven from the saddle. Once the squire and his horse are cleared from the field, the next contest is announced, “Ser Dagur of House Saltcliffe shall face Ser Bonifer of House Buckwell… And Ser Halbert Cordwayner shall face the mystery knight!” he adds when Ser Harold falls before the Knight of the Twilight. Men hurry to clear the field of lance shards, and smooth the lanes.

Haste makes waste, and Ethos is unceremoniously sacked from his steed. As he falls, his spur catches in the stirrup—the horse’s slowing gallop drags him a few paces before it finally knocks loose. The Mertyn squire rolls to his side and stands unsteadily, chunks dirt falling from his armor. It continues to shed as he exits the lane, a hand holding his helmed head.

The second pass between Aidan and Harold would appear in parth to support Sylvina’s comment, though Aisling gives her step-sister a rather disdainful look. “You do not know much of horsemanship, do you, Sylvina?” A hint of a rather wicked smile quirks her lips at the end of those words, and the blonde maiden looks away rather sharply. Moments later, events down in the lists lend credence to Aisling’s words, as the Dornish knight unhorses his opponent.

Offering apologies to her princess, Carmella enters her seat late, arriving in time to see the Kenning knight forced from his saddle. She lets out a sympathetic ‘oof’ and a wince before speaking quietly with one of the other ladies to learn of what has taken place already.

Harold is thrown from his steed by a blow to the same shoulder hit earlier. He falls to the ground, a cloud of dust marking his ungainly landing.

In the annals of chivalry, few things are stranger than mystery knights; this one in particular is among the strangest, and eeriest, in recent memory.

On a dappled white destrier barded in the melancholy shades of rain, a knight encased in dull silver plate enters the lists. His helm is a steel mummer’s face twisted into an anguished frozen sob; crystalline teardrops are embedded into the visor, streaming down the metal mask in brilliant cascade.

Two anonymous squires stand by with spare lances. Both are clad in their master’s drab livery, and masked in grey silk. “Behold, the Weeping Knight!” they cry, over and over again, and not a few unsettled gasps go up from the crowd.

“Looks like we’ve got our work cut out for us, today.” Bonifer says to his mount as he throw his helmet over his head and is assisted into the saddle.

Taking up one of his blue lances tipped in gold, he also lifts his shield and put the spurs to his destrier’s flanks.

The gray warhorse stops at one of the lists, where Ser Bonifer dips his lance towards the Royal box, and raises his shield toward the Stark seats. When the Serpent takes up his position, the Buckwell knight salutes him by raising his lance skyward.

The commons seem almost used to the sight of that grim figure in black steel as the Iron Serpent rides out again. Only faint booing can be heard; for the most part, there is a sense of anticipation. He bangs a gauntleted fist against his breastplate to check its straps, takes up his lance, dips it once to the royal box and again to the Buckwell knight across the field—and then he is off.

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.

Bonifer’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.

At the arrival of the Weeping Knight there are many ‘oohs’ from the princess’s ladies and one points Carmella towards the mystery knight. She turns and tilts her head, as if trying to figure out who he might really be. “No one knows,” says one of the other ladies, noting Carmella’s intense study.

The serpent’s bride leans against the railing to watch Dagur sweep by, the roar of his passing setting her daring gown to fluttering in his wake. But Reyna Saltcliffe has eyes only for the joust. She winces when the knights clash and winds a black and silver sash about her arm, letting the ends free.

Slapping his visor down with his shield, Bonifer sets off down the lane upon Tiny’s back. The big gray’s shoes bite into the earth as his muscles ripple in a display of powerful acceleration.

As he strikes a powerful blow to the ironman, his shattered lance is thrown from his hand with the power of his opponent’s own strike.

Ammena watches the matches with cool interest. “Today is different,” she comments to her Septa. “It’s… calmer or is it just my imagination? Probably because of the excitement of the Archery earlier…” Then she stops as a double crack of shattering lances fills the air. “Then again, I could be wrong,” she adds and sits up in her chair.

The burly figure of Halbert Dordwayner, resplendent in the Kingsguard white, arrives at his lane atop a heavy destrier. His lance is tipped white and dipped low to the royal family present. With a heave, the beast spurs into motion—churning the ground with his massive hooves.

The Weeping Knight silently salutes the wary crowd, then turns his dappled horse to take up his place in the lists. He lifts his lance to the Anvil of Hammerhal, silent as a ghost, then ever-so-lightly taps his steed on the flank. A burst of sudden speed, and they are off.

The Weeping Knight lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Halbert’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.

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

And the smallfolk are not disappointed; the breaking of both lances brings a roar of approval from them. Coming around to face his opponent again, the ironman is an image of patient implacability. A new lance taken, he settles it in his grip and spurs his charger forward.

Accepting another lance, Bonifer hauls on the reins and brings Tiny about for another pass, the destrier trumpeting his eagerness to engage the serpent and his mount once more.

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

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

Pushed sideways from the Kingsguard’s strike, the eerie mystery knight manages to keep his seat. He tosses the lance aside and takes up a new one, and never a word does he say. Only once does he turn his mourning face up to the crowd, and sunlight glints off the crystal tears on his visor. He turns back, dresses his lance, and then spurs onward.

Reyna, as she winds the black sash about her other arm, manages to catch a glimpse of the Weeping Knight’s face, and she recoils a moment, unsettled. “How strange,” she comments softly, laying her hands on the railing.

Another wasted lance drops to the earth from Bonifer’s hand. The pace of this match and the adrenaline in his veins keep him coming back for more, and all he requires of his squire is another lance for another chance at the Serpent.

Looking down the lane at the Saltcliffe knight, the Buckwell man offers another salute before putting spurs to horseflesh.

Another charge, another lance, another pause to rearm—it is a well-worn ritual by now. The squire is waiting even before Dagur has reached the end of the lists. Taking the lance he holds up, the ironman turns his mount and wheels into another charge, all in one smooth motion.

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

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

There are many more lances and three squires to handle the transfer from their hands to that of the Anvil of Hammerhal. One boy has the gall to ask of the large man, “Who could the Weeping Knight be, sir?” For his impudence the boy receives a rough growl as the knight takes the lance forcibly.

So much weight is difficult to move quickly, but the pair begin again down the lane; a slow, but powerfully imposing force.

After having unhorsed Ser Harold in the lists, another lance broken, Ser Aidan pauses briefly as he passes him to offer him a courtesy before continuing on. The crowd seems ambivalent about the Dornishman now, less likely to boo him out of hand, but he’s still no favorite. The child in white brings up a basket with three leaves of silver, and one of gold. Ser Aidan dismounts after that, as Danyll puts the leaves away. Removing his high helm, he brushes a long tress of black hair from his eyes and tucks it back under his arming cap while watching the next contests intently. Will the gods decree that he’ll face the Iron Serpent yet again?

Halbert’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.

The Weeping Knight lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

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

“I thought you were a sailor, ser,” the ironman notes drily as he passes the Buckwell knight on his way back to rearm. He does not wait for a reply, spurring his charger into a canter to swiftly gain his end. Then, he has his lance and is into the charge again.

It isn’t long until a page enters the Bar Emmon tent and spies Alyce. A note is passed off to her and she wrinkles her nose then rises, her guard following along as she departs the arena proper.

And the sash Reyna holds moves again. This time, she loops it loosely around her neck, letting the long end dangle in front of her.

The sounds of the cracking lances are as music to the Buckwell knight’s ears. This is the match he’s been waiting for, having been denied the thrill of such a challenge due to his own misfortune’s early on in the week.

The inside of his helm resounds with his scream as he catches the same battle fever as his mount.

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

Bonifer delivers a mediocre blow of the lance, failing to find any purchase with which to unseat his opponent.

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

There’s excited ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the ladies behind the Targaryens are the mystery knight continues to hold his own against Ser Halbert. “He’s not doing *that* well,” says one of them rather stiffly. She’s obviously rooting for Halbert, but some of the others are intrigued enough by the Weeping Knight to cheer him on, including Carmella. “And look, Ser Bonifer is holding his saddle against the Iron Serpent!” another points out.

The Weeping Knight is rocked back again, and another lance cracks; such is his horsemanship, though, that he weathers a second pass with the famous Anvil. Here and there a few ragged cheers amongst the smallfolk go up for him, though it is admittedly hard to love a knight with such an offputting persona. In silence, he reaches for his third lance, and he turns to face his foe. His dapple grey half-rears, then the pair canter down the lists for another confrontation.

The crowd roars, as lances splinter and break! Ser Bonifer proves no easy foe for the Iron Serpent. Has he slowed a step since the tourney began, worn down by incessant jousting, and his contest against the Knight of the Twilight? Did Ser Halder, one of the Twins of the Crossing, crack something when he unhorsed him last? Only the gods know what’s going on with the ironman. And the Anvil batters away at the Weeping Knight, to no result as the man refuses to fall before him. Wagers fly.

Another pass, and Dagur is still in the saddle. In what is becoming something to watch in itself, Reyna removes the black and silver sash from about her neck and ties it over the one already around her waist, the ends fluttering as they settle.

“A knight, first and always.” Bonifer replies as he now passes the Serpent, chuckling as he slaps his visor back down.

Before taking another lance from his squire, Bonifer slaps his mount upon the neck, the barding and gauntlet ringing through the air as they contact each other, “He almost had us, Tiny. Pride and purpose. Now’s our time, let’s see what we’re made of.”

Then he snatches the lance from his squire as Tiny thunders down the lane.

The Buckwell knight may scream but there is only silence from the ironman as he rides forth again against his stubborn opponent; his helm’s silvered fangs catch the sunlight, throwing his face behind them into deep shadow.

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

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

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

This Knight of the Kingsguard has no interest in unmasking his oponnent, merely unhorsing him. As the next attempt fails, Ser Halbert’s anger rises and the jut of his lance is thrown without regard to direction; his thick arm launches it far. His horse’s pace remains the same as they swing their way around to picking up another lance—and then back down the lane towards the Weeping Knight.

Halbert’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.

The Weeping Knight’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.

As there’s at last a result in the contest between the Iron Serpent and the bold Buckwell knight, the herald announces the next contest. “Ser Aidan of House Dayne shall face Seth of House Blackwood!” The youth in white runs with his baskets to the tents of the victor and loser both, delivering the maiden’s leaves of silver and gold, as the next competitors prepare to enter the lists.

A fourth break, and a double one at that. The Weeping Knight stands in his stirrups, turning that awful visage once more to the crowd. Now the cheers are increasing for this strangest of strangers, and more than a few are rising to their feet for the gallant showing. He tosses the haft aside, and one of his masked squires trots out with a fifth lance. A few moments, and he is turned to face Ser Halbert again. Spurs, flanks, and fate’s fancy…

As the ironman’s blow strikes with precision upon his shield, Bonifer’s own aim is thrown, though his focus is now upon keeping his seat.

He cannot, however, and strikes the ground flat upon his chest as his feet drag out behind him.

He lies in the dust a moment, catching the breath that has escaped him. As his squire arrives at his side, he is able to rise and walk off the field under his own power at least.

Carmella is one of those on her feet, brought to stand by the amazing blow that shattered lances and kept both knights in their saddles. She cheers with the crowd as the two knights prepare to face off yet again.

At the herald’s call, Seth brings his sable destrier to the edge of the list field once more. His attendant offers up another black-painted lance and the Blackwood settles it into place with a bit of work and wobbling. Facing his opponent across the field, he dips the lance towards his opponent in a gesture of well earned respect. Then he lifts it steady and, with an awkward one-legged kick to his steed, he charges the Knight of Twilight.

A salute to the Blackwood knight, and Ser Aidan puts the spurs to the horse. He charges forward, lance held rock steady. He adjusts in his seat slightly in the final moments.

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

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

Seth is driven off the saddle by his opponent’s skillful charge.

Though the crowd enjoys the tilt, the Anvil of Hammerhal’s frustration shows. His destrier nearly rides down a squire as the man at the reigns is loathe to stop their heavy pace. A lance is restored to him, they turn again for the Weeping Knight down the lane.

Reyna’s hands come together once as she watches her husband win the bout at last. Her voice raises with those of the commons in his praise, even while she unties the sash from her waist and sits back down, twining it through her fingers idly and watching now the Weeping Knight in open curiosity.

Tossing his lance aside, the ironman curbs his mount and raises a gauntleted fist in acknowledgement to Bonifer before walking the charger to his tent. Arriving at the same time that the youth does, he leans down and plucks a handful of glinting leaves from the basket before sending him hurrying to the Buckwell tent with a word.

Dismounting, then, he awaits his next bout.

The Weeping Knight’s lance is broken into so many splinters as he delivers a tremendous blow to his opponent.

Halbert’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.

The bards will sing of this one. Five lances now, and the Weeping Knight trades another set of crushing blows with Ser Halbert. He canters to the end of the lists amidst hoots and cheers, and a few boos of derision as well, and a call or two to unmask. The mystery knight ignores them all, and reaches out for a sixth lance. When he has it, and is ready, he turns his mount to face off against the Kingsguard. He charges once more.

The Weeping Knight strikes a good blow that cracks, but does not break, his lance.

Halbert’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.

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

Steady resolve will only get one so far, and Seth finds that again to be the case here. While the Blackwood lands a good blow, Aidan’s skillful lancework and Seth’s unsteady presence on the steed leads to an inevitable result. Seth lays in the dirt for some time, though he is clearly conscious from the work of his arms as they push him up to a sitting position in the middle of the field. But then the reason why Seth Blackwood has not climbed down from his horse the duration of this tourney suddenly becomes clear: having fallen, he cannot get up. At least, not alone.

The cheering continues for the Weeping Knight and Carmella looks quite excited as the mystery continues. There’s again an sniff from one of the Halbert supporters. “It’s only a matter of time,” she notes but the Dondarrion doesn’t care, she remains standing to see how this ends.

The cloth of his Kingsguard whites now dirty, Ser Halbert is not so resplendent and completely impatient now as he retrieves yet another lance from a trembling squire. He spurs the mount around and begins again for the knight at the other side; the beasts heavy hooves churn the lane.

A sixth lance, and the Weeping Knight holds on despite a hard strike from Ser Halbert. He canters to the end of the lists and turns, and the sorrowful face dips once in silent salute to his foe. He, too, lowers his lance to meet the Kingsguard’s charge for this, the seventh time.

Even Reyna’s complacence is challenged by the bout between the Kingsguard and the Weeping Knight. Her hands are clenched in her lap as they begin yet another pass, and the crowd is all but riveted to this pass.

Wincing sympathetically, Marian murmurs to one of her attendants. A few moments later, the same man as hurried off to the Blackwood’s tent after he last fell heavily in the lists is again en route to Seth’s pavilion….

Ser Aidan throws his broken lance aside, and looks over his shoulder to see if the Blackwood esquire falls. He sees it, and perhaps he smiles behind the visor, but as he comes around he sees the man not moving. He slows nearly to a stop, as Blackwoods men come to see to him. “Are you well, my lord of Blackwood?” he calls aloud, lifting his visor as he does so.

The Weeping Knight lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

Halbert’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.

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

Seth looks up to the Aidan Dayne from his seated position in the dirt, pulling back his visor. Offering a decidedly wry smile, he says, “Well enough, all things considered. A, ah… well, bad knee from the match yesterday.” He glances to the endless charging going in the next field, and shrugs with a clank of his black-finished plates. “These are not bad spectator’s seats, all told. That was—well fought, Ser Aidan.”

Marian’s attendant enters onto the field in a flurry of rushing robes, bending down beside the Blackwood to lift him up to standing.

Throwing the broken lance to a masked squire, the Weeping Knight retreives his eighth of the bout. The crowd’s roar is deafening now, and he nods to them in silent acknowledgment. After a moment’s pause, the mystery knight resumes his place, spurs, and charges Ser Halbert again.

“May your gods see you well, s—my lord!” the young knight responds then, raising a gauntleted hand in salute, before he moves his horse forward. The young attendant jogs beside his horse, to deliver the two leaves he has won. The baskets for the mystery knight and the Anvil are starting to look over-full, it must be said.

Halbert Cordwayner is as silent as his masked opponent, but his is a quiet resolve rather than the pretense of mystery. The man was well supplied with white-tipped lances, but even so the stack is dwindling. They charge again without hesitation.

The Weeping Knight’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.

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

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

At last, a result! The crowd roars as the Weeping Knight forces the muscular Ser Halbert from the saddle, breaking yet another lance. The attendant runs back from Ser Aidan’s arming tent to pick up the other baskets, which the maiden has filled with the last three leaves, so that he may run them out to the respective attendants of the knights.

“There will be a pause, before Ser Dagur of House Saltcliffe is called to face the mystery knight to determine who shall challenge Ser Aidan of House Dayne!”

The Halbert ladies are silences as the large knight in white finally reaches the end and falls from his saddle. Those that aren’t are gasping in shock and certainly some money was lost among some of the gamblers. Carmella’s still on her feet, cheering for the Weeping Knight, even if she doesn’t know who he is.

Emerging from a cloud of splinters, the rain-clad Weeping Knight canters toward the end of the list before turning to see to Ser Halbert. He drops his broken lance and salutes the cheering crowd, then trots his horse to a corner of the field for a breather.

The large man does not fall softly. His heavy frame makes a dent in the ground, he’s flat on his back for a brief moment before lumbering to his feet. Squires fetch the destrier while another brings him a skin of water, hurrying at his side to keep pace with his long strides—the boy keeps looking behind him, to the Weeping Knight, all the way.

Ammena looks from the Blackwood being assisted off the field to the Weeping Knight. The roar of the crowd covers all. She hears nothing of the challengers remarks, just witnesses the vision of the mystery knight triumphant. She gasps in wonder and applauds with the crowd.

Helmless, Dagur watches the Kingsguard’s fall from the shadow of his pavilion, a faint frown creasing his brow. He seems to ask his squire a question, the lad replying with a shrug. With a last lingering look at the Weeping Knight, he calls for his charger. Soon, he is mounted with lance in hand, awaiting his mysterious opponent.

Reyna comes again to her feet, her face grim as her husband is called to face the Weeping Night. The sash she keeps woven through her fingers, ends fluttering over the rail and glinting in the sun.

The calm before the next storm over, the strange Weeping Knight takes up his lance from the satin-masked squires who attend him and turns his horse back toward the lists. He takes his position as well, and offers the famous Iron Serpent a slight nod with that disturbing, sorrowful steel visage of his. When the herald makes the signs, he claps spurs to flanks, and charges.

The ironman starts his charge a fraction of a second late, caught studying at that strange masked visage. But for all of that, his charger is as swift as ever as it pounds down the lists; his lance lowers and slants across his body.

The Weeping Knight’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 lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

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

Carmella gasps as this bout is over before it had even begun and once again she’s joining in with the cheer for the mystery knight as the Iron Serpent is dropped to the ground. “Who *is* that?” she asks, laughing and knowing she’ll not get an answer. “Show yourself good ser!” she shouts with a grin on her face.

As Carmella calls out next to her, Jyana watches the Weeping Knight curiously, her aquamarine eyes alighting on the Weeping Knight. Who is that? She’s trying to parse who it is, by the look of concentration on her face. She leans forward in her seat, trying to see if she can find a clue with all the cheering.

The twisted steel mask turns as the Weeping Knight passes by the Iron Serpent; the crystal tears gleam amidst the dust and splinters of broken lances. The crowd roars for this troubling champion, but he acknowledges them only with a silent nod. The mystery knight trots over to Ser Dagur and awaits his opponent’s recovery.

Sitting with the Lannisters, Rosalind watches the Weeping Knight with great curiousity. She applauds when the crowd does, but the bastard girl keeps her customary detachment.

Who shall unmask that man with the sorrowful visage? Not the Iron Serpent, it appears. When the herald calls the next contest, though, the Knight of the Twilight is all prepared. The man has bested great knights, one and two, and now he will try himself against his first Dornishman in the lists… or is it? Only the gods know. Ser Aidan brings down the visor on his helm, the triple bellowed desing gleaming in the light of the sun. His battered shield, paint and enamel scratched and flaked, is set upon his arm and his tall lance is in hand. His blood bay stallion whickers and frisks, pawing the brown earth, while squires hurry to clean the lane for the final joust. Earth is patted down, shards and splinters of wood picked up and carried away to be thrown on a pile now reaching nigh as high as a man.

Rising unaided from the dust, the ironman removes his helm and stares up at the strange mask: “I will wait to see you unmasked, ser.”

It is genuine curiosity, not anger. Nodding once to the man, he mounts again as his squire leaders his charger back, then returns to his pavilion.

Having silenced Sylvina early on—or at the very least, made sure she found it more enjoyable to chatter with her friends than to make sly comments in Aisling’s direction—the northern lady has been watching the unfolding joust with more than a little interest. The Mystery Knight seems to have amused her somewhat, drawing her attention throughout his bouts with several well-known knights, but it is also clear that she has kept an idle eye on the Knight of the Twilight. No wonder, then, that she watches closely now that the final contest between the two begins.

Carmella notes her friend’s expression and laughs a little, still on her feet. There’s too much excitement over this mysterious stranger for her to keep her seat for very long. “I don’t think even you could identify him,” Carmella teases the Jewel.

Another ominous, silent nod, and the Weeping Knight turns from his fallen foe.

And now, it seems, the famous Ser Aidan will face… the unknown. That most unnatural of expressions, etched in steel, is enough to strike uncertainty even into the most fervent of these recently-won supporters in the crowd. But if the strange Weeping Knight cares, it is not apparent. The mystery knight takes his next lance and answers the heralds’ call; the light glints off his dull plate, and the sober greys and blues of his livery seem to drink the joy from the sunshine. The tears on his helm gleam mercilessly. He readies himself, and when the word is given, he charges.

The Knight of the Twilight dips his lance in salute to the strange champion, and then puts spurs to his steed. It races down the lists, while the long tourney lance extends outwards. The Dornishman’s horsemanship is superb, whetted to a keen edge of balance by what might well be the decisive movement. The knights come nearer, and nearer, and…

Aidan’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.

The Weeping Knight lance strikes square upon his opponent and breaks near the tip.

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

There are gasps as it looks like the Weeping Knight might fall and Carmella watches, unblinking, until the knight rights himself in his saddle. “Imagine if he wins!?” she says to Jyana, a little breathless with excitement.

The crowd roars its approval of the breaking lances, and the tree is nigh well bare now, with the last golden leaf to be placed into a basket. Though Ser Aidan manages to rock the mystery knight in the saddle, a quick look over his shoulder sees the man keep his seat. If he curses, or laughs, none can say as he throws away the useless length of broken lance and neatly rounds the fence to roar back up the field. As he passes the man, his helm can be seen to turn, tracking him as if trying to pierce through the mask that covers his face. Danyll swiftly hands him a lance, and shouts encouragement, before Aidan rushes forward again when his foe is ready.

“Then perhaps he’ll show his face,” Jyana finishes with a laugh, her eyes on the Weeping Knight and inclining her head curiously. She looks over at Carmella and leans her head to murmur quietly at her. “Would it be of poor form for me to say that I hope he does so we get to find out who he is later?”

The mystery knight remains in the saddle despite the force of Ser Aidan’s blow; his broken lance is tossed to one masked squire, and a fresh one is taken from the other. Still no words are exchanged between knight and retainers, and the trio ignore the rain of cheers, boos, and calls to unmask. The Weeping Knight turns to run his second course, and when all is in readiness, he charges again.

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

The Weeping Knight’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.

The Weeping Knight is pushed from the saddle by his opponent’s lance.

In spite of her detached air, Rosalind gives voice to the excitement at the cracking of the lance and the Weeping Knight’s fall. She leans forward, to try to get a glimpse if he is unmasked.

As the Weeping Knight falls, the crowd groans as one—then turns tail and begins chanting “UN-HELM UN-HELM UN-HELM!”

“Took you long enough, cousin!” That shout could only come from the Black Tempest. It would appear that even though she has withdrawn her favour from Ser Aidan, the tempesteous Toland is all too eager to cheer for him in the lists. No doubt yet another sign of her mercurial nature. “Now off with that helmet!”

Before Carmella can answer her friend the two knights are charging towards each other. She goes quiet, save for the hopeful gasp as the two men draw closer and closer. And then? There’s a rush of disappointment on the Dondarrion’s face as the mystery knight is toppled. “Oh no!” she cries and then looks towards Jyana. “They said Ser Aidan was a great tourney knight…” she says and then turns back towards the field, adding some applause for the well-fought round and joining in with the chanting.

Is it a surprise if the crowd’s cheer is somewhat banked after that? The gods know who the mystery knight was—he might even be one of those Dornishman, for all anyone knows—but now as sure as sin a Dornishman’s won one of the king’s own tourneys. Ser Aidan’s broken lance is dropped to the ground, and he rides with exhiliration in every motion as it’s clear he’s managed a feat that will redound to his own glory. Graciousness is, for a moment, forgotten as he throws a fist skywards in exultation.

And then he’s rounding the corner and galloping, and then cantering, and then slowing to a stop to where the Weeping Knight has fallen. He dismounts neatly, feet sinking slightly into the churned earth of the lists, and he draws a tourney sword from its sheath at his belt—clearly something he decided to keep handy. He approaches the fallen knight, sword held pointed low at him.

Ammena gasps as the Weeping Knight is finally unhorsed. “Will he be revealed then?” she asks her Septa as she leans forward to watch the Twilight Knight approach the Weeping Knight.

The strange Weeping Knight manages to rise, though a bit unsteadily. As the roar of the crowd falls on him, his eerie face turns toward the chanting. And yet the knight stands stock-still, and looks back at Ser Aidan with those empty, unnerving eyes. He inclines his head in acknowledgment of his defeat, and silently awaits the Knight of the Twilight’s pleasure.

Even Reyna chants with the crowd, but she is clearly uneasy with the look of the mystery knight’s helm whenever he turns it toward the crowd. Something about it makes her shrink every time it seemsthe knight ‘looks’ at her.

“A Mystery Knight would have been much more interesting as a champion than some Dornish knight,” Sylvina can be heard remarking as she delicately dusts powered sugar from some sweets from her fingers. “I am sure it is someone quite gallant and knightly.” Aisling glances over at her step-sister again, but instead of speaking to her, turns to Henly. “It will be quite a field of champions on the final day, uncle.”

The young Dornishman holds a moment, listening as the crowd roars for the unmasking, the final tension in the whole drama. And then he lowers the sword. “I give you my parole, ser, for the valor you showed against two knights of great prowess. You may keep your secrets, if you swear you shall seek me in the lists again when the gods grant the opportunity. If you fall, or you fail in this, you must proclaim yourself.” And he can’t quite keep a grin from his lips; he’s probably heard about this in one of those ancient stories from the Age of Heroes, of Serwyn of the Mirror Shield or Florian the Fool. “Do you accept my terms? If not, declare yourself!”

The Weeping Knight does not declare himself. For all anyone knows, this strange combatant could be a mute; he has not issued so much as a sigh all day. The mystery knight merely watches Ser Aidan for a moment, and then, momentously, he inclines his head in assent to the chivalrous offer.

Though a little disappointed that the mystery of the Weeping Knight must wait for another day, Rosalind applauds Ser Aidan’s chivalry. She murmurs something to a blond headed Lannister cousin near her.

Setting back in her chair, Ammena blinks and taps a finger to her cheek. “How very curious. Curious indeed,” she comments. “The tears, the motif, the squires as well…” At that, she turns her gaze to the Weeping Knight’s attendants in an effort to puzzle out his identity.

And so it’s done. Ser Aidan accepts the unvoiced promise with a nod, and slides the sword back into his scabbard. Danyll’s rushed out to take his horse’s reins, and holds the animal steady as Aidan mounts up again. He glances back to the strange mystery knight, and then moves along to continue down the lane as the crowd groans its frustration at him, and him not giving a damn. When he’s done rounding the lists, he moves to the king’s box, with a fresh lance in hand.

“The victor: Ser Aidan of House Dayne!” the herald cries. He doesn’t quite sound ecstatic. The Knight of the Twilight bows his head and lance before the king, as Daeron comes forward. Ser William holds the heavy purse. The king congratulates him, and announces, “To Ser Aidan goes fifteen-hundred gold dragons, a place among the champions in the grand final, and the crown to bestow upon the day’s queen of love and beauty!” That last, made of golden roses from Highgarden, is slipped onto the end of Ser Aidan’s lance.

Carmella cheers as well and a renewed smile comes to her lips. “What a grand final it will be,” she says, turning to Jyana and taking her seat once more. Her eyes go towards the Dornish section of the stands, fully expecting the crown to head down in that direction.

“It most certainly will,” Jyana says eagerly. “It should be a day to remember.” She winks over at Carmella. “Who will you be rooting for in the finals?” she asks.

Ser Aidan takes the crown, and hesitates before turning his horse and beginning down the royal box, and on towards where the Dornish, indeed, are. He can be seen scanning them, seeking, considering…

Carmella thinks that question over as she watches the crowd and then watches today’s champion. “I’ve watched Ser Aidan throughout the week and have been impressed by him,” she tells Jyana. “But there is also the Dragonknight,” she says with a nod towards the royals. “And there is still one more champion to come, the one we vote for,” she adds with a sly wink. “It shall be an unforgettable event in any case.”

Rosalind watches to see which maid the Knight of Twilight crowns, glancing further down at the Dornish ladies.

Over in the Dornish section, the Black Tempest laughs at something whispered in her ear by Ser Tamlyn, her brother, and then looks out to where Ser Aidan rides, apparently indecisive. When he looks over in their direction, she winks in his direction and a sly smile quirks her lips.

Still staring in distraction at the Mystery Knight and his attendants, Ammena misses the announcement from the King. “I wonder… will he be taking part in the joust of love?” she asks her Septa who simply shrugs. “We can surely piece together who he is then by the favor he wears…” At that, she turns her gaze to watch the Twilight Knight.

The blood bad gelding slows, and stops before Tanyth. There’s a long pause, and then he lifts up his visor. “Sweet cousin, you know I love you well,” he addresses her, all mild courtesy. “But you’ve said before I am too kind, and another crown in your lap is not like to change your opinion. I’ll spare you that.” And with a quick smile, sharp edged, he turns and rides back down in the direction of the royal box, where the king and his siblings sit, and then the great lords and the councillors.

Laughter is Tanyth’s response to that, loud and clear, and upon it follows—also loud and clear—a shout in Aidan’s wake: “Indeed, cousin dear, it is not another crown I want in my lap!”

“....what did she mean by that?” Jyana wonders curiously, looking at Carmella with a quizzical expression on her face.

Marian coughs, cheeks colouring a touch at the banter between the Dornish relatives - but she musters a laugh after a moment’s startled surprise.

Carmella laughs a little and then leans over to whisper in her friend’s ear, smirking a little as she does so.

The laughter—mostly from the men present—that follows upon that has barely died down when the Black Tempest adds, “But do get on with the business already, we don’t want to leave everyone thinking Dornishmen are tardy. If it was me doing the crownding, it would be about the right ... lance already.” Not so many hear this, but enough to draw more than a few shocked glances in her direction.”

When Carmella explains it to her, a bit of a flush stains her cheeks. “......oh,” Jyana says, somewhat sheepishly, coughing and taking a drink of her cup of water nearby.

Carmella gives a shrug. “She is Dornish, after all,” is all she says to Jyana.

As the games of chivalry turn to matters of love, the strange Weeping Knight remounts his horse and motions to the masked squires. Few see them depart the lists, and none know whither they go.

Rosalind blinks in surprise as the Knight of Twilight turns his back on his kinswoman and indeed, his countrywomen if he is moving back along the boxes toward the King and counselors. She turns again as the Black Tempest calls out, chuckling at the bawdy humor.

The roar of laughter that follows that, especially from the Dornish, takes something away from the romance of the moment. Aidan grimaces ruefully, but a laugh does escape him before he finally slows to a stop. He seems to know where he’s going. There’s quite a startled small councillor, it must be said, when the lilac-and-white lance brings the crown of golden roses towards ... his niece. Or his good-niece, anyways. “Lady Aisling, you have won two prizes during the tourney, more than any other knight might say.” Excepting himself, of course. “If you will have it from me, I would be honored if you bore it in the name of glory and valor.”

Aisling overhears some of Tanyth’s ... colourful commentary, and looks over at the Dornishwoman in a speculative way. Clearly, she doesn’t know quite what to think of that kind of forthrightness, even though she’s never one to hold her own tongue, and her expression gives mixed signals; a hint of an amused smile about her lips, and a blush of colour on her cheeks.

Which then, all of a sudden, goes rather embarrassingly deep as she finds herself the centre of entirely too much attention. For a moment or two, the look on her face is rather bewildered, but then she somehow manages a slight smile that only looks a little too stiff. “For my own small victories in this tourney, I would be honoured to accept the crown from you, Ser Aidan.” And so she reaches out to take it from the tip of his lance, trying very hard to ignore anyone who might be looking at her at the moment.

There are certainly many eyes on Aisling, including Carmella’s. Her brows raise a little, surprised by the offer but eventually she joins in with the cheering of another queen crowned.

And with that, it’s done. There’s a cheer for the day’s Queen, as the Knight of the Twilight takes a last round of the field before returning to his arming tent. Danyll is fair bouncing with excitement, and then there are the well-wishers who come to congratulate him as he disarms.

Marian likewise applauds Aidan’s choice, beaming happily as Aisling belies her reputation and graciously accepts the honour.

Rosalind applauds as another queen of love and beauty is crowned.

Carmella whispers to Jyana, “So, ... he’ll ... ... her ... the ...”

“Perhaps.” She looks over at Carmella and grins. “Though I am looking forward to the Joust for Love…a cause worth fighting for if I ever heard one,” she states with a laugh. “Though to be honest I just want to see just how many colors I can recognize on each man’s arm.” The Jewel pushes a lock away from her eyes and drains the last of her water.

Carmella laughs and claps her hands. “We shall make a game of it!” she declares to her friend. “It shall be great fun, I am curious as to who some of these knights might find favor with,” she says, looking back out over the field, now that the day’s events are done.

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