A warm yet overcast noon, with the scent of rain in it, lays over King’s Landing. The Red Keep is as busy as always, but it’s muted, perhaps due to the weather, or perhaps in rising anticipation of a Dornish response to King Baelor’s offer of peace. In the Tower of the Hand, however, everything seems to proceed normally. Bills are signed, accounts are sealed, and audiences are granted. It is this last which brings Ser Luthor Rivers before Prince Viserys, who sits behind a great table laden with papers, pots of ink and quills, and with the Keeper of the Seal at his side, ready to give the royal seal over to his hands.
But nothing needs sealing, not just yet. Prince Viserys instead studies his nephew’s household knight thoughtfully, thick brows a little lowered above his purple eyes. “I have a few minutes for you, Ser Luthor,” he announces suddenly. “But only a few. I have understood you have some reports you have wished to deliver, but have not had opportunity—matters of state being as they are, I am sure you understand.” He watches, seeing if Rivers does, and then with a brisk motion invites him to proceed.
Luthor shuts out the slight tremor of nervousness that runs through his stomach as he is brought before the Hand. A nagging fear that Prince Viserys’ shrewd eyes might see he is unworthy to be here. Setting his shoulders back, and walking with a brisk pace, he approaches the Hand at his work and bows. His livery, is spotless, and he has no stubble, and even his hair is cut and well ruled. Even the bruise on his jaw seems to have, mercifuly, faded, to near invisibility.
Luthor does seem to understand, and he produces a sheaf of parchments. “Yes your Grace. Ser William bid me speak to you of the events surrounding the breaking up of the army. I’ve written it here, as well, I put together a report on the casualties, suffered by the king’s knights in case your Grace didn’t have a full report as yet.” He holds the parchments waiting for leave to place them on the Hand’s desk or for them to be taken by one of Prince Viserys’ servants.
A nod from Viserys’s head, and the one of the liveried servants takes it and delivers it onto the table for his persual. He takes it up, gnarled hands turning the parchment delicately. Even as his eyes scan, however, he says, “Your recent ... misadventure with Ser Ethos Mertyns is not to be repeated, I hope.” It’s a mild tone, not particularly forbidding. The parchments are set aside and, with a frank gaze, he says, “Sit, and tell me what Waxley bid you deliver to me.”
Luthor had rather hoped that his misadventure, wouldn’t become a subject of conversation and can can’t quite keep a slightly embarassed smile from appearing on his face when it’s brought up. “It won’t. Ser Ethos and I have made our peace,” he assures the hand confidently.
Ser Luthor takes the offered seat and without any preamble begins. “He wanted me to report what I’d witnessed when I was was serving him, so your Grace would have all the sides of the story. I’ll be brief, but, from what I saw only Ser William had a care for the unity of the army after his Grace’s murder. Storbreaker, gave word to break camp almost immediately and Ser Meros, seemed to move precipitously to seize the supply. We worked through the night following King Daeron’s death to try and bring some order, but it seemed too late, all minds were on home and or what would give them best advantage. The result of which, was our destruction the following day.”
Viserys recieves the report soberly, with a flat expression. But near the end, something sparks in those Valyrian eyes, and a tightening of his mouth brings his lips into a frown. “Of Mad Meros’s folly, I was aware. Baratheon’s haste to abandon the endeavor, however…” His voice drifts off, and for a moment his eyes flick away, resting on nothing in particular as he thinks.
When they return, he asks, “How did Ser William attempt to maintain order, in the face of the recalcitrance of Ser Sarmion and Ser Meros? Who came to his aid?”
“Ser William bid me post guards about the baggage camp, and secure the loyalty of the knights of his Grace’s household and your own, so that we might present a united front. Then he went about to the lords and spoke with them in person, to try and sway them to our side. As for who was with him, I know for certain, the Crakehalls, Ser Burton and Ser Elmer were with him, as was Ser Mathin Lannister, Lord Banefort, and Lord Dondarrion,” he names a few others, mostly those bannermen to the royal house. “Ser Ardon also seemed to be with us against his Uncle.”
“Of Lord Loras’s three sons, Ser Ardon always had the most sense,” Viserys remarks, rather drily. The frown remains, however, as he considers the report further. He lifts his hands somewhat, and turns the heavy ring on one hand round and round as he considers. At the end, he sighs and says, “It was a debacle, I fear. My nephew, the Seven bless and keep him, was all that held some of these lords and knights together.” A moment’s silence more and then he adds, “I am glad to know there were those who helped the steward. He is still on the Boneway, though we have heard nothing more many days now—a lack of ravens, I suppose. Is there anything more Ser William wished to make sure we knew?”
Luthor keeps his peace about the Tyrells and nods solemnly when King Daeron is mentioned. “I had wondered of his progress,” Luthor remarks of the news of Ser William. “I shall pray he makes it here safely and with speed. As to if he had anything else he bid me report, no, nothing that I have not spoken of or written down, your Grace.”
“You have shown a fine attention to your duty, ser,” Prince Viserys says with a nod, sounding quite sincere. “Though I guessed much of what you reported, I am glad Ser William thought to be sure his grace had facts before him. They may prove important, in time.” With that, it seems the audience is at a close, as Viserys stands. “Your efforts will not be forgotten, Ser Luthor.”
There is a glad and almost relieved smile upon Ser Luthor’s lips as he rises with the Prince, and offers him a smooth and easy bow. “I am glad my report will do some good, and I am always at your house’s command, your Grace.” He straightens, awaiting the Hand’s command before he departs.