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Janden Melcolm is a relatively minor knight of some renown in the jousting tourneys, having placed well in a few. He earned his spurs in the first war with Dorne and is a capable knight with the sword as well. Formerly an Officer of the Kingswood, dubious circumstances led to him no longer being employed there. Janden is not particularly adept in court, though he has gained the position of Royal Huntsman.
The scar that only misses one of Janden Melcolm’s eyes could appear sinister. Instead, it adds a sort of raffish lift to his brow beneath a shock of untidy red hair that reaches the bottoms of his ears all around. His eyes are bright green, a complement to his hair, but there is only occasional levity in them. His mouth is generously wide and is seen in a smile more often than a frown.
The knight looks slightly too tall for his own skin, as if his bones grew before his muscles could bulk out, but he isn’t too gawky. His clothing fits him well, a tunic of fair quality white linen under a doublet of dark green. Instead of the Melcolm badge, he wears a red Targaryen one at the breast to help signify his ties to them as Royal Huntsman. Brown trousers fit snugly and are tucked into well-worn boots of black leather. A sword is also belted at his left side.
Janden is a sociable and sarcastic individual, though he possesses a quirky sense of humor where off-color remarks may be taken as hateful instead of an intended joke. He has had all the noble training of a house son on courtly etiquette and chivalry for his station as a knight. Along the way he has also developed an affinity for dancing and hunting, and is a skilled public speaker. Drawn into the war against Dorne at a relatively young age of 15, some of his training may not be as polished as his family would like concerning politics and the political structure of King’s Landing. His temperament helps him in this regard as he tends to stay on an even keel, not prone to emotional outbursts in most situations, preferring to stay level headed.
Early Years & Growing Pains
Janden Melcolm was born on 13-7-140 to Jeron Melcolm and his second wife, Lady Hemona of house Swyft. He was the first child from that marriage. His early days were spent swimming in the ocean with his older siblings with dreams of being a captain of one of the Old Anchor warships along with joining the knighthood.
However, at age five tragedy struck as he nearly drowned in the bay while swimming with his older brothers Baran and Dorik. He later accused Baran of trying to drown him, a claim his father brushed off as a lie on his part which he was beaten for. A deep-seated phobia began to grow as he developed a fear of deep water and the ocean, wanting little to do with either from that point forward.
His relationship became tense with his older brothers as well as his father. Numerous fistfights took place between he and Dorik as tensions between the half-brothers grew from childish spats to more physical altercations. Jeron always sided on the part of his first wife’s children, making sure Janden was sufficiently punished.
When he was seven, tall and slender for his age even at that point, he began his training as a page along with his martial training under the house Master of Arms. Not as strong as his older brothers due to his rangy build, he instead used his speed and quickness to his advantage, practicing hard to give a good accounting of himself.
When he was nine, an incident in the training yard led to lifelong repercussions as a sparring match with Dorik boiled over with Janden breaking the older boy’s wrist and beating him rather severely.
Fostering in Oldtown & Developing Skills
Offering favors, his father sent Janden as far from Old Anchor as he could arrange, fostering the boy out to the Hightowers. A vocal child, Janden expressed his pleasure of being rid of his family, making it known to anyone who would listen that his brothers were pigs, his father little better in his eyes. Luckily for Janden, Lord Lorent Hightower had three children his age who he made acquaintance with during his time in Oldtown, most notably Myles, a boy two years his senior who he developed a rough friendship with over the course of their meetings.
Just a few short weeks after his coming to Oldtown to foster, Janden competed in his first tournament event. Lord Whalon Rosby’s tourney was held, Janden and others from Oldtown journeying there. He conducted himself well in the youth fighting, lasting until he was defeated in the third round by a boy three years his senior.
As he developed from a boy to a young man, the next several years were much the same. At age eleven he took part in the tourney at Oakenshield, defeated in the youth swords event in the next to last round by the eventual champion.
At age twelve he began his time as a squire under one of the house knights serving the Hightowers. Lessons in court etiquette were joined with others in chivalry as he was taught the ways of knighthood by his instructors. A bright child, he applied himself to his studies, working on all manner of skills both military and courtly. As he matured he continued to grow up and not out, whipcord slender and quick. He used this to his advantage in the training lists, capable of besting boys older than him due to his endurance and speed.
Ages thirteen and fourteen saw him competing in youth tournaments and melees in Lannisport, Pebble and Highgarden. Never the victor, he nonetheless performed well in each of them.
First Joust & War With Dorne
Age sixteen found him finally atop a horse in the royal tournament at King’s Landing, his first tests in the jousting lists. Of the three day tournament he made it to the second day of jousting before being unhorsed by Ser Jace Rollingford. In the final days of the tournament he competed in the melee. Having finally grown into some size and strength, he reached the final twenty combatants before he was defeated in sword duel by Ser Ingram Swyft who would go on to win the event.
Later that same year he was called back to Old Anchor by his father as war with Dorne was announced. He boarded a ship for the first time since his swimming incident, journeying with his father and brothers to Gulltown at the call of Jonothor Arryn. Assigned to serve as a squire to his older brother Ser Baran during the campaign, he was assured by his father that for past transgressions he would not receive knighthood at his hands during his time as Baran’s squire.
His first taste of battle came at the assault on Planky Town. He handled himself well, several Dornish men-at-arms falling to his blade during the battle. The battles that followed ranged up and down the Greenblood as the fleet destroyed key structures of Dorne. The ship he and his brother were stationed on was part of the fleet led by Jonothor Arryn that destroyed the Lemonwood harbor (Y 157, M 6-7).
As the fleet linked up with The Young Dragon’s land army, he was part of the cavalry transferred to the ground forces. He rode to the Oakenfist encampment for the battle there, then later participated in the battle of the Carrion Woods where he received his first significant wound of the war, nearly losing his right eye and leaving his face scarred (Y 157, M 9).
His luck would hold, to a point, as part of the force sent opposing the crossing of Lord Vaith (Y 157, M 11). He avoided the dangers of the bloody flux but wasn’t as fortunate in battle as a mace blow cracked his shield arm, leaving it useless until healed. He was taken out of the fighting, then upon his return to the armies at Godsgrace he was given duties of running messages between the king and his units in the field in the ensuing days (Y 157, M 11).
Knighthood & More Trouble Back Home
However, his broken arm provided a vital opportunity as he took part in the battle to defend the Young Dragon from an ambush at the previous Oakenfist camp. While running a message to the king, his arm only barely healed, he was in the thick of the fighting as the ambush was sprung. He acquitted himself well in spite of the injury, killing a pair of Dornish knights as he helped defend King Daeron during the battle, at one point fighting side by side with a member of the Kingsguard. His actions did not go unnoticed as he was knighted the next day by Ser Osbert Bettley of the Kingsguard for his valor during the fight (Y 157, M 12).
The battle for Sunspear was his next chance to prove his mettle, taking part in the fight against the Dornishmen as they tried to hold the city. Newly knighted, he continued to prove his worth by leading a countercharge on the third day of the battle to reclaim the body of his fallen cousin Ser Jaymar Melcolm. Wounded for his third time during the war during the charge as a dying Dornish knight shoved a spear into his side, he passed out soon after and was carried from the battlefield along with his dead cousin (Y 158, M 1).
As Sunspear fell he was near death, finally regaining consciousness on the fourth day of his coma. His wound too serious to be allowed to heal in the field, he was shipped along with the hostages by boat to King’s Landing (Y 158, M 2), then to Old Anchor and the care of his mother to recuperate. It was there that he knew his first few months of peace since the start of the war, regaining his strength as his body healed and spending time with his family still living at home.
This peace was shattered once his older brother Dorik returned from the war as tensions and tempers flared. A verbal altercation over dinner one night led to blows and the departure of Janden from Old Anchor toward King’s Landing.
A Place In King’s Landing & Another War With Dorne
Taking his effects he journeyed there, taking up residence in a guest wing of the Red Keep. His goals were simple, to take up service with one of the more prominent noble houses as a sworn shield and possibly find himself a woman of good standing to take as a wife.
While there, Janden became more of a regular in the jousting lists prior to serving again in the second war with Dorne, part of his duties including being an Outrider. Upon returning again he became betrothed to Aurana Buckler and obtained a job as an Officer of the Kingswood, including briefly serving as Acting Warden during a time when Sarmion Baratheon was away. This was done over the acting deputies at the time, a position Janden never held. When Sarmion became Harbormaster and took most of his staff with him, Janden remained in the Kingswood.
Unfortunately, due to various reasons that included an extended period of time stationed deep in the Kingswood away from most contact, he delayed in marrying Aurana long enough that his betrothal was ended by her father. Farin Prester, a Kingswood Deputy, essentially replaced him. Suspecting foul play in spite of his own fault in previously waiting too long, an enraged Janden confronted Farin, challenging him to a duel in which he physically bested the man. Compounding matters, Farin was also Acting Warden at the time because Luthor Rivers was on vacation. This meant repercussions were swift and immediate. Janden was allowed to resign from the Kingswood and pay a 30 dragon fine rather than be subject to harsher discipline as a result of his actions.
For a time, Janden felt his life was destroyed. He’d lost his betrothed and a job he sincerely enjoyed. During the Joust of Love in Highgarden, he fought any and all who would oppose him and declared love false, a farce. Though going unbeaten, including defeating Farin twice, he did not earn the victory because it was decided his vow went against the event’s purpose. All the same, at the end of the stay in Highgarden Princess Daena awarded him 100 dragons for his showing in the tourney. This certainly helped in light of the stiff fine he’d paid before.
Moving On & Gaining A New Position
Given Janden’s lack of status within his own family and house, there was little he could count on from his father. The gift from the Princess along with the occasional tourney ransom from various wins went a long way toward allowing him to live above the level of a basic hedge knight, especially when spending carefully. Being a capable hunter, he settled into a job helping Melissa Lannister, especially when it came to hawking.
His hunting prowess would soon be of benefit again. During a boar hunt in the Kingswood that nearly went very wrong, he handled himself well enough that afterward, he and Luthor Rivers spoke a few times. It led to the idea that Janden might make a good candidate for Royal Huntsman, especially since things had grown lacking among that outfit. It’s a position some believed he should have had in the past, but the timing and politics behind it weren’t in his favor. This time around, he ran a successful hunt under Luthor’s eye and gained enough support to earn the position. This, along with a couple strong showings in jousting tourneys that included unhorsing Prince Aegon Targaryen en route to being among the last four left one day, has led to a marked improvement in his station in life.
Janden has settled into his new position comfortably. In an odd twist of fate he came into his role about the same time Farin Prester became the new Warden of the Kingswood, further connecting the two in ways. His martial skills have been put to the test as he fought against pirates during a raid outside Storm’s End following travel for a wedding, killing a Dothraki in the battle. He also assisted with bandit hunts in the Kingswood, leading to him teaming with Luthor Rivers to finally put Bors Breakhelm down. While at Riverrun during travel for another wedding, he unhorsed Jaesin Lannister of the Kingsguard in nine rounds during jousting practice, a noteworthy accomplishment for any knight of Janden’s stature.
[06/159] Competed in the first day of a prestigious jousting tourney in King’s Landing. He made a strong run, defeating Bonifer Buckwell, Axell Farman and Elmer Crakehall. He finally lost to the winner, Almer Connington, in the final. Almer took a 5,000 dragon prize.
[06/159] Janden competed in the third day of the jousting tourneys, having a less successful time of it in falling to Anders Dondarrion. Later Janden nearly got himself into a bigger mess when he mocked Sarmion Baratheon following a poor showing by the giant of a man in a tilt versus another, but the Stormbreaker’s challenge to single combat was interrupted by William Waxley, Sarmion returning to the lists.
[06/159] On the fifth day of the jousting tourneys, Janden unhorsed Manfred Dondarrion and Corrent Gargalen before going down to Jaesin Lannister’s lance, then Dagur Saltcliffe’s.
[06/159] On the final day of the multi-part tourney, said to be the biggest in a century, Janden came close to winning the whole thing in a competition where many knights would face the champions of each previous day for the right to claim a large prize and declare the Queen of Love and Beauty. He faced and defeated Dagur Saltcliffe and Triston Templeton, reaching the last four along with Aemon Targaryen the Dragonknight, Hugo Smallwood, known as Oakshanks, and Aidan Dayne, the Knight of the Twilight. Janden would fall to Aidan, who faced Aemon in the final. The pair unhorsed each other and then fought on foot before King Daeron finally called an end to it before blood might be spilled, declaring a draw and a split purse of 20,000 dragons between the two winners.
[06/160] Janden was hired as an Officer in the Kingswood by Sarmion Baratheon (the warden at the time).
[07/160] Queens Joust of Love. Janden wore a favor for Elyana Mertyns and declared that he would face five opponents in the lists. He began with an epic tilt against Tancred Baratheon, lasting for nine rounds before he was finally defeated. He was then defeated by Ardon Tyrell and Raynard Locke before unhorsing Elyana’s brother Ethos. He finished the day with a surprise victory against the Jousting Lord, Whalon Rosby.
[07/160] Tourney in Rosby, hosted by Lord Whalon the Jousting Lord. Though he would not win the day, Janden sent Ermen Frey and Ethos Mertyns to the ground (who defeated him is unknown).
[11/160] After moderate success in recent tournaments (including unhorsing Whalon Rosby in a joust), Janden is asked by Dagur Saltcliffe to become a member of the Company of the Lance. He accepts.
[11/160] Janden was named temporary Warden of the Kingswood during Sarmion Baratheon’s extended absence due to his wedding. Janden was still an Officer and was promoted into this position rather than the available deputies.
[11/160] Janden grew close to Aurana Buckler when he warned her of a possible plot against her brother. The pair became strong friends and fell in love. He spoke to her father and while the man was reluctant, he agreed to a betrothal. He would give little to the union, however, only offering to pay for a townhouse in the city. Janden would be required to improve in station with no additional resources.
[12/160] Sarmion’s wedding melee. Janden had a strong showing. He lasted until the final three - himself, Dagur Saltcliffe and Andry Chester. Knowing the strongest opponent, he and Andry both took blows against Dagur, eventually knocking him to the ground. However, Andry would go on to defeat Janden in the one-on-one match.
[02/161] Janden took part in the melee at Princess Daena’s tourney, lasting toward the end with fellow members of the Company of the Lance, Dagur Saltcliffe and Andry Chester. They ended up against Aidan Dayne and Jaremy Dustin, and though Dustin was taken out he dragged Dayne down as well and the two began to fight amongst each other before order was restored. Andry ended up the winner, Aidan was arrested, Jaremy was sent off by the King, and the knights of the Company of the Lance were named champions due to their courage, prowess and chivalry, rather than the Brothers of the Battle.
[04/162] After an extended absence due to an assignment deep in the Kingswood, the betrothal to Aurana Buckler was ended by her father and a new contract written up between Aurana and Farin Prester. Janden did not know what happened at the time, as all letters were being kept from him and it was arranged that he did not return to King’s Landing during this time.
[07/162] Discovering what was happening between Farin Prester and Aurana Buckler in King’s Landing, Janden raced home. He called out Farin in the yard and beat the man soundly to the ground twice. He then resigned his position, as he had left his post, and was fined 30 dragons.
[08/162] Joust of Love in Highgarden. Fresh off the loss of his beloved, Janden was in little mood for a Joust of Love. He proclaimed that he’d meet all challengers, with the declaration that love was a farce and false. If anyone could defeat him, they could perhaps prove otherwise. He went unbeaten on the day, defeating Farin Prester twice, Tancred Baratheon, Ethos Myrtens, Lymen Flowers and (someone). However, he did not earn the victory on the day because his vow went against the nature of the event. At the end of the stay in Highgarden, Princess Daena Targaryen awarded him 100 dragons for his prowess at the tournament.
[09/162] Joust of Champions in Highgarden. He had little luck in this event. He challenged Ser Almer Connington and was quickly put to the ground. The tilt lasted for a few rounds, but Almer was his better.
[09/162] Melee at Highgarden. He worked with his companions in the Company of the Lance. Janden faced Bryce Caron twice and unseated him both times. He also unseated Alek Reyne and Josmyn Reyne. He was unseated the first time by Almer Connington. When only Janden, Dagur Saltcliffe and Almer remained, the two other knights focused on Janden. Lasting a couple rounds, Janden was quickly overpowered and beaten a second time by Almer.
[03/163] White Tourney in King’s Landing. Janden competed in the joust to find a new member of the Kingsguard under King Baelor. He moved through the first two rounds before facing Argos Waxley and unseated him with a thunderous blow that shot the man from his horse. After that he rode against Sorin of Sevenstreams and fell in spite of both hitting each other strongly. Sorin would further advance to the end before yielding to Galfrid Velaryon due to injury.
[05/163] Hunt in Blackwater Rush. Following a boar hunt Janden participated in the month before that was hindered by problems dealing with preparation and safety, Luthor Rivers approached Janden to gauge his interest in an effort to help him gain the position of Royal Huntsman. Janden agreed and, following Luthor’s advice, sought and gained support from both Melissa Lannister and Aurana Prester in whatever ways they could provide it. Janden and Luthor also worked together to plan another hunt outside King’s Landing that gave Janden the chance to work with the huntsmen and oversee the planning and execution of it. A basic duck and rabbit hunt was successfully held, with both Sarya Baratheon and Ammara Costayne adding their birds of prey to those that brought down numerous ducks.
[07/163] Following the subtle efforts of support made in his name, plus a successful hunt run by him, Janden is appointed to the office of Royal Huntsman.
[08/163] Tourney of Love and Beauty to mark the betrothal of Humfrey Westerling and Jannia Tully. Janden moved through the first three rounds easily before unhorsing Brynden Tully, Prince Aegon Targaryen and Andry Chester in the double-elimination tourney. He then fell to Jace Rollingford and, as one of the final four knights left, lost to Sorin of the Kingsguard in a close contest that went three rounds. Jace defeated Sorin in the final, completing a perfect day.
[08/163] Tourney of Battles. A day after the Tourney of Love and Beauty, one sponsored by the Brothers of the Battle was held. In another double-elimination format Janden had an up-and-down day of it. He took his first two rounds then defeated Endros Buckler before falling to Dagur Saltcliffe. After that he sent Ermen Frey to the ground prior to being bested by Humfrey Westerling.
[08/163] Princess Rhaena’s Nameday Tourney. Janden passed through the first two rounds easily before defeating Ethos Mertyns by decision of the Princess after neither knocked each other down after three passes. He then quickly dispatched Astos Corbray prior to falling just as swiftly to Humfrey Westerling and then Ethos Mertyns in a rematch, finishing his day. In the end, Brynden Tully was named champion and victor of the tourney by the Princess.
[09/163] Following a raven sent to Lord Lorent Hightower asking for his assistance in finding Janden a suitable squire from the Hightowers or those sworn to them, Lorent arranges for Malwyn Hightower to report from Castle Darry to King’s Landing. Janden had spent time in Hightower fostering as a lad and relations remained good to this day. Malwyn arrives while Janden is in Storm’s End for the wedding between Brynden Tully and Sarya Baratheon.
[09/163] Wedding tourney at Storm’s End, to celebrate the marriage of Ser Brynden Tully to Sarya Baratheon. In a field of sixty knights and squires, Janden won his first two rounds then unhorsed Astos Corbray. His day ended after falling to Humfrey Westerling and Jan Marbrand, the final tilt lasting seven passes. Elmer Crakehall went on to defeat Luthor Rivers in the final.
[09/163] Janden joined in on a hunt outside Storm’s End with Lord Corwen Baratheon and various other knights and ladies, only to be ambushed in a deadly attack from pirates led by Sullehman Saan. With nearly all of them lacking swords or anything more than hunting leathers, many lost their lives in the initial assault. Janden helped to get the women together (including Katla Serry, Reyna Saltcliffe, Elrone Darklyn and Jannia Tully) and protected them, which included being attacked by a Dothraki pirate called Memmo the Braidless. Defending himself with a spear and dagger (the blade briefly loaned by Jannia for other reasons), he traded blows with the Dothraki and was nearly defeated a couple times before managing to turn Memmo’s arakh around on him, gutting the man with his own weapon. The arakh has been kept as a trophy and reminder of how close he came to a more grievous wound, or worse. Saan himself escaped with the surviving pirates and captives they did manage to take.
[10/163] Held a rabbit and grouse hunt in the Kingswood for the nobility, which was well-attended and successful overall with no real problems or accidents.
[10/163] Jousting tourney for the wedding of Josmyn Reyne to Alyce Bar Emmon. Janden swept through the early rounds, defeating an unnamed knight before unhorsing Eon Hunter in two tries followed by Brynden Tully, that one in five passes after the first three were dead even. The next three were done in one each as he beat Yorick Staunton before falling to Luthor Rivers and narrowly missing out on the final when he lost a rematch to Yorick. Luthor defeated Yorick in the end. Unfortunately part of the day was tarnished as Humfrey Westerling killed a hedge knight by the name of Lem of the Pendric Hills with a lance through the eye, also breaking his neck. There were many questions as to whether it was an accident or not before Humfrey was taken back to the Red Keep.
[10/163] Janden joined Farin Prester, Ammon Massey, Jan Marbrand and Ryckon Westerling as groups of Kingswood men and other knights inspected various places in the Kingswood based on news of whorehouses suddenly ‘disappearing.’ While at one they ended up engaged in battle with five bandits. Janden pressed an advantage against their leader by the name of Landis but lost it, suffering a broken nose in the process. The bandits were killed, then among the others left behind one refused the black and had his left hand severed. After that the rest agreed to take the black and the group returned to the Red Keep.
[11/163] Fought on the sands outside the Kingswood in a key battle against Bors Breakhelm and his elite bandits. Janden rode with Luthor Rivers and other knights under the command of Farin Prester and was briefly overcome during a clash with the bandit Naevys. By the time he got back into the fighting, he and Luthor squared off with Bors himself. The two took turns trading blows with Breakhelm, who had already been engaged with Luthor and others, and they wore each other down further as Janden rocked the bandit leader twice with his attacks. Just after Bors wounded him enough to put him out of the fight, Luthor finished Breakhelm off and killed him after he’d fallen. Janden was helped back to the Red Keep to have wounds over his chest and stomach tended to, with rest to follow.
[12/163] Participated in the melee for the upcoming wedding between Willard Ryger and Andrya Tully. Janden was selected for the group representing the groom but, perhaps because he fought so soon after recovering from injuries, did not fare well as he fell to both Elmer Crakehall and Cleyton Waxley without defeating a single knight. On the day, the bride’s group routed the groom’s.
[12/163] Won a prize for coming in second place for the men in a small archery tourney held at Acorn Hall, which was a bit of a surprise. His reward was a gold acorn brooch with three garnets in it, suitable for pinning up a cloak.
[12/163] On the way to Riverrun from Acorn Hall, Janden came across Simona Tully in the process of being attacked by an unknown man who’d trailed the traveling party, trying to force himself on her late at night. Janden stopped it before the man got too far, ensured Simona’s safety, and led the man to Tully guards for them to handle further.
[12/163] Jousting practice with Jaesin Lannister. Two days prior to the Riverrun tourney, Janden practiced with knights including Ser Jaesin of the Kingsguard. They actually jousted twice. The first time, both shattered lances in two passes but Janden slid from his saddle on the second one. Jaesin went on to tilt with Elmer Crakehall and Dagur Saltcliffe, beating Elmer quickly while winning and losing once to the Iron Serpent. Janden then faced him again and though it was just practice, their tilt lasted nine rounds with numerous shattered lances as both were nearly unhorsed, including twice where Janden failed to make good contact but remained in the saddle. On the ninth pass, both destroyed their lances but Jaesin was the one who finally fell. It was both unexpected and exciting to witness, the sort of display usually seen only in tourneys. Jaesin, beginning to feel the effects of a concussion, then took on Dermett Corbray and outlasted him in six rounds before he displayed signs that required a maester’s attention.
[12/163] Joust in Riverrun to celebrate the wedding of Willard Ryger and Andrya Tully. Prior to the end of the tourney being marred by a bloody dispute between the Brackens and Blackwoods, Janden rode a total of six times. He defeated two knights in the early rounds, along with unhorsing Eon Hunter and Farin Prester both in one try. However, though he lasted four passes against Argett Prester and three against Roger Ryger, he tasted dirt against both famed knights, the win against Farin splitting the losses.
[01/164] Janden got into a brief, harsh exchange with his older half-brother when Dorik turned up at Riverrun as part of a smaller traveling group separate from the main party. The two had not seen each other since tensions rose after the Conquest of Dorne when Janden was recovering at Old Anchor. Various others were witness to a few cold words from Janden, including a bit of swearing before cooler heads prevailed. Not long after that, they ended up apart from each other again as events proceeded further with the Bracken/Blackwood feud.
[01/164] Melee to celebrate peace between the Brackens and Blackwoods. Janden had a poor showing, offering to test Ryckon Westerling only to fall on the new knight’s second attack, quickly ending his day and a chance at a 500 dragon prize. Later at the feast, Janden met his sister Mara for the first time since they last saw each other following the Conquest of Dorne while he was home recovering from injuries (back in 02/158). Their reunion went much better than the one between Janden and Dorik.
[02/164] During a group visit to the Tower of Ghosts in Harrenhal, the knights and ladies present heard screams and Jyana Arryn immediately ran off into the darkness to investigate. With a torch in hand, Janden hurried after her and caught up in time to stop her just a step from plunging into a dark pit from a section of the floor that had given way in the past. When they found the source of the screams, they all saw a man killing a woman who held a baby close, but the group could not reach them. It’s unclear whether what they saw was real or ghosts.
[02/164] Was invited to meet Jyana Arryn at the Arryn Manse, where she gifted him with a small dagger as a way of thanking him for likely saving her life in Harrenhal. It is a simple blade, perfect weight, well-made grip, with a bright yellow gem of some quality in the pommel, “like a light in the dark.”
[02/164] Melee held aboard ships from the Ironborn embassy. Janden participated in spite of his discomfort being so close to the water, starting out in a defensive position aboard his team’s ship. He soon became involved to the point of aiding Ryckon Westerling by knocking down Merys Lydden, though he fell quickly to both Ammon Massey then the Ironborn Rafe Botley. His team still came out victorious and Janden collected a portion of furs, silks, spices and more from the victor’s chest, amounting to about 7% (70 dragons) of the winnings. He later gave half of that to Walton Smallwood, whose exceptional showing for the losing side - almost single-handedly evening up long odds - left Janden feeling he deserved something for it.
[03/164] Lord Serry’s Tourney. Janden passed through the first two jousts with easy victories before falling on the first pass to Dagur Saltcliffe. He defeated Ryckon Westerling by knocking him from his horse on the second try, then his day ended against Kendros Goodbrook, known as Longaxe, losing on points after three attempts as Kendros broke more lances than he did with neither knight falling. Humfrey Westerling claimed the top prize by defeating Dermett Corbray twice in a row. For the tourney, Janden used lances painted white with three red stripes near the tips as a personal way to honor the memory of Lord Whalon Rosby, the Jousting Lord.
[04/164] Janden held a small hunt for deer in the Kingswood, with about half a dozen participants.
[05/164] First of three events planned between teams of Crackclaw and Kingswood men. In this one, both sides held forts with attacking and defending taking place. Though working for neither group himself, Janden ended up on the Crackclaw team along with Eon Hunter, Ammon Massey, Barion Smallwood, Luthor Rivers, Humfrey Westerling and Lennos against Amrell Celtigar, Sarmion Baratheon, Albyn Crane, Jan Marbrand, Jared Fell, Cleyton Waxley and Ryckon Westerling. Part of the attacking group on the Kingswood fort, Janden and Barion teamed up against Albyn and knocked him down, though Janden fell to Albyn as they fought on. The Crackclaw team was routed by the Kingswood side, though Albyn took offense to a sharp comment Janden made about his own half-brother Dorik, who is married to Albyn’s sister. The two dueled with their tourney blades at Albyn’s insistence, agreeing that the first to fall would yield. Janden ended up the victor.
[06/164] Tourney to select a Queen of Love and Beauty, hosted by the Company of the Lance and Brothers of Battle societies. Janden had an unremarkable day, dispatching a lower knight, then Jan Marbrand before falling quickly to Dagur Saltcliffe and Luthor Rivers. Notably, Janden rode with Olianne Rosby’s favor.
[06/164] Tourney of Battles, hosted by the Company of the Lance and Brothers of Battle societies. In a format that begin with individual jousts before the participants went on to challenge each other in melee, Janden’s day was over quickly. Again wearing Olianne Rosby’s favor, he handled a lower knight, then unhorsed Josmyn Reyne before falling to the knight once on foot. By that evening, frustration that had been building boiled over and he made a drunken fool of himself in the great hall before passing out and being taken back to his rooms.
[07/164] Utilizing his tracking skills, Janden aided Deputy Warden Jan Marbrand in bringing a group of Kingswood knights and men deep into the woods in search of clues as to the disappearance of another unit of officers. Upon reaching a clearing they came across a grisly sight of a dead, flayed man before being ambushed by nearly feral men and hounds. Janden ended up in a fight with a strange, club-bearing Skagosi man (The Eater). Though Janden only managed to land one blow it was a good one, but repeated strikes of a heavy club - including two to the head with one of them unprotected - led to him being knocked out briefly and rushed back to King’s Landing for treatment of a concussion and other injuries once the knights managed a retreat.
[08/164] After offering the hunting lodge to be used for the purpose of coordinating missions further into the Kingswood, Janden met with his huntsmen and let them know their duties would be changing to one of support as needed, so long as the bandit threat remained top priority. Two of the four merchant sons Luthor Rivers brought on some three years before decided to leave when an ultimatum was given. The four orphan boys from Flea Bottom, now about 13 each, have been helping with changes being made to and around the lodge.
[08/164] Janden fought with others who gathered to lead an assault on a bandit lair they were led to in the Kingswood by a commoner from a village that was raided and burnt down. However, it was intended to be an ambush as the man, Pate, brought the knights there in exchange for the safety of his young son. Instead, the Skagosi man that was their leader (The Eater, name unknown at this point) snapped the boy’s neck in front of them all. Once the fight was on, initiated by two of Janden’s huntsmen putting arrows into a pair of bandits, Janden himself had no trouble with a couple foes, including one named Hurven, killing the spearman in two blows while remaining unscathed. This led to him joining Elmer Crakehall against The Eater after Dermett Corbray was knocked down. Though Janden took a blow to the chest from the man’s club, two on one proved to be a much better strategy and Janden soon sent The Eater to the ground before the chaos rose up around them. The last any of them saw as they pulled back in the wake of ever-increasing danger was The Eater up again, ripping out the throat of Wat the Strangler, who’d come to fight the new horde as well.
[08/164] Joining with other knights and men who sought to find the lair of the bandits, Janden ventured into a hidden cave system deep within the Kingswood where not only The Eater was found amid numbers too great for them to defeat alone, it was revealed they were led by Red Rhys of Dorne. Fighting their way out while being attacked on multiple sides was one thing. Parts of the caves beginning to collapse on them was another, but they were able to make their escape by taking a leap of faith into the waters below, which let out into the open.
Though not adept in political matters, Janden is the Royal Huntsman, a Lesser Office within the King’s Household at court. In addition, he is a member of the Company of the Lance society.
“I hear Ser Ethos is rounding up white feathers for one purpose or another. Perhaps I will seek some black wool for myself.”—to Jannia Tully, after a perceived scolding from her while reminding him of her place and his. [11/163]
“Should I die in it, I give you leave to say ‘I told you so.’”—to Ammon Massey, when concern was expressed over how soon Janden would be fighting in a melee after healing from wounds taken in the battle with Bors Breakhelm. [12/163]
“With about the same eagerness as I’d have upon learning I was to face the Dragonknight in a duel to the death. I was not going to do this thing tonight, but after my and our showing in the morning, I may as well complete the day with further embarrassment.”—to Jyana Arryn, when asked by her if he was looking forward to the singing contest for the knights to be held at Acorn Hall (following a poor performance in the melee). [12/163]
“I should curse you for crushing my hopes we’d just find a way to bring the ships down to the central plaza instead. Just how not deep /is/ ‘not deep,’ then?”—to Katla Serry after learning a planned, unique melee involving those from an Ironborn embassy would be on ships in shallow waters. [02/164]
“Given the description you lay out, I’m like to offer to borrow Ser Trebor’s gold armor for the day and watch from the docks. We can color his hair the same as mine, find a way to make him taller and let him have a go at it. We can skip adding the scar, though.”—to both Katla Serry and Trebor Thorne after the goldcloak had expressed an interest in the melee and Katla further described how it ought to be designed. [02/164]
“I’m..thinking I like each of my fingers and knuckles just where they are now, even this last little bit.”—to Katla Serry, at the suggestion he try the Ironborn finger dance with her or another. [02/164]
“I don’t think the Lady Serry is like to join my sister in her flower gathering.”—to Jyana Arryn during a conversation about the interactions to date between Mara Melcolm and Katla Serry. [02/164]
“Yes, I’ll just picture it as a great big drunken horse fit to hold twenty-some people or more atop its misshapen back.” -– to Farin Prester, when told to forget the ships were on the water as they prepared for a unique melee involving members of the Ironborn embassy. [02/164]
“I’ve heard of people bashing their heads against the wall in frustration, but never has someone tried to do it to my shield.”—to Albyn Crane, after Albyn attempted to headbutt Janden and hit his shield instead, a moment before Janden knocked him down with another strike to the head with that shield during a duel initiated by Albyn. [05/164]
“We could test that theory with your own. Let me see your tongue.”—to Jostyn Grell, following Jostyn’s annoying interruption of a search for missing ladies at court, plus his thought that by spilling a bit of blood a secret passage might open as if through some ritual. Jostyn then pricked his finger with no result. [06/164]
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