The wind does not stir, and has not done so for three days, now. Blackwater Bay is calm, a gray sea covered by a gray fog. Ships lie in that bay, and at the docks, waiting for a breath of air from the west to carry them out to sea, and to begin the long journey to Dorne. In the halls of the Red Keep, it’s said that Lord Velaryon consults daily with maesters. The septons gathered at Baelor’s behest to join the fleet (it would not do to leave any sailor, man-at-arms, or knight without the solace of spiritual council) join the king each day in prayer… but some worry that among them are those
There are those who say that King Baelor has asked Grand Maester Clement to convince the Citadel that doves would be as reliable as ravens, and more pleasing to the gods beside, and the Grand Maester has dutifully experimented. From the drum tower of the Grand Maester, ravens still fly… but sometimes, too, white doves beat their wings to race away bearing messages (some have found their way to stoop on eaves and roofs of the city below Aegon’s High Hill, their messages apparently not so urgent; and a few besides have found their way into bowls of brown in Flea Bottom.) Still, the Grand
Rumors run rife, as they always do in the city of the dragon-kings. But they reach a new fervor on the topic of the Stepstones, controlled with increasing ruthlessness by the Free City of Pentos who extracts protection tolls in coin and goods and sometimes even flesh. For the realm of King Baelor, it is a nuisance, but not a great one—or so some argue. And yet in the highest of councils, the king’s own small council, the tenor of the conversation is quite other: the Master of Ships is in favor of a joint expedition proposed by the Lord Protector of Dorne; the Master of Coin would prefer that
If dark wings bring dark words, then what do white wings herald? Why, word of winter’s end, of course. At long last it has come, after nearly two years. The white raven came from the Citadel early in the morning on the 21st day of month 8 and soon thereafter criers across the city spread the word of the arrival of spring across the city. Meanwhile, the king is said to have spent the day in prayer, giving thanks to the Seven for the end of winter.
Curiously, the white raven is not the only white-winged bird to have been seen about the Red Keep of late. Several sightings report that cages of
Almost a fortnight was past since Princess Daena had vanished from the keep called the Maidenvault by some at court, where she and her sisters had been immured soon after King Baelor’s ascension. The revelation of her disappearance brought to an abrupt session the king’s court, as he fled to pray for his sister’s safe return and as others at court such as the Hand Prince Viserys hurriedly arranged a search for her. The City Watch combed the docks and the city, but the news of her flight was kept to the Red Keep for all of a day before it began to circulate throughout the city. Nothing the
In the royal court of King’s Landing, the septon-king Baelor prepared to hear cases and petitioners as the glittering nobility gathered in the cavernous throne room of the Red Keep. All the king’s councillors were there, from the Hand Prince Viserys to the master of laws Lord Terin, and the Kingsguard led by Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, and more besides. So too were many significant knights and lords, including the emissaries from Dorne and other worthies.
The first matters to be heard by the king, high upon the Iron Throne, were criminal cases: alleged whores, thieves, and the like, the
The occasion of the wedding of Ser Aidan Dayne, the famed Knight of the Twilight, and the lady Aisling Ryswell was an unusual one in some respects. For one, King Baelor himself presided over the marriage, in his capacity as a septon of the Faith. For another, despite neither being a great lord or lady, not one but two tournies were arranged for the occasion; a rarity in these more austere and pious times. The reason for it had more to do with the Dornish embassy to the Iron Throne, of which Ser Aidan was a part, than to any native desire of theirs to make such a showing. Regardless of the
The Seven Above must smile on the realm, and blessed King Baelor. Ever since the clamor at the miraculous healing of a beggar in the streets, the king himself has been ensconced with the High Septon and the Most Devout, the wisest and most learned men of the faith whose spiritual counsel proves increasingly important to the young king. Small council meetings of late have even included the High Septon, it is said, though he holds no official seat on the council, instead acting to advise the king and his most gracious Hand and councillors. Gifts have gone out from the Red Keep’s treasury at the
From the Citadel, pale wings took flight across the realm.
In Oldtown, bells tolled.
In Highgarden, the news was taken as reason for a winter festival to be readied.
In the bowels of Casterly Rock, Lord Loreon resumed counting his coins.
In Riverrun, the Tullys were occupied with the latest series of petitions and counter-petitions from the Blackwoods and Brackens, and considered the question of whom would attend the marriage of Jannia Tully to Lord Jarmon Buckwell in a few months time.
At Storm’s End, Lord Corwen Baratheon is said to have dismissed the news of a white raven’s arrival,
Day 15 of Month 9, 165 AC
The king’s return to health continues, and with it… more changes at court. Not, as it happens, offices (although there have been more movements there as well, in lesser offices, and certain other positions of greater note). Instead, the king has turned his eye to the spiritual health of the realm. Moved by prayers, by council with the High Septon and the Most Devout, by the plight of the kingslanders as reports filter even into the Red Keep of the city watch having to deal more and more often with rapers and prostitues who try to secretly carry on their immoral
Day to day, it is said, King Baelor’s strength grows. The long, long recovery from his fasting in the wake of Princess Naerys’s miscarriage seems nearer to drawing from an end, as he has been seen more often away from his apartments, and the private sept which he most frequents. He has attended services at the royal sept almost daily, now, and though he has yet to sit the Iron Throne in judgement, it is known that he even occasions to join the small council from time to time, though rumors has it that it is Prince Viserys who most often leads the council, save in matters touching on the
The victory at sea by the Sea Watch proved a vital blow against the forces of the so-called “king”, Red Rhys of the Scourge, and his ally Sullehman Saan. But though they had lost the battle, the war for Stonedance continued as the remnant of their forces remained at Stonedance in strength. Driving forward under the royal banner, the host under Prince Aemon Targaryen, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, joined with the outriders they had sent to sweep away the reavers and scavengers that Rhys and Saan had out. As they approached the walls, the giant Vaario Quanis could be seen bringing a man
The terror that has swept Massey’s Hook, when it was revealed that the Dornish robber-knight Red Rhys of the Scourge had allied himself with the notorious Sullehman Saan, has even come to the royal city where Baelor, slow to recover, prays… and where Prince Viserys, his uncle and Hand, rules. For in the city, an assault took place in which the lady Reyna Saltcliffe was injured, her guards killed… and worst of all, the young ladies Jyana Arryn and Elrone Darklyn were abducted and vanished. While throughout the city a search was made, it would not be for a fortnight before the truth was
Far to the south, Dornish galleys cross the narrow sea. Braavos is their destination, to attempt to win over that mighty Free City to an alliance with Pentos against Lys.
And unbeknownst to them, from King’s Landing have sailed a handful of royal war galleys, a mighty escort for a prince with a similar—yet opposed—mission. Prince Aegon Targaryen, son of the Hand Prince Viserys, cousin to the King Baelor the First of His Name, was named head (some might say figurehead) of an embassy meant to dissuade Braavos from taking part. Earlier efforts had been rebuffed, the emissaries sent back in
With all the turmoil in King’s Landing and its environs, from the near-destruction of a royal fleet by the notorious Saan to the over-running of Stonedance, the arrival of a royal galley and its escorts was little remarked; there are many such plying the narrow sea. But it was soon recognized as the galley sent, with an emissary and his aides, to Braavos, to meet with the Sea Lord. At court it was well-known that this was due to growing tensions involving Lys and Pentos, Free Cities nearly at war with one another and seeking allies. Prince Viserys’s old ties to Lys may well have been the