The realms rejoiced at the marriage of Prince Daeron to Princess Mariah, as King Baelor officiated and administered the vows. After the melee born in violence, tensions had eased somewhat, and while still there were incidents of old feuds and old blood causing fresh troubles, none of them were serious enough to cause lasting turmoil. Instead, the court and the shadow city were consumed with the entertainments prepared by Prince Maron in the days leading to the marriage, from a horse race won by the bastard daughter of Ser Mavros Uller to a pageant featuring fantastical scenes of ancient heroes and personages in which even King Baelor took part in the guise of Lord Aenar. The wedding itself was a grand event, the feasting hall of the Sandship packed to overflowing, and the gift-giving that took place was notable in many ways.
From low to high, a great treasury worth of gifts were given to the pair, from lords high and mighty to orphans of the Greenblood and guildsmen. Books were given in plenty, rare tomes, and jewels and jewelry, and horses, hounds, falcons, and more. The most newsworthy of gifts, however, came from the unexpected appearance of two separate groups of emissaries from Braavos. The first, professing himself from the Sealord, presented three dragon eggs made of jewels that stunned many for its extravagance and artistry. When Prince Daeron thanked him, and his master the Sealord Donalo Prestayn, the emissary begged pardon and corrected him: though the Sealord Donalo had commissioned the gift, it was the new Sealord Tenesio Velaron who had seen it dispatched. That was news that should surely have already come to Dorne and the Seven Kingdoms beyond, at least a moon old, perhaps more—yet the Secret City had somehow kept this all a secret. Prince Viserys and the Keeper of the Tower of the Sun, Lord Toland, soon excused themselves to seek out this emissary.
And then the other emissaries came, a trio of men representing the Iron Bank of Braavos. They presented a more modest gift, showing the approval of the bank of a union that they believed would benefit Westeros and the Free Cities alike: a fine marriage casket, a treasure box where valuables might be kept. And that, too, caused consternation… but from some of the Dornish at the high table, including the Lord Protector Quinlan Qorgyle, and some cast hooded eyes towards Prince Rhodry, who had lately been in Braavos and had left there under somewhat disreputable circumstances involving the death of the old Sealord’s First Sword and the appearance of a young Braavosi of breeding in his company (as well as Mavros Uller’s bastard daughter, besides).
Yet the bedding took place—more solemn and less ribald than such customs usually are, thanks to Baelor’s presence—and many would enjoy the bounty of wine and food into the small hours. The next morning dawned with expectations high for the events celebrating the wedding, an archery contest and a grand tourney in which more than a hundred men-at-arms were entered. The archery was won by Ser Digory Dalt, who impressed one and all when he defeated a Summer Islander woman with a golden bow, and then doubled his prize by answering Prince Maron’s challenge to strike a target dead center at a hundred paces with one of three arrows.
As to the tourney, it was accounted the grandest in all of Westeros in years, perhaps even since King Daeron’s grand tourney or the Tourney of Roses in Highgarden. Champions from both north and south of the red mountains took part, including four knights of the Kingsguard, Ser Tamlyn Toland, Prince Rhodry, and more besides. A mystery knight called Brightmane was unmasked by Ser Michael Blackmont, and was revealed to be the squire Loreon Lannister who claimed that Speardancer had killed his father many years past in Dorne. One of the favorites, Ser Aidan Dayne, who had defeated Ser Jaesin and Prince Aemon of the Kingsguard, was injured in the course of defeating Ser Michael Blackmont on foot, and withdrew from the tourney. Speardancer himself was unhorsed by a disreputable bastard squire, Mycah Sand, who proceeded to refuse in crude terms Ser Michael’s attempt to knight him. In the end, Prince Aemon twice defeated Ser Durance Darklyn—who had won much acclaim having taken second place in the melee, and had gone undefeated in the lists until that point—to take home the prize of five thousand golden suns, while Darklyn took two thousand golden suns as his prize.
The following day marked the first of the new year, and there were celebrations and entertainments for that as well, as well as the knighting of Loreon Lannister by his kinsman and master Ser Jaesin Lannister. But late in that evening, word first reached Sunspear of something new: the raising up of a new High Septon, a man of humble birth but great gifts, a stonemason before but now the Voice of the Seven on Earth. King Baelor was pleased, and immediately gathered nobles to him in Sunspear’s sept to offer prayers of thanksgiving, but many in Dorne revealed themselves dubious of this new High Septon’s merits, and apparently the rumors that King Baelor had played a substantial part in his selection.