With word of the king’s safe arrival at Blackhaven reaching the city, and the feasting and rest he would find there from the open hands of Lord Dondarrion, the business of the court becomes all the more hurried as preparations of all sorts are made to ensure that the Young Dragon’s arrival in King’s Landing will be one to remember. There at the verge of the Red Mountains, the larger part of the king’s host will disperse, leaving only a core of the men from the crown lands and the isles of Blackwater Bay, and a number of other doughty knights and lords who choose to share with him the great welcome. Those at court know well what that welcome entails, if they’ve been paying attention…
Ser William Waxley, the royal steward, has been closeted with various members of the small council—the Master of Coin and the Hand especially—in making plans and arrangements for the days of pomp that will follow Daeron’s entry into his city. The drapers of the city have been sent large sums to provide the finest cloths, and the best seamstresses and tailors have been appointed to make no less than a hundred matched garments of sable and scarlet for the king and his household. Other garments, too, have been ordered—including, it’s said, half a hundred robes of Dornish fashion in sand silks recently arrived on a royal vessel for just this purpose. Some say that they are meant for the hostages, and already arrangements are being made for fittings.
Ser Richard Harte has been busy seeing that all the gates are well-tended and that the city is as pristine as may be. He has been seen travelling about with a troop of the City Watch, even daring Flea Bottom to clear it out of some of its more troublesome ruffians. So, too, it’s been said he’s paid a public visit to the manor of the Baratheons in the city, on the Hand’s business.
And what of the royal kin? The Dragonknight and his chosen knights and guards protect the Dornishmen still, but with an addition: Prince Aegon has joined them, though no one is quite sure why. The common rumor is that he was dragged from his less savory pursuits in the city to assist Ser William in the festival arrangements in so far as they concerned the Dornish, and that while Aemon guards, Aegon will direct. Yet if he has had a meeting with the head of the unwilling Dornish embassy, Prince Cadan, none can swear to it. Princess Naerys, her health improved but fragile still, has personally seen to some of the new garments being made for members of the household, and she and her ladies are privately busying themselves with a richly embroidered cloak to present to Daeron on his return. The other, younger princesses are less involved in such matters, although it’s known that Princess Daena has begun to hector her uncle to let her have charge of the outfitting of the royal horses. As to the king’s heir, his brother Baelor, other than his many daily prayers upon his brother’s behalf, he seems recently distracted by other concerns—no doubt they are holy ones.
Last but not least, the Hand and the small council have often worked into the late hours, deliberating on the state of Dorne and the army and the treasury, on the preparations, and on many other things besides. Viserys has been tireless in his nephew’s service, they say, visiting men throughout the city, from Visenya’s Sept where the High Septon has received him more than once, to the docks where ship captains recently arrived from Oakenfist’s fleet have hailed him and taken him aboard to share the latest news.