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The first week of the Sealord’s presence in the city of King’s Landing proved to be one full of events great and small, as Ferro Antaryon was ushered amidst the royal household and that of the Great Houses from day to day to keep him entertained between the meetings—the several meetings, in fact—he had had in private with King Daeron, his Hand Prince Viserys, and various lords of the small council. And if it seemed that the royal councillors were thoughtful after such meetings, none could blame them. Great things were, clearly, afoot.
But amidst these meetings, some of which involved the representative of the Iron Bank, Donalo Prestayn, were the festive events. First of them all was a feast thrown by House Tyrell at the Red Keep, hosted by Ser Ardon Tyrell and his sister, Lady Reyna Saltcliffe. As they conversed with the Sealord Ferro and the banker Donalo, seven magnificent courses were presented, featuring meals representing all the Seven Kingdoms. Bear from the north, fish from the riverlands, kraken from the Iron Islands, and more were delivered to the many guests who crowded the hall. Minstrels played, and court dances were displayed for the Sealord with many gallant knights showing their grace with many lovely ladies.
Three days later, the Sealord and a few of his companions attended a hunt hosted by the giant Ser Sarmion Baratheon, the royal warden of the kingswood. Breaking their fast beneath a gently weeping summer sky, the hunters—noblemen and noblewomen alike—prepared to take part in the hunts prepared for them. There was tension when Ser Sarmion revealed that the Dornish hostages among the party must needs take part in the hunt for a hart, intended for the women of the court, because the boar was too dangerous and the king would be sore angered if anything should happen to the Dornishmen. Ser Aidan Dayne had words with Stormbreaker, and Lady Valeria Blackmont expressed her views most thoroughly, but to no avail. They departed for the hunt for the hart, which Lady Valeria ultimately brought down with a well-placed arrow. The men—including the Sealord—hunted a massive boar, and with rare success. It was the Sealord of Braavos himself who gave the most telling blow, at Ser Sarmion’s urging. The day concluded with a fine meal of hart and boar . . . but Lady Valeria enraged Ser Sarmion when by chance she struck him a blow, and he—a knight of famous strength—struck her across the face. She was taken away by her brother, and others among the Dornish left then, while the rest remained. Ser Bradwell Hightower protested striking the woman, yet it seems some other business—the two had been deep in conversation—had precedence, and they soon returned to it. Ser Bradwell would later send a raven to his father, Lord Leyton, it’s said…
Lady Tully hosted another feast for the Sealord, following a day spent with the master of coin, Lord Cargyll, and members of certain guilds. And then it was a cruise upon Lord Arryn’s latest flagship, where it was remarked that the Sealord Ferro, called the Lion of Braavos for his exploits as an admiral against rival Free Cities, seemed to get along notably well with Lord Jonothor, who was Ser Alyn Velaryon’s right hand during the invasion of Dorne. Certainly, they spoke a good long while alone, looking out at sea. And then, in the whirl of events, the small tourney hosted by Ser Jonn Lannister.
It was, in one sense, more notable for the entertainment before, a show by dwarfish mummers garbed in Tyrell colors, acting absurdly. It must be said that Ser Jonn’s great-uncle, Ser Rickard, seemed less than pleased by the display. Reyna Saltcliffe, a daughter of Highgarden, was in the crowd that looked on, and the lady seemed unsurprised by it all. The jousting, by comparison, was almost anti-climactic. No contest lasted more than three tilts, and the most notable of the events was the defeat of Ser Anders Dondarrion by Ser Ethos Mertyns, following gossip of a feud between the two. Ser Ethos went on to joust again st Ser Aidan Dayne. The Dornish knight defeated the stormlord to win the day, delivering the crown of queen of love and beauty to the lady whose favor he carried: Aisling Ryswell. This was not the first time the knight carried her favor, and of such things is gossip made.
The Sealord retains a busy schedule, with a masquerade hosted jointly by the Dornish hostage Prince Cadan and the soon-to-be-wed Princess Daena fast approaching, and more before the great royal wedding itself will leave little time for anything else. And those who are not distracted by the events and the pagentary must wonder still . . . why so many meetings with the Sealord, and so much time and effort placed on keeping him and his companions entertained?
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