Blood of Dragons: Tidings

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Sites of Interest
A Chaotic Tourney
IC Date: Day 11 of Month 2, 161 AC
RL Date: October 25, 2009.

Princess Daena’s tourney opened with a grand joust in the tourney grounds of King’s Landing, which drew more than sixty fine knights and lances to challenge for the prize. The tourney brotherhoods formed a great portion of the participants, and there were those who said that more than the rich purse of gold she offered, it was the right for a company to be her champions for a year and a day that spurred them on. Of course, that the Dornish Sons of the Spear took part—and were allowed to take part by King Daeron, despite all the ill-feeling towards the Dornish as the king made preparations to depart to settle the rebellions in Dorne—was not something that pleased many; yet most supposed that it would spur the Company of the Lance and the Brothers of the Battle to greater feats. And they were not far wrong.

After two jousts, the field had been wittled down to sixteen contenders, men of high birth and good repute all. Ser Aidan Dayne remained in the field, and neither Ser Wynton Celtigar nor the Baratheon heir, Ser Tancred, could withstand him in his next two jousts. So, too, could no one stand against Jaremy Dustin, head of the Brothers of the Battle, as the only other Dornishman left—Ser Jossart Vaith—and then Ser Burton Crakehall were to learn. This left the two knights to vie with one another for the right to the final joust, and expectations were high. Though the Knight of the Twilight had beaten Dustin before, at Lord Rosby’s tourney, there was a curious enmity between the two, an enmity connected to Lord Ryger’s niece some said. And when they jousted ... it was Dustin who carried the day, and it was Dayne who was left raging when Dustin offered him some parting words as he was getting up off of the dirt.

Who would he face? Ser Andry Chester, the knight who had first carried word of Lord Oakenfist’s capture at Sunspear, proved to be a skillful jouster, overthrowing Barrotown’s master-at-arms, Aron Lightfoot, and then the son of the infamous Ser Lormon Buckler, Ser Endros. It was Ser Dagur Saltcliffe, the Iron Serpent, Commander of the City Watch who would stand between him and the final joust, after having defeated Ser Ondryn Waters and then Ser Ethos Mertyns, the royal huntsman who had the king’s favor, wed to a Dornish heiress (and nearly killed for it, thanks to her brother and then Ser Anders Dondarrion). But it was not to be: Ser Dagur won, and faced Dustin in the final joust. Invigorated, Dustin rode brilliantly, and the Iron Serpent was vanquished.

The following day, the melee took place, and that was a notable affair. It began late, for the king was delayed by unexpected but welcome news: purple-sailed galleys from Braavos had crested the horizon, and it seemed at last as if the Sealord was sending an army to support the king against the rebellious Dornishmen. Bouyed by this news, many great feats of arms were performed, many new names rose to win themselves high praise, and foremost of them were the final three knights standing: Ser Dagur, Ser Andry, and Ser Janden Melcolm, all three members of the Company of the Lance. They had seen Ser Ober Arryn and Ser Ethos Mertyns, Ser Endros Buckler and Ser Anders Dondarrion, Ser Tancred Baratheon and the cousins Ser Burton and Ser Elmer Crakehall and others beside fall in the welter of combat. So, too, had they vanquished Jaremy Dustin, who in a fit of pique had grabbed at Ser Aidan Dayne as he fell, dragging him from the saddle despite the knight—in his own fit of madness—having moved to support him against his foes, perhaps so they might fight one another at the last. But while Ser Dagur, Ser Janden, and Ser Andry fought on, so too did Dustin and Dayne. It was against the rules of the tourney, against the rules of chivalry, yet they fought—and savagely, with hatred in their hearts. The Knight of the Twilight overthrew the roaring, cursing heir to Barrowton, only to have Ser Dagur intervene and force them apart.

And then there was one left: Ser Andry was the only man who remained ahorse. Prince Aegon whispered into the king’s ear, and Daeron commanded the arrest of Aidan Dayne, and commanded Jaremy Dustin out of his sight. A Dornishwoman, Ser Aidan’s cousin Tanyth—called the Black Tempest—spoke with a foul tongue in response to that, and she too was dragged away. Matters threatend to break into a riot, as the commons cat-called and shoved and threatend to enter the stands to beat the protesting hostages into submission, or worse; but Princess Daena helped calm matters, bringing them back to their duty. Calmly, as if there were no danger, she declared Ser Andry champion. And more: the final three knights were of the Company of the Lance, and for their courage, prowess, and chivalry—a pointed remark on the debacle that the vaunted Ser Aidan Dayne had caused—she chose to name them, and not the Brothers of the Battle, her champions.

It was indeed a wild and chaotic event—after the contest, that is, and now the after effects are sinking in. The glad word from Braavos revealed itself to be far less happy than promised: three companies of Braavosi crossbowmen, and a single sellsword company—the Company of the Cat—were all the Sealord could spare from his own wars against Lys. Ser Aidan Dayne is confined to a tower cell, and it’s said Prince Aegon agitates for the High Septon to cast him out of the order of knighthood, and the Dornish hostages are said to fear for their lives with greater vigor.