Lord Stark has returned now to his seat in the North, after his visit with the king. In Braavos, the Sealord deals with the preparations for his wedding in the coming year to Princess Rhaena, while the Archon of Tyrosh and the Prince of Pentos threaten war against him. It’s said that reavers from the Iron Isles have skirted Fair Isle and the shore of the westerlands, to the concern of Lord Loren. And in King’s Landing, matters great and small are carried out. Black-winged ravens carried missives to Dorne, orders and commands, while a Dornish hostage—soon to be an heiress, if the Dornish do not take care—is prepared to be wed to the heir to a Great House.
Royal officers have waged a war of words and challenges, to the Young Dragon’s displeasure. More to his liking, maybe, is the resurgence of chivalry at court, with the arrival of seasoned men from Dorne, famed swords and lances calling themselves the Brothers of the Battle. But it’s said their leader—who now enjoys the patronage of Prince Aegon, for no reason that anyone can tell when it comes to such an unchivalrous prince—has become frustrated with the pace of the court, or at least the pace of Lord Ryger.
And to add to his burdens, Whalon Rosby—the Jousting Lord—has gotten it into his head to create his own tourney brotherhood, the Company of the Lance, to do great deeds and overshadow these Brothers of the Battle. Is it any surprise, then, that the Dornish hostages are muttering about forming a company of their own? Prince Cadan has had meetings with the steward, Ser William, to this end it’s said, and even with the Hand himself. Doubtless Lord Cargyll would have spoken against it, fearing the costs the king might incur if he sanctioned the hostages—who are, for the most part, living off the generosity of the crown—but still the Master of Coin is away to his seat, indisposed it’s said, and instead one of the King’s Scales has shouldered much of the burdens.
And in Dorne? Trouble brewing in Vaith was narrowly averted by Lord Lyonel Tyrell, and he has forced a co-commander of the garrison of the Red Dunes upon Beslon the Bad. He rides now, it has been said, away to Hellholt for a time. The assassination of Lord Chester is unresolved, and Ser Alyn writes his cousin that he has given up hope of ever learning how it was that Reaversbane’s movements were so well known that he could be killed in such a premediated way, despite the efforts of Ser Robyn Dayne and the shariffs to discover the truth at Prince Marence’s behest. That rebel Manwoody, and Red Rhys of the Scourge, continue their predation on the Boneway ... but in the Prince’s Pass, things seem better.
Ser Mavros Uller, castellan to Lord Qorgyle leading forces commissioned by the king to apprehend Lord Blackmont, has now arranged a parley with the rebel at the king’s command. What threats and promises he bears are a mystery, but few can look at the apprehensive Valeria Blackmont—having been fitted, it’s said, for a bridal gown for her marriage to Ser Tancred Baratheon—and fail to have some thoughts about it… Some expect a last offer of a pardon to made, and other’s still—more hopeful—expect the king means to have Andrey Blackmont’s children’s heads off if he does not come to heel rather than continue his outlawry.