Beginning with an archery competition on in the morning, the excitement of the day was increased because this time the ladies would compete down in the tourney fields before the eyes of the smallfolk rather than in the Red Keep’s outer ward with only fellow nobility to see. The crowds were drawn by the novelty, but found much of note to comment on. Though the ladies competed at shorter distances than the men, and showed not quite the skill that the best of them did, their determination and fineness of hand stood them in good stead. More than a dozen noblewomen of high birth competed, matching two sets of arrows for each round before the targets were moved back five paces. Among the first to be removed from the field was Lady Marian Stark, who had faired notable well in the riding of rings. In the second culling, it was another horsewoman of some seeming skill who was among the eliminated, Lady Ammena Piper. After her, Lady Reyna Saltcliffe fell away when the distance proved too great for consistent accuracy, leaving the field down to just three: Lady Aisling Ryswell, Lady Ryssa Waters, and Princess Daena Targaryen. Lady Aisling held a commanding lead in each of the rounds, but the battle for the second prize was exciting. In the end, the royal princess prevailed, but fell before the Northern maiden. The king himself gave the prizes to first and second , a hundred gold dragons and yards of sandsilk from Dorne for Aisling, and fifty gold dragons and some yards of richly dyed velvet for his dear sister.
The field for the men’s competition was much larger, the targets somewhat more difficult, and the distances greater. The first round was taken by Ser Bryon Waynwood, a knight from Iron Oaks in the Vale who proved himself a dangerous archer as the competition continued. So, too, did Ser Aidan Dayne, who took second place in the first round. In the first culling, Ser Triston Templeton, the heir to Ninestars who won the first day’s tourney, proved victorious in the lists. Following him in the second culling was Ser Bonifer Buckwell, and then in the third Ser Jossart Vaith. After this, the competition grew more heated as the distances grew greater and greater. Sex Axell Farman, who had performed impressively, finally fell away, and then Seth Blackwood did the same. With only a handful of competitors left, it seemed to many that the contest would reach the full hundred paces, or even beyond, before it was winnowed down to two worthies. But Ser Sarmion Baratheon faltered at eighty paces, as were two others, and they were eliminated in favor of Ser Aidan and Ser Bryon. At a hundred paces they let fly their arrows ... and the Dornishman proved at last the victor, though it was a near thing. Rewarded by the king, Ser Aidan was given a thousand gold dragons and Ser Bryon five hundred.