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The day of Elaena Targaryen’s nameday promised to be filled with a great number of gifts for the princess, as the royal court turned out in force in the Queen’s Ballroom for the official celebration. But curiously, few of the nobles were taken with discussing the ninth nameday of the princess, or comparing gifts. On their lips instead was gossip, rumor, and rank innuendo touching on the recent whispers and tales that have swirled the last week concerning Prince Aegon. With her husband away to the Marches, Lady Reyna appears to have attracted Aegon’s attention, and the stories of just what took place when he visited were conflicting to say the least. And then, shortly after, news began to spread of Aegon’s mistress—not Cassella Vaith, the now-pregnant Dornish noblewoman, but another woman whom Aegon had allegedly kept in secret in the city. The rumormongers spread more gossip, as details of the alleged mistress came forward; a common woman, some said, who had been put up in a manse and visited with surprising secrecy over several years, and who gave Aegon bastard children. Or were they bastards? For to add to the scandal was the report that Aegon may have wed her in secret as well, although reports differ on whether an actual septon performed the ceremony or not.
And so the nameday feast swirled with this information. Many notables were present: lords of the small council, Ser Conrad Arryn, Lady Ammena Piper, Dornish hostages such as Ser Aidan Dayneand his Toland cousins, Lady Soranna Hawick, Lady Aisling Ryswell in the company of Lord Ryger and her step-sister Lady Sylvina, and more. When the king arrived, he escorted Elaena before all the rest, with their companions and Kingsguard following behind. Lady Reyna Saltcliffe was with Naerys’s ladies, and seemed not to notice the looks and whispers that followed her. Prince Aegon, however, was not. The first to present a gift to Elaena was Ser Sarmion Baratheon and Mistress Rosalind Hill, betrothed to Ser Endros Buckler. A white fawn, found in the kingswood by the Stormbreaker’s foresters and tended to health by Mistress Rosalind, was given to the appreciative princess who held onto its leash for much of the rest of the evening after having convinced the indulgent Young Dragon that the fawn should live in the godswood so that she might visit it daily. Lord Ryger’s niece Lady Sylvina Serry presented an illuminated religious work from the Starry Sept, Lady Ammena presented a clever silver ring shaped like a bird that could be used to whistle a merry tune, Preston Wayn the master of whisperers presented the little princess with puppets, and so the gifts continued.
And then Aegon arrived with his companions, and it was clear that they had been drinking before. Taking his place at the high table, he immediately began to interject his opinions of the given gifts. When Lady Reyna was chosen to present Princess Naerys’s gift, a fine piece of jewelry with links crafted to look like daisies, Aegon remarked aloud that he was glad they were not roses. Whispers followed, looking between Reyna and Aegon, and those who were sharp-eyed noticed how Prince Viserys sent the Dragonknight to leave his post and spend time among the courtiers, likely so as to avoid his brother’s crudities. More gifts came, such as a book of tales told by the orphans of the Greenblood presented by the Knight of the Twilight, but Aegon dismissed the gift as full of lies and nonsense. When King Daeron asked his cousin, in a cool tone, as to what gift he had for Elaena, Aegon dissembled and claimed he had shared the cost of Naerys’s gift. But he could not help adding as a “gift” a piece of advice to his little cousin: never trust a woman smelling of roses, he said, for it often covers a stench. Prince Viserys cut him short, and stated that King Daeron’s own present was to be given to Elaena.
Aegon was quelled, but seems to have begun to complain to Naerys about some matter while a servant brought forth Daeron’s gift. Unveiled, it was revealed to be one of the greatest treasures of House Targaryen, an unhatched dragon’s egg the color of cream slashed with gold that very nearly matched Elaena’s crowning glory, her platinum-pale hair with its streak of brilliant gold down its length. Elaena was estatic with the gift, and thanked her brother warmly. In the meanwhile, Aemon the Dragonknight returned to his place, stony-faced. Prince Viserys gave him a command, and he half-forced his brother to depart the room. Again, eyes and whispers followed, and Lady Reyna was looked at again with considering gazes.
Very shortly afterwards, the feasting was interrupted by cries of murder, as a serving man yelled that Prince Aegon was attempting to murder his brother! Chaos ensued, as women screamed and men shouted. Daeron vaulted over the table and down from the dais to rush with some of the Kingsguard towards the door, knocking aside men and women alike. Naerys swooned and was tended to by her ladies and Mistress Rosalind, Elaena burst into tears, and Baelor prayed. At last word arrived from a nobleman with a missing sleeve and blood on his doublet, announcing that no one was killed. A quarrel had broken out between the brothers after the Dragonknight had led Aegon away, and the elder brother managed to seize his sibling’s sword while in a rage. He laid open the Dragonknight’s face from ear to jaw, it’s said, yet Prince Aemon managed to disarm Aegon. The manner of it caught the fancy of some of the courtiers, however, as they received with incredulity and then a certain perverse glee the news that Aemon had snatched up a chamberpot a cowering servant was carrying and used the heavy weight of it to knock the blade from his hand. The nobleman’s sleeve was used to staunch the flow of blood, the other Sworn Brothers led Aegon away and locked him in his chamber at the king’s command, a maester was called for, and servants as well to clean up the mess.
And so the feast ended, with tears and screams and anger, and any who say the Young Dragon pass to his royal chambers could attest to his outrage at his cousin’s actions.
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