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Prince Viserys Targaryen, the Hand of the King, had let it be known that he would hold an open court session on this day. In the days prior, petitioners could be seen coming and going from the Tower of the Hand to have the prince decide whether they would be called upon. When the day came for the court to be in session, anticipation was high that the prince would reveal news from Dorne and perhaps even some of the king’s decisions as to what lords and knights would receive rewards. They would not be disappointed. Many lords and ladies were in attendance, among them Carmella Dondarrion, Jonn Lannister, Elanna Penrose, Kerona Locke, Bryce Caron, Tancred Baratheon, Jyana Arryn, Irena Marbrand, Andrya and Jannia Tully, and Dale Westerling.
The first glad news came when the Hand entered with his son, the renowned Dragonknight, who had survived a wound made from a poisoned arrow meant for King Daeron. Though looking a little drawn and pale, he was clad in the white armor and cloak of the Kingsguard, and took his place at the foot of the dais on which the Iron Throne sat. Once the Hand was seated, he informed the court that by now His Grace, the king, was even now leading a force from Sunspear to join Lord Tyrell in bringing to heel the last rebel Dornish lords. Furthermore, it was the king’s intention to return to King’s Landing once this was achieved. This was met with joy from the many watching the proceedings, high and low, although the Dornish hostages—including Ser Aidan Dayne, Lady Lanei Fowler, Lady Tanyth Toland, and others—were not even half so pleased.
Viserys then fulfilled the expectations of the gathered lords and ladies, revealing that the king had indeed decreed rewards. Many bold knights and wise lords received of King Daeron’s largess. Among them was Ser Sarmion Baratheon, the famous Stormbreaker, who was named warden of the kingswood until such time as the king saw good. Following this, some in the court noted that as the Hand read on, Ser Doran Dondarrion attempted to discreetly leave the proceedings; it had become well-known that he and the Stormbreaker had quarreled recently and come near to blows. But Ser Sarmion put a stop to Doran Blackbolt, and loudly proclaimed that he held no enmity for the younger knight. Embracing Ser Doran with a violent affection, many were rather baffled by the scene, and Ser Doran apparently not the least. Still, young Dondarrion completed the embrace, only to hear the Hand declare that he should come forward.
From the Hand, the court learned that the king desired Blackhaven’s renowned young knight to become sworn shield to his brother and heir, Prince Baelor. This Ser Doran accepted, although there was some unrest when a lowborn voice cried out that he was a kinslayer, referring to the occasionally-told tale of his slaying an Yronwood kinsman during the war in Dorne. The Hand had guards of the City Watch go into the galleries to find the man and silence him; he could later be seen, mouth bloody and eyes dazed, being hauled out by the main entrance. Once this was done, the prince made it clear that other rewards would be forthcoming from King Daeron’s own hands once he was returned from conquered Dorne. The prince then declared that petitions would be heard.
A number came forward to request the Hand’s judgment. Among them was Ser Almer Connington—a knight who had enhanced his already well-known name with his exploits in Dorne, although not without controversy—who wished to commend to the crown Ser Colyn Rowan and Lymond Buckwell, who had died in Dorne. The Hand acknowledged this. The Connington knight, who had served the Young Dragon ably but had not received any reward earlier, also asked for the badge of a black griffin, to be worn by those men who had served under Ser Almer in the campaign in Dorne, to be acknowledged by the crown. This, too, the Hand thought to be good and allowed.
Other petitions were then heard, including a request by two brother knights to bury the bones of a third, their youngest brother who had died in the king’s service in Dorne, in the Dragonpit because he had always loved the dragons. Prince Viserys—whose mother, some would recall, had been eaten by one of King Aegon II’s dragons during the terrible Dance of the Dragons—allowed this, and made a gift of a pyromancer’s torch to adorn the grave. Then Lady Reyna Rowan, born a Tyrell of Highgarden, came forward with her petition to enter the service of one of the Targaryen princesses. The Hand accepted this request, letting all of the court know that she would join the attendants of the eldest of his nieces, Princess Daena, along with Lady Carmella of House Dondarrion (sister of Ser Doran Blackbolt).
With this, the open court was called to a close. It was noted afterwards that the heir to Nightsong, Ser Bryce Caron, approached the Dornish hostages to speak with two of their number in the colors of House Manwoody; his great-aunt, Lady Lysanne, is wed to Lord Mors Manwoody, who is one of the defiant rebel lords.
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