Blood of Dragons: Tidings

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Sites of Interest
Wedding Bells and Dented Helms
IC Date: Day 9 of Month 12, 160 AC
RL Date: August 24, 2009.

The wedding of Ser Sarmion Baratheon, known as the Stormbreaker, to a daughter of Lord Hightower was a grand event that drew most of the lords of the stormlands to Storm’s End. So, too, did it bring a number of the great magnates of the realm, Prince Viserys and the king’s siblings chief among them. Flocking to Storm’s End where Lord Corwen hosted a great wedding and ensuing festivities, the bride was lovely to behold and the giant Baratheon knight was as imposing as ever as the vows were exchanged before a thronged crowd. Many gifts were given, including a small galleas from the king. The Young Dragon did not attend personally—it’s said that the king had recently quarelled with Ser Sarmion, his warden of the kingswood, and this was a cause for why the knight had departed King’s Landing for a tour of the forest for awhile—but the gift, and the presence of his uncle the Hand, seemed to say all was well. Yet it must be said, Lord Corwen and Prince Viserys were often closeted together for much of the time, with rumors saying that that Viserys was taking the Lord of Storm’s End advice as to the disposition of the recently attainted Blackmont lands and castle in far away Dorne.

Regardless of the political dealings, what the commons truly wanted to see was the contests of arms to mark the occasion. First was the melee, with many bold warriors taking part from all parts of the realm—Lars Umber of the North, Ser Humfrey Westerling of the westerlands, Ser Jarwen Hollard of the Hand’s household, and even a handful of Dornishmen, hostages given leave to attend by the king, led by Ser Aidan Dayne. The Dornishmen all bore the badge of the tourneying fellowship called the Sons of the Spear, much as a number of knights bore the mark of the rival Company of the Lance, and others still the sigil of the Brothers of the Battle which counted Ser Sarmion among their number.

And it was Ser Sarmion’s day, it seemed, he and his companions—men like Ser Ethos Mertyns and Ser Benedict Rogers—fighting together in the melee at the outset and doing great damage. The Dornishmen fell to their efforts, Ser Aidan Dayne brought down by the Stormbreaker personally, and many besides. The Company of the Lance was well-represented, Ser Ardon Tyrell and his good-brother the Iron Serpent, Ser Dagur Saltcliffe, knocking men down to left and right while Ser Janden Melcolm more than held his own until Ser Sarmion and his remaining allies came on them in their fury. Stormbreaker accounted for both great knights, and for Ser Argos Waxley as well. At the end, the contest came down to the Stormbreaker and Ser Humfrey, heir to the Crag, and Ser Sarmion soon dispatched the knight to great acclaim. Yet Ser Humfrey’s boldness—the last but one of a field some forty strong—won great merit for him, and even the Stormbreaker hailed him by inviting the young knight into the Brothers of the Battle. Many were the broken bones, smashed fingers, and concussed heads after that day’s wild melee.

The next day saw the tourney, with a strong field of participants. But if the previous day could be said to belong to the Stormbreaker, the jousting would prove to be a day for heirs ... and the Baratheon heir foremost of all. Ser Humfrey Westerling started out in fine form, defeating Ser Tancred and sending him into the second series of jousts for those who were defeated. Meanwhile, Ser Ardon and his good-brother Ser Dagur defeated Ser Burton, the heir to Crakehall, and Ser Ethos Mertyns, the king’s huntsman and a Brother of the Battle, in turn only to find that they were to fight one another in the lists. That would prove a famous contest, for both knights unhorsed one another, and fought on on foot, attacking in a flurry of bold skill and stinting nothing until the Iron Serpent had the better of the much-liked brother of the Lord of Highgarden.

In other contests, Ser Janden proved less lucky against Ser Doran the Blackbolt and then Jaremy Dustin, as did Ser Argos Waxley against Ser Aidan Dayne and Ser Elmer Crakehall. The Knight of the Twilight seemed unstoppable early on, defeating the Stormbreaker as some small revenge for his defeat in the melee, and then fighting the other famous contest of the day against Doran Dondarrion in which a dozen lances were broken in seven passes before a decision. But this may have proved his undoing, for the knight was never so bold in his jousting after that, and seemed to carry an injury. To the great surprise of many, Ser Humfrey defeated him in a hard-fought contest, and merely awaited his final opponent.

Who should have fought it would be Tancred Baratheon? The young knight had distinguished himself in Lord Rosby’s tourney some months past, the event now sung of for having led to the formation of Rosby’s Company of the Lance and the Dornish Sons of the Spear, but otherwise he had only occasionally shown flashes of brilliance. And yet there it was in full, for after his first defeat, Ser Tancred rode with an unmatched fury. Even his uncle the Stormbreaker fell before him, and the Iron Serpent, and the Blackbolt. The Knight of the Twilight, too, might have fallen to him, but the knight forfeited graciously, pleading a hampering injury. This left the way clear for Ser Tancred to joust against Ser Humfrey, and afterwards it seemed inevitable that Ser Tancred would have his revenge, unhorsing Ser Humfrey once, and then doing so again to win the prize. Great was the acclaimation of the heir to Storm’s End after that unexpected victory, and great too was the praise Ser Humfrey had with his bold showing.

So ended the wedding tourney at Storm’s End, and the next day preparations began for Prince Viserys and most of the courtiers who accompanied him from King’s Landing to return to the royal city.