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In the Prince’s Pass, the outlaw lord Andrey Blackmont and a handful of his men crept from their hiding places in the fastnesses and tracks of the red mountains of Dorne. Their purpose? A parley with Lord Qorgyle’s castellan, Ser Mavros Uller, a man once exiled from Dorne and now rising high thanks to an old, blind lord’s trust and the esteem of the Young Dragon. For weeks now, Ser Mavros at the head of a troop of Qorgyle spears played a cat-and-mouse game with the rebel who had done so much to choke traffic across the Prince’s Pass and who bedeviled Ser Wallace Chester in Starfall. A number
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
The announcement that Lord Whalon of Rosby, the far-famed Jousting Lord, was to host a tourney was met with great pleasure among the chivalry of King’s Landing and its surrounding lands. Many young knights, as yet unheralded, saw in it an opportunity to start carving out a name for themselves in the tournament circuit. Moreover, they proved quite right.
More than three dozen knights and squires entered the contest, among them past champions and various notables at the court. Those causing the greatest stir were the recently-arrived knights and lances of the Brothers of the Battle, the
The Sealord of Braavos departs at last from King’s Landing, on his great galley. Trailing him shall be his escort, some of the finest ships of the royal fleet following him as far as Crabclaw Point to see him and the half dozen other ships of the Braavosi embassy off on their journey across the narrow sea to the Secret City. The Sealord Ferro has sworn to send a ship in a year to fetch his betrothed, the young Princess Rhaena, to be wed in the mightiest of the Free Cities. With all due pomp and circumstance, the royal court will turn out to see the Sealord depart, with King Daeron himself
Carried on black wings, word has reached King’s Landing of Lord Chester’s assassination in the midst of the shadow city. King Daeron, the Young Dragon, had planned to go to a last hunt with the Sealord of Braavos before his departure back to his city; with the news, he gave up the notion, instead closeting himself with his councillors for a time. Birds could be seen winging their way from the Grand Maester’s tower, flying south, some hours later. More, rumors ran that half a score of royal galleys were to be prepared to journey to Sunspear as swift as may be with fresh levies and knights to
In far away Dorne, in the Sunspear of the Martells, there was a feast of farewell of an evening for Lord Belion Chester, known as Reaversbane. Having been in Starfall after taking part in the hunt for Andrey Blackmont and other rebels in the western end of the red mountains of Dorne, the lord had developed a reputation as a man who was not afraid to spill blood to pacify the countryside for his king. So he was called upon by Lord Tyrell to aid him in doing the same to the region about the Greenblood, and he stayed at Sunspear awhile to consult with Ser Alyn Velaryon. It was at Oakenfist’s
Slowly, rumors and gossip have begun to illuminate something of the unusually secretive negotiations between King Daeron the First and the Sealord of Braavos, Ferro Antaryon. Speculation was rife in the time since the Sealord’s arrival, but asking members of his embassy—even the loqacious Donalo Prestayn, reprsentative of the Iron Bank—was fruitless, and not one of the small councillors offered so much as a whisper. If there were any inclined to speak loosely, it seems Preston Wayn, the king’s master of whisperers, had put the fear of punishment on them. And so the slightest of trickles were
A fortnight after the royal wedding of Prince Baelor to his sister Princess Daena, the long-awaited tourney took place to honor the occasion. Declared as a joust for love, in which knights must bear a lady’s favor and swear to perform feats of arms to please them, more than two dozen knights entered the lists for love of their ladies. Among the great names were Lord Tyrell’s brother, Ser Ardon, and Lord Baratheon’s heir and brother, Ser Tancred and Ser Sarmion, and even the Dragonknight, Prince Aemon, who carried Daena’s favor on behalf of his cousin. More notably still, Ferro Antaryon,
After the masque hosted by the Dornish hostage, Prince Cadan Nymeros Martell, with the soon-to-be-wed Princess Daena, all that was left to happen was the wedding itself. With so many great lords and ladies present in the city—including the Lord of Winterfell, Cregan Stark—the royal marriage promised to be the most attended event since the king’s Grand Tourney the year before. The royal household, with the assistance of various courtiers, made all ready. Princess Daena was radiant in her bridal gown, and it’s said she looked forward to the ceremony, but Baelor . . . Baelor chose to fast, and
The first week of the Sealord’s presence in the city of King’s Landing proved to be one full of events great and small, as Ferro Antaryon was ushered amidst the royal household and that of the Great Houses from day to day to keep him entertained between the meetings—the several meetings, in fact—he had had in private with King Daeron, his Hand Prince Viserys, and various lords of the small council. And if it seemed that the royal councillors were thoughtful after such meetings, none could blame them. Great things were, clearly, afoot.
But amidst these meetings, some of which
Sails were spotted on the horizon three hours before the great galley and its escorts, all of them purple-hulled, arrived at the docks of King’s Landing. In the hours between, the Red Keep and the royal household flew into activity, making sure all was ready so that the king might show the power and wealth of the Seven Kingdoms to best advantage before the mightiest lord of the Free Cities. As the _Titan’s Fist_, a great galley of four hundred oars, and its escorts pulled into the docks, it seemed half the city had turned out to try and catch a glimpse at Ferro Antaryon, the Sealord. Called
The Sealord is due to arrive in little more than a week, the Starveling’s power has been broken, and a royal wedding is to take place in little more than a month—why not have a feast? So the courtiers of King’s Landing gathered in the Old Keep’s great hall, to dance and drink, to gossip and be entertained. There was, of course, the question about the host of the feast, or the precise excuse for throwing it. Some whispered it was to do with the nameday of Lord Baratheon’s heir, others thought it had something to do with the Master of Coin learning of a grandson, and others still believed more
The success imprisonment of several bandits allowed the expeditionary force in the Kingswood the opportunity to put them to the question. Few of the men resisted long, and soon enough they revealed more precisely the location of the Starveling’s main encampment, and even the signal they used when approached by the guards that Starion Flowers kept posted. Later that evening, everyone was surprised when Ser Endros Buckler, the missing knight and officer of the Kingswood, appeared out of the forest like some wild man of the woods. The reunion with his father, Ser Lormon, whose efforts proved
The expedition into the hingswood, under command of Ser Sarmion Baratheon, the royal warden of the woods, at last came into contact with a bloodthirsty and desperate troop of outlaws. The giant Baratheon had determined to lure the bandits out of hiding, sending a small company of his men disguised as crofters with a wagon along a forest path while a troop horse followed a good distance behind, awaiting the signal of a horn. Men of the City Watch were there in plenty under their commander, Ser Dagur Saltcliffe, and the infamous Lormon Buckler had a small troop as well. The heir to Casterly
The great hall of the Old Keep saw amusement and revelry, as the king and his court watched the antics of his fool, the dwarf Tall Tom. Surrounded by courtiers—many of them young gallants, veterans of the Dornish campaign, and others fair maidens—and at times dictating letters to a scribe, the king was most happy when his sister, Princess Daena, entered the hall with her train of ladies. The king welcomed them and had seats freed beside him for Daena and her companions. One in particular, Carmella Dondarrion, had the king’s particular attention as the two discussed matters of her home in
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