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In the wake of the chaos that broke out during Princess Elaena’s nameday celebration, House Targaryen has been ominously silent. Courtiers would speak with hushed voices of what had happened and what would be done, and the lords of the small council would say almost nothing at all on the matter. King Daeron held a meeting into the night with his Hand, Prince Viserys, and the day after saw them both visiting Prince Aemon as he recuperated from the terrible wound that his brother gave him. Whispers have it that the Dragonknight’s beauty will no longer be what it once was, but it’s just as well
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
Gathered in the throne room were what seemed to be half the nobles in the realm, as a great royal feast was arranged to close the tourney. All of the royal kin were present, and seated among the high table were lords such as Loren of House Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock. It was a grand occasion indeed, with music and entertainers, with a free flow of wine and a constant flow of savories, confections, roasted meats, delicacies, and more. In the course of it, a silence was called for with a royal fanfare sounded by a trumpeter, so that all might attend as King Daeron spoke. Speaking at first
The final day of the joust had arrived with great pomp and circumstance, but before it could begin there were a hundred squires to be raised to knighthood by King Daeron’s own hand. Among the new-made knights were Ethos Mertyns, Holtyn Rosby, Jan Marbrand, Urston Coldwater, and the young Lord Guy Cordwayner. After the ceremony was completed, the grand final would begin with the victors of the previous seven days defending the Queen of Love and Beauty, the Princess Daena, from all challengers. The first six champions were Ser Almer Connington, Ser Triston Templeton, Ser Gueren Waters, Balian
As the first light of dawn broke, the Joust of Love commenced at the Tourney Grounds. A mystery knight in sable, calling himself the Black Lion and bearing the golden cloth favor of Lady Kellyn Lannister, rode out to make the first challenge of the day, Ser Almer Connington of Griffin’s Roost. The first day’s champion, who wore the ivory and pearl sandsilk favor of Lady Keira Sand, accepted the mystery knight’s challenge. Their confrontation was sudden and violent, and as the Griffin Knight’s lance shattered, the Black Lion was ripped from the saddle. The crowd saw the Black Lion rise,
Following the archery, a tourney of sixty-four knights began, and the knights were in high form, keen for glory. Eventually only eight knights remained: Ser Harold Kenning, heir to Kayce, Ser Aidan Dayne, the squire Ethos Mertyns, Seth Blackwood, Ser Dagur Saltcliffe, Ser Bonifer Buckwell, Ser Halbert Cordwayner of the Kingsguard ... and a mystery knight, bearing the sorrowful visage of a weeping man upon his helm and attended by men wearing grey silk masks. They had proclaimed him as the Weeping Knight, and the helm with the crystal tears had been carried to three victories when he faced the
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
The fifth day saw one of the most complex and exciting of tournaments, as a challenger who was defeated in the lists received a second opportunity to continue. Sixteen knights in total competed in the list. First and foremost was Aemon the Dragonknight, who drove the famous young Dornish knight Tamlyn Toland from the saddle in his first joust. Ser Aidan Dayne, the Knight of the Twilight who had come so close to the prize two days earlier, fought and defeated Ser Axell Farman. Ser Victor Reyne, heir to Castamere, defeated the larger of the two Twins of the Crossing, Ser Halder. The Iron
The fourth day of jousting saw a field of more than forty knights take part, thanks to the novel rules that could lead to ignominious defeats or epic victories. It was decreed by the Master of the Games, Ser William the royal steward, that champions would be chosen by lot to initially defend four pavilions. However, challengers could only challenge the knight defending the first pavilion. If they defeated him, they could take his place, or hazard challenging the defender of the next pavilion, and so on. A great knight, or at least a confident one, might hope to achieve the relative security
Following the joust and the choosing of Balian Blackwood as champion of the day, the throne room saw the noble guests and royal family entertained by groups of mummers, including one that is said to have come from across the Narrow Sea just for the tourney. While nobles dined on fine foods and drank fine wines, each group was brought in, announced by the King’s herald.
The first group recreated the romantic tale of the motley knight, Florian the Fool and his Jonquil. The act was quite over the top, from the men dressed as women (complete with melons down their shirts) to the hyperactive
Besides the jousting, competitions of a different sort took place. Riding at Rings, a staple of the training many youths go through as they labor to become men worthy of knighthood, has often seen squires compete in it before lords and kings for the sake of prizes. But it’s rare indeed to see women compete in it, as a number of young ladies of high birth did on the grounds of the Red Keep. With a gathering of the nobility to watch, the king presided over a contest in which Princess Daena and one of her ladies in waiting, Lady Carmella Dondarion, competed against Lady Ammena of House Piper and
The third day of jousting saw a different format, as the field of thirty-two jousters were made aware of the rules. It was decreed that any knight who should break at least three lances in the course of the joust should receive parole to joust against those who had managed that same feat, for the right to challenge the last knight left undefeated. After the first round of jousting, sixteen jousters were left, some which had managed the feat of breaking three lances and guaranteeing their place in the final. The jousting began well, with Ethos Mertyns, squire to the Stormbreaker, refusing for
Though a smaller field of knights participated in the second day’s tournament, none could say the results were not noteworthy and remarkable. With an unusual format in which the thirty-two jousters competed in small pools of four each, with the best advancing to the next pool, much of the morning was taken up resolving the contests. In the end, two pools of knights were left. In the first, Lord Manfred Dondarrion of Blackhaven, Ser Sarmion Baratheon, Ser Aidan Dayne, and the heir to Ninestars, Ser Triston Templeton, jousted with one another. It was remarked by many that the Knight of the
The first day of the Royal Tourney proved as thrilling as anticipated, and the amazing pageantry and colour of the festivities was surpassed only by the action in the lists.
Before the eyes of the Young Dragon King Daeron, along with the Princesses Daena and Rhaena, Ser William Waxley and the royal party, and many lords, ladies, knights, squires and smallfolk, (including Lord Manfred Dondarrion, the Ladies Elyn and Aisling Ryswell, Marian Stark, Jyana Arryn, Kellyn Lannister, Carmella Dondarrion, Reyna Saltcliffe, Ammena Piper, Rosalind Hill, Ryssa Waters, Keira Sand, the knights Bryon
After interminable delays caused by a host of factors, not least the extravagant preparations called upon by the king to appropriately celebrate the conquest of Dorne, it seems that at last the tourney draws near. The tourney fields are now readied for the inevitable sea of tents and pavillions that will serve as home to hundreds of visitors, and the lists and barriers are all whitewashed perfection. Wagons come in daily, laden with victuals, cloth, and other goods to help feed and keep the noblemen who will come to feast day in and day out. Ships have come the last month from the Arbor, and
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