Almost a fortnight was past since Princess Daena had vanished from the keep called the Maidenvault by some at court, where she and her sisters had been immured soon after King Baelor’s ascension. The revelation of her disappearance brought to an abrupt session the king’s court, as he fled to pray for his sister’s safe return and as others at court such as the Hand Prince Viserys hurriedly arranged a search for her. The City Watch combed the docks and the city, but the news of her flight was kept to the Red Keep for all of a day before it began to circulate throughout the city. Nothing the
In Sunspear, the Lord Protector Ser Quinlan Qorgyle named the date for an open court session, his first since ascending to the position when his son Prince Marence Nymeros Martell retired to Starfall to continue the long, slow recovery from his poisoning the previous year. Ser Quinlan, who had returned from virtual exile at his son’s call, showed himself to retain all his experience from when he last sat the throne during Marence’s minority: he briskly dealt with criminal issues, judging quickly and decisively. Afterwards, he announced to the court the appointment of a new Keeper of the Tower
In the royal court of King’s Landing, the septon-king Baelor prepared to hear cases and petitioners as the glittering nobility gathered in the cavernous throne room of the Red Keep. All the king’s councillors were there, from the Hand Prince Viserys to the master of laws Lord Terin, and the Kingsguard led by Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, and more besides. So too were many significant knights and lords, including the emissaries from Dorne and other worthies.
The first matters to be heard by the king, high upon the Iron Throne, were criminal cases: alleged whores, thieves, and the like, the
The occasion of the wedding of Ser Aidan Dayne, the famed Knight of the Twilight, and the lady Aisling Ryswell was an unusual one in some respects. For one, King Baelor himself presided over the marriage, in his capacity as a septon of the Faith. For another, despite neither being a great lord or lady, not one but two tournies were arranged for the occasion; a rarity in these more austere and pious times. The reason for it had more to do with the Dornish embassy to the Iron Throne, of which Ser Aidan was a part, than to any native desire of theirs to make such a showing. Regardless of the
Ser Orson Baratheon’s wedding to Lady Ryone Prester at Storm’s End would prove to be ill-omened. Attended by many of the court’s great and good—Prince Aegon among the former if not the latter, accompanied by Ser Kenric Darry of the Kingsguard—the festivities began well enough. But the wedding joust would see scandal with Prince Aegon carrying the field and and crowning another man’s wife Queen of Love and Beauty in a manner meant to insult him; Lady Jyana Lannister, married to Ser Jonn, heir to Casterly Rock and a man who had earned the prince’s disfavour.
Far worse than scandal would follow
The Seven Above must smile on the realm, and blessed King Baelor. Ever since the clamor at the miraculous healing of a beggar in the streets, the king himself has been ensconced with the High Septon and the Most Devout, the wisest and most learned men of the faith whose spiritual counsel proves increasingly important to the young king. Small council meetings of late have even included the High Septon, it is said, though he holds no official seat on the council, instead acting to advise the king and his most gracious Hand and councillors. Gifts have gone out from the Red Keep’s treasury at the
Tensions mount, day by day, and there are those now who fear Prince Marence’s infirmity could very well lead to a violent struggle for the control of Dorne. In the halls of power, the Keepers of Sunspear struggle on, maintaing a tenuous order in the city… and watching disorder grow unchecked outside of it, as distant lords begin to ignore their missives and decide matters as if there were no higher power than themselves. Matters are made worse by the partisans of Prince Marence’s brothers, Cadan and Rhodry, each of whom has laid claim to the regency of Dorne while their brother languishes in
As the Keepers gathered the officers of the court of Sunspear to deal with affairs of the Old Palace and the shadow city, trouble brewed thanks to the attendance of the princes Cadan and Rhodry. With Prince Marence still unfit to rule—gripped by paralysing fear at times, by deep lethargy and indecision at others, and still physically weak from the yet-unsolved attempt to poison him—unease has grown concerning how the realm would be ruled and only the efforts of the three Keepers to maintain a semblance of control has kept panic at bay. But the brothers? The brothers may have begun the slow
In the wake of the bloody conflict between the Dalts and Gargalens over a desert well, some wondered how a lasting peace could be restored. The heir to Lemonwood had died, cut down by the Gargalens of Salt Shore. Retribution was called for, and it was given—in a way. For Prince Marence, having for too long (as some say) been indecisive at last called for an end to bloodshed. Wild Willum Gargalen was sent into exile for his part in Ser Blaise’s death, and the well fell to neither Lemonwood nor Salt Shore but to Sunspear. There were many who were dissatisfied with Prince Marence’s decision, but
It was a surprise for many to have word spread through the Red Keep that King Baelor had determined to hold an open court. Only recently recovered enough to return to the rule of the realm—and even then only haphazardly, torn as he was between the demands of piety and the kingdom’s needs—it was taken as a sign of his renewed strength. And so the courtiers gathered, expectantly. There were so many matters of note that affected the Seven Kingdoms: the embassy to Braavos, say, or the nascent war between Pentos and Lys over the Stepstone that sparked it. Would the king announce something
From the Citadel, pale wings took flight across the realm.
In Oldtown, bells tolled.
In Highgarden, the news was taken as reason for a winter festival to be readied.
In the bowels of Casterly Rock, Lord Loreon resumed counting his coins.
In Riverrun, the Tullys were occupied with the latest series of petitions and counter-petitions from the Blackwoods and Brackens, and considered the question of whom would attend the marriage of Jannia Tully to Lord Jarmon Buckwell in a few months time.
At Storm’s End, Lord Corwen Baratheon is said to have dismissed the news of a white raven’s arrival,
Day 15 of Month 9, 165 AC
The king’s return to health continues, and with it… more changes at court. Not, as it happens, offices (although there have been more movements there as well, in lesser offices, and certain other positions of greater note). Instead, the king has turned his eye to the spiritual health of the realm. Moved by prayers, by council with the High Septon and the Most Devout, by the plight of the kingslanders as reports filter even into the Red Keep of the city watch having to deal more and more often with rapers and prostitues who try to secretly carry on their immoral
Day to day, it is said, King Baelor’s strength grows. The long, long recovery from his fasting in the wake of Princess Naerys’s miscarriage seems nearer to drawing from an end, as he has been seen more often away from his apartments, and the private sept which he most frequents. He has attended services at the royal sept almost daily, now, and though he has yet to sit the Iron Throne in judgement, it is known that he even occasions to join the small council from time to time, though rumors has it that it is Prince Viserys who most often leads the council, save in matters touching on the
In the wake of the mysterious assassination of Tybio Erosenes in the Sealord’s own palace, the Sealord’s justiciars and guards searched high and low for the culprit. Witnesses were questioned, offers of aid were rejected, interviews were arranged, but to no apparent result. The Secret City keeps its secrets even from the Sealord of Braavos, it seems. And from dragon princes from Westeros, too, as it was well-known that Prince Aegon Targaryen has been spurring on the investigation, had even attempted to have certain men questioned until the Sealord’s guard intervened and prevented it. Down at
The great carnival of Braavos, famed throughout the world, drew towards its end with the traditional grand ball in the Sealord’s Palace. A thousand masked men and women entered in, to celebrate the ancient Unmasking of Utheros when the Secret City revealed itself to the world, and it was a grand time. From common merchants to the highest keyholders and lords, the revelers enjoyed the hospitality of the Sealord who was rumored to be among them unheralded and unremarked, perhaps in the plain mask of a commoner, perhaps the more ostentatious mask of a merchant-captain, perhaps even as a servant