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For those who had traveled to the riverlands months earlier, who witnessed a wedding and a feud and the unquiet spirits (if such they were), the return to the royal city of King’s Landing may well have been greatly welcome. But though the city may have been welcoming, it had not stopped in being what it was, the center of the realm, the heart of it, the high seat where lords and knights and ladies existed in King Baelor’s court. Beneath the shadow of the Iron Throne, and the shadow of the Maidenvault where the three princesses now linger, life went on.
And so for those who returned, the
It was with anticipation that the court and the people of the shadow city met the tourney that Prince Marence had called, though it was not necessarily a welcoming anticipation. The rumors were rife that the tourney was an occasion for the Prince of Dorne to name the date at which a party of emissaries would leave for the Iron Throne, counterpart to that foreign embassy already in the city. Many doubted the efficacy of such a plan, the trustworthiness of the lords north of the mountains, or even of the gods-mad king that rules the Seven Kingdoms. Yet still, perhaps the rumors were wrong…
The feud between the Brackens and the Blackwoods came to an end—not with a siege, not with a battle, but with the judgement of the Lord of Riverrun, Kermit Tully. He came to Stone Hedge at the head of a host, but it was not to wage war against those ancient walls. Instead, meeting with Lord Bracken, he used words to win peace. Though Bloody Brus Bracken raged against the injustice of the murder of his son, Ser Hoster, that he laid at the feet of the Blackwoods, Lord Tully promised justice—justice, and the truth. What he meant by that was unclear to all but Lord Bracken, whom he met with in
The news spreads throughout the encampment that has gathered outside the walls of Riverrun, growing larger each day as lords from throughout the riverlands have sent banners to Lord Tully’s call: the host will march tomorrow under the command of the heir to Riverrun, Ser Edmure Tully, to join Ser Oscar Tully and Ser Brynden Tully. Last warnings have flown to Raventree and Stone Hedge, it’s said. The feuding Blackwoods and Brackens have found their efforts constrained by the presence of the Tully advanced force patrolling their boundary… but despite this, they’ve still persisted in their
The feuding has burned between the Brackens and the Blackwoods, and the slowly growing gathering of banner at Riverrun and endless ravens have done nothing to end it. Raid and counter-raid, ambush and skirmish, these have been the ways in which Raventree Hall and Stone Hedge have exchanged their scorn. It seems even the efforts of Prince Aegon Targaryen and an entourage of followers including Jaesin Lannister of the Kingsguard and Lord Serry of Southshield were incapable of dissuading either side from their course. When Prince Aegon returned to Riverrun to report the failure of diplomacy to
A messenger came swiftly down along the Red Fork, flying through the encamped nobility in the fields beyond Riverrun, and taking the first ferry over. Many guessed that his urgent news had to do with the Brackens and Blackwoods, the feuding noble houses whose ancient disputes had flared up again at the tourney to celebrate the wedding of one of Lord Kermit’s daughters, but little did they know how right they were…
For, despite her efforts and the ravens she had sent winging to Stone Hedge and Raventree Hall, the feud had reached new heights of bloodshed: the messenger reported that the
The morning of the wedding tourney to celebrate the union of Ser Willard Ryger, heir to Willow Wood, and Andrya Tully, began well. The field outside of Riverrun was crowded with the pavilions of great lords and knights from throughout the riverlands, and even beyond. More than eighty knights and esquires had entered their names in the herald’s rolls, and among them were well-known names: from Raventree Hall came Balian Blackwood and his kin, from Stone Hedge came Bloody Brus Bracken and Othan Blackmane and more kinsmen beside, the surviving Twin of the Crossing Ser Halder Frey, Argett
Weeks had passed since the emissaries from the Iron Throne had arrived at the Old Palace of Sunspear, and the lords and knights and ladies in that company seemed to have found a place at the court that was, if not comfortable, at least safe. Though there were tensions—snide remarks and sullen glances, whispers behind backs and any number of minor discourtesies offered them by some of the Dornish—it had seemed peaceful enough. Perhaps in the cause of improving relations further, perhaps merely to show his strong support for the embassy, Prince Marence commanded a tourney with rich prizes. It
Nearly two months had passed since King Baelor had decreed that the murderer Quenton Rosby would be transported to a septry near Saltpans, famous for the brothers who minister to women and children and those in need. The arrangements took time to make, including a wheelhouse with bars on its doors and an escort of a dozen gold cloaks, personally selected by Ser Richard Harte, the commander of the City Watch. It would be a long, slow journey thanks to the wheelhouse, but the king insisted that Rosby travel in comfort. And so, too, did the king insist that two septons would accompany him, to
Only months before, Prince Marence had revealed the agreement made with King Baelor to exchange envoys to further the cause of peace between the two realms of Dorne and the Seven Kingdoms, and now the first party of envoys—those from King’s Landing—had arrived at the Planky Town. Greeted by the castellan Ser Laurent Dalt and certain other leading lords and ladies of the court, the envoys were welcomed into the citadel there to spend the night and to see their goods and gifts brought to the shore. The very next day, early in the morning, the lords and ladies and knights who made up the
Beneath the dome of the Tower of the Sun, the court of Sunspear in all its glittering, colorful elegance gathered to hear Prince Marence give audience to any who would speak. Most were there to hear, no more… but what they wanted to hear were the announcements that whispers said the prince planned to make, announcements that might shake the court. Some wondered if the prince was to reveal his intention to take a third wife, to see if he would have any more luck than with the prior two. There were those who muttered darkly about Yronwood, as well, wondering if the prince must reveal some huge
In the Red Keep, all manner of rumors may be heard, about embassies and septons, of tourneys and princesses locked in the keep a wit has taken to calling the Maidenvault… but one thing that is not a rumor, though some wished it were, is that King Baelor seems to have struck an accord with the High Septon regarding the disposition of Ser Quenton Rosby, the mad knight who brought a reign of terror to King’s Landing with his murders of prostitutes and noblewomen alike, as well as his brutal killing of the heir to Storm’s End, Ser Tancred Baratheon. When the king had met with the High Septon to
Word has been spreading through the halls of the Red Keep, from the small council down: over the last weeks—months, even—the king has secretly been preparing something that some might find curious, even objectionable. And now, it seems, he is prepared to reveal it; not in some grand public edict, but merely by circulating through the court commands to see ships outfitted, supplies readied, and gifts to be gathered.
The project that he has kept so quiet, even as he has distracted the realm with the locking up of his sisters in the keep which the court has taken to calling the Maidenvault? An
Prince Marence’s return from his campaign in the Boneway—a debacle, many say, though the lives lost were few—was not greeted with any great fanfare in the streets of the shadow city, nor within the halls of Sunspear itself. The less said of what happened at Yronwood, where Lady Yronwood had outmanoeuvred him and forced the prince to a peace that many consider humiliating, the better—or so those who cling to the prince and support him would have it. Marence himself has been a brooding man… and a busy man, too, though he has kept his counsel close. Ser Mavros Uller has often been seen meeting
Rhaena’s nameday came with great fanfare, with a tourney in her honor ... though that was not, it was said, her own desire. Pious and mild, Rhaena never favored tourneys, but it was Que—Princess Daena who insisted that it was only proper for her younger sister’s sixteenth nameday. And so a tourney was held, and it was good, with many fine deeds, with shows of boldness and chivalry, and it was Ser Brynden Tully who carried the day after the three princesses deliberated. Some say Daena dearly wanted Ser Humfrey Westerling to be named Rhaena’s champion… but the courtiers there noticed that after
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