Blood of Dragons

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' MUSH


State of Play in King’s Landing

This article covers the current situation in King’s Landing, and is intended to give players an idea of what the roleplay there might be like.

Two years have Spring reigned in the realm, and with that flowering much has gone well. The Stepstones are quiet, the conflicts of the Free Cities a distant memory, and the king’s court looks forward to the wedding of his cousin Prince Daeron to the Dornish princess Mariah Nymeros Martell. Only months away, preparations for a small fleet of ships to carry the young prince and half the court to Sunspear have been tasked to the master of ships, Lord Alyn Velaryon. A new galley has been commissioned at Baelor’s command, the newest to be part of the royal fleet, which will have the honor of the carrying the king himself. Some say he means to name it for one of the Seven, a further sign of piety and his trust in the peace that the gods have wrought between the Seven Kingdoms and Dorne.

One of the questions that has long concerned the court—and aspiring knights of the realm—was when the king would name a seventh kingsguard to fill a post long left empty. Eight years have gone by since the king’s late brother was killed in Dorne, and with him three knights of the Kingsguard. Those places were all filled in time… but another knight, the once-famed Anvil of Hammerhal, Ser Halbert Cordwayner, had returned to King’s Landing in disgrace after having surrendered himself to the Dornish rather than risk life-and-limb when Daeron and his sworn brothers were killed. Ser Halbert soon vanished from the city despite King Baelor’s forgiveness and welcome, and rumors have long swirled: that he drowned himself in the Blackwater, that he took vows of silence on the Quiet Isle, that he crossed the narrow sea. It seemed even King Baelor and Prince Viserys were uncertain as to his fate until recently, when word began to spread that at last the king was searching for a replacement.

And with news of that, knights have come to court, from the famed Peron the Pious, the bastard knight of the Vale, to less heralded men. The most notable of these, despite much of the court being askance, is Ser Will of the Misty Wood, a goatherd raised to knighthood by Prince Aemon himself at King Baelor’s insistence after the herder saved a few septas from bandits. Many claim that Baelor favors the man for the white cloak, to the rue of many a noble knight.

Yet many at court have begun to grow used to the king’s occasional flights of fancy. Material evidence of it can be seen rising on Visenya’s Hill, his great sept to outshine all others in Westeros rising up stone by stone. Less obvious are the decrees and commands to attempt to make a more godly people, from maidens placed in chastity belts to urging the Citadel to use doves rather than ravens. His decision to keep prostitutes of the royal city has reaped uncertain results: some of the women have found succor among motherhouses near and far, but others argue they pollute these holy enclaves and still trade their bodies for coin. This corruption has led some septons to argue that the latest increase in banditry in the kingswood—including one group allegedly led by a former whore who some swear is a witch—shows that more must be done to cleanse the souls of the king’s subjects before the judgment of the Seven send them to hell. And the king listens, between his prayers and his duties, and consults with the increasingly-ailing High Septon as to how to shepherd his people toward the light.