Another fine summers morning in North Central Westeros sees House Palmor and its retinue breaking fast before preparing to depart to The Twins, home of House Frey, another banner to House Tulley. House Frey is related, by marriage to House Palmor and common courtesy demands that they break their journey to Kings Landing to pay their respect to the aged Lord Walder Frey.
The journey is made in splendid warm sunshine and is undisturbed by bandits, or others on the Kings Road. As the day draws to a close the group spies the majestic presence of The Twins on the horizon and a small group of riders is spotted leaving the nearest gate tower, heading straight for them, under the banner of House Frey. Lord Justin Palmor and his most trusted advisors ride out to greet the welcoming party. Stopping a few feet away a tall knight, resplendent in mail and a tabard bearing House Frey’s arms, introduces himself as Ser Alboron Frey and offers Justin bread and salt, as is tradition. Justin answers back for House Palmor and the two groups ride into The Twins and the great central keep, though the men at arms, retainers and wagons are left at the gatehouse.
Lord Palmor and his immediate retinue are led by Ser Alboron through a set of great oak doors into an audience chamber. There sat upon a great chair upon a large dais is the aged Lord Walder Frey, behind him stands a small host of women, children and other retainers. Lord Walder raises his head “Palmor, its awhile since I have seen you, I trust you are well ? Ahhhh Lady Lyta, always a pleasure, may I say that you are looking as radiant as ever, its such a shame my eighth wife is still capable of childbirth. Now, now, Justin, no need to look at me like that I was just jesting. Now who’s that I see standing just behind the pair of you, it can’t be, is that you Oliver, grown a man now by the looks of you. Come, come and have a chat with your Uncle Walder, you can tell me everything that your father’s been up to.” Oliver strides to the dais and takes a seat close to Lord Walder. Lord Walder addresses Justin again “Now you will want to wash and bathe after your journey and I insist that you join us for dinner, a banquet no doubt, for such honoured guests. My steward will show you to your quarters.” As the group departs, leaving Oliver Palmor with Lord Walder Frey, Leon’s sharp eyes spot a man standing close behind Lord Frey, hidden in the shadows and he recognises him, Aaron Lannister, now what was that snake doing here.
Before the evening banquet, House Palmor’s Maester, Ishicar, pays a visit to his House Frey colleague only to find that he is not there and his servants seem a bit tight lipped, providing the Maester with little useful information. Ishicar therefore decides to conduct some research into the materials that The Twins are constructed from and makes copious detailed notes on their construction.
The banquet goes well and none of the rest of the group are aware of the conversation that Lord Frey had with Oliver Palmor, knowing the old goat he would have been trying to coax information out of the boy, but Oliver was keeping tight lipped. At the end of the banquet the Palmor party retired for the evening, with the exception of Oliver, Haglic and Alun Carnie who rode to the gatehouse. Once the gatehouse was reached, Oliver ensured that his men were well fed, watered and comfortable before even thinking of retiring himself. A definite bond was beginning to form between the heir and House Palmor’s personal guard, something his father had neglected, of late.
The next morning, another bright sunny summers day welcomed the House Palmor party as they said their farewells to Lord Frey and his family, to continue their long journey on to Kings Landing and the Kings tourney. The remainder of the long journey passes without too much incident apart from the sight of Ishicar trying to ponder the mysteries of Lord Palmor’s Myrish crossbow. One day out from Kings Landing and the group encounter a trio of Kings Messengers under the Kings banner, heading for Harrenhal, with whom Lord Justin exchanges pleasantries, only to find that they are going to be the last house to arrive.
After a number of weeks on the road the group finally reach Kings Landing and the Gate of the Gods, to find that they are the last house to arrive for the tourney and suffering further indignation the Goldcloaks on the gate insist on searching their baggage. Finally after what seemed a very cursory inspection the group splits into two with the majority of the knights, retainers and baggage heading towards the tourney grounds to set up and Lord Palmor and his retinue heading to their lodgings at the Greentree Inn. Upon arrival at the Greentree Inn, Ishicar took his leave of Lord Palmor to attend the Maesters conclave where he would also be lodging for the duration of their stay in Kings Landing.
Lord Justin Palmor and his party are met at the Greentree Inn by its owner Lyle Brewer who informs Lord Justin Palmor that his reservation is ready and that the whole of the first floor of the Inn is at his disposal, for the duration of the tourney. Leon makes a last minute alteration to ensure that there is room for Ser Milton Greenacre and his daughter Dana, who joined the group on their journey. The group settle into The Greentree Inn for the evening and dine in the common room, where a number of other notables are present, Orten Lugus, Ser Joris Landseer, Ser Gennady Shanin, Maiyo Vierro and Bryan Telson.
At this point a goldcloak officer turns up, a young boy in tow and asks to have a private word with Alun Carnie. Alun is only out of the room for a few moments when he returns with the young boy, about ten years old and announces that this is Neil Rivers his son, whose mother had recently been murdered. As the father the boy had now been placed in his care. This did not seem to shock the rest of the Palmor party and no comments were made, leaving Neil to join the ever growing group.
During the evening meal, Lord Palmor rises to make an announcement, a rare moment indeed and the news of Leon Ashcroft’s forthcoming marriage to Dana Greenacre is passed to the rest of the group. Not really news to most people, as Leon had barely been out of her sight since meeting her. The news was greeted well and after a series of toasts they all retire early, excited by the prospect of spending a day in Kings Landing tomorrow.
The following morning the group rise early and plan a day’s shopping in Kings Landing, much to the delight of Lady Lyta, Lady Donna and Dana, even Leon Ashcroft seems taken by the occasion, loosening the purse strings to enable all to purchase accoutrements for the following evening’s festivities. After a day’s shopping, all but Oliver and Haglic, the pair as thick as thieves, return to the Greentree Inn for an evening’s dining. Oliver and Haglic return just before the meal is served, much to the relief of all around. During the evening meal Lord Palmor, on the advice of Leon Ashcroft, invites Orten Lugus to join them and conversation soon turns to the unclaimed lands that separate their own lands. An evening of negotiation in which Oliver’s squire, Haglic proves to be an adept negotiator, helping Lord Palmor and Orten Lugus agree to a land grab, rewarding both houses with generous swathes of land, completely cutting off House Dannett in the process. Much wine is quaffed and the deal is drawn up with Orten promising to send the details off to his father to approve.
The day of the opening ceremony of the tourney arrives and all of the House Palmor party are up early with Oliver and Alun Carnie leaving for the tourney grounds, while the rest ensure that they are well groomed, showing off House Palmor’s colours. The group then head off to the seats for the Opening Ceremony of the Kings tourney.
Meanwhile at the tourney grounds Alun Carnie was ensuring that Oliver and his squire Haglic were fit to be presented to the King, as Oliver held the honour of presenting the houses banner.
The crowd had settled into their seats, Lord Justin and his wife a few rows in front of Leon Ashcroft and Dana, with Ishicar hovering just behind his lord, to provide information when required. The ceremony began with a blare of trumpets and the major houses banners paraded first, followed by the more senior banner houses. It was soon obvious to the Palmor party that there were no houses representing the North or The Vale of Arryn. Though not unusual for houses of the North not to attend Kings Landing, it is a long and dangerous journey, the absence of houses from The Vale of Arryn caused a stir among the more notable elements of the crowd.
Finally it was Olivers turn to parade the House Palmor banner to the King, who by this time was flagging, more due to the alcohol than the summers heat. Confidently led by Haglic and looking resplendent in his brand new armour, the long sword presented by Lord Frey at his side, Oliver was presented to the royal box. Breaking with tradition, perhaps startled by the beauty of the Queen, Oliver spoke thanking the Queen on behalf of House Palmor for their invite to the Kings tourney. The Queen rose and strode to the front of the royal box, whispering her reply into Oliver’s ear, before returning to her seat, the incident causing a stir amongst the watching crowd. Oliver continued to parade the banner to the remaining stands then, led by Haglic, returned to the Palmor tents on the tourney ground.
Finally at the end of the opening ceremony the group, with the exception of Oliver and Haglic, returned to the Greentree Inn to prepare themselves for the opening feast later that evening. Oliver and Haglic returned some time later, tight lipped about where they had actually been, though both seemed somewhat pleased with themselves.
The opening feast was a grand affair with House Palmor seated closer to the Kings table than they would have thought, perhaps they were more highly respected than they realised. Once the feast had been completed the speeches began, started by the major houses with many toasts to honour and knighthood. It was at this point that, for the second time that day, tradition was broken and Adham Dannett rose, obviously the worse for alcohol. Leaning forward, his table opposite House Palmor’s he spoke
“Honour? Some who dare come to this tourney and this table know nothing of honour! So-called knights and nobles who would butcher innocent farmers and their families have no place here except to face the king’s jus¬tice! Your majesty, in the name of my father and my house, I implore you to hear my complaint against these murderers and warmongers!”
A look of horror could be seen on the faces of the Palmor party, but Adham Dannetts plea went unanswered. The King anger rising, struggled out of his seat, mug falling to the floor, spilling precious ale.
“I will not tolerate the petty power play of minor houses at a feast set to honour those who are due to fight tomorrow. Adham Dannett you are due to joust tomorrow, so you will open the tournament and your opponent will be……..” The King looks over to the Palmor party and his eyes hover on Lord Justin Palmor before he turns to Oliver Palmor and says “Oliver Palmor. Trial by combat. The Warrior will smile on the victor tomorrow and let that be an end to this matter.” The King turns and walks out of the room. Swiftly followed by the Queen who leaves by another exit, her son Joffrey following her. Close on the pairs heels is Oliver Palmor and Haglic, surprisingly let through the exit the Queen used……………