The morning started early for those of House Palmor who were residing in the Queens Tower of the Red Keep, a low rumbling sound had stirred all of them early and an ominous air hung over the group as they met for their breakfast meeting. Though there were a few notable exceptions as Leon, Oliver and Haglic were not yet present, though Leon had been absent from the meetings for a number of days.
The breakfast meeting had barely started before the first of a number of guests arrived to disturb Lord Justin Palmor’s thought process, it was Donnal Hardy commander of the Freemen of Westeros, who had come to talk terms and agree a fee, for him and his company to serve House Palmor. The meeting was short and the fee and terms agreed quickly, Donnal Hardy leaving to make ready his men for departure to House Palmor lands.
Just as Lord Palmor was settling down to breakfast there was another interruption from another visitor, this time it was Ser Edgar Bravine, knight of House Palmor. Ser Edgar, never one to be subtle, demanded to know what Lord Palmor had done with all of the squires and men-at-arms, as none of them were at the tourney grounds this morning and all of their work was still to be done. Ser Edgar immediately sat himself down to break fast, as his had not been made for him that morning. Lord Justin was just about to reply when there was yet another visitor, a messenger from the Goldcloaks, bearing sad tidings, their Liege Lords son and heir, Ser Edmure Tully had died that morning in a terrible accident. The Tullys townhouse had, apparently, been engulfed by an unstable batch of wildfire, hidden under the town during the Targaryens reign. Lord Justin took the news, well, considering, and began to discuss the missing squires and men-at-arms with Ser Edgar.
As Lord Justin and Ser Edgar broke their fast discussing the missing men and boys, Lord Oliver, a little late, arrived with Haglic and Connor dragging a hooded man behind them. Lord Oliver bid his father a good morning and said “I have something here for you father that you have been looking for”. Haglic and Connor dragged the man forward and sat him on a chair, whereupon Lord Oliver removed the sack from the bedraggled man’s head and by the seven, sat there in front of them was Leon Ashcroft.
Leon immediately demanded to be untied from his bonds and Lord Justin asked Alun Carnie if he would mind freeing his cousin. Once freed Leon let out a tirade of vehement anger towards Lord Justin and stormed out of the room, intent on finding out what had happened to his beloved Dana. Shocked at his cousin’s outburst Lord Justin followed Leon out of the door, but was unable to waylay him for long, though long enough to ascertain what had happened. The Maester Ishicar was sent along to help Leon find his beloved and to provide what other assistance he could at the Tully’s townhouse.
Meanwhile Lord Justin returned to his room to question his son and was surprised by the information that he managed to glean from Lord Oliver about Leon’s rescue and other more serious events concerning House Palmor. Their conversations were cut short however by the arrival of Ser Jaime Lannister to escort Oliver Palmor to the tourney, where the two would face each other in the first of two semi-finals that day.
The semi-final joust ended up being Oliver Palmor’s first defeat, as Ser Jaime Lannisters experience told and he unseated Oliver at the first pass, though it was a close run thing. Ser Jaime got down from his horse and strode over to where Oliver Palmor lay and helped him up, walking over to the Royal Pavilion. Ser Jaime then spoke announcing to the King and Queen that he was going to sponsor Oliver Palmor and make him an anointed knight. The king rose and spoke briefly agreeing that Ser Jaime had made an excellent choice. Ser Jaime led Oliver Palmor away from the tourney to stand vigil in the Great Sept of Balor, before taking his vows and being anointed with the seven oils.
Lord Justin Palmor and his good lady wife decided to buy their son a castle forged shield on the way back from the tourney to present to him as a gift to honour his ascension to knighthood. They stopped off at the Great Sept of Balor on their return to the Red Keep to see their son standing vigil, an honour for any father and mother. The pair then returned to their quarters in the Red Keep for an early night, again.
Meanwhile at the Tullys townhouse Leon Ashcroft and Maester Ishicar were busy. Leon began to search for his beloved Dana in the ruins of the town house whilst Ishicar did what he could for the injured. Ishicar discovered that not only had Ser Edmure Tully perished in the accident but so had Orton Lugus, who had been staying as a guest of Ser Edmure. Ishicar hears a pained cry from over the far side of the site of the Tully townhouse and rushes over to see Leon holding a wedding dress and a human female hand complete with engagement ring. Fearing for Leon’s well-being Ishicar gave a dose of Milk of the Poppy, to knock him out and had Leon transferred back to Lord Justin Palmor’s quarters in the Queens tower.
The following morning sees another House Palmor breakfast meeting at which Lord Justin and his son Ser Oliver discuss all of the information that the pair of them have before deciding that they must act against House Dannett and House Lugus. Orders are given to prepare to leave Kings Landing tomorrow, after the Grand Melee and the Grand Ball. Everyone gets ready for their trip to the tourney grounds to watch the jousting final between Ser Jaime Lannister and Ser Loras Tyrell and to compete in the Grand Melee, in which House Palmor has entered a team consisting of Ser Oliver Palmor, Haglic Oscal, Alun Carnie, Ser Edgar Bravine, Ser Percival Morningstar, Arthur Winstone and Ser Tristam Huntly.
The final of the jousting competition is a drab affair with Ser Jaime easily disposing of Ser Loras Tyrell in just one pass, much to the amusement of the watching Ser Oliver. The Palmor melee team got themselves ready whilst the arena was prepared for the Grand Melee. There were numerous teams present in the Grand Melee and after the first few clashes it became apparent that House Palmor had entered a strong and competent team with Ser Oliver and Ser Tristam mainly leading the way, knocking out opposing teams with ease. It was at this point that both Ser Oliver and Ser Tristam noticed an underhand blow about to be delivered into the back of one of the Dornish teams knights, wishing to see no unsporting behaviour the pair of them moved to assist. They easily dealt with the knight who was trying to stab a Dornish knight in the back and Ser Oliver delivered the injured knight over to the Goldcloaks, noticing that the dagger being wielded was familiar. Ser Tristam explained to the Dornish knight, Bryan Telson, what was about to happen and received the Dornish knights gratitude. The House Palmor team went on to win the Grand Melee.
The Palmors, fresh from their success, returned to the Red Keep to prepare themselves for the Grand Ball that evening, a chance for the ladies of the house to don their best evening wear.
The Palmor’s arrived at the Grand Ball and Ishicar immediately began to point out to Ser Oliver the available ladies in the large ballroom, Ser Oliver not wishing to waste any time strode over to the nearest, asking for her hand to dance, he had chosen Sally Paege. The Grand Ball was a pleasant affair and helped to take the Palmor’s minds off the coming problems that they would have to deal with, until Lord Palmor received a raven’s message from home, that is. As Lord Palmor was beginning to read the news from home, the king rose to begin the awards ceremony presenting the winners of the joust and the archery tourney with their prizes. He was just about to present the prize for the Grand Melee to House Palmor when there was an interruption from the floor.
“My lords and ladies pray forgive this interruption, but honors cannot be awarded this night when grave injustices remain unaddressed, for I believe our King Robert holds justice for his people as a greater concern than mere trophies.”
She does not pause for confirmation, but her statement immediately places the king in the position of having to hear her complaint.
“I am Iris Dannett. My brother was Adham Dannett, he who now travels home to lie forever beside our ancestors. My brother was struck down in the prime of his life, before it had truly begun, by duplicity and deception. Not by fair and honest combat, but by poison…and murder!”
A murmur ripples through the room at the accusation as Iris turns her full fury toward House Palmor, her eyes blazing.
“My brother levelled certain charges against House Palmor, of attacking our lands and slaughtering our people. He sought to prove the truth of those charges with his own body and, fearing the truth of what he had to say, the perpetrators poisoned him, bringing about his defeat on the jousting field and his death. I say now, your majesty that my brother was murdered by House Palmor and I have come here tonight to demand justice for him!”
The room explodes in a buzz of murmuring: shouts of support or disagreement, muttering, and questions, until King Robert struggles to his feet and shouts for order and quiet in a bellowing voice once used to command troops on the battlefield. The Kingsguard closes ranks near the royal party, and gold cloaks file into the ballroom, responding to the commotion by taking up places near the doors and along the walls and awaiting orders.
Once Iris finishes her dramatic accusation, King Robert has a few questions:
“Lady Dannett,” he begins. “It is my understanding that you had recently… absented yourself from your house. Where have you been, and how is it you come to be here tonight?” Iris flushes and flinches at the question, her eyes initially downcast. Then she raises her gaze and her chin proudly.
“Your majesty,” she replies, “my father took the effort to arrange a marriage for me, to Master Piper here, in fact.” She gestures toward Ruben Piper but does not look at him. “But I did not wish to marry, and so I fled my father’s household, making my way here to King’s Landing.”
“And where have you been all this time?” the king continues.
“I…at the Jade Springs, your majesty.” This answer provokes whispers and even chuckles, coughs, and titters of laughter until the king’s angry glance silences the room once more.
“And these grave accusations you level against House Palmor on what basis do you make a claim of poisoning and murder?”
“On the evidence provided me by my family’s maester, Maester Ferris, for one,” she begins. “He attended my brother after his fall in the tourney, and Maester Ferris did not believe the pains Adham suffered were the result of his injuries. Maester Ferris has consulted other maesters in the city but could not learn of a specific poison that could have caused these symptoms.”
“However, I know of a dagger,” she continues, glancing toward House Palmor “a dagger with a hidden phial in its hilt, carried by Lord Palmor and of fine wine sent to my brother by an unnamed admirer.”
The king, obviously annoyed by the spoiling of another fine royal evening sends Ser Meryn Trant to escort Iris Dannett out of the room. He then sends Ser Jaime Lannister to escort the Palmor’s to guest quarters in the Kings tower for he says he will deal with the issue and both House Dannett and House Palmor in the morning. The Palmor’s are led by Ser Jaime Lannister to comfortable quarters in the Kings Tower and the door is closed and locked behind them. It is only when they have been in the room for a time that Ser Oliver notices Haglic is missing and finds a note in his pocket containing just two words “Trust Me”
The Palmor’s settle down for an uncomfortable night but are awoken just after midnight by shouts, screams and the clash of swords, some of which sound uncomfortably close. Then sounds of swords and the screams of pain can be heard just outside the door to their quarters and the door begins to open.