Chronicle of House Palmor

Murder or Rescue ?

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.

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Veiled Threats

Another glorious day in the city of Kings Landing sees the Palmor clan ensconced in the Queens Tower of the Red Keep for one of their, by now famous, breakfast meetings. The initial discussions are around the news they received late last night that Adham Dannett had died of the wounds inflicted by Oliver Palmor in the opening joust of the tourney. Lord Justin decides that he must pay his respects to House Dannett at the tourney, despite the differences between the two houses of late.

The breakfast meeting is disturbed by Ser Meryn Trant announcing the arrival of Queen Cersei, visiting her guests, whom she has offered her protection to, since the unfortunate destruction of their accommodation at the Greentree Inn. The Queen breaks fast with House Palmor and engages in various small talk, mostly centred on her son’s new found interest in crossbows, to which Oliver Palmor relays the story of his close encounter, two nights before, with one of his father’s crossbow quarrels. The Queen, obviously bored but bound by honour to visit her guests, departed as soon as politeness allowed.

The Palmor’s were just getting settled again when another visitor was announced, Ser Edmure Tully, House Tully’s representative in Kings Landing, had arrived. Ser Edmure, never known to be patient, stormed into the room demanding what was so important that Lord Oliver had demanded his presence. Lord Justin was taken aback by this as he had expected Ser Edmure to be visiting him; obviously his son was keeping things from him. The meeting with Ser Edmure was brief, mainly discussing House Palmor’s intention to settle and bring law to some of the lands surrounding theirs. Ser Edmure agreed to this in principal but insisted that he need to see the papers drawn up before he was prepared to commit, he seemed to leave in an even worse mood than that in which he had arrived, if that was possible.

Finally, after the quick succession of visits from noble patronages, the Palmor’s got back to the business at hand. Where was Leon Ashcroft? After much debate Lord Oliver admitted to his father that he knew exactly where Leon was and what he had been doing these past few evenings, as he had had Daric follow him. Oliver told his father that Leon was currently residing at the townhouse of the Tully’s, however the Tully’s were not admitting to Leon being there, had he been kidnapped? Lord Justin, venting his frustration promised to all, that he would confront Ser Edmure to find out the truth.

It seems as though it was a morning of revelations from young Oliver, who also revealed that he had been invited on the Royal Hunt with Prince Joffrey, at a time to be arranged. Much discussion was then had about who was going to accompany Oliver and eventually it was decided that the honour should fall on Haglic, much to Alun Carnie and Ishicar’s relief. It was also at this time that Oliver mentioned his and Haglic’s new found interest in Dragons………………………..

The time had come for Oliver’s third round joust and after being escorted through Kings Landing by the usual complement of Lannister guardsmen, he arrived with the rest of the Palmor’s at the tourney ground. Oliver busied himself getting ready whilst Lord Justin, Alun Carnie and Ishicar went to visit the Dannett’s to offer their condolences. They were however too late as the Dannett encampment was being struck and only a few hired hands and servants were present.

Oliver won his third tilt of the tourney with what was becoming accustomed ease, beating the dashing Ser Daemon Allyrion from Dorne, his shining red armour taken as part of the spoils of the victory. Oliver remained at the tourney grounds watching the rest of the houses knights in action before wandering over to the lists to find out his opponent for tomorrows joust, Ser Brackon Celtigar. He then headed back to the Red Keep with his father, Lord Justin, whilst Alun Carnie and Ishicar headed into Kings Landing to see what they could discover about the Greentree Inn.

Alun Carnie and Ishicar, on their wanderings around Kings Landing discovered that the Greentree Inn has been closed by orders of the king. They also tried to locate Leon Ashcroft by questioning purveyors of land and property, but to no avail, as none had seen Leon for days. It is with these sad tidings that the pair returned back to the Red Keep to report to Lord Justin what they had learnt.

Back at the Red Keep, Oliver Palmor retired early.

The following morning’s breakfast meeting was a much quieter affair with the Palmor’s deciding that the hiring of an elite mercenary company and a couple of experienced scouts was now a high priority and Alun Carnie was tasked with looking after this affair. During the meeting Lord Justin and his son Oliver had cross words, as Lord Justin insisted on his son telling him where he had purchased the new flail and beaked shield from, which Oliver, under some protest eventually agreed to reveal.

Alun Carnie and Ishicar, before leaving for the tourney with the rest of the Palmor’s decided to send a serving boy out into the streets of Kings Landing to look for the following individuals, Ser Milton Greenacre, Dana Greenacre, Orton Lugus and Leon Ashcroft and once he had some information to seek them out at the tourney grounds.

The Palmor’s leave the Queens tower, under heavy Lannister guards for the tourney grounds, to watch young Lord Oliver in his fourth joust of the tourney. Most thought he would do well to get past the first round, though Oliver was proving to be almost a natural jouster, having been tutored well by Alun Carnie. Oliver is helped to get ready by Alun Carnie and Haglic under the ever watchful eye of the Houses Maester, Ishicar and when ready the group make their way to the tilt.

The Warrior, most militaristic of the seven, was again looking down on Oliver Palmor as he won his fourth joust, almost too easily. The young man is certainly a favourite amongst the crowds and will have his hands full, fighting off potential suitors at the Grand Ball in two days. However Lord Oliver is soon brought back down to earth when he checks the lists to see who he has drawn in the semi-final, Ser Jaime Lannister.

Back at the tourney ground, the small boy, sent out by Alun Carnie returns and reports that he cannot locate Dana Greenacre and Leon Ashcroft, however he has discovered that Orton Lugus is staying as a guest of Ser Edmure Tully in his townhouse. That, unfortunately, is not the end of the boy’s news, Ser Milton Greenacre and Rog Thanders have been found dead, tied to a log, floating in the Blackwater Rush. Alun Carnie immediately seeks out Lord Justin, to deliver the grim tidings.

On hearing the news, Lord Justin decides to ride at once to the Tully townhouse to demand the return of Leon Ashcroft, whom he now believes is being held captive by Ser Edmure Tully. The Palmor’s along with their Lannister guards, whom seem cheered at the thought of action, ride to the Tully’s townhouse. Upon arrival Lord Justin demands to see Ser Edmure and one of the guards at the gate immediately rushes in to fetch his lord. Lord Edmure however was not at home, and it was his steward who felt the full wrath of Lord Justin’s anger, demanding the return, by tomorrow of his cousin Leon Ashcroft, or else. With his message delivered Lord Justin Palmor and the rest of the house retinue, returned to the Red Keep.

Back at the Red Keep, Oliver Palmor retires early, the young man has been looking rather weary of late.

Early the following morning, all of House Palmor’s retinue in the Red Keep are awakened by a low rumbling sound coming from outside the Red Keeps walls. The sound lasted for what seemed like an age before it passed. Those who were interested enough to look out of the window of their accommodation noticed a sickly greenish yellow glow hanging in the air above a well to do district of Kings Landing.

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Would you trust a Lord with a loaded crossbow, twice !!

The day of the first round of the tourney had arrived and Lord Justin Palmor patiently awaited the arrival of his son Oliver, at his tent on the tourney fields. Oliver and Haglic were late, but eventually arrived just in time for the meeting of House Palmor’s trusted inner circle, with the exception of Leon Ashcroft who was out in Kings Landing taking in the sights with his beloved Dana.

Lord Justin, Oliver, Alun Carnie, Ishicar and Haglic discussed the events of the previous night in detail and finally came to the conclusion that the removal of House Dannett from Westeros, was the only honourable solution to the slight the Dannett’s had delivered, the previous evening. Further planning was put on hold as it was time for Oliver to open the jousting against Adham Dannett, on orders of the king. Resplendent in his shining new armour, new longsword strapped to his side, Oliver mounted his Destrier and with Haglic leading and Alun Carnie and Ishicar following, rode out to be presented to the Royal Pavillion.

Once in front of the Royal Pavillion, alongside his challenger, Adham Dannett, the King rose and to a packed audience spoke “The opening joust of the tourney will be between Adham Dannett and Oliver Palmor, the victor will not only go through to the next round but will also decide the outcome of the dispute between these two houses. May the warrior look down upon both of you.” At this point the King sat, only for the Queen to rise and step forward, a hush settled on the crowd, wondering what this break in protocol would bring. The Queen beckoned young Oliver Palmor to approach and lower his lance whereupon she produced a silken purple favour from her bodice, and to the astonishment of the crowd tied this around Oliver’s lance. She then leant forward and whispered something into the young knights ear, that only he could hear.

The two knights returned to their respective ends of the field and turned to face each other. With a kick of the spurs both knights urged their Destriers forward, intent on winning the first tilt of the tourney, neither contemplating defeat. Oliver Palmor was to emerge victorious, his lance striking off the inner rim of Adham Dannetts shield and striking the hapless young man in his left side, penetrating his plate armour at a join and grievously wounding him. Dannett was unhorsed and fell on his back more than ten feet away from his Destrier, unmoving. Oliver flush with his victory turned to present himself to the Royal Pavillion. The King rose, saluting young Oliver, his booming voice louder than the thunderous applause the young lordling was receiving from the crowd. “Trial by combat was requested,” the King says, “and trial by combat has been fulfilled! The Warrior has smiled on the victors and proven their cause, let no more be made of it, but let their just victory be recognized and the tourney continue!”

Oliver, Alun Carnie and Ishicar remained at the tourney watching the other knights of the house in their tilts, Oliver paying special interest in ensuring that the knights and the men were well looked after. As the day came to an end, Oliver wandered over to the lists to see who he would face in the following days tilt, to discover that he had been drawn against Ser Naton Lugus.

Meanwhile Lord Justin Palmor had returned to the inn and sent his faithful servant Richard Booth to the Tullys representative in Kings Landing requesting a meeting.

That evening on everyone’s return from the tourney ground House Palmor had a quiet evening of celebration in the Greentree Inn, after all Oliver had won his first ever tilt in a royal tourney. Everyone retired early keen to get a good night rest before the next day’s events.

It was Haglic who first suspected something was not quite right, he and Oliver had just returned, via the window, from another sojourn in Kings Landing. Both had fallen asleep in their chainmail, as the evenings antics had been tiring, when Haglic awoke with a start. Waking Oliver hurriedly he asked Oliver to listen. Oliver listened carefully but could not hear anything, to which Haglic replied “Percisely, why is the Inn so quiet this evening, something’s not right and can you smell that horrible acrid smell, like something burning.” Oliver also smelt the same acrid smell and ordered Haglic over to the door to have a quick look, however before he could do so the door burst open and in strode a man dressed in greys and blacks, sword and dagger drawn, a menacing look upon his face, as he strode towards the pair, his intent clear. Oliver and Haglic drew their swords and rushed to face their assailant.

In another room, Lord Justin Palmor had woken with a start, something had disturbed his sleep, though he was unsure what. His first instinct was to reach for his Myrish crossbow, then awaken his good lady wife, lying next to him. Lyta, eyes still full of sleep and tired from their earlier bout of lovemaking, inquired as to what was the matter. Justin told her to get her knife and after putting on a robe went to awaken his manservant Richard Booth. At this point as Justin turned to go to the door, it burst open and two assailants dressed in greys and blacks, weapons drawn moved through the entrance, intent on causing harm.

Meanwhile in another part of the inn, Alun Carnie had woken with a start, something was wrong, but what was it. Allowing his eyes to get used to the darkness, he spotted it, a black shape heading towards the bed his son Neil was sleeping in. Like a flash Alun was on his feet grabbing his sword and with a purposeful stride, took the assailants head off in one short swift motion. Neil awoke and seeing his father in front of him, wearing absolutely nothing and holding a bloodied sword, screamed the scream of alarm.

The rest, as they say, was mayhem, though it came to no surprise to those who were at the inn that night that Lord Justin Palmor was one of the first to react, firing his Myrish crossbow into the figures in the doorway. Both stepped nimbly to one side, the quarrels missing, though much to Lord Palmors horror he could see the door opposite his open and standing in it were Oliver and Haglic, fighting desperately against another foe. Justins quarrels continued on, two thudding into the wall, the third hitting his son, square in the chest, just above the heart.

Oliver turned, a look of fury in his eyes, before turning back to his melee and with Haglics help managed to dispatch the assailant in his room by grabbing his head and smashing it into the crossbow quarrel protruding from his chest. Seeing his father in danger Oliver charged across the corridor with Haglic to attack his father’s assailants from behind. As he crossed the corridor Oliver realised that the acrid smoky smell was coming from the far end of the corridor, the inn was on fire.

At this point Alun Carnie had awoken his squire and with Connor and his son Neil had left their room, moved into the corridor towards Oliver and Justin’s rooms. In front of him he could see the developing scene, with both Oliver and Lord Justin Palmor fighting for their lives, thinking nothing of his own safety Alun charged into the fray. The fight was over in seconds with Alun Carnie and Oliver Palmor finishing of the remaining assassins, however the damage had already been done Lord Justin Palmor lay gravely injured on the floor, his own dagger protruding from his thigh. Alun Carnie realising that time was of the essence ordered an evacuation of the inn before it burnt to the ground, starting with Lord Justin Palmor, whom he promptly dragged to the window, before pushing him out. Everyone else managed to get out just in time, with Oliver and Haglic the last to leave.

Once in the yard of the inn the carnage the fire had wrought could be seen and many smallfolk were about the task of trying to douse the flames before the fire could spread. Again thinking quickly Alun Carnie ordered all to their horses their destination the Maesters conclave, perhaps the only place where Lord Palmor could be healed. Daric the scout was sent ahead to prepare Ishicar for the grave news.

Upon arrival at the Maesters Conclave, all was ready and Ishicar had managed to secure the services of the greatest healer known within Westeros, Dan Derryk. Ishicar and Dan set to work, healing the numerous wounds of Lord Palmor successfully, and after a couple of hours Lord Palmor was in a drug induced sleep, brought on by Milk of the Poppy. The relief on everyones faces was plain to see, though that would not be the end to the nights excitement. Just as the news of Lord Palmors recovery was passed on to the rest of the family, a commotion was heard at the door of the Maester’s conclave and a familiar voice, to all, was heard in the corridor, outside Lord Palmor’s room. Bravely taking on the responsibility, due to Lord Palmors drug induced state, Oliver Palmor strode out into the corridor to be confronted by Ser Jaime Lannister and numerous guards in the crimson cloaks of House Lannister.

Ser Jaime Lannister had arrived to offer the Palmor’s the protection of the Queen, as she had heard of their plight and the terrible misfortunes of that evening, the least she could do was to offer rooms in her tower in the Red Keep. Jaime, not one to take NO for an answer, soon persuaded Oliver and his retinue to accompany him, with Lord Justin Palmor and his wife Lyta to follow on the morrow, once the Milk of the Poppy had worn off. Ser Jaime and two dozen Lannister guardsmen led Oliver and his retinue through Kings Landing to their new temporary home in the Queens tower, inside the Red Keep. Oliver at once felt at home in his rather spacious appartment, ensconced with Alun Carnie and Haglic, his father’s quarters were to be on the floor above, when he arrived on the morrow. They all decided to retire early, with the exception of Alun Carnie who was wary of their new quarters.

The following morning a score of Lannister guardsmen arrived to escort Oliver, Haglic and Alun Carnie to the tourney grounds for Olivers second round tilt against Ser Naton Lugus. The Lannister guardsmen wasted no time in beating a way, quite literally, through the crowds towards the tourney grounds and upon arrival set up a cordon around the Palmor tents, scowling at any who dared come close.

The second tilt of Oliver Palmor was a much closer run thing, two passes were made against Ser Naton Lugus both of which saw the pair shatter their lances against each other’s shields, without any damage being inflicted. The third pass was all Oliver’s though, sensing a weakness in his opponent Oliver rode aggressively and a clean strike against Ser Naton saw Oliver unhorse his opponent, winning his second tilt. Oliver, gracious as ever, dismounted to help Ser Naton back to his feet and a brief conversation was had between the pair in which Ser Naton congratulated Oliver on his victory, offering to take him into town for some ale and wenching, Oliver politely refused the offer. Returning to his guarded tent, Oliver prepared to head back to the Red Keep, his new home.

On arrival back at the Queens tower, guarded by the usual score of Lannister guardsmen, Oliver learnt that his father and mother had arrived earlier in the afternoon. Wishing to see his father urgently he went to his apartment, accompanied by Alun Carnie and Haglic. Oliver was relieved to see his father well, though obviously still suffering from his wounds and with plenty to tell, the group caught up on what had happened in the last day in Kings Landing. Plots were hatched and decisions made but which path would these decisions lead House Palmor down ?

As they were nearing the end of their discussions, a messenger arrived, bearing grave news, Adham Dannett had died of the wounds inflicted by Oliver Palmor in his joust the day before.

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Machinations

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……………

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Bandits !!

The courtyard of Castle Palmor was a scene of intense activity as preparations for Lord Palmor’s journey to Kings Landing were being completed. Shortly before noon, the party was ready and departed the castle through the main gates heading out on to the marsh road. A thick mist had descended on the marshes and visibility was down to a mere hundred yards, but these were Palmor lands and the population here were loyal. After a couple of hours progress, the slow moving column finally edged out of the marshes and into the grasslands beyond, heading to the borders of House Palmor’s lands. Shortly before dusk the party arrived at Dag’s Inn, just beyond the borders of their realm. Taking the lead, mainly because he held the purse strings tightly, Leon Ashcroft negotiated a fair rate for the evenings accommodation and victuals. Choosing to dine privately the party ate and retired early, a long journey ahead of them on the morrow.

Dawn brought another bright sunny day in the Riverlands and the party awoke early to break fast and continue on their journey. After breaking fast a merchant, also staying at the inn, approached Lord Palmor and asked if he may accompany the party on their trip to Kings Landing, there’s safety in numbers after all. The merchant introduced himself as Rog Thanders, a dealer in spices and the exotic. Upon hearing of this, Ishicar took Rog to one side and a lengthy discussion took place, as the party readied themselves for departure.

The party spend an uneventful day journeying to Kings Landing, leaving their homelands behind and that evening camp beside the road.

The following morning dawns, another bright and sunny summers morning. The party break camp and head ever southward towards Kings Landing, though they plan to break their journey by visiting the Frey’s. Towards noon Leon Ashcroft spotted the sun reflecting off something from within the woods, that bordered the road at this point. Leon made haste to inform Ser Edgar Bravine, who, taking no risks, quickly dispatched Matthais Wren and his squire to investigate, whilst the rest of the party continued its journey down the road. Leon continued to watch Matthais’s progress towards the tree line, when he spotted the knight and his squire turn suddenly and gallop back towards the party. Once Matthais was within earshot the word “Bandits” could be heard coming from his lips and all at once it was obvious to Leon that his sharp eyes may have averted the party from disaster. When Matthais reached the group, an arrow could be seen protruding from his upper right shoulder, though it had not pierced, he was uninjured, thank the seven.

Ser Edgar Bravine took command and shouted orders “Knights to me, wedge formation on me, squires protect the baggage train”, wheeling sharply Ser Edgar and the five other knights, in wedge formation, lowered lances and prepared to charge the ruffians lining up along the road, barring their way. The six knights broke into a trot, then a gallop and finally with shouts of Palmor and Huntly charged the score of bandits, skewering four in the first pass, before they wheeled round, drew swords and charged back into the fray.

Meanwhile back at the baggage train Lord Palmor and his wife Lyta had been persuaded to dismount, to prevent them being made tempting targets for archers, their personal guard forming a crescent moon in front of them. They were shortly joined by Ishicar and Leon Ashcroft with his bodyguard. It is at this point that Leon’s sharp eyes again spot potential trouble, just ahead, emerging out of the trees, another group of bandits were starting to advance towards Lord Palmor’s party. Leon, springing into action, rallied the squires to join the personal guard in holding a line in front of Lord Palmor, with that persuasive and charming way he has. The squires, bloodlust in their young hearts, leapt to the defence of their lord.

Somewhere, upon a rise in the road they had been following since daybreak, young Oliver Palmor and Alun Carnie saw ahead of them a chaotic scene. Oliver could see that his father was in trouble and heeding the wise words of Alun Carnie formed his men into a line, after detailing Walter to look after Lady Dana Greenacre of course. Oliver led his men down the rise at a trot, hoping to smash into the side of the bandits before they reached his father, eventually breaking into a gallop and finally as they neared their prey, war horns blaring, the charge. The line smashed into the bandits, taking them unaware as their attentions were focused on richer gains, Oliver dispatching two bandits with grievous wounds and Alun Carnie destroying two others with mortal blows. It was all over in a matter of seconds, the bandits were routed and Oliver had claimed his two victims as prisoner. The nearest either Oliver or Alun had come to taking a scratch was when a volley of bolts, from Lord Palmor’s Myrish device, sailed between the pair of them, fortunately missing. With a victorious swagger Oliver strode over to his father, savouring his first taste of battle and victory and after greeting him passed on the news of his previous three days patrol. Oliver also introduced his father to Ser Milton Greenacre and his attractive daughter Dana, who had joined Oliver and Alun at Dag’s Inn the night before.

That evening, at a hastily erected camp near to the road, Lord Palmor called a meeting of his most trusted advisors so that they could hear the news that Oliver had to bring and it was grave news indeed (see previous journal for details – Patrol to the Borderlands). The group decided to keep the news to themselves for if word of this ever got out, it would mean ruin for House Palmor. As the meeting broke up the advisors went their separate ways and numerous important events occurred :

Oliver, Alun & Ishicar : The three began the questioning of the five captives from the bandit ambush, learning two of their names, Boris and Ryder, as well as the name of their leader Aelfric. They decide to continue their questioning (torture !!) the following evening.

Oliver : Spends time with his men exhorting them on their deeds in today’s battle and ensuring that they are all well fed and being looked after

Leon : Began the wooing of the young woman Dana, who had captured his heart upon first meeting her earlier in the day and she is completely smitten with him, much to the delight of Ser Milton.

Lord Palmor : Briefs Ser Tristam on the news from Oliver, before receiving Leon who complains about the noise coming from the questioning. Lady Lyta suggests that perhaps Oliver and Alun could continue their questioning away from the camp tomorrow evening. Lord Palmor also listens to his son’s report on the questioning of his captives.

This leaves the group breaking fast on another fine summers morning, before preparing to depart for House Frey, enroute to Kings Landing and the Kings tourney.

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Patrol to the Borderlands

The morning dawned brightly over Palmor castle, seat of House Palmor of the Riverlands, and the main yard was a bustle of activity as Alun Carnie, Master-at-Arms, oversaw the preparations for a probing patrol to the borderlands. Alun had been tasked with the command of the patrol the previous night and told that accompanying him would be the Lord’s son, Oliver, on his first patrol without his father. Their orders were specifically to head to the farms on their border with House Dannett, that they had heard had been torched by bandits. Accompanying them would be Daric the scout and Sergeant Edwin with a squad of personal guards, as well as two knights, Ser Percival Morningstar and Arthur Winstone.

Setting out at first light the patrol made its way out of Castle Palmor and down to the path that led through the marsh, Daric taking the lead. A dense mist swirled above the marsh leading to much reduced visibility but Daric managed to find the required path and led the group through the marsh. The journey was slow and laborious due to mist and the hard going, but eventually Daric returned to say that the edge of the marsh was reached and that the mist was receding. Eventually the patrol stepped out into bright sunshine and the plains beyond the marsh. In the distance the patrol spotted a few hamlets with small folk women out tending to their children and chores, their men folk off collecting mussels on the edge of the marsh, utilising the ubiquitous coracles.

Towards noon Daric returned again reporting to Alun and Oliver that he had come upon the Dannett farms and that they were still smouldering from the attacks, he pointed to the line of trees upon the horizon and all could see the smoke trailing lazily into the air. Alun ordered Daric to scout the area around the farms and to report back, ordering the rest of the patrol, after consultation with Oliver, to head into the woods and Dannett lands. The border had been crossed.

As the patrol came to the outskirts of the farmstead, Daric returned reporting to Alun and Oliver that there was no one left alive, he had, however, spotted the tracks of about twenty men entering from the North and the same tracks leaving to the East. Oliver, after consulting with Alun, decided to follow the easterly tracks with haste, after a cursory search of the farmstead, which revealed nothing of import. Galloping down the Eastern track, Daric in the lead, the patrol sought the perpetrators of this heinous act. It was not long before they came across a grisly scene. In a clearing ahead a large number of bodies, obviously dead, could be seen lying on the ground, a pack of wolves feasting, hungrily on the corpses. Daric turned to Oliver warning him “Milord, look they know we are here, see their ears are pricked, alert, yet they do not run. They are hungry and haven’t eaten in a good while. They won’t give up their prey easily.” Oliver pondered over his scouts wise words and decided that caution was required here, as wolves are a wily, cunning and dangerous foe. He ordered the building of a fire and once lit, a couple of his personal guards, fiery brands in hand advanced towards the clearing. The wolves fearing fire more than hunger backed away and eventually turned tail and fled.

Oliver ordered his guards to search the clearing to see what they could find and the results could not have been more alarming. It was difficult to tell the exact number of bodies, as the wolves had mauled the remains, in their hunger, but there were at least a dozen of them probably more. All were well built men, obviously sell swords by the remains of their garb, undistinguished, apart from two things. One of the men’s swords bears a hilt with the crest of House Baratheon upon it, minus the crown and all of the men had shields roughly painted black. Oliver ordered one of his guards to carefully scrape the black paint off one of the shields and to his surprise the coat of arms beneath, were those of House Palmor.

Fearing that House Palmor could be held responsible for this atrocious act, Oliver ordered his guards to remove all equipment from the men, leaving no traces at all. The patrol then hurried back to Castle Palmor, returning the following day after a night camped at the ruined Dannett farms. Finding that Lord Palmor had left the previous day for Kings Landing, Oliver decided to hide all of the taken equipment in his quarters. He then ordered that the patrol should make haste to join his father on the journey to Kings Landing.

It was midday before Alun had the patrol organised and ready to leave, though he knew they would have no problem catching Lord Palmor, as they were only a day and a half behind at most. Ordering the patrol forward, Alun and Oliver left Castle Palmor for Kings Landing. Towards nightfall the patrol arrived at Dag’s Inn, where they secured lodgings for the night and after a satisfying meal they retired early, keen to catch Lord Palmor on the morrow.

The following morning as they were breaking fast, Oliver and Alun invited the only two patrons of Dag’s Inn to join them, which they did, introducing themselves as Ser Milton Greenacre and his daughter Dana. Oliver inquired as to where they were headed and discovered that they were also journeying to the tourney at Kings Landing, so asked if they wished to travel with them, which they gratefully accepted, the roads not being particularly safe, these days.

That was this morning, now Oliver, Alun, Ser Milton and the remainder of the patrol stand on a rise in the Kings Road viewing a scene of mayhem a mile ahead of them. Have they arrived too late or just in the nick of time, only The Seven can tell…………

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