As the melee begins the clouds that had gathered start to thunder, and lightning flashes in the sky – an ill omen which causes the horses nearby to snort and whinny with restlessness.
As the fighters take the field, Bryan Telson is the first to move his way quickly through the crowd, not engaging anyone for any longer than he has to. He seems to be looking for someone in particular.
Langley Woods engages Eckhard, falls after the first punch, and is dragged from the field by his squire.
One of Ironz’s opponents attempts to flee, twists his ankle, falls forward on some other characters blunt weapon, breaks his neck, and dies.
As the bodies clear out, you see two individuals fighting locked in an epic battle. It is Bryan and Gennady, and Bryan appears to be in a fit of rage with every blow, his eyes burning with vengeance. He seems to not be fighting for sport, but to kill. Shannin is already wounded from the joust with the Mountain, and he seems off balance and unable to defend himself properly. Lewyn Snow throws the mace in his offhand at Shannin, which only succeeds in bouncing off his armor. Telson knocks the sword from Gennady’s hands, and he falls. Telson picks it up, and puts it against Gennady’s throat and yells “DO YOU YIELD? DO YOU CONFESS TO THE KILLING OF LORD WYL? TELL IT TO THE KING, NOW.” Shanin is pulled roughly to his feet by Telson, marched over to the royal pavilion, where the King over hears the story of how Shanin killed Lord Wyl and took his Valyrian Sword, Scorpion. Shanin tries to defend himself, but he is so shaken at being found out at a time when he least expected, he immediately begs mercy from the king. King Robert addresses Bryan and states “Ser Telson, you have uncovered this treachery, but what part do you have in this? This man rightly defeated a foe, and has a right to the spoils of war. I do not understand what concern it is of yours.” Bryan dips his sword to King Robert, kneels, and states, “Your majesty. I am not a common hedge knight, but I am Tygor Wyl, son of Lord Wyl and heir apparent of my lord’s legacy. I am sad to say that all that remains of his legacy is this family heirloom, Scorpion. My father’s treasures have long been spent, his lands long since divided, and my childhood long lost. I have been in earnest search of the man who killed my father and took his sword.” “This is quite a story, young man, do you have any proof or person to vouch for you?” “I do, your majesty. I have a childhood friend, who was almost as fatherless as myself, as we practiced swords together. He is aware of my plight, and my vow which I made as a boy and shared with him at that time. I ask that he comes forward to vouch for me.” Tygor bows and waits expectantly. Lewyn comes forward, and states that he vouches for Tygor, and that he is a very honorable knight.
King Robert announces “Very well, you have your father’s sword returned to you. However, much has been lost, so it seems you are still owed some recompense from Gennady Shannin. What would you have done with him?” “Let me confer with my colleague concerning his fate.” Lewyn convinces Tygor to have Shannin sent to the wall for his crimes, and King Robert assents.
As the melle dwindles down to 5 combatants, Ironz hanging on by a thread fighting with Edan Ward, Thros of Myr considering his next opponent, Alix Maple hits a knight named Edmund so hard on his leg, that his leg explodes like a sausage and he begins to to bleed profusely. Thoros calls foul, and Alix is brought before the king, while the smallfolk yell “ALIX ALIX ALIX”. The king, not unaware of this, tries to cut a deal with the four remaining combatants, by offering shares of the winnings. Alix accepts, but requests that him and Thoros finish the fight, with the winner taking the other’s winnings. Thoros agrees, and Alix wins, to the delight of the crowd.
As the tournament ends, Hayes turns up to inform Naton of some disturbing news. “Brother, its Langley, he’s dead. “ Naton turns and grimaces at Hayes “He was a weak one, I’m not surprised, but our dear sister will certainly never lose her reputation as ‘The Black Widow’. Well I suppose we need to tend to this family affair.” And he lumbers off with Hayes. Hayes departs as well, looking hard at Eckhard.
A ferret-faced rumormonger comes up to Jerick as the tournament is ending and everyone is beginning to prepare for the Grand Ball. He motions him aside, and Jerick follows him off somewhere.
Ironz wears his artisan’s garb for the ball, and hides his Dragonbone Hilt dagger in his clothing. Eckhard finds an attractive camp follower and she is his escort for the night. Alix Maple, Mason, and Lewyn wear their best garb, Alix with his sword strung across his back.
The Grand Ball: As you enter the Great Hall, you see much merriment and conversation. You are startled by the loud voice of the herald whom you did not notice by the door “Lord Jolvan’s son, Mason, of House Teamus, and company!” Most of the guests greet you with whispers and curious looks.
You recognize Hayes, Naton, and Marita and their entourage. Lady Marita is in mourning for her deceased fiancé, Langley Woods. She is dressed all in black, but still shows a fair amount of décolletage in a gown of black Myrish lace, looking every inch the ‘Black Widow’.
You also see many of your competitors, and the winners of the various tournaments. Many humble hedge knights and lowborn sellswords who won in tournaments have a chance to mix with the nobility for the evening.
You also see Ruben Piper, dressed very wealthy, with his hired swords also dressed well. Yet despite this, he seems to be snubbed by other lords and ladies, and left alone in a corner.
Bryan Telson walks up and welcomes you, or Tygor Wyl, as his real name is. He is dressed resplendently, and carries Scorpion at his side. “My friends, we truly have come so far together in so short a time. Come, and mingle, and share with me the honor I have rightfully reclaimed.” He pats Scorpion at his side.
Alix and Eckhard attempt to talk to the Hunters, but are shunned. Alix goes to talk to a sad Hugh of the Vale.
Mason notices the late arrival of a mysterious looking lady in a fine gown. She wears a flimsy veil that conceals her features, but not the lovely golden hair piled in elaborate braids. You recognize Maester Ferris from House Latneau accompanying her. You see her recognize and go to Hayes to speak with him alone for a quite some time, and the two seem to be avoiding all other guests.
You recognize Lady Orlanna and her husband (still drunk) and daughter Aranette approaching you. “Oh Lord Jason, you have done exceptionally well in the archery contest. We knew all along you would succeed for my daughter, whom you love. I had heard you proclaimed her the queen of love and beauty, and wrapped your winning arrow with her scarf. And that arrow found its way to her heart!” Shreeve nods approvingly and says, “Now I suppose you will be wanting to get down to the business of the dowry. We can handle this tonight in the local sept if you like, or we can make the journey north, makes no difference to me, but I prefer it be tonight.” Orlanna slaps her husband with her fan and says “Shreeve! Please! Let the young ones talk and dance!” Orlanna whispers to her daughter and then leaves with her husband. Aranette shyly stands next to you, looking around at the dancers and twirling her hair, waiting expectantly. Mason feels the cold hard stare of the mystery girl looking at him.
Tygor Wyl also recognizes the mystery girl, and attempts to talk to her. He seems to be rebuffed. Tygor returns to the party dejected, hurt and confusion on his face.
The herald, now at the royals area, announces “Now it is time for the presentation of honors for the tourney winners!”
“Not yet!” yells the veiled woman. She takes off her veil to reveal her face to everyone in the room. “Iris!” a surprised Ruben Piper calls out when he sees her pull aside the veils. She barely spares him a glance before pressing on with what she has to say: “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.” King Robert has his head in his hand and you can barely hear him mutter ‘oh gods, what now’. You then see Varys whispering in the king’s ear.
“As my…betrothed has already said, I am Iris Latneau. My brother was Joshua Latneau, he who 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 murmer ripples through the room at the accusation as Iris turns her full fury toward your party, her eyes blazing.
“My brother leveled certain charges against House Teamus, 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 dishonorably 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 Teamus, 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.
Alix makes his way to Mason. Ekchard looks on in dumbfounded confusion. Lewyn attempts to talk in hushed tones with Tygor.
Aranette seems to have disappeared in the confusion.
The King speaks: “Lady Latneau,” 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 glancing at Varys. Then she raises her gaze and 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 Spring, 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. It’s clear most of those gathered understand that Iris Latneau has just admitted to working as a prostitute. Ruben Piper blanches and then turns red with anger and embarrassment.
Alix pipes up “I am suddenly interested in this fine woman!”
“And these grave accusations you level against House Teamus, on what basis do you make a claim of poisoning and murder?”
“Yeah! How?!” Yells Alix.
“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 Joshua suffered were the result of his injuries. Maester Ferris has consulted other masters 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 Ironz, “a dagger with a hidden phial in its hilt, carried by Ironz of House Teamus and of foreign drink Cheldarro sent to my brother by an unnamed admirer, with the bottle’s seal being broken.” All eyes quickly follow Iris Latneau’s in turning toward Ironz. She gestures to Maester Ferris, whose voice cracks out “I gave the drink to a large dog, m’lord, who soon died after drinking it. Although Lord Latneau did not drink of this bottle that we know of, it is very obvious that someone was definitely trying to poison him.”
The king asks to examine the dagger, and a gold cloak comes up to Ironz to retrieve the dagger. Alix yells out “Watch out for Ironz, he might try to stab you!” He attempts to pull it out to stab the nearest gold cloak, but they quickly subdue him, as he is clearly wounded, and hold him fast, making him drop the dagger, which is then brought to the king.
While this is happening, the king asks you if Lady Latneau’s claims hold any truth.
Mason valiantly defends the party, but incriminates Ironz to the accusations which have recently been charged.
Hayes Hunter decideds to speak up with an air of humble civility. “Your majesty?” The king fixes him with a stern stare “What do you want?”
“Your majesty, having heard these disturbing charges, I find that I must speak. As you well know, my sister’s betrothed, Langley Woods, perished after the melee in what was thought to be a regrettable accident; Langley was somewhat…delicate. However, I must tell you that in his last hours, Ser Langley suffered from the same maladies described by Lady Latneau.” He pauses for a moment, as if to gather his courage, allowing the implications of that statement to sink in, then continues: “I have also seen this dagger of which she speaks, it was delivered into Ironz’s hands.” Hayes goes on to describe how you received the dagger, and accuses you of receiving the weapon, and its contents, as part of a clandestine delivery of the poison it once contained. Marita suddenly begins to weep inconsolably and she is escorted from the room. Naton appears to be growing increasingly angry when Marita begins to cry, and glares intently in your direction, but remains silent.
Hayes continues with his orations. “I also submit the following things which I have heard that occurred with Teamus since they arrived at King’s Landing: Rog Thanders, a merchant whom travelled with them from the North, was knifed a few days ago, his body thrown in the sea. A waif from Flea Bottom and his friends were shoved into a barricaded hole and left to starve. Several visits were made to the alchemist’s guild. A young girl was molested and the result pregnant, and her father silenced with hush money, and she now has disappeared. A barroom brawl and rumors of contacts in flea bottom all added to the death of two honorable young men and countless smallfolk in the north have left me to believe that these men are not innocent. The evidence seems to be increasing as long as they are among us. Had I known, I would not have associated myself with them upon their entering King’s Landing.” There are many sounds of assent and nods and whispers after these things are revealed. Some of the members of the Ball have witnessed these events.
Alix and Lewyn accuse Hayes of being involved, since it is clear that he could not have known of all of these incidents. He denies hotly, and appears to be the injured party.
Iris Latneau listens quietly.
The king appears irritated by this interruption, as well as having to rule on the issue. “Very well, there will be a royal hearing on the morrow concerning this matter. Guards, escort the Lords Hunter & Teamus and the, er, Lady Latneau to quarters in the castle as my personal guests. Make sure to keep them guarded, and make doubly sure that they do not leave the grounds, so they don’t flee the city. Their entourages are free to go as they please, whether to gather information or witnesses as needed. House Teamus, you have done well in the tourney, but until this affair is settled, the gold won will be held by the master of coin.”
Mason speaks up, and suggests that Ironz be held as well, but in a place where he cannot hurt himself, others, or be hurt by anyone else. The King assents after viewing the violent nature of Ironz, who is spitting at the guards holding him, and orders him to be shackled in the dungeons.
Tygor Wyl is not escorted, and assures you that he will support your house in any way possible, following you out at Lewyn’s behest.
The gold cloaks march your entourage and Lady Latneau’s from the ballroom, and the guards separate to take Mason, Iris, and Hayes from you, to separate quarters in the castle, and guards are posted in front of their doors. You are escorted back outside to the town. It looks to be an hour or two before midnight.
As Mason is led to his room, a freshly powdered Varys is there, and gives his condolences for the evening’s sordid events. “My lord, you would be wise to read a book in this room, it is titled “The Romance of Florian and Jonquil, a tale of fools and knights and love. You may not have heard of it, being in the north, but it might prove enlightening.” With that, he bows, and waddles away.
The party meets up with Jerick at the tourney tent, and he shows them a letter with a fox seal. The problem is the only two members of the party who can read, are currently sequestered.