Black Motives of a Bleak Dynasty

Into the Lion's Gate

Topper Simonen motioned to another Gold Cloak, who stepped forward instantly. “Mick, lead the Miridans to an inn to bed for the night, I’m sure they won’t be setting up their pavilions at this late hour.” Mick Hallad nodded and lead the party down the remainder of the River Road. Were it day they could see Aegon’s Hill in the distance, but as it were they could only see a thick blanket of darkness.

“Most folks tent on the green,” Hallad began as they moved into King’s Landing proper. “Some Houses allow their retainers to stay with them in their pavilions. Either way, we’re heading to an inn tonight, the Green Tree Inn, in case you’re wondering. It’s rooms have all been set aside for nobles like yourselves for the duration of King Robert’s Tournament, so it should be easy to grab beds there, even at this late hour.” Beatrice struggled with the urge to go back home, and decided to do so, first offering the ladies to join her in Flea Bottom. Mick Hallad raised an eyebrow and scoffed. “I wouldn’t head there at this time of night, even if you do live there.” Ser Kai agreed wholeheartedly that she should remain with the party before Mick continues on. “Being as you’re from here I’d think you to have more sense than that…must be you’ve been gone for some time to forget something as that.” Beatrice furrowed her brow but remained quiet before acknowledging his point and conceding to remain with the party.

“I’ll tell you all of this one time I were stabbing this gorgeous girl…whore o’ course, but ‘snot the point…” Mick Hallad told stories and jested until they arrived at the Green Tree Inn. “Now, if you’re all as interested in sharpenin’ your swords as I am, right across the way is the Jade Spring brothel. It’s too bad I gots me duty to return to, as they’ve some lovely ladies there. Not sure if there are men folk, never asked ‘bout it, but the girls aren’t picky as to their clientele, so they’d please you all. Lyle Brewer owns both the inn and brothel, so ” With that, Mick Hallad turned around and headed back to his post at the Lion Gate.

As the party stood outside in the street they heard the screams of a woman in distress coming from a nearby dark alleyway. Gilligan, of course, headed to the inn, simply ignoring the screams. It’s a trap! He thought as he headed inside. Elliot berated him for a craven, ignoring Septa Demissus and Vigilus as they followed Gilligan, and joined Ser Harvey, Ser Kai and Beatrice as they headed for the alley.

In the dark alley they spotted a group of bandits with battle axes, dunking a woman into a large and shallow pool of water. The bandits grinned at the sight of fresh meat and the woman stood up, laughed heartily, kissed the bandit who was previously “drowning” her and ran off down the alley. Beatrice noticed some movement in the shadows and alerted the group to an assassin waiting in the shadows with a stiletto. The assassin muttered curses for being spotted as Ser Harvey attacked one of the bandits, who fell, sliced in half, into the pool of water. The pool began to turn a dark red as Beatrice threw a knife, missing the assassin, and braced herself to be attacked. The assassin obliged and struck, but Beatrice deftly dodged the attack as Ser Kai loosed an arrow into the throat of another bandit. He fell to the ground with a sickening “thock” as his head hit the edge of the pool. Elliot sneered as he drew his weapon, gripping it in both hands, and slashed at the assassin. The assassin died, his arm severed, dropping the stiletto before it plunged into the pool. The remaining bandit struck Ser Harvey with his battle axe, drawing blood. Enraged, Ser Harvey struck the bandit, nearly killing him.

“Yield! I yield!” cried the bandit as he sank to his knees. Beatrice, disgusted at the thought of being tricked, slashed his throat. The party remained indifferent as to her actions as Elliot searched the assassin, finding 30 Silver Stags. He offered to share with the group, but Ser Harvey expressed he should keep them, spoils of the battle, as they dumped the remaining bandits and moved the assassin into a dark corner of the alley.

They left the alleyway quickly, looking nonchalant, as people started to gather nearby at the sound of the commotion. Finally making their way back to the inn, where the group was waiting outside. The party entered the Green Tree Inn and instantly recognized several neighboring Houses of the Westerlands. House Lugus and House Hart were the most prominent among them. A hedge knight sat in the corner drinking ale, a few gamblers sat playing Cyvasse, several regular patrons were seen at the bar along with a noble from House Lugus. Ser Natan Lugus, sitting at a table with some of his retainers, drunkenly called the party over. Elliot waved half-heartedly at him as they decided what to do. Beatrice asked permission to perform, and did so, as Elliot suggested that Ser Kai secure rooms before heading to the bar and ordering a drink, where he noticed Rogg Thanders sitting and enjoying a drink.

“How nice it ‘tis to see you all!” exclaimed Rogg Thanders when he saw Elliot. “Where the hell did you go? You left after the ambush and we never saw how or where.” Rogg shrugged. “I dun’no. I don’ remember anythin’ after the attack until I woke up outside the Lion Gate. It was so strange, I can’na remember how I got there.” Rogg appeared to be genuinely freaked out. Elliot narrowed his eyes and asked him to remove his gloves. Rogg did as he was bid, the party gathering after Ser Kai had secured a floor for the party. Under his gloves were nubbed fingers. “As I thought, nubs. How did you go about getting these nubs of yours?” Rogg was taken aback by the sudden interrogation but explained. “I’ll have you know I wasn’t always an upstanding citizen. We had nothing when we was growing up, my sister and I, except each other. I often had to steal for our supper, and when I were caught, mi’lord was just and took my fingers instead of my hands.”

Orten Lugus, at the bar, spoke up to the party. “Here for the Tourney, are you?” Elliot replied. “Yeah, we’re here for the Tourney.” Orten smiled, “My brother is too, but not me…I’m here for my sister, you know, the Black Lady of Casterly Rock, to broker a marriage. Good luck to her…or him, if you will. Either way, it’ll be fun watching my brother in the tournament. I certainly wouldn’t bet on him in the tournament thought if I were you.” “Who’s the hedge knight in the corner, he seems to be staring at us?” “Well, I heard of him, old Ser Yorras Lancier, he is.” “Any news from the road?” Elliot asked. “You’d know more than me, just coming off it yourselves. I haven’t heard anything of late.”

Elliot remained drinking while Vigilus sat at the Cyvasse table and won himself a Gold Dragon. Gilligan had long since gone to bed; Septa Demissus had as well, and Ser Harvey approached Ser Yorras, recognizing him as an old comrade from Robert’s Rebellion.

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