(122-07-25) Nearly Wed at Skyreach
Nearly Wed at Skyreach.
Alternate working title: Sheess minnne Arghhh
Summary: A wedding almost occurs at Skyreach. A death happens instead.
Date: 25 July 2015
Related: Seeds of Peace



Skyreach. Carved into the stony slopes of the Red Mountains, overlooking the Prince's Pass. The mighty fortress is a stronghold at the frontlines of Dornish defense, and its soaring stone towers offer views in every direction, as far as the eye can see. At the pinnacle of the tallest of the towers is a walled terrace, purposed for the evening as the site of the wedding of Alaeyna Fowler to Maelys Targaryen.

At the center of the circular courtyard is a pit big enough to house a towering pyre. It is the hour of the wolf, and the moon is high overhead, the nightsky clear, but it is the mighty blaze that bathes the party in its warm light.

Though there are trestle tables for feasting erected along the perimeter of the terrace, the guests are all on foot near the fire, watching as Alaeyna and Maelys exchange ceremonial blades. There is no priest present. There is only the pair of them, the open sky, and the witnesses to their union.

Prince Maelys is outfitted in a new robe, sable with hundreds of tiny rubies sewn along the sleeves and hems. The gems curl and twist about the Prince's arms and ankles in lapping flame patterns. His dragon leather boots split the firelight into its component shades.

A squire in Fowler livery tenders the blade, a long slender weapon. The pommel and cart are adorned with silver folded with other alloys so as to appear a cool argent. The widest part of the blade is etched with a hawk standing upon one foot, like a bravo. A second hawk is etched upon the guard, wings outstretched, and a t pommel is etched to resemble the head of a third such beast. Sapphires and blue diamonds adorn the pommel and guard. The blade possesses a subtle curve and the pale blue hue of fresh forged steel.

As the Prince draws the blade from its jeweled sheath, a clamor rises from the guests at pyre's edge. Maelys turns and four men in sable and pale gold press through the last rank of guests. A slender and lissome Dornish glares at the Prince. The Dornishman is arrayed in a green doublet, a black chain runs about his waist. In his right hand, a wicked notched dagger, already damp with blood.

"Your boy tried to stop me, so I took a token from his comely face."

Lorenzo reaches into his coat and flings something red and damp at the Prince. It lands beside him and all within a stone's throw of him see a fleshy, red lump. A blob of gristle that was once comely and aquiline; his cupbearer's nose.

Prince Torren Martell and his Targaryen wife stand in attendance. His arm is strategically wrapped around Visenya's waist to offer her support as she is still weakened from the viper's venom. There is little reaction from the Prince when Lorenzo Yronwood steps in to fling a severed body part at Maelys' feet, although his wife lets out a startled gasp and puts her uninjured hand over her mouth. For his part Torren looks to Alaeyna and that meaningful glance conveys that he will offer her his support if needed.

Somewhere near to Visenya and Torren stands Lara Gargalen, wearing a flowing gown of red and orange sand silk that leaves her slender arms bare. Her hair falling openly about her shoulders, at least in part, as two strands of hair starting at her temples have been braided and pulled back, to be joined at the back of her head. There is a soft jingle from her armbands as she shifts in her stance, dark eyes directed towards the pair that is about to be wed, to bear witness indeed on the proceedings. The corners of her lips lift into an intrigued smile. To see the Lady of Skyreach marry indeed promises to be an adventure in itself - when in fact, it starts off like a nightmare. Her hand moves to cover her mouth, Lara's eyes widening as she instinctively inches a bit closer towards Visenya and Torren and gasps in astonishment.

Having put on his finest clothes, and that is saying something as Ser Ryam Sand is known to be a dedicated follower of fashion, the bride's bastard brother is watching the ceremonies with a smile. That is, until the interruption, and he turns in that direction, eyes narrowing a bit. There's a grimace as he sees what's thrown, and he makes his way forward, very slowly, looking to Alaeyna to see if there's any instructions now.

The Fury of Skyreach, dressed in fine sandsilk spun with gold and embroidered in Fowler blue, is in the midst of presenting to her groom a blade that's nigh as fine as the one he demonstrates to her. The guard has been fashioned in dark iron to resemble the claw of some mighty creature, so that when the hand grasps the hilt, it appears as though it wears the beast as a second skin. It glitters with stones of black onyx and ruby red, the blade serrated along its keen and slender edge. The exchange of daggers has just begun when Lorenzo Yronwood interrupts them, flinging the nose of a poor young cupbearer at the Targaryen's feet.

"Lorenzo!" Alaeyna exclaims, putting a hand to Maelys's chest as if to stop him from taking the bait. But the curly-haired man, Skyreach's Master of Hawk, isn't about to let it lie. He stops, turns, and looks between the guests assembled. "I invoke the right of contest," he declares, taking a step or two closer to the couple intending to seal their union. "Do you hear me, Burner?" he calls out to Maelys, directly, pointing his dagger in the prince's direction. "Her first act as Lady of Skyreach was to declare me her consort. If you think to take that honor from me, you must prove yourself."

Arrick Gargalen is seated and ready to feast, and of course, this being a Dornish event, someone must bring a bodypart as offering. As the gasps subside Arrick smirks and remarks to a nearby Dalt as he gently leans forward to see what was thrown down, "Ehh, looks like an ear maybe? Could be a cock? I'm not sure. I do know it's a piece of someone." Arrick shrugs as he sits back and watches on, not too interested in getting involved in whatever game of blood Lorenzo has started.

The Targaryen takes one step toward Lorenzo, then halts as Alaeyna presses a hand against his chest. The Prince halts. He does not move; he does not breathe. "Yronwood." A long pregnant pause, silence but for a belated scream and the crackle of the bonfire. He turns to Alaeyna and takes hold of her hand lifting it from off of his chest. Maelys's lips move: words whispered into his Lady's ear. A look to Torren, the Princesses son and hence the highest ranking member of the Wedding Party. A moment more to measure Torren's expression and Maelys turns to Lorenzo.

"You maim another man's servant after your mistress has offered him bread and salt, and now you'd have him spill blood at a wedding." Maely's gaze moves to the wicked black dagger still in the hands of Alaeyna's attendant. "No. I will make offerings to the Stanger at my own wedding. Find a whore and a skin, Yronwood. If, on the morrow, your blood is still hot, then find me in the lists." Maelys looks to the nose. "If you have not paid the boy's blood debt, within the week, then I shall find you."

Ryam lets out a breath as he hears what's said, and relaxes a bit more now. Waiting to see what's happening, he looks between Maelys and Lorenzo, carefully. Staying quiet, but attentive.

There was the shock of seeing a lump of flesh being tossed towards the bridegroom, but all it takes is the assessment of her cousin, the Desert Fox, to remind Lara that she is a Dornishwoman who should be used to such drastic displays of blood and violence. A glance is shot towards Arrick, Lara's lips already curving upwards when the challenge is issued, and her attention shifts towards the Yronwood. Now, that promises quite a bit of drama and bloodshed, that would make this wedding indeed stand out. The Gargalen lady's eyes widen, her breath picking up ever-so-slightly, attention shifting to Maelys Targaryen - and she exhales, a low chuckle leaving her lips. "Well played," she murmurs, in Visenya's direction. "Lord Lorenzo will have a wonderful week, I daresay…"

There's a flicker of relief across Alaeyna's features when Maelys defers the settling of the score between he and Lorenzo, the Yronwood lover she's kept for more than a decade. There are mixed reactions among the crowd. The Dornish have a way of spoiling for blood, and there's nothing better to liven up a wedding. But the Lady Fowler, fierce as she is, seems to have no appetite for bloodshed between the two men.

Lorenzo fumes, snorting his outrage when Maelys denies him the right to fair contest for Alaeyna's hand. Those near enough to him can see the way his knuckles turn white as his grip upon the dagger tightens with a clench of his palm. At first he's too infuriated to speak, his face darkening with the insult paid to him. "This is the Dornish way, dragon!" He hisses at Maelys's back as the Targaryen turns away from him to walk back towards Alaeyna.

Lorenzo looks desperately toward Alaeyna, beseeching her silently to reverse her decision. She hesitates. It's obvious to anyone watching. But then her gaze slides back to Maelys, who moves in her direction. It seals Lorenzo's fate. Dagger in hand, he runs at Maelys, rushing him from behind and delivering a cheapshot to his ribs before they both crash to the ground together. Maelys doesn't have any warning, other than the gasps of those that watch the Yronwood make the reckless, despairing charge.

Torren releases Visenya after murmuring something into her ear, and takes a step towards the bride, bridegroom, and the bride's lover. "Yronwood, you will stand down until tomorrow or I shall personally see to it that you answer for this." His demeanor is calm but there is a dangerous steel in his voice that does not brook argument. But it is too late, and Lorenzo is rushing towards the bridegroom with dagger in hand. With a subtle nod of his chin the Matrell men-at-arms that were present for the Prince and Princesses' own protection rush forward from the back to enter the fray and separate Targaryen from Yronwood.

Visenya watches the drama unfold with a bit of a look of disbelief. "And I thought my wedding was tense." She murmurs softly to Lara once her lady-in-waiting has stepped closer to her and offered her own comments. And then Lorenzo is rushing Maelys with dagger drawn, and Visenya yells out, "Uncle!" in warning.

<FS3> Maelys rolls Body+blades: Amazing Success.

Perhaps his contempt for lesser men, or lesser knights will be Maelys's downfall. He turns from the scorned Yronwood,. When Lorenzo slashes at his side, Maelys curses, pivots and kicks at the Yronwood's ankles. Maely's hand flies at Lorenzo's lower arm, in an effort to avert a brutal backhand slash and both Prince and Master of hawk fall to the ground, wrestling, punching, and slashing. Lorenzo clasps his wicked dagger with both hands pressed down toward Maelys's chest, but the Prince holds his hands in check, his arms barely straining from the effort of holding off a man mad with envy and thwarted desire. Prince Torren's men rush forward with swords and long spears, but the press of the crowd and their shear density is such that they must beat back the commons and push aside noble scions.

"Sheess minnne Arghhh!!" Lorenzo's cry is inarticulate, clearly he has bitten his tongue in the fall. Blood upon spatters the Prince's face. Maelys glares at the man and one fist rises slips off Lorenzo's hands and smashed into his face. Then, Maelys turns. The Yronwood grunts as the Prince rolls and his bloody fist descends to the top of his ankle high dragon skin boots. A hiss and a fire kissed blur; a sickening tearing sound and a cry of pain. The Prince slips from off Lorenzo's body. The Yronwood convulses beside the fire, his dagger falling from his hands. Before the eyes of Bride, Groom, and wedding party, skin and muscle slough back from his sternum in short order a long weeping crimson trough runs the length of Yronwood's abdomen, from neck to groin.

Maelys, bloody and bruised, still holds a slim short dagger in hand. He looks down at Alaeyna's longtime paramour "You fool." As Torren's men press through the crowd, he turns, dropping the dirk one the stone's at pyre's edge, he holds his hands out in an open gesture.

Having moved forward as Lorenzo rushed Maelys, Ryam pauses as the man seems to have it all in hand. Shaking his head a bit, the bastard knight steps back again now. Secretly glad not to have needed to interfere. After all, whoever the job of cleaning his garments would have had a very hard job if there were blood on them.

There is a brief glance shot towards Visenya when Lara Gargalen hears that murmured comment. She is about the give a reply, when things really start to get out of hand, and the Yronwood attacks Maelys from behind. Her hand reaching instinctively for that of the silver-haired princess, when her dark eyes stay glued to the spectacle, and Lara is unable to avert her gaze. There is relief flickering in her gaze, when Maelys manages to get the upper hand, a faint frown forming when the Gargalen lady beholds the drastic consequences for the Yronwood. "Seems he's spared from that week's wait," the Cockatrice assesses wryly, looking towards Visenya.

Was Oona here all this time? Maybe, maybe not. The point is, whenever she got here, now is the time to be a spectator rather than a participant. Now would be the perfect time for someone to invent popcorn.

Alaeyna watches, frozen, as Lorenzo takes Maelys down, and then in turn as Maelys takes Lorenzo down. That Torren has the presence of mind to intervene and to call for guards, well, she gives no sign of even having heard the Prince or noticed his efforts. Lorenzo is unmatched and outclassed by the Targaryen prince, and their skirmish is as quick as it is brutal. Alaeyna rushes to her lover's side as he lays dying, burying her face against his neck, cradling his head in her hands. But his unseeing eyes have already turned up toward the night sky, his face a grim mask of agony as the life drains from his body as swiftly as his blood does.

No one moves to separate them, and the guards rush in too late to stay the violence, having gotten caught up in the crowd of revelers. When Alaeyna finally stands, there's only the veil of tears in her dark stare to give away her despair. Her voice is strong and clear when she calls out before everyone assembled, "Who else dares challenge the Prince of Ashes?"

Prince Torren's men level spears at Maelys's chest. The crowd is silent, but for a some subdued and sardonic laughter as Lady Lara Gargalen tenders a jest regarding the Lorenzo's blood debt. One of the Dornish guardsman raises his cudgel, but several men push through the crimson cloaked guards. They bear the painted bears of Tyrosh, and the jangling golden bells of the Dothraki. One of their number has violet eyes, like Prince Maelys. No two of their number are alike. The Dothraki nods to Maelys and the Prince turns to the Martell Captain. "If you are not going to arrest me, then permit my men to bring Yronwood's body to the sisters." The Captain looks to Prince Torren, then nods to the Dothraki screamer. Maelys turns and lowers his left hand to Alaeyna, palm raised. His right hand, arm, and much of his chest are covered in her erstwhile paramour's blood.

It takes only a moment for someone to break the silence. In this case, the steward of Skyreach "My lords, my ladies. We ought not to let one death spoil this glad night. We have prepared a feast and minstrels await beyond the bailey!"

Lara observes the anguish of the Lady of Skyreach with a bit of empathy flashing in her gaze. The art of juggling multiple admirers, Alaeyna had mastered it apparently. Still, matrimony could indeed bring disorder to such established arrangements. Her dark eyes shift from Alaeyna to Maelys just in the moment he is held in check by Prince Torren's guards; and then move to roam over those that have gathered, not really expecting anyone to really answer Lady Fowler's challenge. A relieved sigh escapes her when the tension subsides and the steward breaks the ice and announces the festivities that are about to commence. Yay for feasting, wine and pleasant diversions!

"Well, that seems to be that, right?" Ryam says, looking around, before he looks forward again now. "About time for some festivities," he mutters, mostly to himself.

No one comes forward to challenge Maelys Targaryen after that display. Only the Martell guards, perhaps, but Alaeyna does not countenance their detaining the dragon. She is wordless in the wake of the challenge she'd uttered, and turns to regard Maelys when he offers her his palm, smeared as it is with Lorenzo's blood. She lays her hand in his, and allows the Prince of Ashes to lead her toward the stone steps that spiral their way through the heart of the tower. The steward declares it party time, and there's been a wedding feast prepared, even if the couple's marital status was never officially sealed. It's clear from the mood of the crowd that it won't go to waste. Even if the Crownlanders seem dubious, the Dornishfolk are for the most part ready to get down to the business of having a good time.

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