Several weeks have passed since our visit to Gulltown, which means only one thing: my new longsword is finally ready! The smith has been working tirelessly to make this superior blade, all it needs now is a name! It must be cat-like, fierce, swift and silent. Sharp Tooth? Shadowcat Surprise? No… those won’t do. I’ll have to keep thinking.
My father calls a meeting of the house and we learn that Lord Arryn will be visiting Castle Snownook, but we don’t know why. Whatever the reason may be, it is incumbent upon us to make sure that he has the most enjoyable visit possible. Father has planned the day to go like this:
- Maester Thad will host a battle of wits
- I will show off my fighting skills by sparring with Sir Carson
- An afternoon meal will be served, serenaded by Dolins the bard
- Jardin will tell a tale of the Vail’s history
- A flag capture melee
- An evening meal before Lord Arryn departs
Of course, Carson asks if there will be a prize for the flag capture melee. We are told there will be an award, but it will be given out after Lord Arryn has left.
Father also makes a point to say that Calaila will be Lord Arryn’s cup bear.
When Lord Arryn arrives to the castle, he is received in the great hall. Welcomes are exchanged, and the festivities start right away with Maester Thad and his battle of wits!
Darron, Dolins, and myself face off against Calaila, Carson, and Jardin. The game is rousing, but our lot is no match for a handmaid, a knight, and a one-eyed baffoon. I blame Her Darron.
For the main event, Carson and I will spar each other, making a show of our talents on the battlefield. All of my companions are well aware of the skills I lack in this discipline, and for this reason I proactively arranged to pay Carson 10 gold dragons to put on a convincing performance and to let me win. I think the spar goes well, but apparently not well enough to convince Lord Arryn that I am a skilled fighter. He gave me some backhanded remark about knowing my strengths. This wasn’t worth 10 gold dragons… I follow up with Carson after the match and we settle on 6 dragons for his efforts. Still a damn good payment for a performance!
During the meal, Dolins puts on quite a show! In a break in the performance, Jon Arryn announces that Nestor Royce will take over management of the Vail while Jon Arryn serves as the hand of the king to King Beratheon. Further, he plans to create a new position, Warden of the Fingers and Isles, which will manage houses Coldwater, Baelish, Elesham, Pryor, Jasper, and Linderly. The lord who is chosen for this position will be responsible for protecting the peace and managing this group of houses, but ultimately the houses would still remain loyal to House Arryn. He explains he is here to visit House Jasper to consider my lord father for the Wardenship!
After the meal, I heard that Jardin’s history of the Vail was quite pleasing to Lord Arryn. I nearly knocked my goblet of wine off the table while I nodded off. Sparring is quite hard work.
In the flag capture melee, I prove to be useless. Maelys destroys me in quick order, so I spend most of the match cheering my team to victory. We win the melee, and each receive 2 gold dragons!
Jon Arryn, before departing Castle Snownook, announces that Berta Rohan will become a ward of Snownook. She will arrive at the castle sometime within the year. There are exciting times ahead for House Jasper!