The next morning, Gregoriy and Carsen join the rest of us to break fast at the Winter’s Reprieve, and I urge the Maester to make a plan to find a raven to send a message to the Bloody Gate as quickly as possible. I fear that Ser Bryndon Tully may be in terrible danger if he is muscled into hosting the Protectors and Bronn!
Upon our arrival to the Grafton’s keep, two guards insist on escorting us to Lord Grafton and his guest, Jon Lynderly. Lord Grafton, a jolly man who seems to be missing the seriousness of the meeting, greets us heartily and welcomes House Jasper. After a quick introduction, he can’t hide his surprise at my presence, but the kind maester boosts my confidence by sharing about the value I add to the house and the potential they see in me. I’m heartened and take my place along the wall to observe diplomacy unfold.
Unfortunately, there are no lessons in politics today, as talks with Jon Lynderly quickly dissolve. The maester agrees to the terms with little debate, and Jon insists there be additional reparations for the attack, and insults house Jasper and Dolins. Dolins responds by demanding trial by combat! If only wise Lord Theodore were here…
Gregoriy runs to get Ser Carsen and Lord Teddy, and by the time they arrive Jon is already in his armor and is squaring up against Ser Dolins. The combat is excruciating, and August, sensing my fear, growls and barks wildly at our brave but perhaps foolish knight’s opponent. Desperate to find a distraction to assist Dolins, I search the skies outside for a bird to warg into, but my view is empty. A grueling few swings later, and Jon stands victorious. His smug cruelty surrounds every word that follows the fight, and my disdain for this unworthy Lord grows.
I am crushed to see Ser Dolins defeated and in so much pain, but not so much so that I forget out original mission which brought us to House Grafton. Before we leave, Maester Thad writes to Ser Bryndon Tully with grave warnings about his soon arriving guests. I leave