The Sunderland boy puffs himself up a bit, quick to defend his conquest. “I assure you, she was sweet as a summer rose!” He takes the wineskin and lays flat on his back, guzzling at it. Now prostrate, he goes on, “Oh it’s no secret that Lord Shawney makes the occasional trip to Tyrosh. Most Riverlander lords are not so cultured as to venture beyond the narrow sea. But his daughter Gwenyth lives there and so he comes to visit and see his grandson.” He props himself up on his elbows. “Of course, he doesn’t have a herald announce his travels to King Aeys’ court, but I assure you, half the Riverlands know, which means the Bloodraven knows. A thousand eyes and one, they say he has. Well, you should know! Weren’t you squired to some hedge knight who lives fat on Bloodraven’s coin?” He gives you a look of mock reproach and makes a tsssking noise.
“Say what you will of Brackens and half-Brackens. I’ll take them over a one-eyed sorcerer. And the Tyroshi are wonderful. That’s where I was going: I may have fathered a bastard on a Tyroshi lass with hair the color of the sea, all blue and green. I mean to take another two Tyroshi lovers with the same hair to match my house’s sigil.” The Sunderland sigil is three women’s faces on a field of wavy green and blue, one for each of the Three Sisters. It’s well known that the Sisters are a wretched enclave of smugglers and worse, although Royce seems no different from any other man you’ve met of your age. Royce seems lost in thought, but soon returns. “That’s right, I forgot about that whole Blackwood-Bracken rivalry. Is that still going on?” Such a statement would be laughably ignorant for a Riverlander to say, but perhaps the Sunderlands have no maester to teach them history.
The other knights stiffen when you pull the bow from the bushes. Ser Leslyn readies his axe and shield, falling in behind you. Ser Bennard’s smile has melted into a frown. He pulls his greathelm over his head and straps his shield on, falling in behind Ser Leslyn. Ser Willis follows suit, donning his helm with visor up and draws his bastard sword from his saddle scabbard. Not knowing what else to do, the two body servants follow as well. The six of you begin down the trail, which turns out to be a fairly winding path. After a couple hundred feet of twists and turns the trail opens into a small clearing.
In the center of the clearing are a group of scruffy men in Lychester colors—orange and white tabards, though dirty and ripped. They have swords belted on and some of them carry polearms and shields besides. Three of them have the look of knights about them, as they are mounted and wear mail or breastplate overlain with personal coats of arms. The one in the center draws your attention. He sits atop Ser Leo’s roan courser, comfortable as you like. Leo himself is lying facedown in the dirt, hogtied and gagged. You count five Lychester men afoot and three ahorse. You seem to have caught them unawares.
OOC: The Lychester men are about 14 yards ahead.
The initiative order:
Vlad 3d6 8 (tie goes to you based on Agility dice)
Lychester men 2d6 8
Allied knights 2d6 5
Initiative is presented in case you want to take advantage of the surprise. You may negotiate instead, but if negotiations break down, I'll reroll initiative.
Lord Shawney nods happily. “Tom’s command has been slowly righting the house. As I was saying, this will be the best tourney in years! With a dragon’s egg as prize…as you say, it must be worth a fortune. The bloody Targaryens have nigh every egg in the Seven Kingdoms but this one. It’s like they’re afraid someone else will be able to hatch one. Dragon’s blood, my arse!” He seems to have veered towards near treasonous talk, as he often does when it’s just the two of you. “In the days of the Conqueror, the Targaryens had true blood and fire. They had the dragons and they had the sword. Now the sword is forgotten and none of Daeron’s sons or grandsons can bestir any of those Targaryen eggs. You know they put dragon eggs in the cradle of their newborn princes?” He shakes his head and leans forward to splash a little water on his wrists. “Oh, it will be a tourney to remember. Now, I must be going. I’ve got to prepare for my ride home tomorrow. Perhaps I will see you tonight in the Great Hall when we sup?”
OOC In terms of inheritance, daughters inherit if there are no sons. Butterwell’s daughter is his heir, meaning that Tom would become lord and may even change his name to Butterwell in order to secure his rule. Lord Shawney’s exiled daughter is his heir, which puts her Strickland husband in line to be the next lord. Assuming that they are barred from inheritance by reason of their exile, Lord Shawney has a male cousin, Alyn, who would be next in line. Ser Alyn is a household knight of House Tully, but presumably would quit his post in order to inherit.
Ryk turns to take a look at his men daubing the holes. “It’s my smoke room. The rains got in and spoilt my meats as they were curing.” Indeed, you do remember that the Fist is known to smoke venison and beef in one of the warship’s bulkheads and serve the same in the gambling hall. Ryk continues, “I decided to plug up the chimneys. The blasted meats brought more trouble than flavor and it’s best to limit fires on a ship like this.”
His face is impassive, difficult to read. Feeling the silence closing in, Ryk begins to offer a bit more. “It was a normal night on the Fist last I saw them. The ale flowed out and the coins flowed in and those two left for Lady Jonquil’s midnight sermon. The witch saw a blasted comet and now she holds her court at night, often as not. The gangwalks and jetty can be dangerous at night!”
OOC: Your read target action yields no information and Ryk fails to influence you. Also you're right about the initiative! It was supposed to be 12, not 13. Not sure what I was thinking.