From the Ashes, We Rise

Rent
From Samel Ashford to Jillian Ashford

My dearest, sister Jillian:

I apologize for my foul temper the day you left. Since I was born we have never been apart for more than a fortnight, and our Lady Cousin now has contrived to separate us for a month, perhaps more. I know the reaction you must have to my words; I can see your face in my mind as you shake your head over them. [the next passage or two is completely obscured by black ink] I know our cousin’s decision is the best for our House. I am not a child any more, and I know that losing my lifelong companion — for a time as short as a month, no less — is a small price to pay for the friendship of [the next word is mostly obscured by ink; its first letter might be a capital V or K] the King and others at King’s Landing.

I fear Lyra is come down with the Fever. She seems distracted, and was sluggish at practice today. I blooded her twice! She refuses to see a Maester about it though — she insists that she is well. Perhaps she is still feeling guilt over injuring my arm. It is healing slowly but well. There is very little pain to it, and Maester Jonathan says it has less infection than most such wounds. Of course Lyra also denies that this is the cause of her melancholy. Perhaps it is some women’s ailment. I shall ask Constance to have a word with her.

Tommen has become a close friend to House Ashford. He sings and dances well, and even if he is not very good with a sword he has many other pleasant qualities. Of course I only wrote that because he was looking over my shoulder. In truth he smells like a midden and has [here a long smear of ink stretches from the last word to the edge of the page]

I wrote that to trick Tommen. He was still reading over my shoulder when I wrote the bit about the midden. In seriousness he has been a stout friend to me, and has taught me many things about city life. Since he is a bastard of his own house, I may ask our Lady Cousin to make him a ward once this is all over, so that he may gain some station. I have much to think about.

Please write me as soon as you reach Ashford Keep. I hope they have started to rebuild the north tower. Old Roddeny told me they were going to build the main keep and the smallfolk’s buildings first, but I do long to see our old north tower again, proud and tall. When I get back to Ashford Keep we shall have a midnight picnic up there, like when we were children.

Your devoted brother, Samel Ashford

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Treason

Tommen Flowers was beset by bandits and injured near the Ashford encampment. The rules of hospitality dictated that he be allowed to recuperate with the Ashfords, a situation in keeping with the goals of an unnamed party from Tommen’s house. An unwitting, and perhaps well meaning spy was thus ensconced in the house.

Thendor Storm invites the family to an extravagant dinner at the Red Keep. Upon arrival they find Selwyn and Content Not Found: maester-jon involved in a conspiracy to seize control of the 7 kingdoms. Thendor imposes upon the Ashfords to assist him in capturing the king as he transits by ship to thier ancestral home. He offers a chest of overflowing coins to help the decision.

Jillian is sent back to Fort Ashford to attend affairs and lead the search for a fortune in raw silver alleged by Thendor.

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The Coronation

Tragedy befalls Asterly Ashford. Through means unknown, the crown learned of Asterley’s betrayal that allowed most of the young scions of Ashford to escape the kings’s justice. He is called to account, and hung from the walls of the King’s Landing, a grim warning overlooking the Ashford encampment.

Despite this loss, House Ashford symbolically renews its fealty to the Iron Throne, offering Constance’s father’s heirloom sword as a coronation gift.

The newly knightedSamel approaches Thendor Storm, the Bastard of l Velaryon. They spend a comfortable afternoon discussing the finer points of chivalry and knighthood and Samel divines a strong will to power in the older man. For his part, Thendor advises that family and station should not lightly be disregarded for a place in the Kingsguard and parts with the wish that they should become fast friends and allies.

Captain Lyra meanwhile, intercepts Constance’s Idiot Husband in a secret rendezvous with an apparent agent of House Lannister, Ser Lym Lannister. They exchange a sample of what appears to be a chunk of unrefined, silver ore before parting ways.

A 1st cousin of Lord Lannister, Kevin was revealed to be in deep with the Redwynes in a series of secret correspondences that were found in Asterley’s chambers after his death.

For reasons unknown, Lym resurfaces in the chambers of Lord Velaryon when Lyra stops in to offer his sympathies for an illness which kept Velaryon from the coronation feast. A discussion with the nursemaid reveals that the sickness was sudden.

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Feast at the Red Keep

Trouble awakens the Ashford encampment the night before the tourney. It becomes clear that House Redwyne has attempted to sabotage their horses. In retaliation, they steal a prize stallion and mercilessly engulf Ser Boris, the knight responsible, in flames while asleep in his tent. Unfortunately, they slay a knight sworn to the Tyrells in the same fire.

The following day, House Ashford gains glory when young Samel Ashford, entered as a mystery knight, unhorses Thendor Storm to win the joust. To honour his achievement, the King himself knights Samel.

Driven by prophecy, Selwyn and Captain Lyra reach out to John, Lyra’s brother and maester to House Velaryon. They gain his trust, learning that Lord Velaryon favours his bastard son, perhaps even above his heir, by allowing him to represent the house in the tourney. John thinks this ill advised and is convinced by Selwyn’s offers of aid.

At the feast at the Red Keep, the Ashford’s are shocked to find House Redwyne seated far above their station. Constance interrogates the castellan Mandor, who admits that they were placed there are the request of ‘Lord Lannister himself’. Prince Rhaegon is conspicuously absent from the feast, perhaps injured during his loss to Thendor, although no explanation is forthcoming.

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Coronation of Aegon the V

233 AL

5 years after the 3rd Blackfyre Rebellion, the coronation of Aegon Targeryon, Fifth of his name, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, King of the Andals and of the First Men, is announced with a melee and tournament to accompany the ceremonies . A period of relative peace is at hand as Bloodraven, a Targeryon bastard feared as a sorcerer is sent to the wall and the fourth son of a fourth son is crowned king.

All important bannermen, including House Ashford are invited to King’s Landing to participate in the tourney and to symbolically bend the knee to the crown again.

Eager to rebuild lost prestige, the house prepares to set forth in force. Before departure Asterly Ashford convinces Corey to insinuate himself into the Gold Cloaks in the hopes that he will be of assistance later. Corey seemed an honourable and perhaps trustworthy man for offering honest testimony against Ser Willem, accused of forcing himself on Genevieve. Under instructions to mete out justice by Constance, Jillian orders that Willem take the black or suffer the loss of his manhood and is dispatched to the Wall. Corey departs in advance of the family. Young Samel Ashford prepares a magnificent tabard to wear as champion in the tournament.

Thus prepared House Ashford departs for King’s Landing. En route, they are beset by bandits in the King’s Wood. Mustering a display of force that far outclasses the bandits, it is revealed that they were paid by Ashford’s rivals, House Redwyne, to delay the arrival of House Ashford to King’s Landing. The scions of House Ashford carry a castle forged blade with a maker’s mark from House Redwyne as evidence of this treachery.

Nonetheless, Ashford wins through and have established themselves, above the Tarlies and the Redwynes, in a favourable base camp.

Selwyn has looked into the flames. The Lord of Light showed him a battle between a three headed dragon and a seahorse rising from the waters. He is certain that something will go awry between the Targeryons and House Velaryon, their ancient bannermen.

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