Rhaena’s nameday came with great fanfare, with a tourney in her honor ... though that was not, it was said, her own desire. Pious and mild, Rhaena never favored tourneys, but it was Que—Princess Daena who insisted that it was only proper for her younger sister’s sixteenth nameday. And so a tourney was held, and it was good, with many fine deeds, with shows of boldness and chivalry, and it was Ser Brynden Tully who carried the day after the three princesses deliberated. Some say Daena dearly wanted Ser Humfrey Westerling to be named Rhaena’s champion… but the courtiers there noticed that after Lady Reyna Saltcliffe, Princess Naerys’s Mistress of Keys, intervened, the other princesses remained firm in disagreement with their older sister. And so the prize was given to Ser Brynden, and there was a feast afterward for those knights and courtiers present…But some might have noticed that none of the small council were there, nor many other men of importance in the city, and that none of the Kingsguard rode in the tourney though they surely had the right to do so. Some thought it was because of Daena’s involvement, and the fear that the ending of her marriage to her brother meant she was out of the king’s favor, though Baelor claimed otherwise.The truth, however, was revealed—in fits and starts—the next day. First word ran that the castle’s servants had begun to clear the Old Keep from top to bottom, moving guests to apartments and chambers elsewhere, or even telling them they would have to find lodging in the city. And then it was rumored that there was an uproar in the households of the princesses. And then…And then a decree issued forth from Maegor’s Holdfast, where the king had kept himself: loving his sisters well, and fearing for them both body and soul due to the way their beauty incited men to excess, Baelor had determined that their beauty should be preserved and kept safe… in the Old Keep, where he was sending all three of his maiden sisters, in the company of ladies of suitable virtue, so that they may not tempt men to folly nor sully their own innocence. And this would be happening immediately.Baelor had made many curious decrees in his time, proclamations of what the Seven had showed him and commanded him to do, from peace with Dorne to the building of his great sept to the expulsion of the whores of the city. But this… this was something else, something new, and none could think of what to say. In whispers, courtiers gather to speak of it, afraid to be overheard. Others may dare to be less circumspect, and it is said that there are those of note at court—including the Hand—that are attempting to dissuade Baelor directly, or to do so indirectly by convincing the High Septon or some of the Most Devout to advise the king against such a course against his maiden sisters.And so the news of it is rife in the city, and there’s a curious kind of turmoil: the smallfolk of the city largely love the gentle, pious Baelor, but they love the princesses as well, and wild, high-hearted Daena most of all.
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Sequestering the Maidens
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