The feuding has burned between the Brackens and the Blackwoods, and the slowly growing gathering of banner at Riverrun and endless ravens have done nothing to end it. Raid and counter-raid, ambush and skirmish, these have been the ways in which Raventree Hall and Stone Hedge have exchanged their scorn. It seems even the efforts of Prince Aegon Targaryen and an entourage of followers including Jaesin Lannister of the Kingsguard and Lord Serry of Southshield were incapable of dissuading either side from their course. When Prince Aegon returned to Riverrun to report the failure of diplomacy to improve the situation, Lady Tully seemed resolved to call a council of war-wise men and women, to determine what to do next.
Her kin and leal bannermen had been raising forces at Riverrun, and had strength enough to lay siege to either seat if she wished; but she did not. In the hours before the council, they say she held audiences with Prince Aegon and Ser Jaesin, with her consort Ser Patrek and her bastard brother Ser Tomas, with her sons, with Lord Arryn, and more. And it’s said that she spoke to Ser Jaesin again later, in the moments before the council began. And when it did begin, it seemed that she had learned from these wise councillors sufficient information to come to a decision:
She would attempt to stem the tide of violence by sending a force—two strong, whatever her advisors thought wisest—to interpose itself on the boundary between the two sides, to try and seize control of the main crossing points and attempt to halt either side from proceeding with violence. If this did not dissuade them, she would send her gathered force to deal more sternly with both of them. Those at the council seemed to find it wise, though there were those that argued that holding more than one or two of the crossing points would be difficult with such numbers; Lady Tully was seen to discuss it with her consort and heir before agreeing that three hundred picked men would go. She invited those wise councillors present to take part… but she offered Prince Aegon the hospitality of Riverrun, and suggested that if he would take time to send word to King Baelor to support the Tullys in dealing with the feud, he would be most welcome. Aegon, having had enough of gallivanting hither and yon (and perhaps unwilling to risk the royal skin if things went wrong), accepted with something vaguely similar to grace. However, immediately after Lady Tully asked that he at least free Ser Jaesin to represent his interests in peace, by having the Kingsguard knight lead part of the prince’s escort to join the peacekeeping force.
To that, there was little Prince Aegon could say to that but to accept, though there were those who were sure he was displeased. And with that, the force was quickly gathered, made up largely of men of the riverlands, but also interested parties and those who wished to uphold the king’s pace: Valemen and westermen, stormlanders and Kingslanders and Reachlords.
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Fire and Blood in the Riverlands
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