The feud between the Brackens and the Blackwoods came to an end—not with a siege, not with a battle, but with the judgement of the Lady of Riverrun, Tinessa Tully. She came to Stone Hedge at the head of a host, but it was not to wage war against those ancient walls. Instead, meeting with Lord Bracken, she followed the example of her late father, using words to win peace. Though Bloody Brus Bracken raged against the injustice of the murder of his son, Ser Hoster, that he laid at the feet of the Blackwoods, Lady Tully promised justice—justice, and the truth. What she meant by that was unclear to all but Lord Bracken, whom she met with in private to discuss matters further.
And when they left his solar? He told his banners that they would stand down, and he would join her as she marched on Raventree Hall. Two hundred men-at-arms followed him.
Rejoining her consort and son and gathering up the rest of her banners in the greatest display of force that the riverlands have seen since Dance of the Dragons, Lady Tully rode to Raventree Hall. Her host spread itself out within sight of the old walls of the Blackwoods. But again, she offered to parley. Old Lord Auriens chose to ride out rather than admit Lady Tully within his walls. As the Blackwood men watched from the walls, Lady Tinessa and Lord Auriens spoke and argued while Lord Bracken looked on; Bloody Brus sometimes interjected, pressing the Bracken claims against the Blackwoods.
But that came to an end, when Lady Tinessa brought them back to the death of Hoster Bracken. She questioned Balian Blackwood, the famous warrior, about the state of his jousting saddle on the day of the tourney. That brought Balian up short…. and no wonder, when she explained her meaning: Ser Hoster Bracken and his squire, Otho Butterwell, had attempted to partly cut through the girth of Balian’s saddle while it was without supervision. After all, he wished nothing more than to see Blackwood lose. But then Lucas Blackwood came upon them, and a scuffle broke out. Ser Hoster was killed in the scuffle, not intentionally, but killed all the same. Otho fled, and Lucas as well, and both claimed ignorance when the body was found.
Otho Butterwell died of wounds received in the fighting between the two houses. So, too, did Lucas Blackwood, but not before he confessed the accidental death of Ser Hoster. Lady Tinessa stated justice had been done: Hoster died for his crime, and Otho for his part in it, and Lucas paid the price in blood for having killed Ser Hoster. In the end, Lord Blackwood accepted that justice was served.
Lady Tully invited both parties to join her in a feast by the Red Fork, a feast to mark the end of the feud, and as a farewell for the lords and ladies of the court of King’s Landing—including her second son and her daughters—as they went back on their way. Prince Aegon was at the high table, and Lords Bracken and Blackwood sat side by side (though did not seem best pleased). A small melee was ordained to provide entertainment, and casks of wine were broken open and poured out freely—it was a good feast.
The next day, on river galleys loaned by Lady Tully, Prince Aegon and the noble guests departed, travelling down the Red Fork. The Blackwoods and Brackens returned to where they came, the gathered riverlords dispersed to their seats, and Lady Tully and Ser Patrek rode to Riverrun. Peace was restored, for a time a least.
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An End to Feuding
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