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Westeros

Before the Royal Wedding, Another

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The marriage of Prince Rhodry Nymeros Martell to Tanyth Toland, a bare month before the more notable marriage of his niece Princess Mariah to Prince Daeron Targaryen, was a surprise to many. The announcement of the betrothal had been surprise enough, but the saga of it—with the prince’s disappearance across the narrow sea, only to return with not one but two women in his company—made many doubt the two would ever swear the holy vows. And indeed, while the Braavosi woman he brought back with him has been most in the company of the orphans of the Greenblood due to the promise of a good dowry from Sunspear’s own treasury, the other and more infamous woman, Samara Sand, has been seen most in the company of ... Prince Rhodry. Which, suffice it to say, has raised brows and fueled rumors of curious arrangements between the prince, his sword-wielding companion, and the woman known throughout Dorne as the Black Tempest.

And yet the wedding took place on the appointed day, and without incident. The vows were said—though some might say, after, that the septon seemed to have elided some of the more ceremonious aspects of the ritual—and Rhodry and Tanyth were man and wife. Both had their kin there to witness the event, and many knights, lords, and ladies besides. But for the feast afterward, the wan, still-ailing Prince Marence excused himself, and the Lord Protector his father as well. Yet their absence was not too noticed, and the prince and his new bride presided over the festivities with its many courses. If the prince seemed to drink and eat more than he ought, and at times seemed ill-tempered on certain subjects or towards certain persons, well, that was his reputation. But to the surprise of many, the bedding itself happened with little in the way of ribaldry or even ceremony—the prince, seemingly in haste, simply led Tanyth away shortly after the last course.

The morning of the tourney in celebration of the previous day’s nuptials brought a new wave of rumors, of a late night visit by a maester, and of a prince left decidedly unprincely by what some thought was too much wine, and others believed to be indigestion from one portion or another of the many courses. Regardless, that the prince had intended to ride in his wedding tourney was well known, but sitting there beside his wife was Rhodry, looking somewhat miserable and decidedly the worse for wear. Lady Tanyth, solicitous to his every desire, kept his cup well-filled… with water, that is (which might explain the misery). Yet despite the prince’s absence, it was a fine tourney with more than thirty knights and squires in attendance.

The jousters rode to the final eight, at which time each was given a second chance to joust if unhorsed. Yet many thought that Ser Aidan Dayne, the Knight of the Twilight, would carry the day given his far-famed skill and the way he defeated one foe after another without difficulty. Others in the contest included the squires Digory Dalt and Mycah Sand, Ser Sebaston Vaith, Sunspear’s captain of the guard Ser Valerin Dayne (wearing the favor, many noted, of Allyria Allyrion), Ser Emeric Santagar, Lady Tanyth’s famous brother Ser Tamlyn, the heir to Yronwood and the prince’s good-brother Ser Farien Yronwood. All acquitted themselves nobly, though the septon’s bastard Mycah Sand seemed in an ill mood after falling to Vaith and Toland, while the other squire, Digory Dalt, rode to such success that he unhorsed Ser Tamlyn and many opined that it was high time he become a knight.

At the end, it came down to Ser Aidan and Ser Farien… and to the wonder of many, especially Farien’s kin, the younger man unhorsed the great knight. Yet Ser Aidan had gone undefeated until then, and took his second chance to finally seize the prize to the acclaim of the crowd. Lady Tanyth presented him a woven crown to present to his queen of love and beauty, and many expected him to give it to his beautiful, remote Northern wife, Lady Aisling of House Ryswell. He even started to turn to do so. But all saw her shake her head, a signal that it was right and proper that the bride to be celebrated should wear the crown, as she had done from his hand before. And so Tanyth of House Toland was the day’s Queen of Love and Beauty.

In the feasting after, the prince was still denied wine, and was testy. Yet a late gift was presented to him and his wife that drew some attention: a pair of tapestries woven by Tanyth’s cousin, Iona, one celebrating the Black Tempest’s joining the defense of Ghost Hill against Alyn Oakenfist’s besieging forces, and the other celebrating Prince Rhodry’s most famous (or most infamous, if asked of those beyond the red mountains) deed: the killing of King Daeron I Targaryen, the Young Dragon.

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