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A Failed Mission

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With all the turmoil in King’s Landing and its environs, from the near-destruction of a royal fleet by the notorious Saan to the xover-running of Stonedance, the arrival of a royal galley and its escorts was little remarked; there are many such plying the narrow sea. But it was soon recognized as the galley sent, with an emissary and his aides, to Braavos, to meet with the Sea Lord. At court it was well-known that this was due to growing tensions involving Lys and Pentos, Free Cities nearly at war with one another and seeking allies. Prince Viserys’s old ties to Lys may well have been the cause of the Iron Throne’s involvement in matters, but whatever the cause, it seems that the emissary had done his duty in Braavos, arranging whatever the Hand wished to be arranged…

... or not. For shortly after the emissary met with the prince, it was clear that matters had been, at best, left in an unsatisfactory state. So much so that within days it was clear that a second, more ostentatious embassy was being readied, and treated with such importance and urgency that some of the precious few large galleys guarding King’s Landing were quietly (or not so quietly) reassigned to providing a suitable august escort to Braavos.

But who would be the new emissary? Would Prince Viserys himself dare to leave King’s Landing given the state of things? Among the courtiers, some were sure that he might dispatch one of the small counci; meetings with Terin Ryger and Beron Buckwell, as well as Grand Maester Clement, made this seem plausible. But after, in the following days, another rumor that was at first dismissed now seemed to have more merit: a royal prince would be leading the embassy, and that prince would be Prince Aegon. No one’s first choice, to be sure, to negotiate such a delicate matter as a possible war involving half the Free Cities (and perhaps the Iron Throne besides; and even, if rumors are true, Dorne). Yet however hard it might be to credit, the evidence mounts that that this is, indeed the case. Who else might accompany Aegon, none can say, but that, too, is a matter of some speculation at court…

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