The Next Generation
Upon returning from the Toyne lands, young Whesley and Ser Clancy were greeted by the sight of a young man with blonde hair holding audience with Lord and Lady Steadwater, Jeor the Spymaster of Steadwater, Maester Gregory, Ser Sebastion the brother of Lord Steadwater and Ser Danien and Rimchurch in the courtyard. It was none other than Joffrey Baratheon himself, flanked by a new member of the Kingsguard, a man from Stannis Baratheon’s banner houses, and a giant albino man, identified as being from one of the fringe banner houses of House Stark. He was none too pleased at having been warded to a sickly old man in such a small keep hardly befitting of his stature as heir to the Seven Kingdoms and was berating the coughing Lord himself. Upon seeing the situation, Whesley quickly rushed to his lord father’s side and bowed before the heir in attempt to placate him and divert his attention away from his sick father. After a few more moments of raving and ranting, Joffrey demanded to be taken to his quarters and was none too pleased when he discovered that he did not get Lord Steadwater’s own chambers. However, with some quick thinking on Ser Clancy’s part, he was convinced that he would not want to reside in a place where a sickly person was in just recently and relented to taking up quarters in Big Bart’s old room.
After leading Prince Joffrey to his new quarters and being summarily dismissed Whesley returned to the courtyard and he and Clancy went to check on the tourney grounds. As preparations were being made, a caravan stopped before them and out stepped a small man who was immediately recognized as Petyr Baelish. After making some brief demands for the whereabouts of Ser Oisin, Varys the Spider stepped out of the caravan and joined in the questioning. After deflecting their questions as best as they could, Varys and Littlefinger grudgingly decided that no rider would be sent after the Dreadbow and that they would patiently await his return so that he would not be warned of their arrival. After demanding a room in the castle and a minor dispute of who would get the last of the nice rooms (Whesley’s own quarters) in the keep, Littlefinger made use of his agility and took advantage of Varys’s portly frame to run ahead to the castle to claim his prize.
With only a couple of days prior to the start of the tourney, Steadwater’s Spymaster received interesting news which he quickly relayed to young Whesley. One of Jeor’s sources revealed seeing Joffrey meet in the woods with a crippled man with Joffrey being none too happy after the meeting. Upon hearing the news, Whesley was immediately worried and had Jeor fetch Ser Clancy post haste. After fetching Clancy, Jeor was asked to wait outside the room. However, as Clancy and young Whesley attempted to communicate in secret, Jeor used his abilities to eavesdrop from outside the door and entered the room when he heard his name mentioned, feigning that he thought he was being summoned. At this point, Whesley decided, against Ser Clancy’s protestations, that as Spymaster for House Steadwater, Jeor needed to know everything about their secret mission from Stannis and Renly. After hearing the details, it was decided that Clancy would attempt to discreetly ascertain what Joffrey and the crippled man met about and Jeor’s task was to determine if it was the Burned Man as they suspected. A day later, when Jeor’s sources confirmed that it was indeed the Burned Man, plans were set in motion for Prince Joffrey to “have an accident” and Maester Gregory’s miraculous powers of healing were sent out to see to a milling “accident” that occurred on the outskirts of the Steadwater lands.
With all the guests having arrived, including a surprising contingent from two Lannister banner houses, the wedding tourney was finally set to begin! Feeling bold, Ser Clancy attempted to strike up a friendly bet with Littlefinger on the outcomes of the joust. However, much to his dismay, Littlefinger wanted 5 to 1 odds on the underdog. After a long debate, Ser Clancy grudgingly agreed on 4 to 1 odds in favor of Littlefinger. As it turned out, the first joust was none other than the staunch ally of House Steadwater, Ser Danien and Rimchurch! However, the odds-makers were proved correct when he, as the underdog, was unhorsed after a single lance, making Ser Clancy 10 Gold Dragons richer. And so it would prove for the rest of the tourney as round after round, the underdog was defeated, filling Clancy’s pouch to the brim with golden coins. However, there was a gasp of shock from all, when during the semi-final, a tall, imposing figure rode out in the golden armor of the Kingslayer himself! After defeating his opponent, the man in the golden armor paid his respects to the lords and retreated from the field, not to be seen again until the final the next day. During the final, many lances were traded before the golden clad knight was defeated and it was revealed that it was not Jaime Lannister, but rather, Kevan who wore the armor in honor of his missing nephew.
As the shock began to wear off on the identity of the golden knight, a large number of ravens were seen to be flying toward Castle Steadwater. Seeing this, Whesley, Ser Clancy and Jeor quickly made their way to Maester Gregory’s rookery whereupon they were informed that ravens from King’s Landing had arrived for a number of the houses in attendance of the wedding. Having no contacts in King’s Landing themselves, it was decided that the messages would be read without the knowledge of the other houses. Once the messages were decoded they learned of dire news indeed…King Robert was dead and Prince Joffrey was the new King of the Seven Kingdoms! As they debated on how to handle the messages with Jeor suggesting false messages be drawn up and Clancy arguing that House Steadwater needed to stall for time in order to carry out their plans to ensure that Joffrey did not see another dawn, the lords of the larger houses approached the castle to determine if they received any ravens. It was decided that there was not enough time to write up forgeries and any attempts to stall the delivery of the messages would bring suspicion upon the house so the messages were handed to the appropriate lords and ladies, whereupon learning of King Robert’s death, many of the lords departed hastily back to their encampments. Whesley suggested that King Joffrey retire to the security of his room and began escorting Lady Tyrell back to her soldiers.
Having barely reached the courtyard, sounds of battle were heard within the castle walls and Ser Clancy, Jeor, Ser Sebastion and Whesley rushed to Joffrey’s room to find the Kingsguard and the giant albino in a furious duel. Unsure who to attack, they tried to glean the information from a hysterical Joffrey who did not provide the information until mere moments before the albino cleaved the Kingsguard in twain. Having secured the safety of the new king, they returned to the courtyard to find two contingents of Lannister soldiers outside the gates of the keep as well as another contingent of soldiers of Bar Emmon’s men, another banner house of Stannis Baratheon, marching upon the castle. Fighting could be heard from the tourney grounds, but with the safety of the king at risk and the troops of three houses barring exit from the castle, there was no way to ascertain what was going on down there. At first it looked like Bar Emmon’s men were there to protect the king…but they attempted to attack the keep and were defeated soundly by the Lannister banner houses.
After realizing that his wife-to-be and his lord father had yet to return to the castle, Whesley attempted to take his own troops out to go find them. Originally denied by King Joffrey who feared for his life, Ser Clancy was able to convince him he had a sufficient amount of troops to protect the keep and off they went to look for the missing members of their house. As they marched to the last known location of Lord Steadwater and Iris Dannett, scenes of carnage could be seen all along the tourney ground. They were able to glean that after receiving the message, Bar Emmon’s men assaulted many of the other banner lords of Renly Baratheon, killing many of them before marching upon Castle Steadwater. House Tyrell’s troops managed to remain mostly intact by staying out of the fighting. When they finally arrived at the lord’s box at the jousting grounds, they found Iris Dannett safe and sound along with Varys and Littlefinger, but alas, poor Lord Eryk Steadwater was trampled to death as he feebly attempted to make his way to the castle when the fighting broke out. Ser Sebastion and Whesley carried Lord Steadwater’s broken body as they escorted the two members of the Small Council and his fiancee back to the castle. Now, not only was there a new King of the Seven Kingdoms, the mantle of Lordship had also passed to young Whesley.
As the day’s events began to take a toll upon them, Whesley’s last action was to have Master Gregory send a raven to Lord Renly informing him of the day’s tragic events. But alas, his rest was interrupted when he was awoken in the middle of the night and told that a man was at the gate, insisting to meet with him. Curious, the young lord went down to the gates where he was met by none other than the Burned Man himself! Stating that they had both endured great losses in the past months, he was concerned now only with Joffrey’s well being, the Burned Man made young Whesley an offer he couldn’t refuse: For as long as Whesley was Joffrey’s man, the Burned Man would be his. Carefully weighing out his options surrounded by Lannister troops, Whesley accepted the offer and thus made a deal with his mortal enemy.