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Character: Evelyn
House: Freitas
Kingdom: Dorne

Afternoon of the 22nd day of the 9th month, 298AC

Evelyn and Reidyn slid between bodies as they traversed their way through the tourney grounds. The sweat covering them allowed for easy travel, but it was impossible to claim it as their own. The Hand’s Tourney had attracted all walks of life from within King’s Landing and everyone was reveling in its intricacies. Vibrant canopies littered the grounds each with their own unique exhibit. The bustle was palpable, but had a wilted demeanor.

The sun’s heat was taxing on fairgoer and tent alike and made people sluggish in their attempts to walk. Each collision made Evelyn’s clothes constrict her more than before. She had resisted her mother’s efforts of sprucing up that morning, but her attempts ended in vain. “The tournament will be ripe with suitors,” her mother kept assuring her. Evelyn rolled her eyes as she adjusted her dress back into its natural position.

She had been anticipating observing the joust more than finding a potential husband. Watching an unfamiliar dueling style intrigued her more than any boy her age could. However, as she witnessed the joust unfold she could not curb her boredom. She watched men ride horses galloping towards each other in an attempt to knock the other off and after each pass she watched men adjust themselves on horses standing still for an excruciating amount of time. The intermissions between exchanges contradicted everything Reidyn had taught her about fighting. “The dance does not end until one gives up or dies,” she remembered, and this dance ended after each pass.

“How come you never use a bow?” She asked. Her eyebrows furled as she tried to imagine Reidyn wielding a bow. He looked ridiculous.

“Bows are for fools who cannot use a sword,” he responded. His eyes were fixed on where he was headed, but she could feel he was still aware of her position.

“Then why are we going to watch archery?” She replied.

“Because I was going to stab myself if I had to watch another round of ‘jousting’,” he said with mockery.

As they neared the archery competition, the crowd of people lessened and Evelyn could see the participants of the event. Archers stood diligently firing arrows at wooden easels with painted targets on them. The ring of bowstrings being released was carried through the breeze and was followed up by sudden thuds. Cheering erupted after accurate shots and heckling resulted from inferior ones.

Evelyn’s eye landed on a fierce looking woman who was preparing to shoot. Her eyes fixated on the target in front of her as she drew her bow back. Every movement seemed calculated, every twitch necessary. She released the arrow and it flew through the air striking the target with precision. A familiar voice applauded after the woman hit her target and Evelyn scanned to find the source.

Standing by the boundary was a boy slightly older than Evelyn. She quickly realized it was her old friend Liam and she excitedly raced towards him. Reidyn was stunned by her sudden movement, but did not take long to catch up. She called out Liam’s name as she moved towards him and he spun around to meet her. They met with a hug and enthusiastic expressions.

Reidyn watched in silence as the two caught each other up on their recent exploits. They were talking as though Westeros had not separated them the past two years. Liam told her of his recent arrival in King’s Landing and of the need for his family’s Criarian Steel.

“I would love to train with a Criarian sword,” Evelyn exclaimed. Her eyes glistened at the thought of wielding a powerful blade. Reidyn promised her she’ll have a sword of her own, but that day has yet to come. She imagined herself sitting on the seat of Stillwell, sword beaming from her hand, as her subjects praised her great fighting prowess.

“You’ll need four of you to pick it up, princess,” Reidyn quipped bringing her back to reality.

“It will not. I’m not a baby,” she retorted. She gave him a stiffened glare that relaxed as she continued to converse with Liam. She told him that her family had been in King’s Landing for months, but she did not know why. It annoyed her that she could not train with Reidyn as often as she could back home. Since arriving in the city, her father has secluded himself and she has not been informed of anything. Her questions are met with her mother saying, “Your father knows what he is doing.”

“Is this your girlfriend, Liam?” An unfamiliar voice laughed. The group turned to watch the fierce woman from before approach them. Liam denied her question then introduced the woman to Evelyn and Reidyn.

“This is Runa,” he said. Evelyn gawked as she neared. Runa wiped a bead of sweat off her forehead with her tatted hand. Her leather armor conformed perfectly to her movements and her bow rested politely across her shoulder. Evelyn delightfully listened to Liam and Runa banter while she pictured herself one day appearing as capable as Runa.

“We should be going,” Reidyn interjected. Evelyn shot him a desperate glare, but was met with a stern gaze. She reluctantly agreed to go. It was nearing late afternoon and she knew her mother would be wondering where she was. The four exchanged goodbyes and Evelyn and Reidyn turned toward the joust. As they distanced the archery event, the announcer’s voice resonated throughout the air.

“Runa Stahlhardt, disqualified.”

Image Credit: http://www.deviantart.com/art/archery-tournament-338176076