Arrows of Intrigue

III.4 Breakdown at Helmcrest

Things do not go to plan.

Ser Gilbert Strangewayes,

I feel that as your house and House Durion were both witnesses to the events of the past week, the matter that I am writing about seems unimportant. However, if it should prove that the events leading up to this disengagement are to haunt affairs in the Westerland fo many moons to come, I feel that some disclosure must be given.

My investigation of the event began when Lord Dirk suspected that something was amiss with Elaine Yew, who was to be married to Ser Damien Algood. Lady Yew had excused herself, citing that she felt ill after the welcome banquet. My talks with some handmaidens had revealed that Lady Elaine was afflicted with the morning sickness, an illness not often associated with bethrothed young maidens. I had supposed that she was with child, the only real explanation of her physical condition, and so I confronted Lord Dirk with this knowledge. This information was then passed to Ser Lothial.

The other affair I had to follow was that between Lord Dirk and Lady Agatha Yew. Initial confrontations between these two nobles sounded promising on paper, but were dismal in practice. Ser Lothial made several attempts to capture her attention, with mixed success, and some complications with Lady Cateryn. I later learned from my own contacts that Lady Agatha had an impressively large information network within Yew lands, and may have gleaned more of the situation than even I had. She is one to be watched.

On the morning of the wedding Ser Lothial spoke to Ser Raynard Yew about the situation. Ser Raynard looked alarmed, and returned to the castle as he wished to raise the issue with his family. Septon Morebank followed, and Maester Hamden took over as master of ceremonies for the archery competition; Much shouting was heard from the private hall where the family had gathered.

When Ser Damien failed in his quest to win the archery competition, he was requested to return to the castle for discussions; I believe this was where House Yew had decided to expose the promiscuity of their eldest daughter. I surveyed the scene for their sworn swords and house knights; I observed that a young sworn sword, Ser Marten Hogg (son of Etan) was missing from the gathered knights. One of my sources indicated that Ser Marten was called into the private hall shortly before Ser Damien; I concluded that Ser Marten may be the father of Lady Elaine’s unborn child.

Having gathered additional information from my sources, it appears that Lady Agatha had all the information I had at my disposal, plus knowledge of the unborn child’s father, and the supposed date of the tryst. However, I am also aware that Lady Agatha did not divulge the information to the family; most of the information seems to have been given by Septon Morebank, who I believe is under Lady Agatha’s influence.

This of course was not information given to the remaining guests of the wedding-to-be; all were simply told that talks between the two houses had reached a breakdown and the wedding was called off. One by one the guests departed, and our party was one of the last to leave, but I caught a glimpse of Ser Lothial staring in amazement at Lady Agatha, as if he had figured out how the plan came together.

Our trip back to Durion lands and Beorgwic was uneventful, and it is good to report that Maester Tim is shaken, but is of good health. Lord Dirk and Lord Matthew Durion are both expecting ravens, and I am expecting information regarding the forthcoming archery tournament at the Iron Islands.

James, son of Jon
Seventh Moon, 292 AL


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