The tourney at Grandview was well underway. Lord Grandison had just announced the draw for the first round of the joust, musicians played on a small stage and visitors sampled the wares of the wine merchants from Dorne and the Reach. The sole dark cloud on this sunny, warm day hovered above a dark blue pavilion and it was dangerously close to bursting with rain.
Ser Garvan's armor had already been shiny when Beric had taken it out of the trunk, but that hadn't stopped him from giving the breastplate and pauldrons another polish. The metal didn't mind the gruff scrub and it felt good having an outlet for the frustration boiling in Beric.
What was his uncle thinking, arranging for that obnoxious brat Rowland to serve Ser Aydan? How did his big mouth and habit of pranking earn him this honor? Yes, of course, Ser Aydan was now betrothed to Beric's cousin, but did that really mean her brother had to become his page? Wasn't Beric a much better choice for this position? He was just as related to Lady Symone, but unlike Rowland, he never stood out for bad behavior. On the contrary. He had always carried out his duties with diligence, had meticulously followed his knight's instructions and always shown him great respect. But no, apparently that counted for nothing and for reasons beyond Beric's comprehension, Rowland's unruly nature had been rewarded instead.
"What are you, a maid or a squire?" Rowland's freckled face peeked through the curtain, stirring up his cousin's silent rage all anew. "Don't waste your time shining that armor. My knight will knock yours into the dirt in the first tilt anyway!" A handful of mud hit Beric's knee and part of the breastplate, Beric reached for his sword and Rowland quickly escaped.