I do not know which deserves more prayers of gratitude, my faring in the joust or the Lady Maera granting me her favor. Or maybe it was even Lady Maera’s favor that granted me the strength to fare so well against so many marvelous knights. Whatever the case, I will have plenty of time to think about it while my broken leg heals.
But I ought to start at the beginning. It seems House Tuttle has finally made enough of an impression to elicit the interest of other noble houses in the Reach. House Costayne is one of them, and they invited us to take part in their Spring Tourney. It is always an honor to attend such an event, but in this case there may have been more to it than meets the eye.
After having repelled the Blackbar attack on Shell Island, we certainly made more enemies than friends. House Tuttle was eyed suspiciously before this feat, and the requests for friendship that arrived in the weeks after our sound victory seemed ambiguous and dishonest to me. Now, I am not one to be suspicious of a friend, yet I could not help but ask myself whether this tournament was meant to invite us with open arms or put us back where some of the other houses think House Tuttle belongs.
It started out hospitable enough, only to progress to outright hostility on the eve of the tournament when the bastard of House Withers threw some nasty words my way. I decided not to be caught in a shouting match, so I returned words with enough spite to keep him occupied and offered we settle this on the tournament grounds the next day.
And so we did. After I gained the favor of the Lady Maera, I proceeded to the Tourney and unhorsed one knight after the next. The Withers bastard ate dust first, without even scoring a single point. Houses Webber and Oakheart soon followed his fate. It was against House Tarley that I eventually met my match, after a tough battle. I am not one to brag, but I believe I did reasonably well in the tournament. It remains to be seen whether House Tuttle’s performance will prompt another invite in the years to come.
Lord Simon showed the qualities of a true leader and diplomat in the boar hunt, where he abandoned the faked hunt and the jaded pleasure to slay the golden boar to save the lives of some heirs instead. Friends and enemies alike were able to witness his devotion to do the right thing. I am proud of him, he acted like a true knight!
It seems that even during the Spring Tourney the noble houses play favorites, maybe more so than usual. House Tuttle, never having been invited before, replaced House Blackbar by invitation. Some other houses were absent too. It seems this Spring Tourney was a way for House Costayne to keep its friends close and its enemies closer.