Esteemed Septa Alanna,I hope this letter finds you well. Are the Dannetts proving to be good hosts to you and mother? I had to send a messenger because this letter was so long Hedge-Maester Hamden couldn’t fit it on the leg of a raven. Ser Tygor volunteered to deliver it. I was a bit cross with him earlier, perhaps he is trying to get in my good graces. I trust he won’t cause any trouble over there.
Lord Rhys has agreed that once your business is concluded in the Dannett lands you should travel to Seagard in order to cushion some bad news for the Mallisters: your son has decided to marry Iris Dannett. Though the Mallisters are more a powerful house, we don’t need to make formal alliances with people we trust. During the discussion Rhys seemed to think there should be a third option, but spoke no names.
When you reach the Mallisters perhaps you could suggest a marriage between Kellin and Aranette instead? I haven’t asked what Kellin thinks of the idea yet but I’m sure he’ll follow his older brother’s commands.
Rhys has done a proper job of planning the wedding, which will be a small humble ceremony. It will occur shortly, as soon as we get the Keep in order. I wanted to suggest a jousting tournament for the wedding, but kept my silence. It’s not my place to organize my lord’s affairs. Do you think we should invite the Mallisters to the wedding, or would that be insulting? It would provide Lord Jason and Lady Orlanna an opportunity to meet Kellin, and him their daughter.
Your son’s judicial rulings have grown stern. The smallfolk may dislike him, but I have no doubt that they will fear his firm hand. As long as he continues to heed council it probably won’t become a concern.
A fire broke out in the smithy, and the farrier perished. Apparently a ferric melt started the blaze. Some of the men are saying this is an omen of ill things to come.
Alysa, your handmaiden, was accused of adultery by Septon Vickon. Archer the huntsman and his wife Iva apparently invited her to their bed. Perhaps this is not an appropriate topic to write about.
My squire’s dreams have returned. She foresaw the arrival of a Valyrian woman from the Alchemist’s Guild. Valaera of Volantis, as she’s called, offered her services to brew wildfire for the house’s armaments. Rhys agreed to hire her provided she prove her claims. He didn’t ask why she left King’s Landing or Volantis, though. Perhaps he didn’t think it relevant. Our Master-at-Arms remains openly suspicious of her. Jonah has asked for her help in understanding the dreams.
Oh, and I’ve won the armsyard competition (if such trivial things are important). Your sons performed adequately enough. Kellin didn’t cry this time. We were all surprised when Jonah cleared through the other squires and defeated Lord Rhys, which was a bit embarrassing for him. She was only stopped when matched against Ser Artemis. I suspect one day soon we’ll see her best him.
I know you don’t like to speak of him, but I think Nic truly has a place at Blackhorn. He is doing well with the horses and dogs. When he recommended building a new and better kennel for the hounds, I knew he had the house’s betterment at heart.
The stonemason that Rhys commissioned, a Master Veedle, has arrived and began restoration of the castle walls. The following notes are difficult to explain. Your son has felt it necessary to use my winnings from last year’s tournament to fund a quarry. It will be built on the Lugusland we gained from last year’s trial. The stone will be put towards the reconstruction of the castle’s defenses.
Hamden’s curious curatives have finally proven to be too much for Rhys to handle. Your son broke down and sent the funds to Oldtown and agreed to their probationary terms for a proper maester.
The remainder of the gold was put towards rebuilding a new and better smithy. You may think it a prudent measure, since the sheep husbandry we’ve historically relied upon will surely decline during the coming winter. But for first time since Blackhorn was built, the houses coffers are now completely empty. I fear any unexpected expenses that the future may bring.
Since then, our investments have proven to be considerable boons to the house. By the time you return, which I hope will be soon, our resources should be significantly increased.
-Ser Merik Moorshead, Knight of the Ram and second son of Lord Jon the Ram.