The camp in Lordsport was a rancheros party full of joy and happiness. The war was at an end, and the victors were celebrating their triumph over the cruel reavers.
Spear sergeants in rusty helmets sang battle songs in their drunken off-tune voices. Squires played dice with the gold and the axes they found on dead IronBorn. Knights sat around outdoor tables and gorged themselves on Ironborn Ale and trenchers of clam and oyster. There was even a wedding in one of the tents; a army septon preformed the ritual for one of Lord Redwyne's sworn swords and a freedwoman who was a salt wife before the war.
I wish the two of them many long and happy years together.
Robert spent most of the night in the Kings tent, holding a small feast for his great bannermen. Lord Eddard of The North was there, as was Lord Jon of The Vale, and Lord Mace of The Reach was there too. Robert even invited Lord Tywin of The Westerlands, though he doubtlessly only came out of obligation. It seems Tywin still has not forgiven Robert for choosing a soiled girl over his golden daughter, or for sending her twin brother to The Wall.
That is not my problem. Marriage to a King is not something the Lannisters are entitled to, and it is not my fault that Ser Jamie broke his oath. Aerys deserved to die, but leaving Jamie unpunished would have set a bad precedent.
However, the toast of this feast was Robert's Brother. Stannis Baratheon had risen to the rank of Lord Paramount, and that was cause for congratulations.
And congratulations there were. Lord Tully complimented Stannis's on his strategic abilities, Lord Eddard remarked how he was sure Stannis's would rule justly, and Lord Tywin kept the rude remarks he was no doubt thinking up to himself.
Through all all of this, Stannis seemed an odd combination of proud and uncomfortable.
After they had all filled their bellies a bit, talk shifted to lower people who had made contributions towards the war.
"Let us not forget to make a toast to Davos Seaworth," declared Stannis, "for he was the noose in my snare at Fair Isle."
"Hear hear!" Shouted the others around the small table. They clanked their horns together, sloshing ale upon the table.
"And let us honor Sandor Clegane," added the King, "he was the first to enter the breach in this castle's walls."
"I think that sword you gave him is honor enough. I'm surprised you didn't keep it as your own." Mace Tyrell's quip caused Jon Arryn to chuckle and made Eddard Stark crack a small smile.
Robert laughed heartily, "Hahaha! You know my weapon of choice is the hammer. And my hammer is as menacing as it was when it sent Rhaegar to the Seven Hells! Besides, it will revert back to my family if Sandor does not father a child before he dies."
Eddard added in, "It is a shame none of the Ironborn had Valyrian Steel spearheads, or else you might have a reward to bestow upon the Red Viper for his role in subduing Grear Wyk."
Robert stuffed another steamed clam in his mouth as Eddard was saying this, and was finished swallowing it when it came time to respond. "How is the Dornish Terror anyway?"
Stannis answered this question. "He has unfortunately developed a chill. He is in his tent, being treated by one of the Maesters."
"Let us go visit him then. Maybe we can cheer your wife's brother up a bit."
Stannis and Robert adjourned from the small feast, leaving the others to eat as the two brothers made their way through the festive camp. Robert grabbed an unopened bottle of Arbor Gold on his way out, so as to have something to give to the ill warrior.
Occasionally, drunken soldiers would see Robert and Stannis and would cheer accordingly.
"Long live the Stalwart Stannis!"
"Glory to the Dragon Killer!"
"Down with the Krackens, up with the Stags!"
Stannis normally had a level of disdain for drunkedness, but that level seemed to be slightly lessened by people cheering him on. Of course, Stannis's older brother had a problem with neither drunkenness nor applause. Though Robert dranking decreased quite a bit over the years since he married Lyanna.
Before I met Lyanna I drank to drown the sadness. Now that she is in my life I have almost no sadness and do not need to drink. I still like the taste of ale and mead, but only in celebration now.
Finally, after walking past dozens of campfires and singing bards, the two Baratheon Brothers reached Oberyn's tent.
The Red Viber's tent, which normally was a place of debauchery that would have made even pre-marriage Robert blush, was atypically almost deserted. The only three people in the room were Oberyn, his paramour Ellaria, and a Maester. The latter two were tending to the former, who was lying in bed ill with a running nose.
Robert announced his presence, "How is my Dornish ally doing?"
Ellaria paused from worrying over Oberyn and questioned the two visitors accusingly. "What did you do to him?!"
Stannis answered dryly, "Oberyn Martell charged up from the beaches and faced the IronBorn with spear in hand and dressed in fine sinks befitting a Dornish Prince. Unfortunately for him, he wore his Dornish equiptment to a battle on these sea-soaked rocks. During a soggy rain storm no less."
Oberyn wailed theatrically, "You have made worms meat out of me!"
At this, the Maester scoffed and rolled his eyes. "Hardly. This chill is the lightest one I've seen in the whole war. You'll be better tomorrow morning."
Robert placed the bottle of Arbor Gold on a table next to the tent opening. "In the meantime, we brought something to cheer you up."
Oberyn sniffled, his sinuses full of green phlegm, "I would also appreciate if you fetched a camp follower or three."
Now it was Stannis's turn to scoff. "You're ill."
"That's why I need cheering up. If not for me, then at least for Ellaria."
As Robert and Stannis were leaving the tent to head back to their small feast, the King called behind his shoulder, "Have the Maester find one for you. I'm sure he has a chain link for that."
As Stannis and Robert tromped back to the small feast at the other end of the great feast, Robert was glad for the war to be over. He wanted to see Lyanna again and hold her in his arms. He wanted to hoist Richard up upon his shoulders. He wanted to go home.