The Blackcliffs are invited to the marriage Kevan Manning and Sylvie Harte – members of two minor houses that hope to end their feud by marring their oldest children. They make their way to Helmcrest Castle to attend with a large entourage including the Clay family.
While travelling Dominika notices Kale’s daughter Hilda shyly watching Thornton. Over the next few days Dominika gains the girls trust and discovers that her mother has been preparing Hilda for a marriage with Thornton. Dominika discourages the match, and Hilda is heartbroken.
The wedding happens as planned, but not before a few significant hiccups the following are noteworthy events:
- Thornton notices a sullen Darren Manning, who is all to quick to tell him of his secret love for the bride. Thornton offer of drink does little to help the situation, and Darren goes on to exile himself from his family after interrupting the ceremony with his professions of love and a rejected challenge for her hand.
- Thornton makes a toast and does not embarrass himself. He then gets to drinking with the groom and they develop a drunken friendship.
- Aunty Por impresses Lady Harte with her good breeding and piety
- Dominika manages a seat at the nobles table, which is further noticed when she helps remove Penhurst to his quarters. Gossip is split between her being his nurse or lover… or both. While there she does her best to avoid the affections of drunk nobles, and avoids a potentially violent confrontation with Ser Drew Lakehurst, who looks to settle the score from their last confrontation. Mirolsav intervenes.
- Aunt Por uses her feminine wilds* to make an impression on the widower Lord Aurtur Manning. He is now of a friendly disposition with her.
- Aunt Por notices the younger sister of the bride acting suspiciously, and follows her. She discovers the child stealing Moon Tea from the Maester’s quarters. Although she does not know what her intentions are, she recommends that the child at least uses he correct dosage. She later observes Eilene dosing her sisters wine while making a drunken speech about her beauty and purity.
- Aunt Por manages to charm Septon Moor so much that he agrees to come to Castle Blackcliff in the near future.
- During the ceremony Ser Etan Hogg, a retainer of house Harte, looks like he is ready to kill someone. In the feast that follows he almost does.
*Similar to feminine wiles, but more unkempt and overgrown.