A wooden platform had been built to elevate Robert's chair;
there the Lord of the Eyrie sat, giggling and clapping his hands as a humpbacked puppeteer in blue-and-white motley made two wooden knights hack and slash at each other.
Pitchers of thick cream and baskets of blackberries had been set out, and the guests were sipping a sweet orange-scented wine from engraved silver cups.
A fool's festival, Brynden had called it, and small wonder.
Across the terrace, Lysa laughed gaily at some jest of Lord Hunter's, and nibbled a blackberry from the point of Ser Lyn Corbray's dagger.
They were the suitors who stood highest in Lysa's favor...today, at least.
Catelyn would have been hard-pressed to say which man was more unsuitable.
Eon Hunter was even older than Jon Arryn had been, half-crippled by gout, and cursed with three quarrelsome sons, each more grasping than the last.
Ser Lyn was a different sort of folly; lean and handsome, heir to an ancient but impoverished house, but vain, reckless, hot-tempered...and, it was whispered, notoriously uninterested in the intimate charms of women.
When Lysa espied Catelyn, she welcomed her with a sisterly embrace and a moist kiss on the cheek.
Isn't it a lovely morning?
The gods are smiling on us.
Do try a cup of the wine, sweet sister. Lord Hunter was kind enough to send for it, from his own cellars.