He had put on his finest clothes to come to court, but his breeches were patched, his cloak travel-stained and dusty. "Chased him back and forth across the fields on their horses, poking at him with their lances likeit was a game, them laughing and the boy stumbling and screaming till the big one pierced him clean through."
The girl on her knees craned her head up at Ned, high above her on the throne. "They killed my mother too, Your Grace. And they...they..." Her voice trailed off, as if she had forgotten what she was about to say. Shebegan to sob.
Ser Raymun Darry took up the tale. "At Wendish Town, the people sought shelter in their holdfast, but the walls were timbered. The raiders piled straw against the wood and burnt them all alive. When the Wendish folk opened their gates to flee the fire, they shot them down with arrows as they came running out, even women with suckling babes."
"Oh, dreadful," murmured Varys. "How cruel can men be?"
"They would of done the same for us, but the Sherrer holdfast’s made of stone," Joss said. "Some wanted to smoke us out, but the big one said there was riper fruit upriver, and they made for the Mummer’s Ford."
Ned could feel cold steel against his fingers as he leaned forward. Between each finger was a blade, the points of twisted swords fanning out like talons from arms of the throne.