THE TRIAL OF THE HAND (PART II)

Posted: February 24, 2015 in TALES OF ANGER

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She was dressed in a gown of simple lavender wool with Myrish lace on the bodice, and her hair was bound in a silver net. She looked as if she was attending a party rather than a trial, yet Shelly did not care. The dress was a gift, made special for the trial and was accompanied with a scrap of parchment from Lord Angry.

It read: “LADY SHELLY, YOU WOULD NOT ACCEPT THE GIFT OF MERCY. PLEASE AT LEAST ACCEPT THE GIFT OF THIS GOWN TO WEAR ON THE DAY OF YOUR JUDGING.”

Shelly clutched his note in her hand as she waited for the goalers to approach. She could feel her breath tightening, but she was ready for the trial to begin.

“My Lady,” began Lady Clo of House Hive, “the goalers will soon be here. Let us pray one last time before they enter, shall we?”

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“Yes, that is a good idea.” Shelly answered. As they bowed their heads,

Mord appeared with the keys. “You. Go now. Anger want you.”

Two master-of-anger-arms approached and fastened iron shakles around her her wrists. “Lets go,” one said, his voice muffled from his helm and grabbed her by the elbow.

“You show her some respect, or I will clout you on the ear!” the Lady Clo threatened.

“It is alright, Lady Clo. Once I am cleared of all charges, I will not forget the kindness you have shown me. Nor shall I forget all that House Hive has done for me,” said Shelly.

They left the cell and entered the dizzying maze of passages through the black cells. It felt good to finally leave the cell, Shelly thought, even if it did mean facing her certain doom. She took small, even steps between the guards as if to prolong her trek, but it did not matter, as the Great Hall was very close. The massive doors were open and the smell of roasting pork strips and fried eggs filled the air.

The smallfolk had come out to see the trial and Shelly was not sure if they were in support of her or not. The guard grabbed her by the elbow once more. His gruff voice told her it was time to enter the Hall. Taking a deep breath, she entered.

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The Great Hall was filled with people. Shelly scoured the crowd and saw many familiar faces: Lady Clo of House Hive, Ser Johnny of House Cinco, Lady Sarah of House Calisi, the noted knight Ser BryndenB of House Fish, and even her own man-of-the-chain Maester Chandler. She walked down the long hall, chains clinking amongst dead silence.

Along the other side, she saw the members of the Angerguard, those sworn to protect Lord Angry. Harley of House Horcrux, herself the original Hand of Anger. Lord Commander Richter of House Pittjay. Ser Samuel of House Hope of Hornhill. Frank the Cave Man and Patchface the Fool. As always, their number was rounded out by the chief Ice Mage of the Southern Islands, Mitsubishi Miller.

Placed before Shelly were the three judges: The venerable Lord Axey of House Fab of Faircastle proud in his finery, Lord Angry with a tortured face wearing garments of black and fire, and there was an unexpected face. What was he doing here? Clad in dark garments and leathers, he sat next to Lord Angry, his jawbone set tight, moving forth and back. The third judge he was. The stag in flaming heart ensconsed on his breast. The one true king of Westeros.

Stannis Baratheon.

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Lady Shelly clutched the parchment in her hand and looked at the Angermaster as she walked to the pulpit. How could this have come to pass? What was King Stannis doing here? The guards unlocked her shackles and she let her arms hang loose at her sides. The crowd began to murmur and she took her place at the stand.

The High Septon began,”The Lady Shelly has been brought forth to be tried on accusation of treason. May the Seven guide the way and help us all find the truth in these terrible times.”

The crowd echoed his prayer and Shelly did as well. Deep in her heart she knew that she was innocent. She had committed no crime. It had all been for the Lord of Anger, everything she did, even the things he did not know. As well, there were many that were envious of her position as Hand of Anger and sought to bring about her downfall. Could one of them be behind such baldly false accusations?

Lord Angry, the wrathmonger, rose from his seat and quieted the crowd with a stare.

“THE LADY SHELLY. YOU HAVE BEEN BROUGHT HERE TODAY TO ANSWER FOR YOUR CRIMES. YOU STAND ACCUSED OF HIGH TREASON AND CONSPIRING WITH OUR MOST VILE ENEMIES. THE D&D. THERE WILL BE WITNESSES TO VOUCHSAFE THIS INFORMATION. DOCUMENTS. GRAVEN IMAGES. YOU WILL BE ALLOWED TO PRESENT WITNESSES AS WELL. WOULD YOU SPEAK A WORD?”

“I shall,” Shelly replied. “I stand before you all accused of treason, but this is folly! Never in my life have I betrayed the Army of Anger, nor shall I ever! My love of the books, our sacred texts, is as strong and as deep as the roots of a weirwood tree. It is only because of jealousy and envy that these false claims were brought before you, Lord Angry! I ask you all, my friends, my colleagues, my family to judge me justly and with no malice in your hearts! For I only wish to serve His Grace GRRM!”

Shelly felt as if her heart would burst, it was beating so quickly. The parchment that accompanied her dress was still in her hand, crumbled and damp with perspiration, the words barely legible. The crowd roared with applause and Shelly felt her spirits begin to lift.

“ENOUGH!” the Lord of Anger cried. “BEFORE WE PROCEED, I MUST SAY SOMETHING AS WELL.”

Shelly felt her stomach begin to turn and her legs go weak. What next?

“AFTER MUCH CONSIDERATION, I HAVE DECIDED TO RECUSE MYSELF FROM THIS TRIAL. I CANNOT JUDGE MY HAND OF ANGER JUSTLY WHILE MY HEART AND MY HEAD DO NOT AGREE,” he spoke.

A flurry of murmurs swept the crowd. Lord Axey drummed his fingers on the high table.

“AND AS MY FINAL ACT BEFORE STEPPING DOWN, I PLACE THE ONE MAN WORTHY TO SIT MY CHAIR TO JUDGE THIS IN MY STEAD. I SPEAK OF NONE OTHER THAN LORD CONFUSED OF HOUSE BEFUDDLED.”

The crowd roared its displeasure. Even King Stannis ventured an eyebrow. As everything was happening, Shelly looked up and saw Lord Angry. They locked eyes and he nodded, before turning away to leave the hall.

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Lord Confused stepped forward to the dias, and swore to be faithful to GRRM and his sacred writings, a copy of Hunger Games under his arm.

Shelly barely noticed that the parchment had slipped out of her grasp.

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