Lyanna Stark looked on in wonder at the sea of banners that hung all around the castle of Harrenhall. The great tourney held by the Whents had called most of the Westerosi nobility to attend the event, and for the first time in perhaps three hundred years, the castle the Targaryens had ruined so long ago was so filled that many lords were forced to camp around the grounds as opposed to staying within Harrenhall's walls. Lyanna and her brothers Brandon and Benjen had only just arrived, meeting with their other brother Eddard, who had traveled from the Vale with his friend Robert Baratheon.
At the thought of the storm-lord Lyanna could feel her mood take a downward turn. She'd heard of the arrangement that her father had made. She was to be married to the southern lord paramount, a prospect she was highly against.
'Why must I be married off to some southern boar?' She wondered to herself. Brandon was already set to marry the lady Catelyn Tully, but neither Ned nor Ben were betrothed. Father didn't seem to care about finding matches for them.
'So why?' She thought, was it so important that she be sent off without even being asked whether she approved the match.
She shook her head to rid herself of the thoughts of her upcoming nuptials, instead turning her eyes back to the seemingly never-ending stream of lords who were still arriving to participate in the tourney.
"It seems the Westerland houses have finally arrived." Brandon said, coming up behind her with Benjen, Ned and Robert following close behind.
"About time." Robert said, eyeing the various banners as if he was looking for one in particular. "I've been wanting to see that new house that rose out in Fair Isle for a while, they say the warriors there are better than even the kingsguard."
"And I'm sure it's also nothing to do with the rumours that they came from a fallen star and that they have a sword the likes of 'Dawn'?" Ned asked his friend.
"Well if I'm asking about one rumour, I might as well put the rest to bed shouldn't I?" Robert shrugged, going back to looking over the banners of the Westerlands to find the banner he was looking for.
Lyanna found herself in agreement with her betrothed. A rare instance indeed, but even she had heard of the new house that had emerged to take dominion over the island of Fair Isle. There were rumours a plenty regarding them and their people. Some said they'd come from across the Sunset Sea and brought riches enough to entice the Lannisters. Others claimed they were messengers of the seven gods and had blessed the Lannisters in exchange for the island.
Finally she caught sight of the golden lion on a field of red, the symbol of house Lannister, the lords of the Rock and the wardens of the West, and just behind them, was the banner they had been waiting for.
The sigil's field was a deep, forest green, with an eagle resting on a blue circle with lighter green shapes Lyanna didn't recognize, the eagle also had its wings spread, as if showing off its mastery over the small orb. Behind the large banner. there was a banner of another eagle, this one much simpler than the elaborate weaving of its predecessor, with arrows in one of its claws and what looked like a bolt of lightning in the other and three lines set in the background connected on the upper and lower ends. There were other emblems and banners as well denoting other houses who traveled with the lords of the Westerlands, but she and the others had seen what they'd come to see.
The people riding under the banners were different as well. At their head, presumably their lord, was a man that made all the men Lyanna had ever seen seem small. Even Robert's large frame and presence seemed almost insignificant next to the giant that was at the head of the banners. Riding with him were little more than half a dozen other people that, while impressive themselves, nonetheless paled in comparison to the truly enormous man who rode ahead of them. He kicked his horse into a light trot, moving to ride next to the lord Tywin Lannister and speak to him. The conversation was hushed and quick, with the Lannister lord merely nodding his head and uttering a few words that Lyanna couldn't make out. Bowing his head respectfully the tall lord looped around and urged his horse back to his own men.
Lyanna froze, and she noticed that what idle chatter had started up amongst her brothers and betrothed had also stopped. If the man's visage was commanding, she didn't know how to describe his voice. It almost seemed as if authority itself had been distilled and coated his every word.
"I want tents set up, Lord Tywin's given us the pick of the Westerland camping grounds. Make sure the camp is ready and secured within the hour. After that you have leave until the gathering tonight."
The assembled group remained silent, offering only dutiful nods and a few words of aknowledgement. As they did Lyanna noticed that there were not only men on the horses. She'd been so caught up in the lord that she hadn't noticed that several of the people riding directly behind him were woman. The group rode off, taking their horses and carts with them to set up camp.
As soon as they were gone, Lyanna's companions began again to speak.
"Did you see their lord?" Benjen asked, eyes following the retreating group in awe.
"Damn near as tall as Gregor Clegane." Robert nodded with Benjen. "It's odd that he seemed so close to lord Tywin though. I've never heard the man letting anyone ride up to him like that."
"Have you ever met anyone from the Westerlands who says it's out of the ordinary?" Ned asked, raising an eyebrow at Robert, who, for his part, laughed off her brother's skepticism.
"Too true Ned." He thumped her brother on the back. "But still, I've heard more than enough about how the old lion rules. They played 'The Rains of Castamere' less than half a fortnight ago in the tavern we stayed at."
Lyanna turned away from her brothers and betrothed. Instead, she stared after the retreating group of men and women who were making their way to the Westerlands' camping ground.
"Do you think we might be able to visit them? Maybe we could dine with their lord."
The four young men turned to the young woman, following her eyes to look at the distant group.
"Can't see why not." Robert said. "I'll send a messenger to ask."
Lyanna shared and excited look with Benjen before the two turned to her brothers. The two older Stark siblings found themselves at the mercy of their younger siblings' pleading looks and could see that for the first time Lyanna seemed genuinely in agreement with her Stormlord husband to be over his suggestion to introduce themselves to the new lords on Fair Isle.
"Very well." Brandon sighed. "I'll see if they will join our table at the feast tonight after the official functions end, or perhaps we can invite their lord to dine with us in the coming days."
Of course, Lyanna wasn't going to wait for Brandon to arrange supper with the new lord and his retinue. The lady Stark and her younger brother had decided there would be no better way to see the new warriors of the Westerlands than to watch them as they set up camp. The two younger Starks had slipped away from their older brothers, not that Ned was particularly attentive with Robert around to take up his attention, and Brandon had been distracted by at least a half-dozen pretty noble ladies wandering the halls of the massive castle.
The two had positioned themselves along one of the walls that overlooked the camping grounds given to the lords of the Westerlands. The Lannisters had already placed themselves in the tower allotted to them, which left their vassals to pitch their tents in the lower levels and the grounds around their tower.
It had only been an hour or two since the party of Westermen arrived, and both she and Ben have seen Lannister servants rushing to and fro, making rooms ready of their lords and ladies. The camp of the Lannister's newest vassals however was contrary to their lord's in every way. Five large tents were set up in a group. Identical in almost every way, save for small touches on the tents' canvas. Unlike most lords and ladies, who had traveled to Harrenhall with veritable armies of guards, knights, squires, pages and all other manner of tag-alongs, there appeared to be no other members of the new house aside from the lord and his eight companions.
Other houses of the Westerlands had set up all around them. Closest to the new house were the Westerlings of the Crag, while at the other end of the camp, Lyanna could spot the sigil of the Farmans of Faircastle.
"Where do you think their lord is?" Asked Benjen. Several members of the group had entered and exited their tents. Occationally they gathered at the campfire at the center of their group of tents but for the most part they paired off and left, presumably to other parts of the tourney grounds.
"I'm not sure." Lyanna replied, looking over the tents. At the moment, about four of them were sitting by the firepit, despite the fact they hadn't lit a fire. From their distance neither Lyanna nor Benjen could tell too much about who each of them were, but they could see that one of them was significantly older than the others.
"Do you think that's their master at arms?" Benjen asked.
"Maybe, he's a bit old though."
The two continued to watch for a while, but before long they heard someone clear their throat behind them.
"What do you two think you're doing?" The two turned to find a woman dressed in the clothes of a servant standing behind them, looking rather displeased. "Why aren't you two helping to set up lord Lannisters' rooms? We don't have all day."
The two Stark children shared a look and a smile. She obviously didn't recognise them and simply assumed that they were young servants themselves.
"We're not-" Benjen began before he was hit in the ribs by Lyanna's elbow.
"Apologies ma'am." Lyanna said. "We were told to pass on a message to the new lords on Fair Isle, but we couldn't find their lord."
The woman's eyes narrowed before she rolled them.
"Alright, who's camp are you from? You're obviously not from ours."
Lyanna and Benjen were shocked that they'd been found out so quickly. Benjen looked down at her boots shuffling them on the ground.
"The Starks." Benjen mumbled.
"Right then." She nodded. "Off with you two now. If you go now I'll not tell anyone that you two snuck in here. If you want to deliver a message to Lord Terra, you can go down to his camping grounds instead of sitting up here staring."
The two children nodded eagerly before running off.
"You think he's down in the camp?" Benjen asked
"If he was, then he'd probably have come out of his tent at some point right?" Lyanna replied, shrugging
"Maybe he's doing something. Father sometimes spends his whole day in his solar."
"I suppose. Still, we should go down there and see for ourselves."
"What? Are you mad? What do we say?"
"Just what we told that maid, that we're here to ask their lord to feast with us."
"You are mad. Brandon and Ned will be furious"
"Never mind Brandon." Lyanna waved away her younger brother's concerns. "I'll tell him I've saved him the trouble of asking himself. Besides, if Robert finds out he'll calm Ned down."
"I thought you didn't like Robert." Benjen raised a brow at his sister.
"I don't, that doesn't mean I can't get him to help me deal with Bran and Ned." She turned to Benjen and gave him a pleading look. "You with me?"
Ben tried to resist, but under her gaze he couldn't.
"Fine." He said, following as they reached the bottom of the Lannister's tower and made their way towards House Terra's camp.
An idea that's been forming for a long time. As of now I think you can guess a few of who came to Westeros but you probably don't know the full history. I know that Tywin doesn't come to the tourney in the original books but I thought it would be wierd for Jamie to come without Tywin. Also, Tywin now has some new allies, so he has even less to fear from the Iron Throne, and even more to gain from snubbing them.