House Dunwell’s children have set out on the road to Harrenhal, to represent their father and house at Erold Lothston’s tournament. En route, they encounter little trouble, at least until they pass through King’s Landing. Here Locksby, one of their retainers, fell in with a local gang of criminals, and agreed to do some work on the side for them. Unfortunately, the gang was not quite subtle enough to avoid general notice.
This was also where the Dunwell scions first made the acquaintance of Ser Aerik Tarth, a man in league with a conspiracy against the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. He intimated that he was interested in forming an alliance with them based on their history of war with Dorne. Though no promises were made, the groundwork for future plots was laid.
Weeks later, they found their camps attacked by a clutch of lizard-lions, only a few days from Harrenhal. After making short work of them, Lord Dunwell’s children made their way to the imposing castle and made their introductions to their host, Lord Manfred Lothston and his family. It didn’t take long for their animosity toward the Dorne to surface, though, as Catherine Dunwell tricked one of their knights into coming up to her bedroom. Once there, she dosed him with something to make him sleep, then acted as if he had tried to force himself on her. The ruse was bought by everyone, and after a trial by combat, the Dornish knight died.
Meanwhile, as Christian and LaFaye were making their way through their opponents in the tournament, Locksby stole the cloak pin from one of Lord Arryn’s personal guard as the gang back in King’s Landing asked him to. Richard, the Dunwell Heir, began to try brokering a marriage contract between his sister, Catherine, and the Arryn heir, Brandon, who had taken an interest in her.
As the tournament went on, eventually Richard and Catherine revealed that Locksby, their retainer, had stolen the cloak pin from House Arryn’s guard. They also told them that they believed that the Lannisters were behind that theft. They agreed to give the Arryns any further information they found about it. Catherine was busy, though, as prior to this, she had taken a snake given to her by Aerik Tarth and dropped it in her own room. She then got locked in, and was only saved due to the intervention of her family. The idea was to make it seem the Dornish were trying to kill her.