Tower of the Hand

Book 4, Chapter 38.
Brienne, Podrick, Meribald and Ser Hyle arrive at the Old Crossroads Inn. Brienne fights and kills Rorge when he and several others show up, but Biter knocks her down and begins eating her.
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Brienne, Podrick, Ser Hyle and Septon Meribald come across a corpse a mile from the crossroads. He is hanging from a tree and has salt shoved into his mouth. After that, they come across another corpse every hundred yards or so, each hanging from a tree and with salt in their mouths. They are men who took part in the raid on Saltpans. As the forest gives way to fields, the corpses hang from gibbets instead of trees. Brienne thinks she recognizes some from Harrenhal, but none has a hound's head helm. They are moving towards the Old Crossroads Inn. After Masha was hanged, one of her nephews had tried to reopen the inn but could not garner enough custom even after adding whores. He was later hanged. Now, two of Masha's nieces have apparently opened the inn once more. As they near the inn, they can hear hammering and see the glow from a forge. A large group of children greet them before the door; they are orphans. The oldest introduces herself as Willow and arranges accommodations for the night. A boy appears behind them, and Brienne thinks it must be Renly for a moment. Brienne asks Willow if the children are her kin, and she explains that the sparrows bring them and she and her sister Jeyne, the innkeep, look after them. Meribald asks if rooms are available. The boy, Gendry says no, but Willow says yes and orders some of the orphans, Wat, Will, Tansy, Pate, and Jon Penny, to see to their needs. When they are in their rooms, Brienne tells Podrick that she means to leave early the next morning while Ser Hyle is still sleeping.

Brienne and Podrick go down to the common room for dinner, which is crawling with children. Most of them are young, with the oldest being ten or twelve. Only Gendry approaches manhood. Ser Hyle approaches Brienne and tries to woo her to be his bride, but she rebuffs him. Meribald leads the assembled in a prayer before dinner, which Gendry does not join. After he stalks off, one of the orphans, Ben, tells them that Gendry worships the Lord of Light. Brienne takes some food out to Gendry at the forge. She questions him about his parentage, sure he must be King Robert's bastard, but the sound of new arrivals ends their conversation. Gendry says they are friends, but Brienne goes to the door and sees that there are seven riders, and Biter is one of them. Another wears Sandor's helm. Willow comes out to meet them with a loaded crossbow, and the man wearing the helmet threatens her. Brienne shows her self to save Willow. One of the men says they just want horses and will leave, but the man wearing the helmet wants to punish Brienne. He is Rorge. Brienne insults him, causing him to charge in a rage. After a short fight, Brienne kills Rorge with Oathkeeper. As she steps away, Biter slams into her, knocking her to the ground. He knocks her senseless and begins eating her as the other outlaws began fighting another enemy in the background.


Active Characters

  1. Selwyn Tarth - He is fifty-four.


  1. Kingsroad - The kingsroad was built by King Jaehaerys I Targaryen.
  2. The Old Crossroads Inn - The Old Crossroads in was first built in the reign of Jaehaerys I Targaryen, and he and his queen, Alysanne, supposedly stayed there. For a time the inn was known as the Two Crowns in their honor, until one innkeep built a bell tower, and changed it to the Bellringer Inn. Later it passed to a crippled knight named Long Jon Heddle, who took up ironworking when he grew too old to fight. He forged a new sign for the yard, a three-headed dragon of black iron that he hung from a wooden post. The beast was so big it had to be made in a dozen pieces, joined with rope and wire. When the wind blew it would clank and clatter, so the inn became known far and wide as the Clanking Dragon. During the first Blackfyre Rebellion, Lord Darry, a Targaryen supporter, did not appreciate the black dragon, and so he tore it down and hacked it to pieces. The inn used to have a ferry landing as well, as the Trident once flowed next to the inn.