It's a funny thing. I actually feel relief taking this old notebook back into my hands. It's been almost two years, and quite a lot has happened. Especially in the last few months. It's a good thing one takes a serious wound in combat every now and then, forcing one to rest – and once resting, to do the things he had forgotten he loved so much.
Jon Arryn died – Kara and Jon suspect it's poisoning. Something coming from high-up in the royal court, very likely involving the Grand Maester. When we were in the Eyrie for the wake, they actually managed to examine the body and all but confirm this (only without the ever-so-important actual proof we still seek).
Against my better council, they let father in on this. A fact that still makes me seething mad. Father did his usual thing and immediately took over, sending us to meet Lord Eddard Stark on his way south from Winterfell, while he prances off to meet with Lord Stannis.
On the way back to Sunkenwood, we actually saw a Heart Tree in the forest. In a place Jon had never seen before. To look into my twin brother's eyes and see him honestly saying he's never been in that place before – and see that he's not at all afraid or even taken aback – was probably how other people would define the feeling of a religious experience.
Back in Sunkenwood, in just one morning – two family members showed up on my doorstep. My cousin, Adranna Lynderly – whom I've only ever heard of in tales, and even those were rather scarce; and another cousin, Wilhelm Stone. Wilhelm Stone, whom I'd known before as a brother – a brother by choice, rather than a cousin by blood. The resemblance is there, and he has proof which is rather irrefutable. I don't yet know if I'm glad to have gained a cousin, or sorrowful to have lost a brother. So much has happened since he showed up that I didn't have a chance to talk to him and find out. It's a conversation I both look forward to and dread.
The lack of time somehow did not apply to my other cousin, Adranna Lynderly – or, as she was better known in Braavos, The Lady Emerald. She's one nut I yet haven't been able to crack, no matter how much I try. And it seems to me as if she's far ahead of me in that race. Or… fencing, she called it.
I've met some Braavosi in my life. Most of them are indeed clearly not local, not Westerosi… this cousin of mine however is quite a different story. I usually use my forwardness as a way of unarming people, shocking them into making mistakes and exposing their true intentions. This is a strategy The Lady Emerald uses well. Far better than I even knew possible. She performed so well I hadn't even noticed she was doing it at first. That degree of forwardness would be cause for great trouble with other people, which means she read me like an open book from the very start. A fact I'm not certain whether I should like or fear. Or both.