A Feast For Crows Chapter 1


POV Character: Pate


Pate sits with his fellow students, Mollander, Alleras, Armen and Roone, at the Quill And Tankard in Oldtown. He yearns for Rosey, the pretty daughter of a serving maid, a fifteen-year-old girl whose maidenhead can only be had for a gold coin. The other students discuss dragons, and whether there are still any in existence. Pate is waiting for an alchemist who has promised to meet him there that evening. The alchemist had offered to change iron into gold, requesting that Pate steal a particular iron item in exchange for some gold, and said he would be back in three days to make the exchange.

Mollander and Armen continue their argument about dragons. Mollander says that sailors' tales speak of dragons in far places, often accompanied by a young queen. Alleras keeps splitting thrown apples with his arrows. After the last, he brings up the Targaryens, telling the others that Viserys's sister Daenerys is still alive. Mollander drunkenly toasts her, only to be shushed by Armen.

Lazy Leo appears then. Mollander bristles at his appearance, Armen asking more diplomatically whether Leo wasn't confined to the Citadel for three more days, but Leo shrugs this off with a quip on the meaninglessness of time. He asks them to buy him a drink, since he lost his money gambling and eating elsewhere. He offends them each in turn, then attempts to mollify them by confirming that Daenerys is alive and has hatched three dragons, as the tales come out of Qarth. Archmaester Marwyn even gives them credence, Leo says. Marwyn, called "The Mage", is widely considered unsound, partly because of his practice of speaking to smallfolk and other unwholesome people. After the other scoff, Leo adds that there is a glass candle burning in Marwyn's chambers.

The group breaks up after that, most of the students returning to the Citadel. Pate remains with Leo, hoping that the alchemist will still come by. Leo needles Pate a few times about Rosey. Pate wishes he could kill Leo, but Leo is a Tyrell, with relatives in positions of power. He sees the sun rising, and realizes that the night is over and the alchemist has not come. He leaves, with a final warning to Leo to leave Rosey alone.

Pate wanders Oldtown in the early morning. After nearly being run down by a cart, he sees the alchemist standing over him. He tells Pate that he didn't want to intrude on him and his friends. He had asked Pate to steal something from Archmaester Walgrave's quarters. Pate had opened the box under Walgrave's bed, and found an Archmaester's iron key which supposedly opened every lock in the Citadel; after wrestling with his conscience, he took it, as well as a sack of silver coins.

He asks the alchemist for his gold dragon coin, and the alchemist bids him follow him someplace more private. They go through several winding streets and end up in an alley. The alchemist gives Pate the coin and Pate bites the gold to ensure it's authenticity. Pate hesitates before offering up the key. He asks the alchemist's intentions, which he will not say, and asks to see his face, which is nondescript. After giving the key to the alchemist, he turns away, feeling light-headed, and collapses dead(?) on the cobblestones a few moments later.

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