Blood of Dragons is the only author-approved MUSH based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Play the Game of Thrones and become a part of the history of the Seven Kingdoms:
Sunspear and its aftermath, both in Dorne and King’s Landing.
Day 1: As if taking the dawn of a new year as a sign, Daeron orders his forces to attack Sunspear. Though their numbers are much greater than those of the Dornishmen, Daeron is relatively cautious and opens battle carefully. It is only after three hours of skirmishing—in which the Dornishmen seem to have the advantage—that Daeron sends forward his battles. Prince Marence’s forces fight valiantly, but they are not able to hold off the tide. Prince Marence and Lord Gargalen manage a withdrawal, but only by sacrificing a rearguard. Ser Tamlyn Toland and his cousin Ser Aidan Dayne are captured by Ser Olyvar Oakheart and men-at-arms under his command, as are a number of other knights. In the night, the Dornish troops draw up just before the shadow city, in what many assume will be the place of their final stand. Among Daeron’s dead are Ser Bowen Errol, Ser Brandon Horpe, and Alan Staedmon.
Day 2: The second day of battle commences, and seems to echo the first. However, the Dornish break more easily this time, falling back into the shadow city. Yet it is here where the Dornish become their fiercest, and even the smallfolk of the city fight. It is a bloody battle from alley to alley, and one in which the terrain is to the advantage of the Dornishmen. The first of the Winding Walls is taken, however, after the first of the Threefold Gates is battered down. The night is an ugly one, as the Dornishmen ambushing unwary soldiers and several attempts are made to attack Daeron in the manse in the city he has insisted on staying in rather than withdrawing to a safer place outside of the city. Prince Cadan Nymeros Martell is captured in one of these attempts. Among Daeron’s dead are Ser Ganwell Inchfield, Ser Hathis Crane, Ser Jon Tarbeck, Ser Timion Graves, and Ser Kelon Waxley.
Day 3: In the morning, a last desperate attempt is made to reach the Young Dragon and kill or capture him. The Hell-knight himself leads it, and very nearly succeeds, cutting down a swath of men. Prince Aemon the Dragonknight faces Dorne’s greatest champion at last, and it ends with the Hell-knight’s death. As word spreads through the city, the Dornish surge in a last gasp. The fighting is the bloodiest of the three days, with thousands of Dornishmen dying in the shadow city and hundreds more of soldiers and knights, including Ser Godry Gargalen, captain of Sunspear’s guard. Daeron’s forces, too, die. Among them are Ser Richard Greenfield, Ser Desmond Darry, Ser Roland Frey, Ser Jeron Ryger, Ser Jaymar Melcolm, Ser Robyn Marbrand, Ser Dorin Manderly, Ser Rickard Grandison, and Wydron Cerwyn.
On the evening, King Daeron sends forward a peace banner to parley. He urges Prince Marence to surrender, noting to him that fighting in such close quarters will surely be dangerous to any hostages. The veiled threat, reckless of the fact that Marence holds several hundred hostages at Sunspear, is enough to make Marence realize there is no hope. He bends the knee, and has word sent of this to all corners of Dorne.
Day 4: In the morning, it is discovered that a number of noteworthies have slipped out of the city, such as the notorious robber knight Red Rhys of the Scourge and his paramour Alyx Sand.
Day 5: Word is sent to King’s Landing of the victory. However, it is not total. Skyreach and Kingsgrave are still defiant, and the countryside is restive and filled with broken men and outlaw knights who refuse to yield. Daeron calls for seven times seven hostages—a holy number—to be presented to him at Sunspear before they are sent to the Red Keep.
Day 6: Lord Mertyn’s son, Ser Urston Mertyns, dies of a wound incurred several days before after he was pushed into granting a Dornish knight quarter only to have the man shove a dagger into his belly.
Day 14: An assassin—a hedge knight by the name of Ser Walden of Shandystone who had previously served several Dornish houses—sends a poisoned arrow towards King Daeron. Prince Aemon Targaryen, the Dragonknight, protects his king and cousin and is wounded in his stead. He lies near death for two days and nights before the effects of the venom begin to weaken. Ser Walden is captured and put to the question, but dies without revealing who—if anyone—had hired him. His body is drawn and quartered, his head placed above the Threefold Gate, his limbs sent to hang above the gates of the seats of some of the lords he had once served: Hellholt, Sandstone, Godsgrace, and Vaith.
Day 17: Eight thousand troops under Lord Tyrell are dispatched back to the west, to secure the area at the mouth of the Prince’s Pass in preparation from renewed efforts to bring about the submission of Skyreach and Kingsgrave. The troops are to travel on the remaining portion of Lord Oakenfist’s fleet. Another five thousand are dispatched with the specific purpose of apprehending a number of outlaws and rebel holdouts in the deserts and mountains, such as Lord Caston Vaith.
Day 20: The last of the hostages arrive, and are made to swear oaths that they will not attempt to escape or cause their captors harm. King Daeron promises in return to treat them as befits their station and to protect them as he would protect all his subjects. A significant portion of the fleet is sent with them to King’s Landing, carrying many knights and soliders—mostly the wounded or those who have compelling duties. Among them are Prince Aegon and the convalescing Dragonknight.
Day 20: Oakenfist’s fleet departs the Planky Town with Lord Tyrell’s small army. They make their way up the coast towards Starfall.
Day 3: Lord Tyrell’s host arrives at Starfall, where Ser Wallace Chester has collected a levy of Dayne smallfolk and a few vassal knights to join Lord Lyonel’s host as they proceed to march on Skyreach. Lady Dayne does not make an appearance throughout Lord Tyrell’s presence there, which Ser Wallace puts down to her pregnancy. Rumor has it, however, that a serving woman had secretly brought moon tea to her in an attempt to end the pregnancy; though it failed, it left her gravely ill, or so the story goes. The only corraboration that could be seen was that the head of a serving woman, only recently removed, was decorating the gatehouse walls. Ser Wallace claimed she had attempted to poison him and his men.
Day 5: After taking on water and supplies, as well as shifting some of the galleys of his fleet to that of Lord Redwyne’s in preparation for their departure back to their various home ports, Oakenfist sets course back to Sunspear.
Day 7: Lord Tyrell’s host is ferried over on rafts to begin their march. Instead of moving through the mountains to reach the Prince’s Pass, an easier route is taken that will lead first to Sandstone, where Lord Lyonel intends to have Lord Qorgyle provide further troops.
Day 9: Outlaws in the mountains attack with throwing spears and bows from the top of a defile through which Lord Tyrell’s army must wind. Return fire drives them back, and a few bold men climb up the cliffs to try and put an end to these rebels. The outlaws make their escape, but not before a dozen men have died. Among them is Ser Andar Mertyns, one of the first to scale the ravine walls only to plummet to his death just before reaching the crest.
Day 12: Hostages arrive at the Red Keep. Word is sent to Sunspear to make Daeron aware of this.
Day 13: Another attack by Dornish rebels in the mountains, this time on a party of outriders scouting ahead of Lord Tyrell’s main force. Ser Talen Varner charges them directly without hesitation and practically routs them single-handedly. Thanks to his courage and quick thinking, none of his accompanying men are killed, and several of the outlaws are slain. When examining the bodies afterwards, two show that badge of House Fowler and another has the scorpion badge of House Qorgyle on his chest. When Lord Tyrell is informed of this, he seems unsurprised, dismissing the man as some deserter from Lord Qorgyle’s host who has turned to outlawry rather than a sign of treachery on Qorgyle’s part.
Day 19: Lord Lyonel arrives at Sandstone, where he is greeted querously by Lord Qorgyle. Lord Lyonel accepts it with unusual good grace. Later that evening, at a rather humble feast, the reason for Lord Tyrell’s magnanimity is revealed when Lord Qorgyle proudly announces that his famous son, Ser Manfryd, has been released from Ghaston Grey at the command of King Daeron. It is well-known that Lord Ganlos’s youngest son was imprisoned there at the command of Prince Marence following the death of his mother, Princess Coryanne, whom had taken Manfryd as her paramour. With this news, Lord Ganlos is much more willing to assist Lord Lyonel. It’s said that Lord Lyonel carried promises from King Daeron regarding certain disputed boundaries and rights with House Fowler that would be settled in his favor; these may have had as much of an impact.
Day 20: Word arrives at Sunspear of the safe arrival of the hostages. Daeron makes preparations to depart Sunspear, leaving the bulk of his force in the region to ensure its security while he takes four thousand knights more west to to join Lord Tyrell.
Day 22: Lord Lyonel departs Sandstone after being feted by Lord Ganlos. With him go five hundred Qorgyle spears, to participate in the action against Skyreach.
Day 23: Oakenfist’s fleet arrives at Salt Shore. Ser Alyn was able to coordinate an effort that successfully rescued most of the men from the foundering vessels. It is intended that King Daeron’s host will meet the fleet here to be ferried part of the way on Daeron’s triumphant march through Dorne before he joins Lord Tyrell. Landing at Salt Shore proves very difficult, however, thanks to the shoals, and boats are used to try and map out a safe route when local fishermen prove unreliable (three ships are lost, although most of their crews are saved, before Oakenfist takes charge of matters.)
Day 26: The Hand of the King, Prince Viserys, holds court in the Red Keep with his son Prince Aemon the Dragonknight making his return to his duties as a Kingsguard since his brush with death in Dorne. Viserys announces that Daeron intends to personally see to the capture of the remaining rebel castles of Skyreach and Kingsgrave before he returns. He announces a number of rewards that the king has decreed, including giving the wardenship of the Kingswood to Ser Sarmion Baratheon and requesting Ser Doran Dondarrion become Prince Baelor’s sworn shield until the Kingsguard returns. During this event, Ser Sarmion and Ser Doran seemed to put behind them a dispute which nearly led to a duel some days earlier. Petitions were then heard, among them those of Lord Connington conveyed by his son Ser Almer, asking for the crown to recognize the bravery of the men who served under them in the war; Prince Viserys thought this was good and accepted. Lady Reyna Rowan, widow of one of the men Ser Almer named, offered her services as an attendant to one of the royal princesses; Prince Viserys thought this was good, and let the lady know that she and Carmella Dondarrion would attend on Princess Daena.
Day 27: Arriving at the Prince’s Pass, the resistance met by Lord Tyrell’s force is almost immediate, if subtle. Mountain hamlets and villages are in some cases entirely deserted—with every animal and edible bit of food gone—and others are full of surly inhabitants who demand outrageous prices for their goods. Lord Lyonel is, at first, willing to put up with this.
Day 28: Having used Oakenfist’s vessels to ferry his force to Godsgrace, King Daeron holds a feast in the castle. He reassures Lady Allyrion of the safety of her daughter and heir, who accepts it with a bare nod of her head. She barely speaks a word to him throughout the feast, it can be noted. Later in the night, a handful of Dornishmen are caught attempting to scale the walls of the town with packs full of weapons. Brought before the king, he questions them and determines that they had meant to join Lord Vaith in his outlawry. The king orders them hanged from the walls to join the severed limb of the assassin who attempted to kill the king in the previous month.
Day 30: Cutting the stay in Godsgrace short, King Daeron has Oakenfist’s fleet ferry his force over to the other side of the Greenblood, where they will march towards Vaith.
After several soldiers are killed in the night by unknown assailants while his force is encamped near a small mountain village, Lord Lyonel orders the homes burned and any men found in the vicinity to be killed. Most of the men of the hamlet have fled, however, and it is suspected they have gone to join Lady Fowler’s defiant forces.
Day 3: Having burned several more hamlets and villages along the way up the Prince’s Pass, and having dealt as best as possible with near-constant, stinging attacks in the night which have left a dozen sentries and guards killed, Lord Tyrell’s host begins its approach to Skyreach. Here the resistance becomes more obvious, as Fowler soldiers begin to attack in broad daylight from the safety of higher vantage places on cliff walls or mountainsides as the force winds its way towards the castle. Here, Lord Tyrell makes much use of the levies from Starfall and Sandstone, sending the lightly-armored archers and spearmen scrambling after their attackers. This is quickly stopped, however, when many of the men blatantly change sides and join their countrymen.
Day 4: A significant skirmish in the Prince’s Pass forces Lord Tyrell to stop his host, after prisoners reveal that Lord Manwoody has promised to send a force of men to try and take Tyrell’s force from the rear as he besieges Skyreach.
Day 5: King Daeron arrives at Vaith, where he is greeted by young Lord Vaith and Beslon Smallwood—known as Beslon the Bad by some—who leads the Bright Banners, who have been given charge of the castle and rules it with an iron fist with little reference to Lord Caswald. Beslon makes much of his pacification of the local area, saying that he and his sellswords have rooted out many rebels whose bodies can be seen slain in a fashion well-known to the “sandy” Dornishmen, their naked bodies staked out on the ground to scorch beneath the desert sun. The Young Dragon expresses approval at the results, as the people are Vaith are sullen but quick indeed to do as they’re told, but it is later said to have left unanswered Beslon’s queries as to his being named the Lord of Vaith for his service.
Day 7: A galley dispatched from Oakenfist’s fleet in Dorne, the Black Sword, arrives in the evening of the previous day. A pair of knights from the ship are ushered into the Hand’s presence in the middle of the night. By the afternoon of the next day, the purpose of their visit is made clear: after much delay, the first official rolls of the dead lords and knights killed in Dorne had been compiled and sent to King’s Landing. A raven is sent to notify the king of the fleet’s readiness.
Day 8: After pausing for several days as outriders were sent with Dornish guides to try and make sure that Manwoody’s promised force was not yet in striking distance, Lord Tyrell puts aside two thousand men—a quarter of them Dornish levies mixed in with larger companies of his own host—to spread among several of the approaches to Skyreach with the intention of holding any Manwoody forces and providing sufficient warning for the besiegers.
Day 9: King Daeron’s host departs Vaith for Salt Shore, to join Oakenfist’s fleet. Beslon the Bad retains the castellanship of Vaith, along with his Bright Banners, with the provision that they spend more effort trying to find and either kill or capture the outlawed Lord Vaith, and less finding “rebels” in the vassal holdfasts and castles of Vaith.
Lord Tyrell’s host arrives before Skyreach. Bringing forth the parley banner, Lord Tyrell speaks with Lady Fowler, urging her to surrender and submit to King Daeron. Citing the fact that Prince Marence had done just that, and that it was her duty as his vassal to do the same, Lady Marcia remarks that were Prince Marence gifted with a thimble-full of the manhood his mother had had—Lady Marcia had been a companion to Princess Coryanne in her youth—he would never have shamed Dorne so, and she certainly would not follow him in such folly. Lord Tyrell noted that her cause was hopeless and that Lord Manwoody’s men could not save her, but her only response was that she did not depend on the Lord of Kingsgrave. Finally, Lord Tyrell reminded her that her daughter and heir, Lady Lanei, was a hostage and that harm might come to her for her continued defiance. Lady Marcia immediately deparated the parley, and shortly thereafter half-a-dozen scorpions sent their darts towards Lord Tyrell’s host.
Lord Tyrell had his force remove itself further away from the castle so as to be safe from Lady Fowler’s engines, and then took council with his captains regarding the best means to lay siege to Skyreach.
Day 10: Skyreach is very strongly situated, thanks to the mountainous terrain, and it proves difficult to effectively surround the castle in a way that will blockade it from men coming and going in the night with supplies. Lord Tyrell essentially determines that a ring of watch stations must be made to provide adequate protection for sentries and give them a means of repelling sorties from the castle. This effort is made difficult when in many cases these watchtowers must be constructed well within bowshot and the range of the scorpions. In response to the ceaseless fire that workers receive, Lord Tyrell sends his remaining Dornish levies to do the work of first raising lines of hastily-constructed wooden walls to shield workers. Some refuse and are flogged, and in one case killed; others are killed by Skyreach’s archers and scorpion darts, until they break and flee.
Frustrated, Lord Tyrell forces the Dornishmen back to work after nightfall, when the arrows are rarer between.
Day 11: Horsemen out of the desert attack the Young Dragon’s picket lines in the night, killing a dozen men and wounding two dozen more with their spears and arrows before disappearing again into the night with minimal losses. It is suspected that they are part of the rebel force that has gathered to Lord Vaith, and Daeron sends horsemen to give them chase. However, the sandsteeds of the enemy outpace Daeron’s cavalry, who are forced to turn back for fear of going too far into the desert without access to water for themselves or their horses. On their return, Daeron determines to acquire more maps of Dorne that show oasies’, watering holes, and wells that can be used in the deep desert.
Day 12: With a sufficient number of simple wooden and wicker walls raised to provide some protection to workers, more men move to strengthen and enhance these walls. At the same time, siege engines are being constructed with the help of local villagers who have been forced into service.
In the night, a sortie from Skyreach successfully burns one of the fledgling watchtowers Lord Tyrell has ordered constructed, and killed seven men besides. At the same time, a number of the Dornish levies disappear into the mountains, and in some cases run to Skyreach where they’re allowed in by sally ports to join the defenders.
Day 13: Arriving at Salt Shore, the king restores the seat to Lord Davit—who King Daeron had had accompany him during his progress—with all due honors, praising his courage and skill as a warrior. What Lord Gargalen makes of this, few can say, but outwardly the people of Salt Shore seem pleased by Daeron’s generosity. For the most part, the king has left Dornish houses to rule Dornish seats, trusting in the hostages he has taken to keep them loyal.
Day 15: An ambush near to Godsgrace leaves no less than fifty men under the command of Ser Hareon Hasty—who was leading one of several troops seeking out the rebel lord Caston Vaith— dead. Lord Caston is said to have led the attack by the rebels personally, and to have killed several of Hasty’s men in the dawn hours when only a few sentries were awake at their encampment. The camp is abandoned with its supplies by Ser Hareon, who is able to organize the remaining men into an effective retreat before the rebels without too much loss of life. However, by the time a stronger force from Godsgrace arrives at the camp later that evening, almost everything of value or use has been stripped away; some of the soldiers joke that if Vaith could found some means of using with the shit in the latrines against the Young Dragon, he’d have taken that, too.
Day 17: King Daeron’s host departs from Salt Shore, after three days spent moving all of the men onto Oakenfist’s ships thanks to the poor harborage.
Day 21: Word arrives by raven at King’s Landing, reporting the successful capture of Skyreach.
Day 22: Disembarking at the mouth of the Brimstone, King Daeron leads his host up the river towards Hellholt. Unruly villagers cause difficulties, however, refusing to sell goods or in some cases to even come out of their homes to see their king. The Young Dragon at first is determined to make examples of some of these, but others prevail on him that it will be a waste of time and that he would do better to win over the Lady of Hellholt, who will be able to do more to bring the smallfolk into line.
Day 23: With the last of the simple watchtowers created, and several siege engines at the ready, Lord Tyrell begins to lay siege in earnest. Skyreach’s walls are hammered by stones day and night, but they continue to stand.
Day 24: In the morning hours, a force of Dornishmen bearing the badge of House Manwoody attacks one of the large troops left behind to guard the approaches to Skyreach. The forces are roughly equal in size, and a pitched skirmish follows as the Dornishmen attempt to gain higher ground from which to pick away at the troop with their throwing spears and arrows. Messengers are sent to Lord Tyrell to make him aware of the contact, while the commander of the troop responds by sending men up to contend for the heights. With several pauses throughout the day, it’s not until after noon that the Dornishmen appear to give up and withdraw. A few prisoners are taken and immediately questioned, revealing that they’re merely a vanguard for a larger force led by Lord Manwoody. This, too, is relayed to Lord Tyrell, while outriders are sent out in an attempt to locate this alleged force.
Day 25: Having located Lord Manwoody’s force preparing to attack the same position, Lord Tyrell sends reinforcements from his besieging force to make sure the approach is not breached. He commands this force himself, taking a strong company of picked knights.
Day 26: On the morning, Dornish forces attack one of the other troops left behind to protect the approaches to Skyreach; these bear the Fowler badge and banner, and are much stronger than the Manwoody force that had made a similar attempt elsewhere. The commander of the troops sends frantic word for help, while doing his best to hold them off. Having gained the heights, the Fowler troop is able to rain down arrows and spears on the enemy. Eventually the troop breaks, though not without many valiants attempt to hold the position and scores of dead being left behind. The retreat back to the siege, but the enemy is in close pursuit and relentless.
At the same time, coming into contact with Lord Manwoody’s force, Lord Tyrell presses the attack only to have the Dornishmen almost immediately give way and retreat northwards. Although initially inclined to pursue, Lord Tyrell stops to consider and fears there is some trick, perhaps an ambush by another part of Manwoody’s force. He decides to return with his picked forces back to the siege in all haste.
That night, as the routed forces continue trying to win their way back to Skyreach and safety there, the Dornishmen actually speed up their pursuit and gain ground thanks to their greater knowledge of the region. At least a hundred men are killed throughout the night, as parties of Dornishmen fall on them. However, at the same time, Lord Tyrell and his force arrive at Skyreach and put the besieging forces on alert.
Day 27: Survivors straggle into the siege camp, reporting the fact that a Fowler host—obviously dispersed into the mountains to coordinate this attack with Lord Manwoody’s force—has overrun them and is approaching. Lord Tyrell immediately draws up lines to defend the approach the encampment, and sends outriders to determine how close they are. However, the Dornishmen have clearly done the same, and seeing the fact that the sieging force is larger than anticipated (thanks to Lord Lyonel’s instincts) they immediately withdraw. Fearing another attempt at a trap, Lord Tyrell refuses to give chase, instead redoubling efforts at taking Skyreach. In council later, Lord Tyrell argues that Skyreach’s garrison much be must weaker than previously supposed, and the castle might well be ripe for storming if a breach can be made.
The Fowler force, still at large, decides to loop around Skyreach and attempt to join with Lord Manwoody’s host in the mountains, in hopes that their combined strength will be able to relieve the castle.
Day 28: Arriving at Hellholt, the king is greeted by Lady Uller. She seems disappointed that the Dragonknight—the man who killed her far-famed son, Ser Garyn the Hell-knight—is not among the company. Ser Reynard Caron takes personal charge of the king’s guard that evening.
Before Skyreach, Lord Tyrell sends a troop of Dornishmen with a ram to attempt to break down the castle’s gate, but it is a useless effort—the way is too difficult and the arrows too many, and the Dornishmen break and flee. After considering the matter, Lord Tyrell orders a siege tower to be built with the intention of bringing it up towards Skyreach’s gatehouse.
Day 29: Fowler forces join those of Lord Manwoody, who takes council with their leaders. The lord and various knights agree that their time grows short, as they have had word that King Daeron is near to Hellholt and will doubtless move to Skyreach next, meaning that at best they’ve two weeks to win victory. Lord Manwoody reveals an inclination to abandon Lady Marcia and Skyreach, and instead move to wrest Blackmont out of Daeron’s control with the hope that it will bring more Dornishmen to their cause. The Fowler knights are opposed to this, and prevail on Lord Manwoody to at least make another attempt at relieving Skyreach, pointing out that a victory against Tyrell’s host could set Daeron back months and leave them that much more time to strengthen themselves in the mountains.
Day 30: Departing from Hellholt, the king decides to leave a mixed force of five hundred men to be quartered there with the intention of dealing with rebels and outlaws in the surrounding deserts. The king sets off to the northwest with the intention of entering the Prince’s Pass directly and pressing on to Skyreach where Lord Tyrell is presently occupied with the siege.
Day 1: Lord Tyrell sends a few large companies into the surrounding area to probe out and find Lord Manwoody’s force and determine its disposition while the siege tower approaches completion. Dornish skirmishers can be seen to retreat before these, and occasionally the troops come across sites that were clearly used as large encampments but have since been abandoned.
Day 3: The troops report back to Lord Tyrell, who supposes that Lord Manwoody has decided to retreat after all. With the siege tower complete, he determines to attack Skyreach decisively during the morning. In the night, a dozen men are sent out near to the walls to hammer rings into the ground through which great cables were threaded. These would be attached at one end to the tower while the other end would be set to the oxen moving in the opposite direction, drawing the tower towards the defiant castle.
Day 4: As the defenders see the rings and cables by the early light of dawn, Lord Lyonel gives the order to attack. Dornishmen come out of sally ports with axes to attempt to destroy the cable, but men-at-arms and knights dare great personal danger by intervening and guarding the cables as the oxen begin to draw the tower towards Skyreach. Lord Lyonel’s siege tower—a great engine able to hold hundreds of men at once and drawn by dozens of oxen protected by thickly-quilted pads that turn away most arrows, spears, and stones—begins to trundle up the steep approach to Skyreach as more Dornishmen attempt to overthrow the cable guards. Skyreach further responds by sending burning scorpion darts and other incendiaries at the tower, but its covering of hides soaked in protect it. In the hour it takes for the tower to come up to the walls, a score of knights lie dead about the cables, but only one of the four was severed and the Dornishmen are forced to retreat into their castle. Missiles pour forth, and archers in the belfry of the tower respond in kind. The Dornish defenders are confirmed to be relatively few in number by the vantage point of those at the top of the tower. When the bridge is lowered and secured to Skyreach’s walls, Lord Tyrell’s troops begin to swarm out to meet the Dornish resistance. At the same time, Lord Tyrell commands hundreds of foot to approach the walls with siege ladders and join the assault on the walls.
With all eyes on the siege tower’s progress, it has gone unnoticed that Lord Manwoody had doubled-back after setting up his false encampments and had approached nearer under cover of darkness. Having left six hundred light foot towards the western side of the siege lines with the command to rush in and attack the encampment when Tyrell’s host joined the siege tower in the assault, Lord Manwoody takes the bulk of the force through a loop that leaves them on the eastern side of siege lines. When the light foot attacks, Tyrell is greatly pertubed, and must first deal with an initial rout of men. His knights and captains, however, quickly rally to him and he personally leads the counter-attack on foot which drives the Dornishmen away. It is only then that Lord Manwoody throws the bulk of his own force at Tyrell’s host, from the other side of the line. Confusion reigns in the siege camp as Dornish knights and soldiers break through the lines, killing at least a hundred men and burning wagons, tents, and equipment along the way. Dozens of swift-footed Dornishmen carrying pots of oil and torches try to fight their way to the siege tower, protected by the best and bravest of Kingsgrave’s knights. The fighting is as desperate at the base of the siege tower as on the top, as Lady Fowler exhorts her defenders to hold on but awhile more.
The Dornishmen succeed in setting the base of the tower partially alight, leading to a panic at the lower levels. At the same time, Lord Manwoody has a full third of Tyrell’s siege encampment afire when Tyrell and his more organized forces arrive after having put the light Dornish spears to rout. Battle with Manwoody’s host is a short but terrible affair amidst burning pavillions and siege wagons before the Dornishmen withdraw in good good order. Unfortunately, the successfull firing of the siege tower did not have the desired effect. Although more than two dozen knights died in the smoke and flame of the base of the tower, and scores more on the bridge and walls, those nearer the top redoubled their efforts as they saw the flames licking up the tower’s sides and managed to win their way across through courage driven by fear. Once the defenders were thrown back, the tenuous foothold on the walls was maintained even as many of the men bravely ran into the tower to try and bring up to the fresh air those overcome by the smoke, heat, and flames.
As Lord Manwoody watches in his retreat, he sees the falcon of House Fowler lowered from the walls even while the siege tower collapsed in flames. Skyreach had fallen because Lord Manwoody’s bold plan had succeeded rather than failed. Lady Marcia surrenders in the keep after a last resistance of her most loyal men, and is taken prisoner within her own castle.
Day 5: Regrouping some miles from Skyreach, Lord Manwoody and his remaining forces consider their options. With their dead and wounded, even Lord Manwoody doubts their chances at taking Blackmont. Ultimately, it is decided that at the least they should approach the castle and see if they might be better able to take it given its garrison. As a ruse, he sends a hundred men towards Kingsgrave with most of the pack animals, in an attempt to make it seem that most of his host has retreated to his castle.
Lord Tyrell determines that he must give his forces time to recover, given the losses and then unexpected reversals involved in his victory. The tally is sizable, with more than two hundred dead and hundreds more wounded, some gravely. Worse still, a good portion of the grain and meat stocks were lost in Lord Manwoody’s attack, and Skyreach’s larder is not as full as Lord Lyonel and his captains hoped. Foraging becomes of vital importance. Word is sent to Hellholt and Sandstone, in case the king should be there, of the victory and Lord Tyrell’s decisions following hard on it, with a plea that supply be organized and sent forthwith. Pursuit of Lord Manwoody is ruled out as a possibility, although some outriders are sent to determine the direction of his retreat. Word returns to Lord Tyrell that it seems Lord Manwoody has withdrawn to Kingsgrave, which allays his concern for Blackmont.
Day 9: Arriving at the Prince’s Pass, the Young Dragon’s host begins the march into the mountains to join Skyreach. Lord Tyrell’s campaign of repression has made Dornishmen scarce along the way, and few raiders trouble the snaking line as it makes its slow way to Skyreach.
Day 13: Lord Tyrell’s outriders come upon King Daeron and his host, and deliver him the happy news that Skyreach has fallen days before, which was news he had not expected.
Day 15: Arriving in the region of Blackmont, Lord Manwoody avoids outriders and foragers sent by the garrison commander and sends his own men closer to get a sense of the defenses. Mingling with Dornishmen of the surrounding area, they learn that the castle has rarely had fewer than a hundred men-at-arms within it at any one time, as the garrison’s commander has been cautious. However, having received reports of Lord Tyrell’s victory, it seems that they are relaxed and believe Lord Manwoody is licking his wounds at Kingsgrave. Villagers are recruited to assist in Lord Manwoody’s plan to take the castle with a ruse. Lord Manwoody withdraws his forces deeper into the mountainous terrain after this, to ensure they will not be seen, and waits for word from the loyalist Dornish smallfolk.
After having been settled almost peacefully for some months, the region about Blackmont begins to see a few garrison troops here and there assaulted, or even killed, when dallying in one village or another.
Day 16: Greeted by Lord Tyrell, the Young Dragon clasps him before all to see and thanks him for the gift he has made of Skyreach, all to great cheer. Lady Marcia is brought out of confinement to partake in the feast, during which Daeron attempts to charm her and set her at ease regarding the hostages of her family. She refuses to eat from his table, however, and excuses herself early.
Later it is said that the King held council with Lord Lyonel, and revealed he was not entirely pleased with the results of his siege of Skyreach, citing the great loss of materials and men that it entailed, as well as the failure to put an end to Lord Manwoody’s forces. None could say whether this conversation truly occured, however, and Lord Lyonel seemed quite pleased with himself on the next day. Preparations are made to depart three days hence.
Day 17: After two nights of continuing attacks in the surrounding area from rebels and outlaws, Blackmont’s castellan attempts to remind them that they are conquered. A show of force is decided upon, and half the garrison is sent out to make a tour of the villages and hamlets, rousting out probable rebels to be tried and hanged. That evening, several hours from Blackmont, they encamp in a village. Unnoticed, a youth slips away and runs on swift feet into the night, finding Lord Manwoody’s host no more than an hour away.
Day 18: Before the sun rises, Lord Mors has surrounded the village with his men. The guards set on the perimeter are killed quickly before any cry can be raised, and the Dornishmen slip into the village with spears ready. When a trumpet blares, a slaughter begins as the Dornishmen find men-at-arms and soldiers sleeping in tents or the homes of the smallfolk, sometimes with their wives or daughters in their beds. As the troop’s commander wakes and attempts to form a defense, spears thrown out of the darkness take him in the throat and chest, and soon they’re followed by men with spears and swords cutting down all those who attempt to fight. Realizing their defense is doomed, the forty-odd survivors - four or five knights among them—surrender themselves. The knights are taken hostage, while the rest are put to the sword.
Day 19: In the early dawn hours, the troop seems to be returning from its terrorizing of the countryside, which must have been successful, for the attacks in the night have abated. As the gates are opened and the stream of men-at-arms enters the castle, it’s discovered all too late that it is Manwoody’s men wearing the arms and badges of the men they destroyed. After an initial slaughter, in which the Dornishmen secure the gatehouse, the rest of Lord Manwoody’s force approaching leads the commander to order his men to lay down their arms and surrender, but not before ravens are sent on to Starfall, Sandstone, and Hellholt telling of the attack. This time Lord Manwoody is more merciful, taking all the garrison prisoner, while freeing Lord Andrey and other Blackmonts who have been held prisoner in their own castle. Lords Manwoody and Blackmont discuss into the night what to do next.
After leaving behind a castellan and a garrison of two hundred to hold Skyreach, and seeing to it that Lady Marcia is kept closely guarded, King Daeron leads his forces away from the castle and on to Blackmont to collect some of its garrison for the expected siege of Kingsgrave that will put the last Dornish lord under the rule of the Iron Throne. King Daeron and Lord Tyrell know nothing more than that Blackmont’s garrison has repressed the rebels in their area.
Day 20: There are many arguments between Lords Manwoody and Blackmont, but in the end Lord Mors convinces Lord Andrey that they must return to the old ways of fighting, abandoning their castles if needs be. Word has come with some difficulty of Lord Caston Vaith’s outlawry and continued fighting along the Greenblood, and of the fact that some other lords and knights have followed suit. The Dornishmen of the mountain villages will support them, Lord Mors argues, and from them they may slowly bolster their strength until the time is ripe to throw out the Young Dragon and his invaders. And speaking of the Young Dragon, Lord Manwoody proposes taking a large host of men back to the Prince’s Pass to prepare an ambush for the expected approach of Daeron’s host. The two lords lead over 2500 men from Blackmont. With them are many of the prisoners they’ve taken.
Day 22: The ravens from Blackmont begin to arrive at their destinations, yet there is little to be done now that the king is on the road. From Sandstone, word is sent to Skyreach to let them know of events, in hopes that a swift horseman might be able to catch up with the king before he approaches Blackmotn all unaware.
Day 24: Word reaches Skyreach, and a small troop of horsemen are dispatched with all haste in an attempt to catch up to the king. They are given a number of remounts, with the expectation of losing many of them in their speed along the Prince’s Pass.
Day 26: As night falls, Lord Manwoody and Lord Blackmont call a halt to their march upon a high pass that leads from Blackmont towards the Prince’s Pass. They encamp atop a cliff that looks down into a ravine, through which is another pass leading towards Blackmont.
Day 27: In the morning, before setting out, the common prisoners held by Manwoody and Blackmont are thrown from the clifftop to their deaths below. Their bodies pile upon one another, blocking the lower of two passes that lead to Blackmont. The intention is for it to be a lesson to King Daeron, should he ever come that way. In great fear for their lives, some of the noble prisoners swear all they possess if they are spared that fate. Lord Andrey remarks that it’s a beginning. The troop marches on towards
Day 28: In the early morning, the combined forces of Lord Manwoody and Lord Blackmont reach the Prince’s Pass and prepare an ambush, having received word from certain smallfolk of the region that a host was approaching. They expect King Daeron to be entirely unaware of what has befallen his garrison at Blackmont, and they are right, but their confidence is too great when the ambush is sprung in the late afternoon somewhat too early when too little of the enemy vanguard had passed them. Arrows and throwing spears take their toll, but archers and crossbowmen are brought up to pour such a hale at the Dornishmen that they are driven back long enough for troops of foot—led by knights, some still in full plate—begin to scale the rough walls of the pass to come at their foes directly. There is momentary fighting amidst the hills and the cliffs, but soon the Dornishmen retreat rather than risk a more pitched battle. Two hundred of Daeron’s host are dead, and twice that wounded, while the Dornish lose some forty men. Rather than pursue immediately, the Young Dragon takes stock. Lord Lyonel suggests that Lord Manwoody is attempting to delay their joining with the garrison at Blackmont, but the Young Dragon is disquieted and orders a halt for the day.
The Dornishmen, as agreed, choose to divide themselves up into two parts. Lord Andrey Blackmont moves back towards Blackmont, not with the intention of staying there but with the intention of taking hold of as many of its supplies as he can before following the Torentine down towards Starfall, while Lord Manwoody withdraws back towards Kingsgrave along the Prince’s Pass in hopes of drawing Daeron’s host after him and away from Blackmont.
Day 29: In the early morning, the couriers dispatched from Skyreach—less one of their number and most of their remounts thanks to their mad race—catches up to the host of King Daeron and informs them of Blackmont’s fall. All becomes clear to Daeron, who spends precious hours considering what to do in counsel with Lord Lyonel and his captains. Outriders return of more news, revealing that Blackmont and Manwoody have parted ways. In the end, he settles on retaking Blackmont immediately rather than risk having his supply lines cut both before and to the rear. He decides to give Lord Lyonel this task, telling him to not risk storming the castle regardless of the provocation, while he himself takes the larger part of the host after Lord Manwoody.
Day 30: Lord Caston Vaith reminds the garrison commanders of the eastern half of Dorne of his continuing rebellion, after a long silence, as a troop of his men capture, loot, and then burn one of Oakenfist’s galleys on the Greenblood, all within sight of the walls of Godsgrace. Before Godsgrace’s garrison can send out men, Lord Caston disappears up towards the Scourge. Word is sent to Lord Oakenfist, stationed at Sunspear with the majority of his fleet and the single largest garrison of King Daeron’s troops.
Lord Tyrell comes across the mass of bodies of the men Lords Manwoody and Blackmont threw from a cliff, being first made aware of the fact by the swarm of vultures flying above the area. It takes more than two hours to clear the bodies away sufficiently to make room for his continuing passage.
Day 2: Oakenfist sends a detachment from his fleet up the Greenblood towards Godsgrace to strengthen and support the garrison there, in hopes of being able to perhaps find and pin down Caston Vaith’s rebels.
Day 5: Lord Caston’s forces secretly cross the Scourge to its eastern bank, and set out northeastwards towards the Tor.
Day 6: The galleys arrive near Godsgrace and disgorge troops to strengthen the garrison. The smallest of the ships continues up the Scourge, in search of sign of Lord Caston.
Lord Blackmont arrives at his castle and gathers willing men to join his forces, as well as supplies. He leaves a sufficient garrison to hold the castle as long as possible before setting southwards.
Day 8: Arriving before Blackmont’s walls without any resistance, Lord Tyrell sends out a parley flag. Only a small garrison has been left behind by Lord Blackmont, holding half a dozen noble prisoners as hostages to try and delay Lord Tyrell as long as possible. The commander of the garrison, Lord Andrey’s brother Ser Dominic, makes it plain that the castle will have to be starved or taken by storm before the vulture of Blackmont will be taken down from its towers. The offer to allow them safe passage towards some other castle falls on death ears, and Lord Tyrell’s attempts to learn where Lord Andrey has gone is ignored. The castle is invested, while Lord Tyrell sends men in various directions to try and catch wind of where Lord Andrey has gone.
Lord Manwoody reaches Kingsgrave, and there reveals to his wife and kin that he must abandon the castle. There is no hope to be had behind the walls of Kingsgrave, not when they are so outnumbered and friendless. He gives the castle over to his wife, Lady Lysanne, and tells her to ignore the calls for parley for as long as possible in hopes of tricking the Young Dragon into thinking that he himself is present at the castle. At the first sign of assault, however, she must surrender the castle in the knowledge that the war will continue. As if unsure as to how well his wife will do entirely as he says—for she is a Caron by birth—he leaves behind one of his best knights to lead a small guard. A few more noble hostages are also left at the castle, to act as surety for the lives of Kingsgrave’s occupants and servants when the surrender is finally negotiated.
Day 9: The galley on the Scourge occasionally stops at river villages, where they’re ransacked for any signs of harboring the rebels. Some villagers are killed out of suspicion, and others die while being put to the question. Eventually the ship learns of the fact that Lord Caston crossed to the eastern bank, and returns to Godsgrace to reveal this news.
Day 9: Lord Manwoody and a host more than eighteen-hundred strong depart deeper into the mountains, striking out to the east.
Day 9: Late in the day, Lord Caston’s troops arrive in the vicinity of the Tor, all in secret. A trusted captain and a few men enter the town under false pretences, disguised as merchants selling pewter goods (looted a number of days before), and there make contact with Dornish townsmen and some of the town guard whom they think they can trust. They let them know Lord Caston’s plans, and have some of them carry word to Lady Jordayne (her husband a "guest" of Oakenfist’s at Sunspear) and her knights in the castle.
Day 10: Having approached as near as they can in the night, Lord Caston sends a trickle of men in disguise to join supporters in the slowly-bebuilding town. At the ringing of the bells for morning prayer, these men attack the town gates together, overpowering the unwary guardsmen and wedging the gears that control the portcullis. As the alarm goes up, the first of a stream of horsemen rushes in, with footmen not far behind. A response pours from the Tor’s castle, but the town begins to rise up in mass against the invaders. Relatively few lives are lost at this stage, for the Dornish attack is too overpowering, and the garrison commander closes the gates of the castle when he sees from the walls that the townsmen have risen up. A number of ravens are released to various Dornish castles, crying for assistance.
At night, Lord Caston’s forces move to attack the walls. From within the castle, Dornish servants help Jordayne knights to try and make an attack on the distracted garrison troops, but their numbers are too few and the captains of the garrison too watchful. The Dornishmen do manage to capture the inner keep and a pair of lesser towers, forcing the garrison to take some forces away from the walls to pin them in place. After an hour of hard fighting, Lord Caston pulls his men back from the walls with dozens dead and more wounded. His most notable loss, however, is his own son and heir, Ser Jossart, who is captured and taken prisoner.
Day 10: Reaching Godsgrace and sharing the news they had from the villagers on the Scourge, the garrison commander sends word to the Tor of Lord Vaith’s apparent approach, unaware of what has already occured.
Day 10: King Daeron reaches Kingsgrave and invests the castle after sending outriders to make sure there are no enemy hosts in the vicinity lying in wait, a tactic now all too familiar. An attempt at parley is ignored, save for a stone flung by a scorpion mounted on the walls that nearly strikes the banner-bearer.
Day 10: Returning to Blackmont, Lord Tyrell’s outriders report that signs show that a force several hundred strong has gone south to the headwaters of the Torentine. Considering this, Lord Tyrell sends a raven to Starfall, as well as on to Sunspear. Messengers are sent to Kingsgrave as well, to inform King Daeron of proceedings.
Day 11: Lord Caston puts his forces in a siege posture, and with the aid of the townsmen begins to build siege engines. Lady Jordayne and her loyal men hold out in the keep and one of the towers, but the other is retaken by the garrison.
Day 13: Word of the fall of the Tor’s town reaches as far as Sunspear, as well as the resistance of the garrison in the castle. Oakenfist sends word onwards towards the Prince’s Pass in hopes that it will find King Daeron. Taking a portion of the fleet and troops at Sunspear, he determines to sail to the Tor to relieve the garrison.
Day 14: After four days spent building a battering ram, King Daeron begins an assault on the castle when suddenly the parley flag goes up on the walls. There’s confusion for a few minutes, until the gates open, and Lady Lysanne comes forward under the banner with knights and guards around her. She makes a formal, dignified submission to Daeron, surrendering the castle. The Young Dragon is both pleased and puzzled, wondering as to why Lord Mors has not made the surrender himself. It’s said that he was quite stunned when he learns from Lady Lysanne that her husband is not there, having taken a force away into the mountains to continue the war.
Day 15: The second tower is retaken by the garrison commander, and he makes some effort to convince Lady Jordayne to surrender the keep. She refuses stoutly.
Day 16: The first of the siege engines are completed and Lord Caston makes another attempt on the castle. However, it is half-hearted at best, and easily repelled with little loss on either side.
That evening, Lord Caston abandons the siege with his own forces and leaves the Tor. He strikes west.
Day 16: King Daeron leaves several hundred men to hold Kingsgrave, and sends word to Nightsong for Lord Caron to provide a stronger force to patrol the stretch of the Prince’s Pass between his castle and Kingsgrave. The king leads the rest of his host back down the Prince’s Pass with the idea of joining Lord Tyrell to complete the siege of Blackmont.
Day 17: With the townsmen of the Tor insufficient to maintain the siege, they sue for terms with the garrison. The garrison commander uses this to force Lady Jordayne to surrender, and then reasserts control over the town. Some of the ringleaders are gathered and hanged in the public square for their part in supporting Lord Caston. Word is sent of this, as well as Lord Vaith’s withdrawal to the east.
Lord Caston sends a small portion of his troops towards Yronwood, telling them to make sure all the coastal villages are full of tales of Lord Vaith’s passing on to Yronwood with plans to repeat his successes at the Tor, while he himself loops back around and drives south for the Scourge.
Day 18: The siege of Blackmont continues with little change, as Lord Tyrell does what he can to build siege engines and follow the king’s commands not to try and storm the castle.
Day 20: Arriving in the vicinity of Starfall, Lord Blackmont begins to fight from the hills and mountains, striking at foraging parties and outriders who leave the island-fastness of the castle. Ser Wallace Chester requests aid.
Day 21: Arriving at the Tor, Ser Alyn Velaryon lands troops near the town, uncertain as to the situation. Riders from the castle quickly arrive to report that the garrison commander has retaken the town following the submission of the townsmen, and further reports that as best they can tell Lord Vaith has led his rebels west to Yronwood. Oakenfist has the garrison send word of this to Sunspear and the castles of the Prince’s Pass, as well as the news that he intends to take his ships further up the coast in an attempt to land troops and force march to Yronwood ahead of Vaith’s forces.
Day 21: Lord Vaith crosses the Scourge, riding directly for his familial seat with the intention of wresting it from the Bright Banners that have been terrorizing it in Daeron’s name.
Day 25: Arriving in the vicinity of Yronwood, the small detachment sent there by Lord Vaith attempt to make themselves look like the vanguard of a stronger host. The garrison commander at Yronwood, fearful of this, keeps his forces behind the walls of the castle. When evening falls, the troop disperses into the foothills to the west.
Day 25: Landing near to Yronwood, Oakenfist personally leads his forces through a forced march into the night to try and reach the castle before the expected attack from Caston Vaith.
Day 26: Arriving with exhausted troops, Ser Alyn Velaryon learns that Yronwood was not assaulted, but that Caston Vaith’s forces were seen in the vicinity on the previous day only to disappear after the evening. Considering matters, Oakenfist sends outriders to try and trace Vaith’s army. By that night, the outriders return to reveal that it seems no large force has passed through the area, and that they have traced only a small troop dispersing west into the foothills of the red mountains. Realizing that this means Lord Caston was never in the area with his main force, he causes ravens to be sent to Godsgrace and Vaith to warn of this.
Day 26: Arriving at Blackmont, King Daeron learns from recently arrived couriers from Skyreach that the Tor’s town had fallen to the rebel Caston Vaith, but that Oakenfist meant to win back the town. Angered, but with little enough he could do about it, Daeron joins his forces with those of Lord Tyrell while sending five hundred men down along the Torentine to attempt to apprehend Lord Blackmont and end his mischief.
Day 26: Lord Caston’s forces arrive at Vaith, and immediately assault the town walls. The Bright Banners under the command of Beslon Smallwood, with no previous warning of Vaith’s approach, barely repel the initial storming of the castle, only to have the townsmen within the walls assault the gates in an attempt to force an opening for Lord Vaith; it is said Lord Caswald, who has denounced his father, cowers in the castle in dread of what will become of him if his father succeeds. Having prepared for this eventuality, Smallwood fires buildings in the vicinity to deny the rebellious townsmen shelter from which to send their arrows and throwing spears, and lets the most barbarous of his eastern sellswords loose among the populace. Atrocities are committed, but by nightfall the town is firmly under his control. He sends word to Godsgrace, suggesting that he will hold Lord Caston until forces can be landed behind him.
Fearing a night assault, Beslon the Bad chooses to preempt it by making daring sorties against Vaith’s force. Lord Caston is canny enough to keep his troops close together in a hastily-fortified encampment, but the sorties are sufficient to prevent him daring another attempt on the walls until daylight.
Day 27: Considering the failure of his surprise attack, and cognizant of the nearness of Godsgrace with its strong force and ships enough to carry them, Lord Caston determines to take a chance. He calls for a parley and challenges Beslon Smallwood to single combat to determine the fate of the town, noting that the townsmen will surely fight for their freedom once more if he attacks the town walls, and that the Bright Banners are not strong enough to successfully hold the walls for another attack. Smallwood insults Vaith, stating that the true Lord Vaith—the traitorous Caswald—has already welcomed him into the town, and suggests that the population of the town has been cowed after seeing their great rebel lord sent fleeing from the walls. Furthermore, he happens to have a stock of wildfire (or so he claims) and is prepared to withdraw his forces to the castle proper and lay waste to the town and all of its inhabitants if needs be. He’s as uninterested in duelling Lord Caston as he would be in duelling his lady wife . . . who will be hanging from the walls of the castle if Vaith sets foot within the town.
Outraged, Lord Caston ends the parley after barely being restrained by his companions from breaking it by drawing a sword. Beslon the Bad returns to the town and prepares to carry out his threats, but after two hours Lord Caston’s forces move away from Vaith. Smallwood sends outriders trailing after them to try and determine their destination, but Vaith uses a screen of his own outriders to prevent them from following closely. As best Smallwood can determine, Vaith has abandoned his immediate plans and gone into hiding in the red sands to the west of Vaith, and sends such a reprot. In truth, Lord Vaith’s main force turns north towards the river.
Day 27: Word arrives that night at Godsgrace and a portion of the garrison is hastily placed onto ships.
Day 28: After two days of rest, Oakenfist marches his troops back to the waiting vessels, leaving behind several score of them to strengthen the Yronwood garrison now that there are hostile Dornish rebels in the surrounding foothills.
Day 29: Arriving near to Vaith, the troops sent from Godsgrace begin to march towards the town they believe is still under siege, only to be set upon by an ambush commanded by Lord Caston. More than a hundred men are killed and the rest are sent fleeing back towards the ships, with only minimal Dornish loss. Wounded enemies left on the field are put to the sword, regardless of their nobility. Only a little of his thirst for vengeance is slaked, but Lord Vaith determines to now ride for Salt Shore.
Day 29: Blackmont surrenders after Daeron, impatient, offers generous terms. Almost immediately, Daeron dismisses a part of his force—mostly reachlords, at Lord Tyrell’s behest it’s said—so that they may return to their homes, and prepares set out the next day, following the Torentine to Starfall with the remaining force.
Day 30: Arriving at the fleet, Oakenfist sets sail back to Sunspear.
Day 3: Pausing at the Tor, Oakenfist learns of Caston Vaith’s attempt to regain his castle, but that Beslon Smallwood successfully repelled the attack. Oakenfist sends word to Sunspear that ships should move to Salt Shore with troops, both to protect the castle and to have troops on hand in case an opportunity to apprehend Lord Caston presents itself.
Day 4: Arriving in the vicinity of Starfall, the detachment sent by Daeron finds signs of Blackmont’s activities in the form of dead outriders from Starfall. A ship from the island brings him to the castle, where he learns more of Lord Andrey’s depridations from Ser Wallace Chester. The fact of King Daeron’s impending arrival leads them to decide to try and deal with Lord Andrey first, with an eye to impressing the Young Dragon.
Day 4: Vaith arrives in the vicinity of Salt Shore, but keeps his presence hidden while sending disguised envoys to the castle in hopes of getting Lord Davit’s support in an uprising against the garrison there. Lord Davit is cautious, and notes that it was said Oakenfist would be returning to the region soon. Vaith’s envoys suggest that if they can merely take charge of the small harbor at Salt Shore, Oakenfist will have no means of readily landing troops, which will give them more time to consolidate their hold on Salt Shore and strengthen its defenses. Ultimately, Vaith hopes to bleed Oakenfist’s forces until Sunspear is capable of rising up and destroying their enemies.
A plan is made.
Day 5: Setting out in force from Starfall, Ser Wallace and the troops sent by King Daeron attempt to find Lord Andrey Blackmont, who has withdrawn into the mountains after seeing the initial five hundred troops.
Day 6: Ships are sent from Sunspear to Salt Shore with several hundred archers, foot, and men-at-arms.
Day 7: On the excuse that he wishes to go hawking, Lord Davit convinces the garrison commander and some of his officers to join him, although they naturally take a strong guard with them. They are not strong enough, however, to deal with Lord Vaith’s men when they set upon them in an ambush from the dunes. With the commander and his knights prisoner, Vaith and Gargalen approach in force with their hostages and attempt to force the lieutenant to give up the castle. Before he can decide to do as much as to defy them, the Dornish townsmen rise up and seize the main gates of the town, and the garrison guard can barely fight its way back to the safety of the castle as Vaith’s forces swarm in. A siege of the castle is prepared, even as ravens are sent winging towards Vaith, Godsgrace, Lemonwood, Sunspear, and Starfall crying for aid.
Day 8: Coming into contact with some of Blackmont’s raiders, Ser Wallace and Daeron’s force are able to kill a few of them and send the rest fleeing. But in pursuing them, the horse are separated from the foot, and Blackmont is able to bring in the main body of his own force and pin down the infantry. Dozens are killed as they run a fighting withdrawal until they reach a village which they take command of and use to defend themselves. Ser Wallace, entirely unaware of what is going on behind him, spends more than an hour chasing down the last of the Dornish rebels before turning back in leisurely fashion to rejoin the infantry, only to discover that they were attacked and fled. Tracking them to the village where they are practically besieged, a short, swift charge manages to drive Blackmont’s men to fleeing for the foothills again, but with relatively few losses in comparison to the damage they have done. Rather than pursue them again, Ser Wallace decides to stay and put his foot into order.
Day 8: The business of making the harbor at Salt Shore unsuitable for a landing begins. Such vessels as are already present are scuttled, the quays are burned, and the beginnings of a barricade are made to give any landing force as little room to maneuver. The castle itself is ringed by a significant part of Vaith’s force, but no attempt is made to storm it.
Day 9: Arriving at Salt Shore, the ships dispatched from Sunspear first see the dwindling smoke from the burning of ships and quays. As they draw nearer, they realize that the town has fallen, but it seems that the banners still fly the Targaryen banner, suggesting it is holding out. Anchoring off-shore, the commander of the squadron tries to determine what to do. By night, however, he orders the ships to turn back to Sunspear and make what haste they can.
Day 9: Moving up along the banks of the Torentine in preparation for King Daeron’s arrival, Ser Wallace tries to make sure no ambushes lie in wait for the king. Near sunset, he sees the Young Dragon’s marching force and joins him, informing him of what has transpired with Lord Andrey. The Young Dragon is little pleased at the success of this “gnat”, as he calls him, and says that after pausing in Starfall to learn what has taken place in the rest of Dorne he will see to him personally.
Day 10: Arriving at Sunspear, Oakenfist is apprised of the latest news, including the fact that Salt Shore’s town—but not its castle—has fallen to Lord Vaith and Lord Gargalen. Knowing that ships were already on the way, he waits for further word but makes preparations to set sail again. He does send ships loaded with men up the Greenblood, with plans to then sail towards Vaith where they will join Beslon Smallwood.
Day 11: Arriving at Starfall, Daeron sends word of the situation in the west. In particular, well-aware that Lord Manwoody is still at large, he sends word to the garrisons on the Boneway to be vigilant and asks for some of the Marcher lords to send more men to the Boneway as a temporary measure.
Day 14: Arriving at Sunspear, the small detachment reports to Oakenfist what has transpired, in particular concerning the condition of the small harbor at Salt Shore. Word is sent to Vaith for the Bright Banners to provide support to the troops he has sent, with an eye to attacking Salt Shore from an unexpected quarter. At the same time, he prepares to take a large number of ships—but very few troops—west.
Day 15: Word of the attack on Salt Shore reaches Starfall, and King Daeron determines to leave Lord Andrey to Ser Wallace and instead make preparations to take as much of his force there as he can on Lord Redwyne’s remaining ships.
Day 15: Arriving at Vaith, the troops dispatched by Oakenfist join the Bright Banners, and word is sent to Sunspear that they will prepare to march when ordered to do so.
Day 16: After more than a month in the red mountains, Lord Manwoody makes his first appearance since abandoning Kingsgrave ... and does so in the Dornish marches, where he leads several hundred Dornishmen in a raid on the weakly-defended region between Nightsong and Blackhaven. With many of the local lordlings and knights occupied in Dorne itself, fighting their ancestral foes there, the region proves ripe for such tactics.
Day 17: Oakenfist’s earlier missive arrive at Vaith and the troop begins to march on Salt Shore.
Day 18: Oakenfist sets sail from Sunspear towards Salt Shore with an impressive portion of the fleet.
Day 18: Lady Alia Dayne gives birth to a son, whom Ser Wallace names Lyonel and declares as his heir to Starfall.
Day 18: Loaded with ill-gotten gains, Lord Manwoody’s forces withdraw to the red mountains before an effective force can be raised to deal with him.
Day 19: Setting sail from Starfall with what portion of his forces can be placed on the few remaining ships—no more than 2,000—the Young Dragon sets sail for Salt Shore, sending word ahead of him to Vaith and Sunspear. He divides up the rest of his forces under various commanders, sending the bulk of them to march overland to Sandstone under Lord Tyrell, then on to Hellholt until they receive word. A small portion reinforces Starfall, with the intention of actively hunting down Lord Blackmont and any other rebels who might hide in the western part of the mountains.
Day 20: Outlaws about the Boneway attack a small supply caravan from ambush, killing some of the draft animals and guards and sending the rest fleeing. By the time a patrol from one of the manned watchtowers arrives, men and animals both have been stripped of anything useful. One survivor claims a woman was fighting with the outlaws, sparking rumors that Alyx Sand and her lover Ser Rhys of the Scourge were behind the attack.
Day 22: Arriving at Salt Shore, Lord Oakenfist anchors his fleet just off-shore to survey matters. One smaller, lighter ship is sent forward to carefully probe the waters until it comes under attack from hastily-prepared siege engines on Salt Shore town’s seaward walls.
Lord Vaith prepares for an attack on the morning, expecting Oakenfist to use the darkness to bring his ships in as close as possible.
Day 23: Oakenfist’s fleet attacks, although the bulk of it can do nothing as the harbor is too small and crowded with scuttled ships to allow more than a few smaller vessels to approach. Salt Shore responds with its engines of war, while the bulk of Lord Vaith’s forces prepare to repel any attempt to land men. After an engagement of little more than an hour, Oakenfist’s ships—one severely damaged and listing to one side following a stone punching a hole through its hull just above the waterline—withdraw in confusion. No men came close to making a landing.
The fleet does not withdraw, and Oakenfist has the fleet change its position at anchor to bring fresh vessels closer to the harbor
Day 24: Word arrives at King’s Landing of Lord Manwoody’s raid on the marches.
Day 24: Again Oakenfist’s ships make an attempt to land forces, an attempt which the greater bulk of Lord Vaith’s forces are readily able to repel.
At the same time as the attack is begun, Beslon Smallwood’s forces —having arrived in the night and hidden themselves amidst olive groves—reveal themselves and attack from the northern side of the town where the main gate lies. With the bulk of Vaith’s attention and forces turned to the harbor, storming the walls proves possible. The alarm is raised in the town, but by the time what’s happening is made clear and Dornishmen start shifting from the harbor defenses to the town, the gates are taken and the force pours in. Seeing that they are saved, the castle garrison makes a sortie, driving townsmen before them and adding to the chaos.
As all this goes on, Oakenfist makes a renewed thrust at the harbor, which leads to Lord Vaith realizing that Salt Shore could mean his end. Briefly he consults with Lord Davit, and then orders what forces he has outside the walls to flee to the west and then on into the desert. Fully five hundred of his followers are left behind, to be killed or surrender. When Lord Davit is apprehended by the Bright Banners, he claims that he was held as a hostage by Caston Vaith, who called him a traitor for bending the knee to the Young Dragon. Despite this, he is imprisoned in the dungeon of his own castle, for Oakenfist or perhaps King Daeron to see to.
Day 25: Bands of Dornish outlaws begin to prey upon the Boneway, striking at supply trains, patrols, and the occasional troop column. Many of these are Lord Manwoody’s men, dispersed all along the Boneway for just that purpose. Lord Manwoody himself never seems to lead any of the outlaw bands, and it is soon realized that he has found some refuge in the mountains from which to safely command his forces.
Day 26: Arriving at a small desert watering hole, Lord Caston and his men await for stragglers from Salt Shore to arrive. Outriders are sent out to attempt to find any, and to ascertain whether Oakenfist will pursue.
Day 27: After days of lurking in the mountains, Lord Blackmont’s forces begin to make themselves apparent once more. Instead of attacking every passing supply train or patrol that they find, the bands raid only by night, and only when surprise and numbers are on their side. Their losses are minimal, as they pass up many opportunities for those that are certain to succeed. They make little direct impact on the flow of supplies from the Prince’s Pass, but their activities—and their sharing of the ill-gotten gains with local Dornishmen afterwards—presents a problem. Their area of activity stretches from south of Skyreach to the end of the pass, so that they never find themselves upon open ground where the advantage belongs to the better-armed and now better-mounted occupying force.
Day 28: With the last of the stragglers in, Lord Caston’s force proves to be no more than eight hundred men, some of those wounded and some of those eager but inexperienced townsmen from Salt Shore. With little in the way of resources, and a fear that Oakenfist will stir from Salt Shore, he moves away towards an area with better access to water, and where Dornishmen of the arid regions often gather. Relatively untouched by the war, Lord Vaith hopes to bring some of them to the cause of fighting against the invaders.
Day 29: Daeron arrives to find the harbor being dredged and cleared of rubble from the fighting, and sees that Oakenfist’s fleet lines the quays while the Targaryen banner flies upon the walls. He remarks some disappointment that his cousin has taken care of Lord Caston Vaith, though with good humor. Once on shore, Ser Alyn leads the king to the castle, where Lord Davit is brought out in chains to make his submission. He repeats his claim that he was forced to the conspiracy by Lord Vaith, and begs His Grace’s humble forgiveness. The Young Dragon considers him, and then silently gestures for him to be sent away. He then sees about putting Salt Shore in order, and conversing with his captains—including Beslon Smallwood—regarding what to do about the rebel Lord Vaith.
Day 30: Beslon the Bad leads the Bright Banners away to Vaith, to resume control of the garrison there. King Daeron proceeds to await news from the rest of Dorne, but Ser Alyn is making preparations to take much of his fleet back to Sunspear. Joining him will be Lord Davit Gargalen, to become yet another unwilling guest at Sunspear under the watchful eye of Oakenfist.
Day 1: Oakenfist sails for Sunspear.
Day 2: As reports of increased attacks reach him at Blackhaven, Lord Dondarrion sends a reinforcement of two hundred men, and asks the commander of Wyl’s garrison to lend him more forces. So begins a game of cat and mouse, as some three hundred knights and men-at-arms patrol the Boneway in force, seeking after Manwoody’s outlaws.
Day 3: Information from prisoners and other Dornishmen begin to provide Daeron an idea of what he would face if he chooses to pursue Vaith into the desert, and he decides against such a policy. Instead, he determines to take a firmer hold of the castles which he controls surrounding that desert region, and to wear Vaith’s men down with isolated raids into the desert aimed at those who sympathize with him and provide him and his men aid.
Day 5: Arriving late on the 5th day, Oakenfist’s fleet puts into Sunspear. Lord Gargalen is initially confined to a cell in the Spear Tower.
Day 5: Red Rhys of the Scourge captures one of the commanders of the watchtowers along the Boneway. What’s left of the man is not fit for sand dogs, it’s said, following lengthy and blood-thirsty torture at his hand. Alyx Sand, his lover, is not in evidence at the time.
Day 6: Beslon Smallwood and the Bright Banners arrive at Vaith, and make much of their role in the reconquest of Salt Shore and the driving out of Caston Vaith.
Day 6: Word from Salt Shore commands Beslon to make sure of his control of the headwaters of the Vaith and its tributaries, as well as making sure that Vaith is not targeted for a renewed effort from its former lord.
Day 7: Aware of Lord Blackmont’s annoying predations, Ser Wallace Chester sends more of Starfall’s forces to join Daeron’s captain in hunting Lord Andrey. He himself remains at Starfall, claiming that the smallfolk are becoming restive and require his firm hand to deal with them. This is done to little effect, because Blackmont’s forces—many of them long-experienced with raiding into the marches—avoid all direct contact, and strike where least expected. The losses slowly but surely begin to mount, but both the commander and Ser Wallace are hesitant to make the king aware of it given his other troubles.
Day 8: Caston Vaith establishes himself in the bleak hills at the heart of the red sands, where sympathetic but poor villages assist in keeping his few hundred men fed. The respite is needed, as his men are weary after months of fighting.
Day 10: After much preparation, Daeron sets out with his few ships towards the Brimstone, where they will disembark and march to Hellholt. From there, he means to control garrison towerhouses and holdfasts in a line that will help to close off access to the mountains from the deep desert, and provide a base for raids into the wastes.
Day 12: After more than two weeks of searching, Alyx the Witch finds Lord Manwoody in the ruins of an ancient ringfort in the Red Mountains. Approaching with some of her men, she tells Lord Mors that they should coordinate their raids on Daeron’s forces in the Boneway. Ser Rhys of the Scourge has offered to educate some of his best men in the arts of banditry, and Rhys suggests that Lord Manwoody assign a part of his host to himself and Alyx the Witch. Manwoody, a proud man even as a fugitive, scoffs at the notion of putting any of his men under the command of the robber knight. He instead demands that Red Rhys, Alyx, and their men come under his command. The Witch suggests she will take Manwoody’s response to Red Rhys. Before departing, she notes to him that there is word of a strongly-guarded train of supplies about to enter the Boneway, destined for Yronwood and then beyond to supply the overtaxed Hellholt.
Day 16: Knights and soldiers from the Marches escort a long train of supplies on the Boneway. Though wary of attack, when it comes from an unexpected quarter—from within their very column, after a dozen of Red Rhys’s craftiest outlaws infiltrated them in the night—they are thrown into some confusion. Still, outnumbering Red Rhys’s men, they begin to force the outlaws away with little more than some bags of corn to their credit, when from behind an equally-sized Dornish force crests a rise on the Boneway and then rushes forward. These men, some bearing the Manwoody crowned skull, are able to trap the guarding forces. Red Rhys’s men rally with this unexpected support, and begin to kill every enemy they can reach, until Manwoody’s knights put an end to it and take the surviving nobles prisoner. There is a loud argument concerning the division of the spoils, with Red Rhys demanding half of the hostages and Lord Manwoody demanding nearly all the supplies. In the end, a compromise is reached where Red Rhys’s men can take half of the supplies and nothing more. Alyx suggests that this victory is a sign of what the two separate forces might do if joined with their mutual enemy before them, but both Rhys and Lord Mors refuse to hear it.
Day 17: Arriving at Hellholt, Daeron finds that the extended stay of a significant portion of his former host has strained Hellholt’s ability to sustain them. The supplies brought by the king provide a brief, but welcome respite from short rations. Matters have been aggravated by the surge in rebels and outlaws in the mountains, not least with the reappearance of Lord Manwoody and men whom follow his banner. Daeron quickly begins to disperse troops as he has planned. The locations he chooses for his garrisons are selected in consultation with his captains and Ser Mavros Uller, castellan of Sandstone, who Lord Ganlos sent along with King Daeron’s men to provide them such assistance as he could. Lady Joslena will have nothing to do with her brother, and the rest of House Uller is frosty towards him; the only reason he was able to remain was because Lord Tyrell (who had made free to occupy the lady’s personal chambers for himself, sending her to reside in other quarters) at Hellholt forced the matter.
Ser Mavros warns that some of the proposed garrison locations are easily cut off from aid thanks to their locations, and suggests alternatives which Daeron finds acceptable.
Day 18: Troops begin to pour from Hellholt, with more than 600 men—knights, men-at-arms, and mounted archers primarily—departing the castle for the proposed line of garrison forts. They are each sited within some ten miles of their neighbors, and each one will hold a garrison from twenty to thirty men. They bring extra horses—captured sandsteeds in the main—for the purpose of speeding message-riders between the garrisons. Daeron himself will lead one of the two larger forces of six hundred men each that will move at random along the line, to dissuade Vaith and his rebels from attempting to try the garrison line. This greatly relieves the burden on Hellholt of feeding so many mouths, but supply must be arranged at the eastern end of the line at the headwaters of the Scourge. Daeron sends another portion of his force to Yronwood to see to the safety of supplies, under the command of Lord Tyrell.
Day 20: Attacking a watchtower on the Boneway, Red Rhys manages to set exposed timbers alight. Unable to put the flames out, the garrison begins to flee from the tower, only to be mercilessly cut down. Red Rhys begins to make a habit of removing their heads and then placing them with different bodies, all as part of some monstrous jest. Alyx the Witch is not involved in this attack.
Day 24: Yronwood’s garrison commander sends word to Daeron of the continuing troubles on the Boneway, and begs the promised reinforcements under Lord Tyrell to be dispatched immediately.
Day 25: The last of the garrison forts is occupied, and from there Daeron launches the first raid into the desert. He does not venture deep into it, turning back the next day with little new intelligence on Vaith’s location.
Day 28: Daeron begins to move back towards Hellholt with his forces, but not before sending a response to Yronwood’s commander that he must put an end to Lord Vaith before he can consider moving towards the Boneway. However, he does send orders to the effect that tactics should be changed and that the outlaws must be attacked aggressively. Rather than wait defensively to catch the rebels in their outlawry, King Daeron commands that forces sweep the mountainous region for suspected rebels. With enough of an effort, the supply for the outlaws—especially Lord Manwoody’s still-substantial force—will fall, as well as the number of them.
Day 28: Caston Vaith, after nearly three weeks of allowing his dwindled force to recuperate, takes a much-recovered party of men northwards, following reports of Daeron’s garrison forts attempting to shut access to the northern reaches of the sands.
Day 30: Lord Tyrell’s force of nearly a thousand men arrive at Yronwood with the intention of securing the Boneway against the rebels.
Day 3: Lord Vaith comes into contact with one of the garrisoned posts. Rather than attacking it immediately and in force, he instead probes it by sending a small portion of his force to attack it. After initial surprise, the garrison responds cautiously, sending out a few mounted lancers to drive away the Dornishmen. Birds can be seen flying from the tower as well, likely to some of the fellow garrison locations. As night falls, a small reinforcing force arrives from the nearest garrison to the east, and the next day they scour the area in force to try and apprehend any stragglers. Lord Vaith has already moved on by then towards the west.
Day 5: Again, Lord Vaith sends a force to briefly attack a garrison holdfast, with an eye towards seeing how it responds. Losses are very few on either side, and the pattern is repeated as birds are sent out and reinforcements arrive several hours later only to find Vaith’s forces gone. Vaith determines to try a bolder attack further to the west, but first takes the time to prepare a firm plan of attack and to gather supplies from sympathetic Dornishmen.
Day 9: Approaching a garrison towerhouse, Lord Vaith attacks with half his available force, while keeping the other half in reserve behind a nearby hillside. The garrison’s commander, a very cautious knight, refuses to sally out and instead holds fast within the tower. Without siege equipment of any kind, the garrison and Lord Vaith’s forces trade arrows to little effect while Lord Vaith’s men work to prepare siege ladders from what little wood can be had in the arid area. Little does Lord Vaith know that a great threat is approaching his flank, because King Daeron’s substantial host approaches from the east as part of his return towards Hellholt. Vaith, unaware of this and over-confident, has sent no outriders in that direction.
After several hours, simple siege ladders are completed and Lord Vaith’s men prepare a frontal assault under a rain of arrows, rocks, and pots of burning-hot sand. The defenders grow desperate, being so outnumbered. Just as the first Dornish axe begins to hammer at the towerhouse’s door, however, trumpets sound. Turning in amazement to see the royal banner of House Targaryen carried forward amidst a rush of knights, the Dornishmen are initially overwhelmed and swept clean away from the towerhouse. Lord Caston is briefly able to salvage matters, leading his most loyal men against the king and his battle companions, leading other parts of Daeron’s host to turn away from pursuit to aid him. Vaith crosses swords with Daeron for a few brief moments, seizing the opportunity to rid Dorne of the Young Dragon once and for all, but Ser Reynard Caron intercedes and gives Vaith a serious wound. As Vaith’s men begin to fall back, Vaith is forced to follow after them, and soon his host is routing for the desert. The pursuers capture or kill nearly a hundred Dornishmen, with a total tally of forty casualties for Daeron and more than a hundred and twenty dead, wounded, or captured for Vaith.
The Young Dragon, smarting from the fact that Ser Reynard intervened, is heard to publicly reproach him. The Lord Commander of the Kingsguard accepts the rebuke silently, which does nothing to please Daeron. He declares that they will stay with the towerhouse and see if they can find Vaith’s hiding place in the desert from there.
Day 9: Lord Tyrell’s force, divided into smaller units, begins the process of hunting for outlaws. Red Rhys’s bandits are too canny to fall into direct battle, and retreat before them. A band of Lord Manwoody’s men, however, are less circumspect and make an attempt on one of the forces in hopes of taking hold of some of the much-needed supplies. Miscalculating their chance, only a few escape with their lives. Lord Manwoody does not make the same mistake again, however, and after this the rebels avoid open battle, much as Lord Blackmont’s men are said to do in the west.
Day 12: Daeron’s outriders return to the towerhouse to reveal that they could not follow Lord Caston’s host any deeper into the desert, for lack of supplies. Daeron determines to come up with some means to more readily penetrate into the deep desert by preparing a handful of supply points amidst the red sands. To accomplish this, he pulls breaks his force in half and assigns the first half to see to the supply. Eventually, he declares, he will go into the desert himself to root out the “rascal” Lord Vaith.
Day 13: Weak and delirious, Lord Vaith arrives at the foothills after having directed his remaining force to take as circuitous and tortorous a path as possible to keep Daeron’s outriders from finding them. When his wound is examined by a local barber, he announces that it’s become infected and insists that his arm must be removed if Lord Vaith would live. The next day, the bloody procedure is carried out, and Lord Caston is on death’s bed.
Day 14: Lord Manwoody considers making another sally into the Marches, despite the increased strength following his previous effort. He directs several portions of his forces to move into the northern foothills of the Red Mountains, with the intention of seeing what—if any—response might develop.
Day 18: The first supply point is prepared in the desert, some twenty miles from the nearest garrison. Once firmly entrenched with defenses, a portion of the force moves deeper still, inexorably closing on the hills where Caston Vaith has made his refuge.
Day 20: By some miracle, Lord Caston’s fever breaks and it seems hopeful that he will eventually recover from the worst of the depridations which the amputation visited on him. His first words are as to whether the Young Dragon is still in Dorne, and his next are that he will see to it, or die trying. Despite all this, the loss of morale following his crippling and his near-death have led to a steady dwindling of Dornishmen in his host. Already small, it is now smaller still, with no more than two hundred men willing to follow him. Many of the rest have returned to their homes, to take up the rebellion in smaller ways.
Day 22: The second supply point is prepared, and the final third of the force moves southwards once more to prepare a last supply point within striking distance of Vaith’s refuge. Strongly-guarded supply trains begin to make their way to the supply locations, while King Daeron makes preparations to personally lead the campaign into the desert.
Day 22: A troop from Wyl and Blackhaven stumbles across one of Manwoody’s bands in the northern foothills. After a short, fierce engagement, Lord Manwoody’s forces flee. Having fortuitously stopped them before they could find some place in the Marches to attack, Lord Dondarrion determines to withdraw some part of his forces from the Boneway now that Lord Tyrell is operating there. Instead, he mans some empty Marcher towerhouses and arranges a system of message-riders along their lines. His heir Ser Ryman personally leads a larger host to rove at random among the line of watchtowers, in a smaller-scale model of King Daeron’s tactics against Lord Vaith.
Day 24: The last supply point is prepared, and King Daeron begins to lead his forces (with a certain amount of pomp, though only his own men and sullen Dornish villagers are there to witness it) into the desert.
Day 26: Notified of reports of Daeron’s supply points bringing the king close to his own location, Lord Vaith determines to set a trap and give him such a blow that Daeron will not dare push into the region again. He sends men to all corners of the hills, seeking volunteers to bolster their numbers.
Day 28: After weeks of successful banditry along the southern end of the Prince’s Pass, with much of his force still preserved and his enemies frustrated, Lord Andrey Blackmont considers expanding into the northern end of the Prince’s Pass, or perhaps even an attack on the Marches. To see how matters lie there, he sends a small band of trusted men north to see how things lie. In particular, he calls on them to see what the garrison in Kingsgrave is doing about the Boneway, and to attempt to spy out whether the Carons of the Marches still have troops in force to defend their lands.
Day 29: After having established himself in the final supply point, the Young Dragons leads almost all the force he has to him—more than five hundred men-at-arms—into the foothills to seek out Vaith. Herders and villagers are sometimes detained and questioned (occasionally with great violence, when the Young Dragon—who personally oversees the questionings—determines the villager is either insolent or hiding something) to try and determine where Vaith is located. Eventually, it’s his outriders who identify an encampment nestled in a broad ravine as Vaith’s hiding place. Believing themselves as having made the discovery without being seen in turn, the king’s captains advise him to attack in the small hours to take the greatest advantage of surprise. The king consents.
Day 30: Approaching stealthily, dismounted men-at-arms penetrate the perimeter of the encampment. No sentries have been posted, which disquiets the Young Dragon, yet the chance for a glorious victory over the thorn in his side that has been Caston Vaith makes him press forward. The tents are approached with blades drawn, and the knights expect to be able to find their foes asleep. However, many find the tents empty ... and some two dozen find them brimming with black-eyed Dornishmen, awake, armed, and angry. Overwhelmed by the concentrated force, dozens of men-at-arms fall before the onslaught while those who found only empty tents become confused by the growing clamor. A third of Vaith’s forth springs up from concealment at a far edge of the encampment to curl around and assault the flank, pressing upon where Daeron hhad stationed himself to oversee matters.
In the darkness, arrows and javelins are few, but as the king had ordered torches lit to signal the attack on the tents they begin to fly in his drection. A javelin takes his warhorse—a gift from his late father—in the eye and kills it instantly. The outcry that follows causes greater confusion still, as those men-at-arms deep in the camp hear only that the king has fallen and begin to panic. With Dornishmen seeming to come from all directions, knots of men begin to clump together for safety, only to discover that they become easier targets for the Dornish throwing spears that track their voices. Despite being outnumbered, the Dornishmen do great damage to Daeron’s force. Lord Vaith, watching from a distance—barely able to sit a horse, much less fight—sends his final reserve into battle, exhorting them to seize Daeron’s banner and bring it down.
Daeron, mounted on a new horse, rages and commands a full assault on the encampment, reckless of whether they trample friends or foes in the darkness. The onslaught breaks the Dornishmen assaulting the main force, forcing them to give way, but a number of Daeron’s knights are killed by their fellows in the confusion. At the same time, Daeron’s command left the royal banner falling behind the main thrust, exposing it and its few guards to Lord Vaith’s hand-picked reserve. These fall upon Daeron’s men and after a fierce struggle cut down the banner-bearer. Seizing hold of the banner, the darkness proves a blessing for Daeron, as few of his men are in a position to see that the banner has fallen.
In the end, through personal courage and a remarkable sense of timing, the Young Dragon turns the tide with an organized thrust at two weak points in the Dornish offense. The Dornishmen, over-eager after tasting victory, begin to fall under the weight of men-at-arms, better equipped, better fed, and better trained than most of them are. Some begin to take to their heels, encouraged by Lord Vaith’s trumpet sounding the retreat. Many, however, have no chance to escape and are instead killed indiscriminately. Daeron curses Vaith for running from him again, and swears to chase him into the seven hells if needs be. The curses cease, however, when Daeron learns that the royal banner has been taken and carried away by Vaith. He seethes in a cold rage after that, for the shame that losing the banner brings on him. The few Dornish prisoners are briefly questioned as to where Vaith might go next and then executed, with little new information.
In the end, it is costly for both sides. Though the Dornish killed more men than died on their own side, Caston Vaith now has less than eighty men with him, with a number of others having departed from his host. The Young Dragon still lives, however, and Vaith never considers surrendering. Vaith’s small band disappear deeper into the hills.
Day 3: Lord Vaith sends more than half the men left to him eastwards towards Vaith, telling them to harrass and harry the Bright Banners but to avoid coming to grips with them at all times. He hopes that this will mislead Daeron to go after him, while he and his remaining men will sneak westwards and attempt to sound out Lady Uller and Lord Qorgyle to see if they will rise against Daeron. He would have preferred making for the mountains to first make contact with the rebels there in hopes of gaining fresh forces and supplies, but with the strong garrison line shutting the way north, he must go in another direction.
Day 5: A small band of Manwoody’s rebels manage to slip past the line of the Dondarrion watchtowers—after several days of increasingly frustrating attempts to find such an opportunity—and make a small, but wholly unremarkable raid on a Marcher village. The Dondarrion response is swift enough that a few of the men, burdened with spoils, are killed or captured. Those who survive are sent to Blackhaven’s dungeons and are questioned as to where Lord Manwoody might be before being hanged from the neck until dead.
Day 7: After several days of fruitless hunting in the hills, Daeron’s outriders find a Dornish villager who sells the story of Vaith’s men going east towards his ancestral seat. He claims he saw hundreds of men travelling in that direction. Daeron immediately turns his forces to pursue, and sends a raven ahead to Beslon Smallwood to warn them of the approch of Caston Vaith.
Day 8: The band sent to Vaith arrives, and begins immediately to make its presence known in the area by ambushing a small supply train down from Yronwood and carrying away some of the goods, while leaving the rest to locals who pick it clean. When word arrives at Vaith proper, the Bright Banners dispatch a small force to deal with what they assume are a few Dornish rebels. Only that evening does the raven arrive, warning that the band is in fact an allegedly significant force under the rebel Caston Vaith. Smallwood, after considering, determines to send a larger force the next morning.
Day 9: After a failure to find the outlaws who ambushed the caravan, the outriders from Vaith sent to deal with them turn back home, only to be ambushed by the same band of Vaith’s men. More than half their number fall to the initial flurry of javelins and arrows, and the rest are killed while attempting to flee. Captured horses are led about the area, in an attempt to leave signs suggesting a larger force than in fact existed.
Later that day, Smallwood’s mounted force come across the skirmish ground, and determine that at least two hundred rebels took part from the wide swath of trampled ground. Disliking the odds, the sellswords turn back to Vaith to report to Beslon the Bad. The rebels move to continue to cause trouble as they can, though their numbers are few.
Day 11: After crossing the Brimstone, Lord Vaith sends a pair of loyal men towards Hellholt under the guise of displaced tradesmen looking for employment. His hope is that they will be able to make contact with his good-sister Lady Uller, and arrange a secret meeting where he can lay before her a new plan for freeing Dorne.
Day 12: Lord Vaith’s men return, indicating that with difficulty they came into contact with Lady Joslena, but through a lady-in-waiting were able to get a message to her. The response came that the lady was too closely watched by the garrison, but that in ten days should we be visiting her good-daughter, who would be staying at a nearby motherhouse at that time. There would be an opportunity then for them to meet in secret. Vaith is displeased, but sees that there is nothing to do but wait.
Day 14: Arriving at Vaith, King Daeron discovers that the Bright Banners have had little success in dealing with Lord Vaith’s men although Beslon the Bad himself is gone with another portion of his troop, larger than the previous, with the intention of locating them. This process involves questioning Dornishmen in the region, sometimes brutally and other times with the promise of gold. The Young Dragon determines to use his vastly superior force to make it impossible for Vaith’s men to escape him.
Day 22: Lady Uller sets out with a small guard, some of them belonging to King Daeron’s garrison at Hellholt, for a nearby village where her good-daughter Sybelle, now a silent sister, is attending a motherhouse. Lord Caston and his men watch the village from a distance, awaiting her arrival. After the lady’s train arrives, that evening a servant in her service sneaks away towards a pre-arranged meeting place, to tell them that the lady would be able to steal away before dawn the next day.
Day 23: The meeting between good-brother and good-sister is a hurried one, not least because Vaith’s arm is once more infected and a fever is closing on him. Lady Joslena is bitter as to her treatment, and that of her family, at Hellholt. Worst of all was Mavros Uller’s assistance to King Daeron, which was aimed at helping him capture Lord Caston. She mistrusts him, even more so now that he is Lord Qorgyle’s trusted right hand, and warns against approaching Qorgyle because of this. Caston’s brother Ser Cyrus, who has been by him through all the war, speaks and reminds the lady that he is wed to Lord Ganlos’s favored daughter and that their son is a page in Ganlos’s service. The bonds of blood will prevent any mischief. Caston places his hopes in Ser Manfryd, whom he knew in his youth when they both were squires to Lord Dayne, and in Lord Ganlos himself rather than in Ser Mavros.
In the end, Lady Joslena states that she will make preparations to throw the garrison from her castle and rise up in rebellion, if Sandstone will stand with Hellholt. Between them, they might with Lord Blackmont’s assistance close off the passage of supplies through the Prince’s Pass and then force Daeron to deal with them amidst the desert. With any luck, Lord Manwoody might then be able to close off the Boneway and other lords might rise up and lead their forces to wrest back Dorne from the Young Dragon.
Lord Vaith determines to depart for Sandstone, to arrange a secret meeting with Lord Qorgyle.
Day 26: After nearly two weeks sweeping the entire region by King Daeron’s forces and the Bright Banners, all the small portions of Vaith’s presumed force are either captured or killed. With many questions having mounted in the days between about just where Vaith’s reputed two hundred or more men might be, it is discovered that they were never present, and that Vaith himself was not with them. Daeron’s rage at having fallen for this trick is brief but bitter, and the few captured rebels are hung until dead outside the gates of Vaith regardless of whether they are highborn or lowborn. Daeron makes immediate preparations to try and pick up Vaith’s trail in the west, though he sends another portion of his host north to join Lord Tyrell in hunting for the rebel Mors Manwoody.
Day 29: Half way to Sandstone, Lord Vaith is brought low by a renewed bout of fever, one which leaves him hardly able to speak and wracked with spasms. His men immediately turn north towards the mountains, in search of the nearest assistance, rather than continuing on to Hellholt.
Day 30: Riding through the night, Lord Vaith is delivered to a remote holdfast, where the villagers agree to hide him. They offer to find a maester—or, rather, a man who once studied at the Citadel before being put out for unspecified reasons—to treat him from a neighbouring village, further north. Lord Vaith, through a nod of his head, consents to this, and all other decisions are left to his men who pass an anxious day discussing what they should do. They avoid considering what should happen if Vaith dies.
Day 2: Caston Vaith is tended to be a Dornish villager who had studied for a time at the Citadel, but never completed his maester’s chain. The man declares the situation grave. Vaith’s men are obliged to continue planning what to do, and determine that while they wait to see if he recovers, they will try and continue his efforts to free Dorne. Leaving the matter of approaching Sandstone for when he is well, they decide that two of them should make their way to the Prince’s Pass and attempt contact with Lord Blackmont, whose efforts have caused some trouble for the invaders.
Day 3: Arriving in the desert hills which were once Vaith’s refuge, Daeron proceeds to question local Dornishmen. Several villages are razed in reprisal when no answers as to Vaith’s whereabouts are forthcoming.
Day 6: A duel between Ser Jaesin Lannister, heir to Casterly Rock, and Ser Dagur Saltcliffe, the Iron Serpent. It is said that Saltcliffe issued the challenge on behalf of his new bride, Lady Reyna of House Tyrell, who had been led into infamy by Ser Jaesin’s younger brother Ser Jonn. Regardless of the details, the swordplay was a lusty exercise, and blood began to spill upon the ground as the two knights refused to give way before one another. In the end, Prince Viserys rose and called a halt to the duel, judging that honor had been satisfied. To reinforce this judgment, Ser Richard Harte and his gold cloaks stepped forward into the field.
Day 11: Princess Naerys is brought to the birthing bed early, but what comes is a stillborn daughter. She herself is in a poor state after the efforts, and is closely attended by septas and maesters. Her husband and brother, Prince Aegon, visits with her, as does her father Prince Viserys, but it is her other brother the Dragonknight who finds the most time to spend with her following her loss.
Day 11: A Dornish herdsman finally admits—after threats and promises both—that he had witnessed a party of armed men travelling to the west many days more than a month before. Though they did not approach closely, one wore the orange and yellow of Vaith, and seemed to lack an arm. Daeron presses westward, sending a raven to Hellholt telling them of his approach and warning them to keep a close eye on Lady Uller in case Vaith should be in the vicinity plotting with her.
Day 16: After some searching, contact is made with Lord Blackmont in the mountains south and west of Skyreach, Vaith’s men meet with the rebel lord and discuss with him their mutual plans. They inform him of Lady Uller’s promise, and Lord Caston’s hope that with Blackmont, Uller, and Qorgyle together that they will be able to close the Prince’s Pass entirely and isolate Starfall. From the western desert, they may be able to hold against Daeron long enough to lead other houses to rebel while the invader’s forces are turned to the west. Blackmont considers briefly, and agrees that it is the best hope for Dorne, especially as he has heard that a large part of Daeron’s force is galavanting about the Boneway trying to come to grips with Lord Manwoody. He sends back with Vaith’s men his nephew, the famed Ser Michael Blackmont, and says that with his presence in Vaith’s party they might more readily convince old Qorgyle to stir up some trouble. In the mean time, Blackmont will lessen his activities enough to try and prevent Starfall’s forces, or Daeron’s, from coming after him.
Day 17: Vaith’s men, with Ser Michael, his squire, and two other men begin their return to where Lord Vaith has hopefully recovered from his illness.
Day 19: Arriving at Hellholt, Daeron learns that no sign has been seen of Caston Vaith and his rebels. Daeron is little pleased, but takes the advice of Ser Reynard Caron and attempts to put it out of his mind. Instead, he takes stock of matters in Dorne, learning how Lord Tyrell and his cousin Oakenfist have seen to their duties and discovering what mischief the rebels Blackmont and Manwoody have been up to. Ravens are dispatched to most of the great castles of Dorne, to the garrisons there, with requests for news and with fresh orders.
Day 29: Responses begin to arrive at Hellholt from most corners of Dorne. Ser Wallace Chester reports that his efforts have driven Blackmont deeper into the mountains, away from what mischief he could cause in the Prince’s Pass. From Yronwood comes more equivocal word that Lord Tyrell is in the Boneway, personally dealing with Manwoody and the outlaw Rhys of the Scourge and sparing no effort to apprehend them and bring them to justice.
Day 30: Arriving back from their journey to discuss matters with Lord Blackmont, Vaith’s men find Lord Caston much recovered. He welcomes Ser Michael with all courtesy, and brings them all into his tent to discus what Lord Andrey’s response was. For the first time since Saltshore, Lord Caston is truly hopeful, and believes it is time to go to Sandstone and arrange a secret meeting with Lord Qorgyle.
Day 7: Arriving outside of Sandstone, and remaining hidden in the dunes, Lord Vaith sends some of his men to approach the castle in the disguise of desert villagers looking to purchase tools at the market. They are to take into account the state of Daeron’s garrison there, and the general mood of the castle and its inhabitants. Returning that night, they report that the Dornishmen are tense and unhappy, and it seems that the garrison is at fault. They could not press anyone on the matter, for fear of bringing notice to themselves. The one thing they could say with certainty is that the garrison guards showed them little scrutiny, and it does not seem that they have any special orders to scrutinize newcomers in case it’s Lord Vaith. Caston is pleased, and discusses into the night how best to approach the matter of making contact with Lord Qorgyle.
Day 8: Accompanied by one of the men who scouted out Sandstone earlier, Ser Cyrus Vaith is similarly disguised as he departs Lord Caston’s hidden encampment and makes his way into Sandstone. His intention is to await an opportunity to contact one of the Gorgyles. Arrangements are made to meet outside of Sandstone in four days time, after Ser Cyrus is able to briefly speak with Ser Manfryd Qorgyle, Lord Ganlos’s son who had spent ten years imprisoned at Ghaston Grey only to be released by Daeron Targaryen.
Day 12: That evening, Lord Caston waits at the appointed place with his brother, Ser Michael Blackmont, and the rest of his band. With caution driven into them following their long war, they place sentries in case the Young Dragon’s garrison learned of this meeting, and it’s these sentries who alert the rest of the troop of the appearance of half a dozen men. These turn out to be Ser Manfryd Qorgyle and some of his father’s most trusted retainers, including the infamous Ser Mavros Uller, Lord Ganlos’s castellan. They gather about a bonfire, sharing spitted lamb, dates, and some cheap sour red wine as Lord Caston puts forward his case for Sandstone’s uprising. The discussion lasts more than an hour.
Then mayhem breaks loose. A larger band of Qorgyle spears appears to have looped around the site to approach it from behind, killing the sentries there before they could raise an alarm. When Ser Manfryd embraces Lord Caston as if to agree to lend his voice to convincing his father, they strike. Hardened by their long war, Vaith’s men respond fiercely, fighting to the death to protect him and attempt to cut him out. Ser Michael Blackmont nearly wins Lord Vaith through, when it’s said that Ser Mavros Uller manages to throw a spear through Lord Vaith’s leg. His men die around him, Ser Cyrus is captured, and Blackmont is forced to flee into the night alone.
It is said that Uller had a private word with Lord Caston, and for his troubles Vaith spit in his face, defiant to the last. His head is hacked off with a longaxe as a wounded Ser Cyrus watches, and prisoners and severed head both are returned to Sandstone. When the garrison commander learns of the doings under his very nose, he’s the first to send word winging to Hellholt, Vaith, Yronwood, Sunspear, and elsewhere of the death of Lord Caston Vaith and much of his much diminished rebel band.
Day 13: After a meeting between the garrison commander, Lord Ganlos, and Ser Mavros Uller, Vaith’s head is sealed in a cask of salt and a small troop of men take it away towards Hellholt at speed.
Day 13: The Sun Pearl, a pleasure barge, sets sail for a brief cruise in Blackwater’s Bay with a compliment of ladies—including Marian Stark, Elyn Ryswell, Reyna Saltcliffe, Carmella Dondarrion, and the Dornish hostage Liane Uller—for a picnic. However, it founders, stranding the women and a few other survivors on the southern shore of the bay.
Day 15: Daeron is awoken in the small hours of the morning to the news from Sandstone of the death of Caston Vaith. He demands more details, and proof, ordering Vaith’s head delivered to Hellholt. After a short deliberation, he sends warnings to the garrisons at Vaith, Godsgrace, Salt Shore, and Sunspear of the possibilitiy of riot at this news.
Day 15: Ser Bonifer Buckwell, captain of the Warrior’s Sword, sets sail to discover the whereabouts of the missing Sun Pearl, after its failure to return when expected. Sparing no efforts on the oarsmen, by that evening they find signs of where the Sun Pearl has foundered and good winds help race them back to King’s Landing.
Day 16: Word reaches Vaith of their lord’s death, and the townsmen of that place react with a sudden flare of rage at their brave lord’s murder. Beslon Smallwood and his sellsword company put down a nascent riot with brutal effeciency. Other, smaller riots take place up and down the Vaith and the Greenblood as the word spreads, but the Young Dragon’s forces arrayed there are able to contain it.
Day 17: The survivors of the Sun Pearl, having found a small village owing fealty to the Masseys of Stonedance, seek assistance. Unknown to them, a number of the villagers determine to inform bandits associated with the Starveling of their presence, with the expectation of a rich reward. When Marian Stark and Elyn Ryswell learn something of this, they flee from the village into the woods, while the rest of the noblewomen remain in the village.
Day 18: A rescue party from King’s Landing, consisting of Jonn Lannister, Myles Hightower, Bonifer Buckwell, Dagur Saltcliffe, Orson Baratheon, Yonel Storm, Ammon Massey, Ondryn Waters, Seth Blackwood, and other men, manage to successfully rescue the survivors from the wicked villagers and the bandits they had intended to sell them to. A separate rescue party then seeks after Marian Stark and Elyn Ryswell, missing after their flight.
Day 18: Arriving at Hellholt, the troop from Sandstone’s garrisons deliver the cask with Lord Vaith’s head to King Daeron, who sits enthroned on Lady Uller’s lordly seat in her great hall. The head is pulled from the cask and displayed before his lords and commanders, and it is said the Young Dragon stares at it as if to memorize the face of the man who caused him such trouble. Then he orders it to be delivered to the silent sisters, along with the rest of the body, so that his remains may be taken to Vaith and buried. The king orders that Lord Ganlos and Ser Manfryd are thanked for their loyal service in these troubled times. He then moves to his solar and consults with his commanders before sending out more commands.
Day 20: Ser Dagur Saltcliffe, having only recently returned from certain adventures in the area of the Kingswood following the foundering, immediately departs for the Reach with his company of sellswords at the behest of the Knight of Cider Hall, who requires assistance in dealing with an unruly bannerman near Bitterbridge.
Day 21: Marian Stark and Elyn Ryswell are safely returned to King’s Landing, after Ser Bonifer Buckwell, Ser Myles Hightower, and Ser Ondryn Waters rescued them from the dangers of the kingswood. It’s said that they came across a separate group of bandits there, and in their party was a young man, a prisoner, who was turned over to the custody of the Warden of the Kingswood, Ser Sarmion Baratheon.
Day 27: Daeron departs Hellholt with the intention of travelling to Yronwood and then taking the Boneway to the Marches so as to return to King’s Landing. He sends to his cousin Ser Alyn Velaryon to remain in charge of affairs in Sunspear and to use his remaining fleet to keep the peace along the coast.
Day 4: News arrives from Dorne that King Daeron has determined to return to King’s Landing, taking the overland route via the Boneway. The citizens of King’s Landing celebrate, with the bells of all the septs tolling as they’re thronged by those giving thanks to the gods for the Young Dragon’s victory and return.
Day 4: Daeron arrives in Yronwood, and awaits Lord Lyonel Tyrell to return from his latest expedition attempting to root out Manwoody and Red Rhys of the Scourge, with indifferent results.
Day 5: Ser Dagur and his company return from their recent employment by the Knight of Cider Hall, having settled the matter by recovering a wealthy woman widowed by the war in Dorne from the troublesome bannerman, though not without bloodshed as a bastard son of his was killed in the process.
Day 12: Lord Tyrell arrives at Yronwood after more than a month of fighting. For the next two weeks, Daeron and he discuss affairs in Dorne and how to proceed following the king’s departure for King’s Landing. It is said that at the end, Lord Tyrell seems well-pleased with himself.
Day 24: Daeron departs for the Boneway, leaving a small portion of his forces to strengthen those of Lord Tyrell. His force is sizable enough that Lord Manwoody and other outlaw knights and lords withdraw, making few attacks on caravans while the force is on the road. The king takes the opportunity to show his face in mountain villages, having his troops distribute grain and other supplies, but the Dornishmen do not cheer him.
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