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Sites of Interest
Blood in the Surf
IC Date: Day 8 of Month 3, 161 AC
RL Date: November 20, 2009.
Participants: Burton Crakehall, Daeron Targaryen, the Young Dragon, Dagur Saltcliffe, the Iron Serpent, Halyn Grimm (puppeted by Rosalind Buckler), Laurent Dalt, the Sand Dog, Tancred Baratheon, and Willum Gargalen, Wild Wil. Emits by Obany Darklyn.
Locations: Wyl: Shoreline near Wyl

Summary: The king assaults the Dornish shore with ships full of picked men, against stiff Dornish resistance.

Dawn comes, to show a clear day and a great fleet gathered here at this lorn, forsaken part of the Sea of Dorne’s coast. Rocky and forbidding, it’s a wonder the ships are here ... but then, an old smuggler’s cove can be found here, and the reefs can be navigated even by a large galley with the aid of a knowledgable pilot. Even so, the cove is too small for all the ships—the masts stretch back half a league at least, and every ship crowded with men, horses, and provisions.

And from those ships, a number of boats have put off, a score, two, five, a dozen. Each and every one of them is loaded with men, from Braavosi crossbowmen to the king’s soldiery—men-at-arms, knights (some of them brave—or foolish—enough to be in their full harness), and comon soldiers. The largest and the grandest of the boats, broad of beam and with a small mast, flies the king’s pennon: a black field on which the three-headed dragon of House Targaryen roars its flames. The king in his black armor is beneath it, and arrayed about him are four knights in white, and more knights wearing the badge of the royal household, and certain others who have had the privilege of accompanying Daeron into battle.

Dawn comes, to show a clear day and a great fleet gathered here at this lorn, forsaken part of the Sea of Dorne’s coast. Rocky and forbidding, it’s a wonder the ships are here ... but then, an old smuggler’s cove can be found here, and the reefs can be navigated even by a large galley with the aid of a knowledgable pilot. Even so, the cove is too small for all the ships—the masts stretch back half a league at least, and every ship crowded with men, horses, and provisions.

And from those ships, a number of boats have put off, a score, two, five, a dozen. Each and every one of them is loaded with men, from Braavosi crossbowmen to the king’s soldiery—men-at-arms, knights (some of them brave—or foolish—enough to be in their full harness), and comon soldiers. The largest and the grandest of the boats, broad of beam and with a small mast, flies the king’s pennon: a black field on which the three-headed dragon of House Targaryen roars its flames. The king in his black armor is beneath it, and arrayed about him are four knights in white, and more knights wearing the badge of the royal household, and certain others who have had the privilege of accompanying Daeron into battle.

The king’s seaborne force draws nearer and nearer the shore, with dozens of ships racing forward from the main body of boats where the Young Dragon is—this is the vanguard, it seems, and the first to come in range of Dornish bows. They are not toothless, however: the Sealord of Braavos has sent companies of skilled crossbowmen. As the arrows begin to fall in and about the boats, the Braavosi can be seen arraying themselves to send volleys of bolts right back at the Dornishmen. In the midst of the activity, frightened sailors—with little more than leather jerkins to protect them—pull at the oars with all their might.

The landing will not be an easy one. For the Dornish are here, arrayed for war, and there is bloodlust in the air. They are more lightly armoured than their northern foes, but their spears glint wickedly and their mail is blinding in the morning sun, fierce already.

At the edge of the surf itself is a line of warriors meant to break the first rush, armed with throwing spears besides swords, axes and spears. And behind them some distance is drawn up the bulk of the force, ready with bows, a small company of mounted men held in reserve. And at the order of the commander—a man in burnished mail, axe in hand, a snarling hound helm in place—the men bend their bows and send their first volley of arrows at the boats.

The remaining forces of House Baratheon are with the King, and at its head of the mounted calvary is the young Storm Lord, Tancred Baratheon. He pats the next of his horse to calm it, then calls out to his fellow knights with him. “Easy men easy, the first charge will just be like a tournament. Knees and heels and aim your lances straight and true, after the first pass, ditch the lance and draw your blades, form up on the banner and we will drive a wedge into their Dornish hearts!”
After a forced ride/march of the Dornish soldiers that Willum arrived with, and with the chance of battle on the morning, Willum got little sleep and yet there he is, upon his steed at the head of the first line of men to engage the advancing boats, its a mixture of men he has around him, but the short powerfully built Dornishman stands in his saddle and calls to his men, his heavy warhammer waving above his head. “READY MEN! NOW THE FUN BEGINS!” He laughs a wicked laugh, “LETS GET OURSELVES BLOODIED” He continues with a sinister speech of wading into the thick of things and splitting up the men as they first come off the boats, catching them at their weakest. Willum settles himself and awaits the first rush, the horse he sits atop is as excited for the oncoming slaughters as Willum appears to be

The boats skim along, cutting through the still sea, propelled by the rowers’ fear. And in the foremost one stands a hulking figure entire in armour so black no sunlight seems to reflect from it. Naked blade in hand, shield in the other, his helm is in the form of a hissing serpent with bared fangs.

The men in his boat are a hard-bitten lot; as arrows start to fall among them, they crouch, raising their shields; he himself catches one on his. But even so, there are losses; one man tumbles over the side, his dying scream stifled by the arrow through his throat, a few more take wounds.

Standing upon the forecastle—his boat is more like a broad-beamed ironborn trader’s longship than anything, and is heavy enough to carry it—the king watches as Ser Dagur leads the vanguard of his force forward. Arrows fall, crossbow bolts fly back, and in the distance—unable to be heard, really, over the splash of oars and creak of wood and the countless other noises of men and horses—men begin to scream, while the Dornishmen roar back curses and oaths, and shout, “OUT! OUT!” at the king’s invaders.

The Young Dragon turns his attention from the battle about to be joined, to gauge how the rest of the body of boats are faring; some wallow well behind, but others keep pace. “Good,” he remarks aloud, fine and handsome in his armor, his squire carrying his crowned helm next to him. He looks to those men ready with their horses and says, “Ser Tancred, Ser Burton. Make sure your knights are ready—unlike most of the rest, the captain means to turn her away from the shore at the last moment. Men will throw down gangways and anchors for you to charge through.” It sounds like easy advice from the king’s mouth, and he seems unconcerned by men of his dying at this very moment, pierced with Dornish arrows; there’ll be more to come. But he adds, sternly, “Do _not_ hesitate. The rest of us will not be able to get through, if you block the way.”

Tancred raises a fist up min acknowledgement. “As you command Sire!” Tancred turns to his men. “You heard the king. As one we ride out, as one we will crash into their lines and make a breech we can exploit. As one we can not fail. Lances up and at the ready!”

“Look at the bastards,” says a brown, weather-beaten Dornishman—one of Lord Manwoody’s lot, a rebel who’s fought for four years running without surcrease—as he sees the boats pulling nearer, and the armored men upon them. “What I wouldn’t do for a scorpion or pitfire. A few rocks to sink ‘em, let that iron weigh them down.” He shakes his head, as Wild Will roars, readying to meet the attackers, and then shrugs. He lifts his bow, and lets loose a black arrow as Braavosi crossbow bolts fly narrowly past him and the rest of the archers. The arrows finds its target, and a Braavosi slumps down dead on the deck of his boat; one of his companions checks him, and then quickly thrusts the body over board to clear more room in the boat.

The wind blows, and the tide rolls in, and the surf froths white and wild as the invading boats draw nearer and nearer still…

Ser Burton Crakehall rides near the King his expression grim and dedicated. Today he looks magnificent-maybe because he is following the King into battle and maybe because he wants to die-if such thing, by chance, will happen - as a Heir to Crakehall and a grandson of a Westerosi lord. His armor has gilt tracings on its greaves and scales, a tusked greathelm has designs etched in brass and gold, all polished to a bright shine. His heavy shield sports the famous Brindled Boar emblem, as well as the surcoat and the cloak. Strapped to one side is a sword, to the other-a bow and a large dagger, but in his hands today he holds a sharp deadly-looking battleaxe. He is followed by a squire riding a speedy chestnut destrier(while the stallion of his master is black) and five horsemen in Crakehall colors, all armed with long lances and shields. As the King speaks, Ser Burton cranes his head and answers his sovereign “Your Grace, my flesh and blood belongs too you. Men! Get ready for the attack. Soon we will taste the blood of those Dornish barbarians “

Blood drifts in the water already, churned by the oars. The vanguard draws ever nearer to the shore, arrows in wood and flesh alike. Dark eyes glint under the helm as the Iron Serpent watches the Dornish line grow larger; there is no speech from him, no bold words, for these are men who rode with him in the Reavers, all. They know what is to be done.

And then, they are there.

And he leaps over the prow into the surf, the first man to set foot on Dornish soil, his men only a second behind him. And moments later, there is blood in the water as they crash into the Dornish line.

The Dornish commander watches the boats approach; for once, the Sand Dog is not japing, eyes narrowed as he waits and judges. And unknowingly, he echoes the Dornishman in Will’s company: “One scorpion. One fucking scorpion to sink the boy-king’s boat and we could end this war right here.”

He turns away, “Ah well. If wishes were horses… Davyd!” And he makes a sharp gesture as he raises his voice on that last word. The man leading the mounted company a little distance away nods, then leads his men around the Dornish line at a trot, preparing his men on one flank. The bulk of the infantry, meanwhile, continues to fire, moving their aim back from the leading boats for fear of hitting their own men to the ones behind them.

Dagur’s is soon joined by more of his men, though one of them seems more unlucky then most, two arrows burring near to their feathers in arm and shoulder. The merely grunts in pain and drops his shield and presses arm, his blood mingling with the rest in the salt water.

The gangways of Ser Dagur’s craft plow into the sand, quickly followed by the thunder of booted feet pounding down their lengths. “Let the duskies have what’s coming ter ‘em, lads!” the sergeant rallies, motioning with his blade towards the Dornish lines as the crossbowmen raise their weapons once their feet are upon the sand.

One man beside Willum, a rebel he had picked to help lead some of the rebel men is caught with a couple arrows and drops, Willum looks at the man and shakes his head, as his eyes turn back towards the ships, an arrow ricochets off the top of his helm. “Feck… im lucky” Willum, though, doesnt seem faltered and the minute men jump from the boat, he puts the spurs to his mount. “CHARGE!” He bellows out loud, the warhammer raised one handed and pointed forward. Battle, the men around him a mixture of seasoned rebels and seasoned Dornish spears, Willum can be heard yelling loudly, calling out orders, the rebel deputies mimmicking orders shouted from the sinister man. “I WANT THAT PRETTY BOY KING’s HEAD” And then he is there, right at the front, wading in, a berserker’s rage filling him as his warhammer is swinging this way and that.

The archers shift their targets from the lead ships, after a last volley of arrows, and start sweeping down to other boats that are being carried in by tide and surf and oars to the shore. “Faster, faster!” the tough rebel shouts, encouraging the others. They redouble their efforts, but already their quivers are depleted. A handful throw down their bows, in fact, and take up short spears from the ground to run forward and join the fray amid the surf. Arrows arc over them, and one boat ends up over-turning as three oarsmen on one side are wounded, forgetting their oars—the boat, so close to shore, turns sideways to the oncoming waves and flips over, spilling shouting men into the water.

It is brutal, dirty fighting that first clash, the Iron Serpent and his men battling to clear a safe space for the boats behind them. He cleaves through one man’s mail gorget with a backhanded blow to leave him choking on his own blood, tramped underfoot; goes down to one knee with a grunt as a sword clangs against his unshielded side; twists to skewer the man up under the skirts of his mail, through the codpiece and into his vitals, then is on his feet and moving forward again.

“Faster!” he roars to his men. “Faster!” And then, he is face to face with Willum.

The young squire to Ser Ethos Mertyns, Halyn Grimm is close to his knight, near the King’s banner. About to enter into his first battle, the boy is pale and grave. He clutches his sword tightly, white knuckled.

The reaver charges at the Iron Serpent’s side, but veers to the Serpent’s right, crying out a battle cry against a Dornish spearman. The reaver cleaves the man at the neck and chest, but not before gettign three feet of wood and metal into his gut. The reaver spits out blood and sinks to his knees.

The screams of men in agony are drowned out amongst the pounding of hundreds of hooves upon sand and the clashing of steel upon steel, as well as the wet thunk of blade on flesh. Crossbowmen reload as quickly as they can to let off a final volley before tossing their weapons to the sand, drawing short blades and defending themselves as much as to aid the charge, enveloping the two opposing knights on all sides, a flowing river of humanity.

“A serpent! HA!” Willum gives a sadistic smile to the serpent helmed man. “I will crush you, wrap you into a coil and mount you in my home!” Willum puts the spurs to his mount and it rises on it’s hind legs, front legs clawing at the air, At the moment of confusion, Willum swings his heavy warhammer at the Serpent, hard and fast, the men around him press forward, the blood, surf and men dying begin to muck up the ground around them. “FLANK THE LINE” He calls to the opposite flank where Laurent had begun to form the cavalry, Willum apparently had tried to form a group of Rebels to flank if given the chance.

The king’s boat draws slowly nearer, as other boats start to reach the shore. Men leap out over the bows, to fall beneath a Dornish spear, or to stumble and then be trampelled upon by their fellows eager to get out of the boats; some men will be found drowned, when this day is over. But the boats pull on inexorably, for the Young Dragon is reckless of the cost. Only the objective matters, to win a toehold so that the rest of his massive force can be brought in.

“What do you think, cousin?” Daeron asks his cousin, the Dragonknight, who reflexively loosens Dark Sister in its sheath. Prince Aemon looks to see the fighting joined under the bright light of morning—the sun in the eyes of the Dornishmen was the sole blessing of a morning assault—and remarks, “The gods preserve our fellows, your grace; the Dornishmen are stinting nothing.” He points to where a boat is overturned, and where one wing of the Dornish line moves forward to close with men stumbling out of the water.

As boats draw up and force themselves onto the sand, the strand soon begins to seem crowded. As knights and men-at-arms leap or clamber out to fight, the sailors are forced to wait in place, waiting for the chance to thrust their boats back out into the water, to then drag them away to one side to try and keep the strand clear. Others boats, finding this impossible, lash their prows to iron rings set in the backs of the boats in front of them, the men drawing the craft together; now soldiers clamber from one boat to the next, in the rocking surf and with battle joined ahead of them, clambering forward to be able to get their feet on the sand and their weapons into the fray.

There is a last volley, then a half-volley, and it ends with no more than a half-dozen arrows soaring to fall among the boats. Then, the Dornishmen’s quivers are empty and the Sand Dog settles his shield and hefts his axe.

“Forward!”

The bulk of the Dornish force starts forward at a trot, their commander in the front rank. They cover ground steadily; and then they are running, silent amongst the clanking of mail and the rasps of dry throats and painful breaths.

And then, with a wild roar, they crash into the northerners’ vanguard, adding their weight to Willum’s line. Now, the only Dornishmen who have not yet joined battle are the mounted flanking company and another group of riders, perhaps half-a-hundred, held in reserve.

Young Ser Garyn leads a group of Crakehall guardsmen and is one of the first minor commanders to meet face-to-face with the Dornishmen. His heart sings with joy; all those years he has waited for this hour. He, a bastard of a minor Northen noble and a common smallfolk woman, has, after many years of being squire to the Heir to Crakehall, received his knighthood, and now is going into a real battle!Supposed to command, he rides along his man, a long lance in his right hand, but soon forgets completely about the company and his duties-nothing, but the fight, interests him now. He is attacked by another cavalryman, blocks with his shield and jabs at him with the lance-but only injures the horse. A second-and the Dornish warrior is gone. Garyn lets out an angry howl. The knight looks around and understands that he has lost his soldiers-and now is quite alone, in the middle of the action and, strangely, nobody seems to take any notice of him. Suddenly sees Willum Gargalen -and he is quite close to him-and two is not looking at a random Westerosi knight, busy giving orders. The youngster lets out an yelps with excitement and charges at Willum, his lance lowered. He will win glory or die today!

The vanguard almost buckles under the weight of the Dornish charge—almost but not quite.

“Hold!” comes the call from the Iron Serpent even as he ducks under Willum’s swing, stepping to the side of the rearing horse; he has no breath or time to return the other man’s insults in kind. “Hold!”

And indeed, the Reavers hold—and are then buttressed by more of their fellows joining them as boats continue to land. “Dalton, the flanks!” Dagur calls as he sees Willum’s men attacking there; the Florent heir turns there with his men. Only then does he have time to do more than defend against the Gargalen knight, his sword trailing blood as he carves a blow at the mounted man’s hip even as Garyn charges him from the other side.

Pain, its orgasmic, the trailing line left by The Serpent’s blade brings a climatic sort of relief to the man, and there is almost the sound of released air that he may have held after his first initial swing at the man. Willum presses in close and his wild berserker’s fighting style comes once more into play as he begins to swing again and again at the Serpent, his mount moving with the movements of Willum. Willum doesnt seem to notice Garyn until the last moment and he calls towards some of his nearby men, Pointing his shield arm in the man’s direction and at the same time, moving to bring his shield to block Garyn, but to also keep his attack at Dagur, a difficult task for the young wild Dornishman. “PRESS FORWARD” He bellows to his men, hoping his flanking maneuver is quicker than the Reaver’s.

And now the strand is crowded, with men stumbling to shore, with boats, with bodies in the water and on the sand. The Dornishmen press their advantage, while they have it, and the carnage is great where the body of men-at-arms is broken up and easily destroyed piecemeal. The center holds, however, led by stalwarts. And just as well: the king’s great, wallowing boat now draws near. At the last moment, just before it might run onto the sand, the ship is steered hard to port. It turns its broadside—and then anchors are thrown, and sailors yell together as they heave. The boat lurches to a halt. Part of the railing is knocked away, and then great heavy gangplanks are pushed out and into the water.

“GO!” the king commands the mounted knights, and in his hand is Blackfyre, the sword of kings. He sweeps it towards the shore, pointing the way, urging the men on. Around him, knights and men-at-arms ready themselves to follow after the horsemen, to wade waist-deep into the water and make their own way into the battle behind their king.

The horses are already leaping forward as soon as the gang planks go down, and the host, with Tancred Baratheon at its head, charges forward, shields at the ready, lances with steel war tips leveled and ready, horses at near gallop by the time they hit the water, a war cry echoing through the mounted forces. “Baratheon! Baratheon and Storm’s End!”

The Sand Dog is in the heart of the carnage now, wielding his axe in fierce arcs that makes even his own men leave a space around him. But the northern cavalry hits the Dornishmen even as he stands over a fallen opponent, wrenching his axe from his neck, a trail of his own blood snaking down over his chest. The shock of that impact can be felt physically in that heaving mass, and he roars over the din of battle: “Davyd!”

Whether he is heard or not, the flanking cavalry is already moving. They spur into a charge, throwing javelins with deadly accuracy. And then, they crash through the flank, riding over northerners—and those of their own men unlucky enough to be in the way and into the enemy cavalry with the advantage of the charge behind them.

Arrows wing over the heads of Burton and his warriots, as they advance . Their leader is the first to bloody his weapon;he assails a Dornish knight, who tries to block his way. A slash of the battleaxe, a hoarse roar and the unhappy rebel falls, his helmet and skull crushed . The Crakehall henchemen cheer, but Burton doesnt seem to notice that. He salutes to Daeron with his axe-the broad blade is now reddish-and roars “Man, keep closer to me, and I will keep closer to the King! While we are with our sovereign, our main duty is to protect His Grace. If I see anybody breaking the line in search for glory or something-I will kill him with my own hands !. And now, lances up and -forward!”

Young Halyn rides among the heavy calvary, trying to stay closely behind Ser Ethos. The boy holds tight to his courage, entering the frey behind the Stormlander mounted knights.

Cursing as Will presses him, the Iron Serpent, nimbler on foot, continues to sidestep the blows. And then, seeing an opportunity, he ducks forward and in, the warhammer clanging off his raised shield.

And he thrusts, not at Willum but at the underbelly of the man’s mount, twisting his blade to spill its entrails if his attack succeeds.

“Fight! Fight, comrades, fight on! Turn them back on their heels, for your king fights amongst you!” A hedge knight in plain iron plate calls to those in the general area, sallying forth with his own contingent into the fray, soon being lost within the mass of swinging metal and flesh, his words hanging in the air amongst the din.

Arrows and one well tossed javelin finds itself burred in Tancred’s shield as he leads the heavy charge through the Dornish lines. He finds the banner man and tells him to raise it high as he calls out. “Baraetheon to me. The Stag to me! Form lines, form lines!” Once there is some order, Tancred draws his blade and points to the mounted dornishmen threatening the flank. “There, there! Onward! Onward! For the Stag and Storm’s End, charge!”

Behind the cavalry comes the foot, and the king and his Kingsguard are in the fore front. The water, churned white by surf and horsemen both, reaches to their wastes as they struggle forward. Men shouts, following behind, aiding one another to keep their feet. This body of men, at least five score strong, makes its slow but determined way up the strand towards the right wing of the Dornish infantry. The banner-bearer carries the Targaryen standard high, near the center of this mass of men.

As to the cavalry, the plunge into the water and then out of it with surging, wild paces. Some men fall, their horses losing their footing, but more make it ashore. Dornish spears fly through the air at them and their destriers, and then the horsemen have formed their ranks, riding practically knee-to-knee.

On the other side of the line, the other great boat presses ashore, and performs the same maneuver as the king’s ship: more horsemen are disgorged, and more fighting men.
Ser Garyn somehow manages to escape from the blow one of the Willum’s man aims at him. But an arrow suddenly pierces his horse’s neck, it stumbles and the boy falls from his horse, like a sack of rotten wool. Covered by dirt and the blood of the dead beast, he throws the lance aside and takes his sword out . And once again Lady Luck has made him a present. Willum Gargalen is once more here, fighting famous Dagur Saltcliffe, the Commander of the goldcloaks. Garyn makes a few carefull steps, then starts to trot and then, when he is quite close to the rebel nobleman-swings the blade, with all his half-childish might.

Wild Will’s horse moves to kick at Dagur, but its a bit to the right of the northman, and suddenly the animal screams. As Willum is going down and Garyn is attacking, swinging with all his might, Willum moves full shield to block the blow and with a seasoned, powerful arm swings the heavy headed warhammer from high and down, even as his horse is collapsing to try and catch Garyn atop his head and crush his skull down to his neck. Willum then drops and is quick to his feet, he is not armored heavily and so can move quicker than some of the northern knights, he charges at Dagur, jumping over his dead mount. “THAT WAS MY FAVORITE HORSE” He calls angrily and moves to put a powerful shoulder to the man to try and knock him off balance before spinning and swinging his warhammer.

The commander of the Dornish reserve has seen the threat on the other flank as northern cavalry lands there as well. And so he leads his half-a-hundred riders down to counter them there as Davyd as alread done with the Baratheon.

And there is no one left now. The Dornish have committed all their strength to the fight; for the moment, they are holding. But as the northerners secure a safe space for those coming ashore behind them, the Sand Dog’s men are beginning to lose the advantage they had held. It will not be long now before numbers begin to tell.

And the Sand Dog seems to know it for he steps back, letting another man press forward before him so that he can gauge the battle. And he sees the Targaryen banner.

“To me!” he calls. “To me!” And as a dozen bloodied men form around him, he begins to cut his way forward and at an angle, towards that banner.

Now, the Iron Serpent is finally on equal terms with his foe. And he finally responds to the insults and the yelling.

“Gods,” he rasps, “stop puling.”

And he moves with deadly speed, stepping aside from Will’s charge; the other man’s armoured shoulder clangs into his, swinging him around. But that only works to his advantage for it brings him around quicker to catch the warhammer on his shield. And then he is pressing forward with brutal, hard blows, allowing no space for respite.

The royal standard flounders, the banner-bearer felled by a Dornish spear, but then it lurches upwards again—the dragon flies, and before it is the king with his battle companions. Ser Gregor Wendwater is among them, near the front, a wicked polaxe in hand. With a roar, the knight from the kingswood brings the ax down again and again, slashing at spearhafts, breaking them asunder. In the gap the knights makes with his foolhardy courage, other men-at-arms press forward. One of them is clad all in white, and in his hand is a black sword: Aemon with Dark Sister. Death follows in his wake.

There’s a grinding, roaring sound as the Dornish foot try to hold against such a company, and all along the line they are embattled. Now Dornish veterans begin to see that they’ve done what they could: the frothing surf is dark with blood, and there are piles of dead. Some begin now to call for a withdrawal, shouting for the retreat, directing forces to help pin and slow the enemy to give others of their brothers-in-arms the chance to back their way up the beach.

Dale the Owl, a seasoned Crakehall soldier, who has taken the command of the group, after the young knight Garyn has deserted it slays another enemy. His face is already grey and the thin face covered by wrinkles, but his hand is as strong as ever-and his mind had with age much stronger that the one he had as a muscled young cuthroat. Suddenly he gasps and nudges one of his companions ” By gods, the young master….” “What is it?”-asks another of the boar warrior, a bald bearded rogue with a broken nose. “I have just seen this damned Dusky kill our commander, Ser Garyn… He has broken his neck with a ruddy warhammer. I saw him fall” Somebody whispers something like “Good for nothing pup” and “stupid blighter”, but Dale makes them a sign to shut up” We must avenge the death of our master’s squire…. even if he was the worst captain we ever had. Now, at my command, attack the Dusky-if we will bring his head, Ser Burton will forgive us for not protecting out little knight well enough!”

“Win the beach, lads, win yer supper!” A sergeant calls as he hears the calls for retreat from the opposing faction, and the foot begin pressing forward with relatively renewed vigor.

With stuff beginning to grow bad for the Dornish, Willum gains himself a bit of a respite as he smashes his shield to Dagur and spins away a few feet, Dagur is quick, and Willum has very little knowledge of the sword, so it is hard to gauge the man. “FORM TOGETHER, FIGHT YOUR WAY BACK” He bellows and suddenly there is Dagur, Willum himself is trying to fight his way back as well, defending most of the time, though with an arm that is only slightly weakened by tiring swinging, he continues to attack. “Your good, your good” he offers.

Close, so close. The Sand Dog is no more than a few feet away from Daeron, unseen still, when a fresh body of northern knights comes between them. And it is that time that voices begin to call for retreat among the Dornish.

With a snarl like a rabid wolf’s, he retreats after a moment’s indecision, cutting his way back.

“Steady! In sections!” he calls above the battle din, and slowly, some order spreads. The Dornish do indeed begin to fall back, but it is not a rout. They fall back in groups, one protecting the other, and all the while, their cavalry harries either flank, buying them time.

Tancred does his best to have the horse mirror or the Dornish mounted forces, ensuring that the rest of the host is able to finish their landing without harassment.

There is no reply from the Iron Serpent; he is silent again, and that makes him more menacing. His black armour is splattered with blood, the fangs of his serpent helm red with it. And though some of it must be his, for he moves with the hint of a limp, it does not seem to weaken him. One cunning blow, a feint, then a cut at Willum’s shoulder and he steps back for just a moment in the space won as a pair of fighting men come between them, risking a quick look around.

The northern line is secure, swelling constantly; now, they begin to push forward as the Dornish retreat begins. And after that quick look, he turns back to his foe if he should still be there.

Before the press of invaders, the Dornishmen give way, leaving their dead and wounded behind, leaving even more of the king’s dead and wounded on the bloody red sands. The king’s own troop, having broken some resistance and sent the rest withdrawing—the king’s sword is blooded, and Aemon’s Dark Sister is more crimson than black—now pushes on, to win a greater hold on the sand. The king shouts a command, and the royal standard dips once, then circles round: the signal to push forward and then halt when his own troops does so.

Grabbing a squire by the shoulder as his men groan and shouts and fight the last Dornish to oppose them, the king shouts, Find Ser Tancred and the horse! Have them harry any Dornish stragglers out of bowshot—but not too far, the Dornish cavalry are too numerous!”

More boats are winning their way to shore, and fresh men-at-arms jump into the water with zeal, even as the Dornishmen are pulling backwards. In the distance, the first of the great galleys can be seen raising their anchors. Oars come out, and the galley now pulls forward to bring more men. Behind, more galleys can be seen preparing, and the king’s cogs and horse transports as well.

“The rogues are retreating-stupid bastards”-roars Burton Crakehall, once again swinging his battleaxe-and once more it cuts one of his adversaries nearly into half. The heir to the boar lords now doesnt look his former pious-and-courteous-self-in fact, he doesnt look human at all. One of the tusks decorating his helm is damaged, his armor and axe are sticky from blood, and the only eye behind the visor glints with malice and rage . Today he has killed at least ten men-all the time promptly staying near the King and slaying anyone who tried to reach his sovereign from that side. He has lost only one soldier, and his men have slaughtered a good number too, but he doesnt seem to be contented. “A first battle-and no decent enemies at all!”-he complains, unsaddling another Dornishmen with a mere thrust of his shield(and the squire finishes him off with his sword)“Sire! The field is ours! It is a sign from the Gods. We will win the war, as we did-the first combat!”

“Yes, your Grace!” The squire hurries off to find Ser Tancred, ducking and dodging around the moving fighting men towards the banner emblazoned with a stag. He bumps into a few men here and there, but they don’t seem to notice, only focusing on moving forward and gaining the precious few feet of sand their king has ordered.

Tancred is found doing already what the King desired, harassing the Dornish and keeping them on the run out of bow shot.
With Willum getting cut off from Dagur by a group of fighters, Willum takes his time with his retreat, slaying some cannon fodder on his retreat, he is slower than the majority, making certain the large group of the fighters realize there is a retreat, and Willum leads them with this. “Form back! We bloodied the bastards well!”

“Bastards!” a wild-eyed Dornishman shouts, and casts his last throwing spear at the milling enemy troop before turning tail and running after his compatriots.

“My lords, well fought!” the king says, lifting up the visor of his helm to reveal a face gleaming with sweat. Daeron took no wounds, but water still drips from the trousers beneath his armor, and he moves with a certain heaviness as do many others who plunged into the water with him. There are cheers at his praise, and calls of his name, which he acknowledges with a wave of a hand. And then it’s back to the business at hand:

“We need a barrier,” he announces. “Half the lesser boats must be dragged to the very edge of the strand and turned over. Bind them together with cables, to form a low wall.” He looks about and points out a pair of knights from among his company to oversee it. “Have the sailors do it. Have the able-bodied levies dig a ditch before it, as well.” Ser Olyvar Oakheart, blood staining his torn white cloak, points out the wounded and the king gestures. “We’ll need await the maesters and tents, ser, but find some to move them together and tend to them as best we may. May the Mother help her brave sons, and the Father Above bless them.”

A galloper in Crakehall colors suddenly rides towards Burton. He bows deeply and whispers something into his lords ear. Future Lord Crakehalls face-red from anger a moment ago-suddenly becomes pale. He grips the hilt of his axe and scans, motionless, scans the courier with his gaze “Garyn…. How did it happen…. Where the heck was Dale and his guys?I dont….” As the galloper quickly adds something, Burton sighs and passes the fractured beyond repair shield to the squire “Maybe it is to the best… If he wasnt killed in combat, I would have to kill him for deserting his men-or break my promise. You should be happy that I didnt make YOU a knight, lad”-he says quietly to his present squire, a fair-haired, well-built boy. Turning away from the stuttering guard, he rides closer to the King “Your Grace, what should my men do now? Shall we stay at your side or you want us to do something else?” Somehow he sounds very tired and sad now, all his ardor to fight is gone-and only sadness and tiredness are left.

The Dornishmen have moved out of bowshot, and indeed out of sight, cresting the first of the hills to the west which rise towards the mountains. As the last boats pull in, and the first of the galleys enter the cove, things are busy: boats are being turned into barricades, bodies and wounded are being sorted, and more. The king’s in the midst of it, directing men with tireless energy, and he always seems glad of a hand. “Ser Burton—your men-at-arms fought well, sir, along with Ser Tancred’s stormlords,” says the Young Dragon. “Though not without cost, I fear.” He looks to where a dead horse, a spear through its jugular, lies at the water’s edge.

Then he recalls himself. “If your men and their horses are fit enough, ser, use ropes tied to saddles to help drag the boats to the strand’s edge. We must have a barricade, to dissuade the Dornish from causing trouble.”

Tancred is tired, by all the Seven weary to his bones, but his King has commanded him and so he obeys. He crashes a fist to his chest in salute to the King. “As you command Sire.” Tancred whirls his horse about and dismounts, giving commands to the rest of his men to do the same and lend aide with the boats.

To some other captain, the king can be heard to say, “When more of our horse arrive, we must send out outriders. Certainly before night falls, if we can. We’ll soon be crowding this strand and must move further in.” The man acknowledges it, and then joins others in organizing the defense, while the king himself goes to visit the wounded.

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