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Sites of Interest
No Mirage, This
IC Date: Day 5 of Month 5, 161 AC
RL Date: January 17, 2010.
Participants: Aemon Targaryen, the Dragonknight, Burton Crakehall, Daeron I Targaryen, the Young Dragon, Elmer Crakehall, Laurent Dalt, the Sand Dog, Luthor Rivers, Mavros Uller, Sarmion Baratheon, Stormbreaker, and Triston Templeton
Locations: Dorne: The Dornish Desert

Summary: The Dornish army turns to face the chasing royal force at a vital oasis, the source of the river Scourge

It seemed like one of countless mirages witnessed as the army marched through the desert, but unlike all those others, this vision of gleaming water did not disappear as the miles were eaten away. The source of the Scourge is a great spring-fed lake, an oasis surrounded by date palms and Dornish hamlets that cluster about its banks. Irrigation canals web the region around it, feeding orchards of lemons and blood oranges and olives, and fields of grain and wheat. Yet much of these are gone, picked bare, so as to be denied the enemy.

Who did the picking? The local Dornish, no doubt. And the army, an army some five thousand spears strong, that has anchored its left wing upon the shore of the oasis, and has rolled out an unbroken line stretching north towards the edges of a village holdfast. Before them, a patchwork of irrigation ditches break up the approach. Their banners flap bravely above the dark-skinned men with their robes and spears and round shields: Manwoody’s vulture, Uller’s flames, Qorgyle’s scorpions, even a few of the black gates of Yronwood, and here and there other banners, of other rebel lords.

The king’s captains formed a well-defended encampment on his command, to give him time to consider how to proceed. The Dornish army remained near to his host that day, and at least for that one day the castle was not invested.

The banners of the king’s host have been seen for a good hour and more, and tension has risen among the Dornishmen, tension and expectation. To stand against such a great host, outnumbered as they are, would strike fear in most men. Yet the ground is of their choosing, and the plan the leaders have made have instilled confidence ... well, in some of them at least.

One of those captains is Ser Mavros Uller, once an exile, now one of the chief men of the rebellion. Word has spread that the sellswords who sit in the Planky Town now are his doing, and esteem has risen in the army for the infamous knight. A Myrish far-eye is held up, as he spies out the banners, identifying the battles to those knights and lords near him. “Tyrell on the right,” he says, “and Lord Swann the left. The same as at Yronwood.” The older knight, stubble peppered with grey on his cheek, frowns as he sees the magnified army. “They’re not so stupid as to throw their knights at us, not with so many obstructions. It will be arrows for a good while, and men afoot.”

Approaching this rebel host is an army nearly three times as strong. The confines of the battlefield, however, has led to the king’s lines being deeper than usual, and there’ll be many a man who will not be able to come to blows with the enemy. Trumpets sound, communicating maneuvers, and indeed as the army approaches there are movements among the lines, the shifting of spears to one side, the beat of hoofs as troops of horsemen change towards the center and the right. The royal banner can be seen throughout, three-headed dragon on black, roaring its flames, promising fire and blood. Great lords and knights are there in that army, all brought here by King Daeron to teach the Dornishmen a lesson.

Amidst the lines of the king’s battles, an emphasis seems to have been placed on men afoot, capable of crossing watery ditches and trenches more safely than any horse. There are even knights afoot, plate armor shining brightly, shields on their arms.

“Come on, you bastards!” someone calls from the Dornish lines, and spears are rattled against shields as there’s a sudden roar all along the line of the rebels, frightening to hear, a show of fearless courage and determination as the king’s army crawls inexorably closer.

A river of light seems to await the Westerosi; a gleaming, liquid length of steel and sharp edges. The sudden rattling of spears upon shields causes it to ripple, a warning of what is to come.

And there, above a section of the Dornish left flies the device of a man who has done more harm to Daeron than most. Snarling hound helm in place, shield and cruel longaxe ready, the Sand Dog commands part of the line, surrounded by battle-hardened veterans who have followed him through the desert’s furnace and back again.

In the midst of the army, a messenger can be seen departing King Daeron’s side, racing on a light sandsteed captured from some dead foe to where the vanguard marches forward. Half are pike and men wielding halberds, brigandies or chain on their bodies, kettlehats and half-helms on their heads. The other half are knights in their heavier armor, leading the way, the first who’ll come in contact with the enemy.

Drawing rein, the messenger yells aloud for the van, “Beware! The king warns that the Braavosi will be sending bolts right over your heads at the Dornish, before the contact. Two blasts of the trumpet, and best duck your heads! A blast more, and you’re to race forward and close with the enemy!”

And indeed, behind the vanguard, long lines of Braavosi are presently marching at a fair distance—like enough they’ll run closer at the last moment, before sending their bolts arcing through the air.

Luthor laughs at the Dornish display and looks back to the block of billmen under his command. “Here that men! They can’t wait to die, so move your arses and lets oblige them!” he shouts as he reaches down to help a man up the side of a ditch to join him. Once the man is up he looks once again at the line and smiles, seeing the banner he’d been seeking on the Dornish left. “There’s the bastard,” he says with a smile before turning back to his men. “Come on men, we’re not getting out of this Seven-forsaken sun till we’ve bathed in Dornish blood!” Though before the men get too far forward the mesenger arrives with word of the coming volley, and Luthor orders his men to crouch, and await the telling blast.

A peal of laughter comes from the front at the warning about the bolts. “That means I’ll have to ducke even more, lads!” He chuckles, the big knight wearing chainmail instead of plate armor , to let him move easier, and his long sword in unsheathed. He’s not wearing a cloak either and his Lannister men cheer at their commander.

Atop his sandsteed, now that the king’s army is near enough, Ser Mavros puts away the Myrish far-eyes after one last look at the center, where the crowned helm of the king can be seen. Turning to Lord Manwoody and the others, he gives a nod of his head. “The gods go with you, my lords. Remember our plan! If we hold long enough, Blackmont should be able to close the distance and join us against the enemy. Keep your men under control,” he says to them, with a commander’s ease, a man who’s led swords on both sides of the narrow sea, “and avoid any gaps forming in the lines. You know the banner signal, if you require part of the reserve to shore up your lines.”

Triston stared at the Dornish lines as the footmen moved slowly forward. Fighting on foot was never something that he was fond of. He missed the mobility and height that a horse gave him. Even more, he missed the feeling of the charge, of smashing into enemy lines. Now, there was no glorious charge, just sluggishly inching forward towards the enemy lines. It gave one more time to think about all the horrible ways to die in battle. The warning about the crossbow fire snapped him out of his reverie, and he unsheathed his sword and shield and prepared himself for the first volley.

Closer and closer the Westerosi draw, and with every step the Dornish line seems fiercer; dusky faces turned darker by the sun, fierce, blood-fevered eyes and long spears. On its left, the Sand Dog points with his longaxe with the section of the northern advance facing them—led by Triston and Luthor—and roars something that brings forth an answering roar from his men, cresting above the ringing of sword upon shield.

The Dornish army waits, long lines of spearpoints glittering, dark eyes shining with malice. There’s movement in the back of them, as some of the chief leaders of the army disperse from the vantage point in the rear to command their various sections. The knight with the flames of House Uller on his shield, but the banner of Hose Qorgyle flying above them, remains at his place with a reserve a thousand strong.

He turns, and gives a command. A voice shouts. A drum rolls and beats a tattoo. Openings form in the bodies of spearmen, and running forward light Dornish skirmishers appear. Their double-curved bows are fitted with arrows, and as a group they pause some yards ahead of the Dornish line. The bows rise, and the arrows are loosed. There’s hundreds of them, cutting through the air, arcing .... and then falling, falling, to fall before and amidst the front line of the vanguard. And then mroe arrows.

Ser Burton Crakehall, tall and erect, sits in the high saddle of his black destrier. The fierce steed is snorting and beating the ground with a hoof and its master is staring at the Dornish lines-with a cold, calculating gaze. Today it it the first time during the whole campaign when he actually gathered all his forces in one place. More that a hundred experienced warriors- hedge knights, Crakehall guardsmen, Bravossi mercenaries-all mounted, all in excellently chosen armor and armed with lances and swords, are near their lord, chattering and staying silent,praying and joking. The squire to Ser Burton, a skinny red-haired boy is holding the standard of Crakehall-a silk banner with a Brindled Boar emblem, fluttering in the wind. As he watches Luthor and Triston attack, he rolls his eyes, sighs and, riding a bit closer th Prince Aemon the Dragonknight , says casually ” I cant stand this all this waiting. To sit here while other men fight….Hope we will have our chance pretty soon”

Arrows falling like a black and deadly rain, land amidst Luthor and his Riverlanders, he has little choice but to ignore the screams of those who were struck, his shield saving him from the worst of it. “Steady!” he cries out. “Steady for the King and the Seven! We’ll have their blood soon!”

The King’s Van has spread out into long rows scores deep. They march in lock step with pike and sword, shields before them. At their center a tall figure in antlered helm and pale gold surcoat shouts orders, raising a huge hammer on high as he steps forward in the center of his men. Two smaller figures carry the banners of the Dragon and the Prancing Stag marching side by side.

As the arrows fall, men die. They fall in their line of march and those behind them step over their pierced bodies, moving forward with the pace of inevitability.

Still the Van marches on, approaching the Dornish lines.

Elmer raises his shield over his head to protect himself from the hail of arrows, but the big man doesn’t falter and goes on. “Move, you snails, faster, or you’ll all pincushions for the Dornish!” he yells, this time only wearing a halfhelm which makes his bellows easier to notice. His dark eyes study the DOrnish flags. Is he looking for one in particular?

The king’s vanguard grinds forward, as more and more Dornish arrows fall. Their lines grow uneven, despite the exhortations of the captains who lead them, as they have to deal with irrigation ditches—some barely filled with water, true enough, but others are knee-deep, even deeper, and each ditch that must be climbed means a slower pace. Men grown, cry out, and fall. The worst of it are for the pike and halberds, men-at-arms without shields to defend them, but here and there a knight falls as an unfortunate arrow slides through the eyehole of a greathelm or visor, or pierces through mail at some joint.

Triston ducks beneath his shield as the deadly arrows and bolts fall all around him. He hears a cry as the man next to him is struck by an arrow, but he keeps moving, his shield protecting him from the arrows. He hears some of the other knights shouting encouragement to the soldiers and he tries to do the same, but his throat is too try, and his voice does not carry over the din of battle. He almost falls as he is climbing up an irrigation ditch, but he manages catch himself and climb out. The Dornish line is getting ever closer, and he finds himself wishing the two armies had already clashed. Triston would prefer to die in close combat, rather then getting shot down by some nameless peasant with a bow and arrow.

Behind the marching line of the vanguard, there’s movement as the short, sallow men of Braavos that the Sealord lent to the king suddenly break from the bulk at the center, rushing behind, crossbows already at the ready. Their own captains cry out in Valyrian, forming them into orderly ranks.

Two trumpet blasts sound, moments after.

The van draws near. Fifty paces more will bring things to a close.

Then, the trumpet comes and the deep voice of the Stormbreaker bellows, “DOWN! ALL LINES! DOWN!” And he goes to a knee, drawing his shield in front of him. The banners dip twice in quick succession and their bearers also kneel and halt their march.

Those who were looking for the signal follow as quickly as they can. Others are cut down by the Dornish rain of arrows and cannot answer the call.

The men duck as commanded, as the trumpets give the signal—and with barely a moment to spare, for the Braavosi are quick on the triggers of their crossbows. In well-serried ranks, heavy quarrels are sent over the heads of the vanguard, to fall with fatal suddeness among the ranks of unsuspecting Dornish skirmishers, and even into the ranks of the spearmen behind. There’s screams and cries—mostly have almost no armor to speak of, beyond shields and padded jacks, and the rest are lightly armored with corslets of scales or the occasional shirt of mail—as the Dornishmen fall. And then the first ranks of the archers drop down, to give the second group of crossbowmen a turn to send their darts through the air at the enemy.

Not all the vanguard are lucky—some men were slow to drop, it seems, and fate’s against them: one man has a quarrel punch through the back of his head, falling bonelessly, and a few have bolts in their backs as they cry out and fall, cursing.

On the hill behind the Dornish army, Ser Mavros scowls at the risk the king’s taken with his crossbows, and their success. The skirmishers are in disarray. A sharp command, and the drum beats the retreat. The lightly-armed rebels are happy to comply—some manage a last, fumbling arrow shot, before turning tail and running for the gaps between the lines of spears. Bodies strew the field, as the vanguard of the king’s host kneels in ditches and on the earth.

A trumpet sounds from the center of the king’s army, long and loud.

Crossbow bolts fly overhead loosed into the unprotected rebel ranks, withering the Dornish. The Stormbreaker rises, a antler crowned tide of gold silk. He raises his warhammer up high, the banners of the Prancing Stag and Targaryen Dragon rise with him.

“CHARGE! SEND THOSE FUCKING MAGGOTS TO THE STRANGER!”

The massive figure begins pelting towards the Dornish ranks, whatever remain of them. Those footmen behind him struggle to their feet to follow.

Luthor smiles as the banners rise and his legs tense only to release as he surges forward at the sound of the Stormbreaker’s command. “Death to Dorne!” he roars as he surges forward sword in hand his grim and bloodied Riverlanders following close behind.

“Here goes our bold Stormbreaker!,” says Ser Burton- it seems, adressing nobody in particular , and still observing the action-“I wonder where my cousin Elmer is. Hope he will be more lucky today,than the last time, with the old Lord Manwoody. The thing we do need now is a Dornish warlord being killed. Their morals would shatter greatly….” . Smiling ,he takes a wineskin from his squire and makes a great gulp. Then he wipes his mouth and mutters to himself “Nothing like a good old mouthful before battle…”

Elmer goes down on his knee at the crossbolt salvo, but then as they whistle over his head, he stands up, sword naked in hand and he screams. “Attack!” he gives the exemple, running towards the Dornish lines, followed by his westermen who lower their spears, and whose cryes of “Lannister! Crakehall! Marbrand! Castamere!” fill the air.

Triston pulls himself to his feet after dodging the crossbow bolts. At the Stormbreaker’s signal, he smiles, happy to finally be able to actually fight the enemy. He follows the advancing vanguard, and this time he has no trouble having his battle cry carry over the battlefield. “LET"S KILL THOSE FUCKING BASTRDS!” he shouts, all his fears vanished under the familiar thrill of battle.

With a roar, the knights and soldiery of the vanguard rushes at the ranks of Dornishmen, crossing over the bodies of the dead and wounded skirmishers, and plunging straight into the ranks of spears. There’s a crash, a groan that seems to resound across the battlefield, as the forces meet. It’s an ugly clash, a brutal clash, spears snapping, swords breaking, shields being shivered apart.

Dornish spears jab and thrust, desperate, and men fall. Here and there, throwing spears dart from the mass of black-eyed Dornishmen, sticking into shields, piercing through a throat. One nearly finds Ser Luthor, but it just misses him, and a man beside him lets out a gurgling scream as he falls. A spitting, cursing Dornishman—bearded, but for where a great scar shows on his face—jabs and thrusts with a spear with a long, wicked blade, trying jabbing at the Crakehall shield. There’s movement in the back, as Dornishmen cry out curses, encouragements, and further beyond drum’s roll as the Dornish army reacts.

The Van has broken ranks in their ragged charge. The rows of men engage here and there, broken by the terrain and the speed of their charge. A vague wedge has formed around the Stormbreaker and where the banners of Stag and Dragon stand tall.

Halberdmen to the giant Baratheon’s either flank cut down men while the commander’s hammer flattens foes unlucky enough to come in contact with it.

Ser Sarmion’s shield deflects spear after spear, as he cuts into their ranks, relentless as the Storms that beat the shores of his homeland. A bloody battle is engaged around him as pikemen close around to either side of this center of the Van.

Luthor Luthor doesn’t spare a look for the dead man as he closes with the Dornish line, his shield more archery butt than anything else, held in front of him to ward off the spears flung in his direction. Then suddenly he and his men meet the Dornish line in a clash of steel and a chorus of screams as the dance begins. Luthor battering aside spears while his sword darts quickly into the openings seeking blood.

Ser Ardon Tyrell and Prince Aemon, with the other commanders of the right battle—more than a thousand horsemen—watch the vanguard now clash with the ranks of the Dornish line. The Lord Protector of the Reach turns to one of his lieutenants, and gives a command. The Dragonknight in turn looks to Ser Burton. “Ser,” the renowned Targaryen prince says, “it’s time for battle. The Braavosi have drawn back. There’s room to begin to cross the ditches with care.” His grey destrier snorts and paws the earth, but he handles him easily, as he points. “We shall cross there, and then move north to come around the left flank of the vanguard. Gods willing, Ser Sarmion will have pushed the Dornish back enough to give us room for the charge. The Lord Protector and the rest shall make the first charge, past the right flank.”

Wedges have formed amongst the Van with the rows of footmen concentrating amongst the knights who take command. At there center, the Stormbreaker rages, his warhammer making bloody arcs as it is raised high and then leveled on some thriced-damned Dornishmen. To either wing, other wedges have formed around Ser Elmer Crakehall and Ser Triston Templeton.

The remaining men of the battle push forward in ordered rows, their progress impeded by the obstacles that form the enemies defenses.

Marching forward, these footmen seek to envelope the Dornish lines as best they may.

All along, the king’s army has moved with the sure knowledge that Lord Blackmont’s force—discovered thanks to the king’s foresight just the day before—approaches from the west, to the army’s rear. Ser Almer’s outriders have ranged that way, keeping an eye upon the enemy ... and now they begin to stream back, racing to bear the news that now the Vulture of Blackmont has picked up the pace, two thousand strong.

The circumstances of the battle, however, have given the king a great reserve. In the rear, Moros the Mordant, the famed knight of Stonedance, commands the reserve. Messengers ride to and fro, and hundreds of men begin to shift their position back west, turning their back on the battle before the army, preparing to form a second front. Ser Moros rides up and down the line, giving commands. Archers, form in wedges interspersed by spears, and the Iron Serpent leads the bulk of the cavalry at the right flank.

As Prince Aemon speaks, the Heir to Crakehall nods in agreement . He takes his sword out of the hilt and carefully wipes the blade with a silk handkerchief .His black armor shines in the sun and the golden tusks of his famous greathelm do even more so. “Men!,” Ser Burton says loudly, as his riders group around him ” Lances ready! You should follow me like a kitten follows a cat-and I dont wont to see any turned backs… You would attack at my command.”

The Dornish line buckles under the weight of the assault. The king’s knights in the forefront, the flower of chivalry, fight like men possessed under the commands of their captains. Some fall, winning undying glory and the promise of the light of the Seven. And others, others hack with longaxes and polaxes, with swords and with whirling flails, breaking spears, breaking skulls, cutting down men. Dornishmen with cloths wrapped around their helms can be seen running to and fro, where delivering word from Ser Mavros on the hill. Part of the reserve descends soon after, joining the front line, shoring it up against the Stormbreaker’s brutal assault.

Away at the Dornish left flank, there’s movement as the drums roll, beating commands. Spears shift, and suddenly a detachment two hundred strong turns and starts to cross to make an attack on the vanguard’s flank as they grind and smash their way against the Dornishmen.

Slashing down a Dornishman, Luthor finds himself in a quick moment of calm in the storm of battle and surveys the battle, he can see little but blood and sorrow, most of it Dornish, but he notes the arrival of the reserves and that he is too far from the Lannister men on the flank. “Follow me men!” he shouts as he dives back into the fray, cutting his way towards the banners of the Lannister men to sure up the wedge against the incomming Dornish reserves.

Triston parries a blow from a Dornish soldier, and smashes his shield into his head, stunning the soldier, giving Triston the opening he needs to stab him in the stomach. Another Dornish soldier attacks, this one with a spear, but he too is cut down. Triston is almost surprised to find himself at the head of a wedge of soldiers, but keeps fighting on. The Dornish ranks seem endless to him, but he forces himself to keep fighting. Three Dornish soldier attempt to swarm him, and for moment is seemed to him that he would be overcome, but he receives aid from the soldiers following him, and overcomes them. “PRESS FORWARD!,” he shouts, and throws himself into the fray.

Spears clatter against shields, stab at every man they can reach. Some shatter, and holes begin to form, where isolated knights start to drive their way through, cutting down men. There are shouts as the Dornish reserve joins the line, pressing men forward, replacing dead bodies. The area between the struggling, roaring lines are full of bodies. One Dornish youth, yelling madly, comes out of position, charging to run his spear into a knight who’s turned part way to hack at another man’s spear. The spear finds its way into his arm pit, biting deep. A curdling scream and the man stumbles, nearly knocking down Ser Luthor. The youth twists the spear, screaming, pulls it out, and now thrusts at Rivers!

Away to the rear of the king’s host, arrows suddenly lift into the air, taking wing like a flock of crows: battle is joined there, too. Arrows come up in response, less organized, but in great number, the work of the Dornish mounted archers, almost as skilled as the fabled Dothraki from across the narrow sea. Trumpets sound their clarion call, and drums beat their tattoos. King Daeron shifts his attention to the west, where Ser Moros and Ser Dagur commands. Horsemen stream out to charge against the enemy.

A whole opens up in the Dornish center as warhammer, halberds and pikes all cleave their way through Dornish flesh and frail armor.

The Prancing Stag shines in the desert sun and the Targaryen dragon gleams with red fire, waving proud over the heads of the center wedge.

Winning pause, the Stormbreaker looks northward where the Templeton knight’s force is winning ground. Marching towards them, the Stormbreaker shouts, “Ser Triston! Turn their flank to the South! Ser Elmer, reinforce Rivers!” He turns his own wedge northward to pincer the Dornish forces between his wedge and Templeton’s.

A hole opens up in the Dornish center as warhammer, halberds and pikes all cleave their way through Dornish flesh and frail armor.

The Prancing Stag shines in the desert sun and the Targaryen dragon gleams with red fire, waving proud over the heads of the center wedge.

Winning pause, the Stormbreaker looks northward where the Templeton knight’s force is winning ground. Marching towards them, the Stormbreaker shouts, “Ser Triston! Turn their flank to the South! Ser Elmer, reinforce Rivers!” He turns his own wedge northward to pincer the Dornish forces between his wedge and Templeton’s.

Knocked off balance by the dead man’s tumble Luthor falls back before the point of the mad-youth’s spear raising his shield. The blade finds purchase in the wood and Luthor twists the shield hard to the left hoping to take the spear with it, but the youth is quick and pulls it free and attacks again but Luthor meets it with his sword finding his feet. “Last chance boy, run or die,” he grunts as he presses back against the spear.

Triston hears the Stormbreakers command over the fury of battle. He turns to the soldiers and shouts, “TURN THE FLANK TO THE SOUTH! PUSH THEM INTO THE STORMBREAKERS LINES!” He again faces the Dornish, and leads his soldiers into them, attempting to push the Dornish into Sarmions forces.

The cavalry from the right wing picks its way carefully across the irrigation ditches. Prince Aemon and Ser Burton then start to cross north, behind the struggling line of Sarmion’s vanguard, while Ser Ardon moves a shorter distance. However, instead of aiming themselves for the Dornish left, they instead move to intercept the Dornish spears attempting to flank Sarmion’s men.

Away to the rear, the arrows cease to fall, and now the cavalry must be charging in.

Methodically, the Stormbreaker’s wedge edges northward, closing with Templeton’s and trapping any luckless foes between them in steely death. The Prancing Stag and Targaryen Dragon march nearer to Ser Triston’s on command banner.

Meanwhile, Ser Elmer’s wedge moves Southward pushing the Dornish back towards their own flanking forces.


There’s a fresh clash, as the force from the Dornish left is met by Ser Elmer’s force. The heavy horse now beginning their charge under the golden flower of Highgarden shift as Ser Ardon gives a command, and instead of streaming into the flank of these Dornish spears, they break through the gap forming between Ser Elmer and the rest of the vanguard, before the Dornishmen can try and take advantage of it. They charge on and through, slamming into the center. And away to the north? Prince Aemon, Ser Burton, and the rest of the horse round the back of the vanguard, and are now in place to charge.

There’s a sudden blare of trumpets, in the rear of the force. A bloodied messenger can be seen making his way to the king’s side. Daeron can be seen turning, shouting commands, and things go into motion: men riding here and there desperately, and part of the center suddenly peels away, turning, running west. Orders sent to the left wing, on the other hand, now give the command for them to go forward against the Dornish host. From the walls of the holdfast, scorpions placed there long before begin to send great spears arcing through the air, to impale two, even three men at once, yet the left continues to go forward. The Dornish right remains immobile, anchored against the holdfast’s low walls.

Seeing Prince Aemon’s horse formed on Triston’s left, the Stormbreaker raises his hammer:

“TEMPLETON! TO ME! CLOSE AND CRUSH THEM!”

To his own men, he orders, “ADVANCE!” And lays into the nearest Dornishmen with his swordarm covered in gore from fist to pauldron.

Triston once again responds to Sarmions command, maneuvering his forces to reinforce the Stormbreaker, cutting down any Dornish who get in his way.

Those fighting on the eastern front of battle are not aware ...

... that to the west Ser Moros Massey, known for his prowess as much as for his mordant wit, has fallen, pitched from his horse when a Dornish lance took it in the throat, snapping his neck when he strikes the ground. A charge from Lord Blackmont’s cavalry has thrown the reeling knights back, and now the Dornish horsemen plunge through the shocked ranks of the, sending arrows and thrown spears into them, their swords scything and scattering many of them back routing towards the king’s rear. Ser Dagur and the cavalry under his command, briefly cut off from the rest of the force, curl inwards and push at the enemy’s flank, struggling with the Dornish knights there. The king sends forces rushing back west, pulling them away from the center to join the reserve, to guard the precious baggage where Meros Tyrell orders ranks of pike as a last-ditch defense.

So the center is kept out of the battle, and the left moves forward cautiously, for many hang back out of fear if the DOrnish have more surprises. But it seems the commanders of the Dornish host are more cautious still, and play a different game entirely. As Sarmion’s vanguard begins to buckle and shatter the Dornish line, Ser Mavros Uller has the drums sound, and the bulk of the reserve races in to shore up the line. Men can be seen streaming to one side, and some knight—the Red Spear, perhaps, or Ser Laurent Dalt—is shouting commands. The line of spears shift, compress, the ranks deepening .... and in the gap, suddenly a stream of cavalry plunges in to meet Prince Aemon and Ser Burton head on as they charge. Almost the whole of the Dornish cavalry throws themselves into this space, enough to overwhelm the Dragonknight’s force, enough to overthrow the vanguard on foot if they are not stopped.

From the hill, a trumpet sounds three times.

At Burton’s command, his shieldbearer-a plump warrior with a scarred face-sounds the charge. The Crakehall knight lowers his sword , kicks his horse into motion and roars ” None so fierce”. And then the whole Crakehall detachement of heavy cavalry start to advance. Clad in heavy armor, their visors lowered and their shields raised to defend them from the arrows, they ride as they have never ridden before-swift, ferocious and ready for battle! They seem to be charging faster and faster-and it looks like they will soon meet the overwhelming Dornish forces , and cut into their midst!

“HOLD YOUR GROUND!” the Stormbreaker bellows, to all who can hear now that the tide of battle has briefly turned against the Van.

Seeing the Dornish cavalry turn back Prince Aemon’s charge, Ser Sarmion lifts his hammer towards Templeton and orders: “ADVANCE! Cut them off!”

He begins facing his own wedge southward to meet the reinforced ranks of Dornishmen there.

Drums and trumpets sound alarms, sending orders flying across the battleground. To the west, the king’s hastily gathered forces suddenly outnumber Blackmont substantially, and the better part of valor leads him to start withdrawing his force west as the Iron Serpent harries them a distance. To the east, the Dornish right begins to bend, keeping the holdfast on its flank, but keeping its southern end matched to the retreating Dornish center while the Dornish cavalry nearly engulf the cavalry with Prince Aemon the Dragonknight at its head. Ser Burton’s troops drive through the initial front of the Dornish charge, but the result is that they’re nearly cut off from the rest of the force as more and more Dornish knights appear. A thrown spear rattles off his shield! Then a Dornish knight’s there, flail whirling, the flanged head suddenly flung at his skull.

The Dragonknight keeps his force in good order, while the Stormbreaker gives commands to hold the ground they’ve won, to prevent the Dornish from flanking them. Yet all across the battlefield, the Dornish are beginning to withdraw, their retreat covered by the right wing of the army and the cavalry. More trumpets sound, and even the right begins to peel away, sending arrows darting through the air at the slowly advancing left of the king’s army to slow their pace.

Snarling at the knight with the flail, Burton dodges his attack and with a push of his shield smashes his face and visor into a bloody mess. As the enemy spits out some of his teeth, the eldest of the boar cousins drives his lance into the knight’s neck, immediately killing him. Then he looks around. The Crakehall group has pierced the Dornish lines like a steel arrow pierces an apple-and the fact that they have been surrounded doesnt seem to have any effect on their battle ardor! His men pierce and slash like mad-their lances have bloodied during the first attack, but now swords have taken their place. They fight like rats that are tackled by a cat-and it seems that the cat is not going to have his supper just yet. Once again lunging into battle,Ser Burton, with a swing of his sword ,slays a standardbearer, and his squire grabs the Dornish flag, and starts frantically shaking it in the air. Meanwhile, the heir to Crakehall roars ” NONE SO FIERCE!It is a fine day to die!”

At the center of the army, King Daeron returns from having gone to the west to make sure that Blackmont’s forces were beaten back. Ser Reynard, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, leans near to him to inform him of what’s gone on in the east. And then the king gives a command.

Three trumpet blasts, and then three more: no pursuit! As the Dornish cavalry untangles itself from the wild Crakehall and the deadly blade of the Dragonknight and the knights they lead, as the Dornish center reels away from the Lord Protector of the Reach, the Dornish army withdraws as a whole. The king’s left, having nearly come to grips with the Dornish, comes to a halt. The Dragonknight calls a command, and the knights who rode pell-mell to chase after Dornishmen reluctantly turn back.

On the hill, Ser Mavros Uller and the other Dornish captains gather their banners, and withdraw away with the Dornish army, while the Dornish cavalry provides a rearguard.

Ser Burton, covered with blood and dirt, rides near the Dragonknight, his cloak torn into rags and his left palm bleeding. His men follow him, some of them wounded dangerously, and some barely scratched. Some of them are leading horses of their fallen comrades-a nice prise for a common soldier, even if not the most glorious one. His squire is carrying a greasy Dornish standard, that he, by miracle,has managed to keep for his master. The heir to Crakehall takes the flag from the boy and shows it to the Prince ” I have lost twenty knight,” informs he, smiling grimly. “But have managed to acquire this present for our lord, the King. I hope His Grace would like this small contribution”

“Well done, Ser Burton,” the Dragonknight says, grave but half out of breath. Dark Sister’s awash with the blood of enemies, the smoke-dark Valyrian steel having cut through scales and rings as if they were little more than parchment. He wipes the blade against his white cloak, already spotted with blood, before he sheaths it. Then, surveying the field and the retreating Dornishmen, Prince Aemon lifts up his high helm with the white dragon wings on either side. Pale gold hair and lavender eyes, and a beautiful face marred by a long scar from temple to jaw. He takes a deep breath, happy for the fresh air, even as there are moans and cries of wounded and dying men all over the field.

“The Dornish did more damage,” he says, “to the rest. We were fortunate, that Ser Sarmion held them so long. And the heir to Ninestars, if I saw the banners right.” He frowns, then gestures back to the main host. “Ride to the king, ser. I recommend we establish our camp here, to tend our wounded, and to replenish our supplies as best we can.”

“Twenty men!” mutters Ser Burton, doing as Prince Aemon has said which means riding towards the main host and King Daeron. As he spurs his horse into gallop,he keeps murmuring to himself ” It was quite a fight…Twenty men ... Should give Willum’s widow money to buy that tavern they wanted…” His squire keeps brandishing the banner ....a little bit TOO eagerly, as he clearly want to show it off. Then Ser Burton sharply tells him to stop and he, with a sour facial expression, hides it under his woolen cloak. At this time, Ser Burton seeing from distance the King, salutes him with his sword.

“What word from my cousin, Ser Burton?” the king asks of the heir of Crakehall, looking grim.

“Sire, we are recommended to establish our camp here, in order to replentish our supplies and tend the wounded. Thanks to Ser Sarmion Stormbreaker and Ser Triston Templeton, we have managed to retreat without big losses….,” then Ser Burton sighes, rubs his chin, as if considering,whether it is the right moment, and then continues “Your Grace, I have brought you this Dornish banner. I have killed the standardbearer with my own hand.We were surrounded, I lost twenty men-but we ended as victors!”

The king, distracted with half a dozen men besides Ser Burton bringing reports, gives a brief nod at the knight’s boast, but little more; he has too many other concerns, it seems. Turning to the old Caron knight, he says, “Ser Reynard, inform Ser Meros we’re to establish a camp centered around the baggage, as usual. Have Ser William arrange for tents for the wounded, and to break open some of the wine barrels.” And then, after a breath of space, he turns back to Ser Burton, “Ser Moros Massey is dead. Killed fighting the rebels to our west. Ser Dagur’s seen them off, but I doubt it’s the last we’ve seen of Lord Blackmont.” No wonder he is so somber. A famous knight dead, and scores more besides, not to mention the hundreds of others who were killed. The Dornish came off lightly, by comparison, even though they retreated in the end.

“Damn it!” Ser Burton doesnt manage to control his emotions and swears “All those rogues we killed today are not worth one Ser Moros! We only can avenge him in one way now-make a vow to slay his murderer,if we know, who has landed the fatal blow. Or the Lord Blackmont himself.He must be punished for his crimes….Now it should be a question of honor for all Westerosi knights…” The banner is now on the ground,nobody-not even Ser Burton himself, not even the squire-looking at it.

“We shall have our vengeance, ser, when Sunspear kneels to us once more. Ser Moros’s death will not be in vain—no, nor that of any other knight who fell this day,” says the Young Dragon. More messengers come, from the left battle, from Ser Ardon, from Ser Dagur. Distracted by their oppressive presence, he gives Crakehall a last nod. “See to your men, ser. Let my cousin know that we shall make camp as he says, and that I wish him to ride to the village to the north to make sure no rebels remain there who are like to cause us trouble.” And with that, the king’s attention is called elsewhere, and he’s on to dealing with the next problem before him.

Ser Burton returns to the Dragonknight, looking rather dissapointed-but whether the death of Ser Moros or the fact that the King has taken no notice of the banner made him said,remained a mystery. Seeing Prince Aemon, he dismounts, takes his greathelm off, wipes sweat from his forehead and reports. ” Your cousin, the King, answers that we will make camp as you have planned, and that you should ride to the village and check if everything is is in order there, and make sure that there are no rebels causing harm.”

As men move the wounded and the dead, and others sort through the Dornish to see if any noblemen are alive to hold for ransom and to question, and any commoners needing the mercy blow, the Dragonknight drinks water from a skin with a great thirst. Ser Burton’s news leads him to squint to the north, and he says, “Thank you, Ser Burton,” he says to the Crakehall heir, and then calls for other members of his troop. The mount, and they ride away north to the village.

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