Blood of Dragons: Logs

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:

Want to learn more first? Start with the FAQ. Or check out the web forums.

Read our Privacy Policy.

Connect With Us
Recent Entries
Archives

View All

Calendar
December 2014
M
T
W
T
F
S
S
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
Sites of Interest
War on the Horizon
IC Date: Day 4 of Month 3, 161 AC
RL Date: November 16, 2009.
Participants: Daeron Targaryen, the Young Dragon, Janden Melcolm, and Dagur Saltcliffe, the Iron Serpent
Locations: At Sea: The Black Dread

Summary: The king discusses the progress of his fleet's journey with Ser Janden Melcolm and Ser Dagur Saltcliffe, and how the war with the Dornish rebel may proceed once he lands.

The chilly breeze out of the northeast has turned a few points eastward, and that’s fortuitous, for the long, long string of ships that make up the king’s fleet has rounded Cape Wrath. With the wind behind it, warmer and more brisk, the ships now move at a faster pace than before. Each hour, each day, brings the ships nearer to Dorne. The Black Dread crests the waves, throwing spray from its bows, and the oars are shipped thanks to the full sails that the wind has brought.

To the north, the cape can be seen with its rocky coast and the deep forests behind it. Some few stormlords are here on the royal war galley, and some of those stand at the starboard rail, pointing out glimpses of some lord’s castle, or some landmark out of legend. The king, too, eyes the coast. He holds a Myrish far-eye up, the lens magnifying what he sees three-fold.

The chilly breeze out of the northeast has turned a few points eastward, and that’s fortuitous, for the long, long string of ships that make up the king’s fleet has rounded Cape Wrath. With the wind behind it, warmer and more brisk, the ships now move at a faster pace than before. Each hour, each day, brings the ships nearer to Dorne. The Black Dread crests the waves, throwing spray from its bows, and the oars are shipped thanks to the full sails that the wind has brought.

To the north, the cape can be seen with its rocky coast and the deep forests behind it. Some few stormlords are here on the royal war galley, and some of those stand at the starboard rail, pointing out glimpses of some lord’s castle, or some landmark out of legend. The king, too, eyes the coast. He holds a Myrish far-eye up, the lens magnifying what he sees three-fold.

Janden doesn’t spend a lot of time up on the deck, however he makes an effort to come up for air at least once every day. It wouldn’t do to spend the entire trip in the cramped quarters and be stiff when they finally reach land again. The Melcolm knight isn’t green. He’s more pale than anything, and he does his best to keep his eyes from taking in the expanse of water all around the ship. He’s certainly no comfortable, but with little option to be elsewhere, he does his best to swallow the nerves.

He climbs to the deck today, stretching when he finds enough space and sweeping his gaze around to see who else has collected here. His feet lead him toward where the king and other lords gather. Looking toward shore is some comfort.

“... and there, that very cliff,” says one of the stormlords to his compatriots, “is where Ser Galladon of Morne drew the Just Maid for only the second time, to defend himself against the Black Boar of the Rainwood.” The main points then, before there’s any response. “See there? The cleft in the cliff? The Just Maid took off the boar’s head, and then cut right into the stone.”

A dubious knight, his doublet carrying the colors of House Bolling, guffaws. “What kind of foolishness do they feed you? Everyone knows it was Rivencliff where that happened, two hundred leagues away!” And then another starts, “It’s only Tarth where they tell the story right, it seems. The Black Boar? Just Maid wasn’t needed for that, he lured the beast off the cliff, to drown in the sea. It was—”

And then the king interrupts. “Enough of that,” he says with a note of exasperation in his voice, not looking away from his observation of the coast. “Let the maesters and singers argue about it, my lords, we’ve better things to do with our time.”

“Do we?” Janden’s comment is quiet and really only meant for his own ears. He takes a glance to where the man points out the non-descript cliff and can’t find himself all that interested in the landmark. He raises his voice enough to give greeting to the gathering - “Your grace. Lords. Sers.” His eyes follow where the king observes, but struggles to really make out anything without the aid of the far-eye. “Land, water - sky above. Everything seems well enough.” The idle comment isn’t really directed.

Abashed by the king’s reprimand, the men fall silent, and then turn to discussing out loud what they know of the coast all along the way to Dorne. Rocks, mountains, forests, treacherous reefs, riptides, merlings—the usual mixture of knowledge, rumor, and superstition when dealing with anythign more than a few leagues from one’s home.

The king looks on for a little while, then lowers the far-eye when Ser Janden makes his presence known. “Ser Janden,” the king says in acknowledgment, and Daeron’s purple eyes regard the man for a moment before turning back to the Cape Wrath. “The gods have been kind, sending us a fair wind. Four, perhaps five days and we shall be ready to make landfall, the captain tells me.”

“Four or five days.” Janden repeats, shaking his head slightly and casting a nervous glance toward the expanse of water once more, before continuing. “That’s fine news, your grace. I wish the Seven had heeded my prayer to lift the ship and place it directly at our destination, but I’ll accept favourable winds as a compromise. I look forward to solid earth under my feet and proper dangers that I can approach with a blade in hand.”

“Well said, ser,” Daeron says in response. A brief smile touches his lips as he looks over. “Strange, though, that a man from Old Anchor would find a journey on the sea so trying.” The king himself was seen to have been rather green the first day of the journey, but since then he’s been as able and healthy as any other man on the ship, moving with a sailor’s sureness. “You’d think the salt would be in your blood,” he explains. And then, turning his gaze to the east, he looks among the galleys and cogs following behind the Black Dread. “It must be in your father’s, at the least. His galley is out there, somewhere—moving behind that group of cogs, there, I think.” He points to a dark knot of ships a good mile or even two away.

“I admit it is strange. I fear I may have gotten too much of the sea as a youth and tipped the scale in the other direction. It’s no matter, I’ve learned to make do when I must.” Even so, Janden stays a few steps back from the side of the ship as he speaks. He follows the king’s gaze out into the water and the other ships that show in the distance. “I haven’t seen them since I returned from Sunspear with a spear in my side. And I only stayed as long as I had to during that visit. I can’t say I’m all that displeased to be riding with Ser Andry and the outriders rather than my father and brother. Terrible of me, I know.”

Silence follows that, at first. Was it too much to tell the king? When he speaks, his voice is dry. “If Baelor were here, he’d offer a homily on honoring one’s father and loving one’s brothers,” Daeron says. Another pause. And then he shrugs his shoulders. “For my part, the gods care more about duty than they do about love. That’s nothing I share with Baelor, of course. My brother knows only love.” Everywhere but in the marital chamber, at least, if the rumors are true regarding Princess Daena, still dressed all in white.

The ship pitches over a large, surging wave, and there’s calls and cries among the sailors and their officers. The king steadies himself on the rail with a practiced ease. As the ship settles, he asks, “I trust Lord Jeron is pleased at your betrothal to my cousin?”

Janden doesn’t deal quite as well with the wave - he’s a nimble man who has been on a ship before, but the lurching of the ship sends a quick space of panic through the knight, and he stumbles a few steps backward before he finds himself again and reaches out to steady himself. He scowls out at the sea, taking a slow breath to deal with his nerves before moving back to his place. “Forgive me, your grace. My knees don’t hold well under the seas.” He shakes his head, finding his way back to the conversation. “I’ve spent my time praying to the Seven regarding my father and brother, your grace. I think the best arrangement is for us to keep a reasonable distance. I shouldn’t speak too poorly of them, though. They’re both good men - our views just clash in nearly every way.” He tries to shrug off the subject, perhaps saying too much again. “He seems content with my betrothal to Lady Aurana. His letters didn’t express much emotion. I’m certain he is happy to see me married at all in a situation that may bring him some advantage.”

“And well he might,” the Young Dragon says, with no irony in it. He lift the far-eye up again, to peer through it at a rocky island covered in sea birds and their droppings to the north west, and then turns to one of his ever-present attendants. “There’s the White Isle. Ask the captain to check that against his logs, and see what time we’re making.” The man bows his head to the king and departs for the rear of the ship, where the captain—a Velaryon—stands beneath a pavillion.

With that done, Daeron says, “With luck, Stormbreaker’s forces will not be far from Wyl when we land. If he distracts the Dornish, perhaps the landing will be uncontested. It’ll be fraught enough as it is—the Dornish are sure to think it practically impossible as it is, and with some reason.” And then, with a flash of white teeth, he adds with supreme confidence, “We’ll be teaching them the difference between impossible and merely improbable.”

Janden’s spirits seem lifted once more with the talk of landing - even if the landing will be rather difficult. “One would have thought we’d already demonstrated that difference a number of times during our last visit, your grace. I’m surprised they seek further examples, but we’re happy to provide them.” The knight’s eyes follow the man who goes to seek the captain’s input. “What are the challenges of the landing, your grace? I’ve had my focus on the work to be done once we are ahorse in Dorne, but not so much the getting there.”

Daeron glances west at the question, but there’s nothing to see but a hint of ocean stretching to the horizon—still many leagues to Dorne. “The Dornishmen have depended on their inhospitable shores to keep them safe from seaward invasion for a thousand years. It served them well, until Ser Alyn showed them differently,” the king says, and there’s an obvious pride in what he says; the strategy that caused such havoc for the Dornishmen was devised by Oakenfist and himslf together. “But that was largely the Planky Town, their chief port. Easy enough to suppose that the rest of Dorne was safe. There are uncharted reefs, hidden rocks, forbidding shores, maelstroms ...”

The king pauses ominously, and then he chuckles. “What they do not know, however, is that my cousin has put his time in Salt Shore to good use. He’s found an old Dornish smuggler who was willing to share his knowledge of an old smuggler’s cove near Wyl, and how to get to it. Swears even a cog can get through the reefs. He’s in one of the galleys ahead, ready to lead the way through.”

Janden may get a shade more pale at the mention of all the horrible things that could put a ship to the bottom of the sea. Would the journey by land be so bad? He nods slowly as the king explains the plan, smiling along with the words. “A fair surprise that will be, your grace. I’m sure the diligence has been done - but this man can be trusted? Leading a portion of the fleet into a reef while the rest is flanked in the cove would be a poor fate for us.” The knight pauses, uncertain about questioning the king in such a way. But, it has already been said.

“I wouldn’t trust his honor,” says the king, with an airy, self-assured manner. “But his love for his wife and children? yes. He knows what fate will meet them if he leads us astray.” Of such things are kings made, to talk lightly about such matters. The king tucks away the far-eye then, behind his belt, and leans against the rail to look down into the water; there’s a dolphin swimming beside the galley, just under the water.

The Young Dragon laughs with simple amusement, and points down at the water. “Do you see that, ser? The Myrish say it’s a good omen; Alyn told me that once.”

Janden provides little reaction to the statement. Times of war call for less than honorable tactics. “That is reassuring. It’s good, then. This surprise landing should give us an advantage to begin and we’ll fight to retain that advantage on land. I’m no great mind for strategy on a grand scale myself, but I know you, your grace, and many of the other knights and Lords have a keen eye for it. It gives a man confidence when following orders.”

The Melcolm knight watches as the king points, but he can’t see. He steps foward, reaching out his hands and grasping the railing, knuckles white with the tightness of his grip. He looks down and nods, spotting the dolphin. “I’ve heard that myself. And I’m one who is happy to have as many good omens going to war as possible. Bring your friends!” He calls the last down to the dolphin, grinning a moment, before recalling his current company.

Daeron laughs again, amused. The dolphin leaps out of the water at one point, then turns to swim upside down back towards the rear of the ship before turning, twisting, and darting off again. In the direction there goes, a number of fins can be seen cresting the water, a whole pod of dolphins. “Well. That seemed to have worked, ser,” the king says at last, straightening. He glances up to the sky, to search for clouds, or perhaps to gauge the time, and then he says, “In the next days, I will be consulting with my bannermen and captains. Feel free to accompany Ser Andry, when the time comes to discuss the outriders.”

And with that, the king seems to decide it’s time to go about his business—there’s been endless consultations, will manner of knights and lords, sellsword captains and victuallers, horse masters and armorers and engineers, and Daeron has carried them out tirelessly. “A good day to you, Ser Janden,” Daeron says, before he departs.

Comments