The most famous knight in Dorne, some might say, Ser Aidan is widely known as the Knight of the Twilight, subject of song and tales told besides hearths thanks to his prowess upon the tourney field. A prodigy from an early age, he won his spurs from the most feared knight in Dorne at the time, the Hellknight himself, and went on to win many victories. When war came to Dorne during the Young Dragon’s invasion, he fought boldly and with great skill from start to finish. Captured and sent to King’s Landing as a hostage, he gilded his reputation with more tourneys, but became morose in his last days.
After returning to Dorne as Baelor’s sole companion in the final leg of the young king’s humble journey of peace, Ser Aidan has avoided drawing too much attention to himself, and seems to have become enamored of his cousin, Tanyth Toland.
Cobalt eyes deep as the Summer Sea, and deeper still to have the shadowy tint of violet that they do, are set in a young man’s face shaped and toned to equal them in their comeliness. Refined in its youthful masculinity, his lean countenance is made up of elegant lines and smooth curves writ in olive-hued flesh warmed by the relentless Dornish sun. His evening-eyes and dusken skin are echoed in the nightfall of his hair, long black tresses that flow in waves well past his shoulders when not clubbed in a warlike queue. Within that frame of twilight and darkness, the sharpest feature is his nose: nobly aquiline, it molds his expressions and lends to them the raptor’s aloof tranquility or fierce intensity as the moment requires. Straight and slender as a spear, his body is lithe and yet sleekly muscled, with a fair broadness of shoulders that is matched by the grace in him, a honed edge of balance and awareness that is worthy in a knight.
His garments are those of a nobleman, and all of it is touched by the customs of Dorne. One layer is only hinted at, a glimpse of the dark yellow linen of his undertunic occasionally seen at his throat. The next layer is a robe of white cotton, its tight sleeves extending to his knuckles and its vine-embroidered hem brushing upon the ground. Overall is a loose and flowing robe of cobalt blue satin, its wide trumpet sleeves matching the voluminous drapery of material that ripples and swirls sinuously with every step. The belt that holds this all in its proper place is of a bleached white leather to match that of his boots, its buckle all of silver embellished with niello. The wear where warlike arms might have hung on the belt is obvious to see, but these are now conspiciously missing. Upon a finger of his left hand he wears a pale ring encrusted with amethysts.
Ser Aidan’s reputation is one that has few blemishes to it, and in Dorne at least he is considered a perfect example of a courtly knight. He can flirt or trade witticisms, he can sing and dance and play the high harp, he can discuss the finer points of hawking, and all other things considered proper in a young nobleman; and he can do these things because of a genuine regard for them, rather than the mere rote behavior of the uncouth. If he has a temper, it is most often well-hidden behind an armor made of courtesy, markedly stiff and unyielding as he tends to hold the harder the more pressed he is to remain polite. Noble women in particular have had cause to remark on his courteous nature, for he is often solicitous to their needs . . . even when they might wish he were not.
When it comes to martial pursuits, Aidan is no less skilled, and his courage is unquestioned in Dorne following his many feats of arms on a number of battlefields. Indeed, the only thing questioned is his restraint, for it’s been said that he is reckless where caution might be warranted.
Born to Ser Aethan Dayne and his second wife, Mirielis of House Jordayne, late on the 6th day of the 5th month in the 140th year since Aegon landed upon the shores of Westeros, young Aidan immediately seemed to take more after his mother than his father. Dark of hair and of skin, he was a Dornishman of the shores rather than the mountains, and he grew lean and tall because of it. Only his eyes gave away his father’s heritage, for his eyes were a violet richer than those of his uncle and even his father. It soon became apparent that he was his father’s favorite child, despite the two elder daughters by the fabled beauty Leyne Lightheart, and this was a cause for contention with the eldest sister, Alia, in years to come.
Those who knew Aidan as a boy remember him as bold, even reckless, getting into more scrapes and misadventures than most lads his age. Yet he was also studiously polite, a fact that would become more apparent with age. On his father’s death in his 7th year, Aidan was for a time more solemn, but soon devoted himself to absorbing all the lessons he could in the practice yards, from his uncle Lord Aeron and his knights, and from his mother and her ladies. By the age of ten, he was well-versed enough in courtesy and courtly arts that it was decided that two years in Sunspear as a page would do him well. Those two years passed swiftly, in which he made the acquaintance of many young nobles of Dorne who were at court for similar reasons, and not least among them were his cousins, the Toland twins Tamlyn and Tanyth.
At twelve, departing Sunspear for Starfall, Aidan was made squire to the formidable captain of Starfall’s guard, Ser Castor Vaith. Having known Aidan from boyhood, he was the perfect choice to push the youth as he had never been pushed before. By all accounts, Aidan rose to the challenge, striving for excellence. He was accounted an excellent horseman even at that early age, and showed burgeoning skill in knightly arms. His courtesy, too, was faultless, though his sister Alia (the other one, Elysa, was confined to a motherhouse following the birth of a bastard by a father she would or could not name) seemed to think little of his solicitous nature towards her.
It was in his 15th year that Aidan achieved knighthood. On the occasion of Lord Aeron’s 50th nameday, the Lord of Starfall hosted a tournament to enliven the festivities. Great champions came from throughout Dorne: Ser Landon Fowler, Ser Matrim Jordayne, Lord Morys Yronwood and three of his sons, Ser Dagos Manwoody, and many more. But greatest of all was Ser Garyn Uller, the Hell-knight. The jousting began in the morning, and by the afternoon Aidan was the only squire remaining, having unhorsed two Yronwoods and Ser Clarien Sand. As the sun was westering, he unhorsed his fourth opponent, the Falconhelm himself. By twilight, only two remained to fight for the victor’s crown: Aidan on end of the lists, the Hell-knight on the other.
Torches were lit to provide enough light, and by their light did the spectators witness Ser Garyn’s shield shatter and the great knight fall. He rose up with a roar, calling for his sword, and there was panic for a moment, for the Ullers are a byword for madness in Dorne. But the Hell-knight had no cruelty in mind. Instead he demanded that Aidan kneel, declaring he had never been unhorsed by a squire since he himself was one, and he was not about to begin now. Aidan, overawed, dropped to his knees and repeated his vows in a daze as Uller dubbed him then and there. Afterwards was a feast, and by the time the last of the revelers stumbled to their beds, there was already a song growing of the bold young Knight of the Twilight.
Aidan took to the tourney fields, travelling in Dorne now as a sworn knight with a squire—Tamlyn’s young brother Danyll—in his following. He won great renown in little less than a year’s time, making a name for himself in Dorne. Then the news of war came, of King Daeron proclaiming he would conquer Dorne, and Ser Aidan raced back to Starfall to join Lord Aeron’s host. Where the Knight of the Twilight had a reputation as a perfect tourney knight, soon after he would be blooded and be known for his courage even on the battlefield. At the Prince’s Pass, he slew no less than two lords, and a westerlands champion called Swordbiter. He was separated from his uncle then, and retreated east with others who joined the Hell-knight, where he watched the siege of Starfall and its fall—with the deaths of Ser Castor and Lord Aeron in the midst of it—from the opposite shore. Grief made him rage and plea with the Hell-knight, but Ser Garyn would have none of it.
Instead, Ser Aidan let out his rage in the many skirmishes during the long, drawn-out march to Sandstone. There Aidan fought boldly, even recklessly, a whirlwind in the sandstorm that would spell defeat for the Dornishmen despite the heroic deeds done that day. Not least was Aidan’s rush to defend the body of Ser Utheryn Uller, the Hell-knight’s younger brother, with the aid of his cousin Ser Conayn the Callow (a better knight, in truth, than his elder brother Ser Tamlyn; but more reckless even than Aidan). From that defeat, Aidan joined the march towards the Hellholt, where he fought bravely with anger re-awoken in his heart when at last he learned that his sister Alia, now Lady of Starfall, had been made to wed some reachlord who claimed Dawn for his own without right. Ser Aidan was among those knights who drove at Lord Garvys Tyrell’s banner and nearly killed him. Afterwards, though victory was finally tasted there, the word from the east was dire and they were forced to give up what they had just won, now under the command of Lord Gargalen.
From there he went on to Vaith and then was among the best and bravest who were chosen to slip by Oakenfist’s fleet to land at Sunspear. He fought in the battle where bold, laughing Conayn died. Finally, he fought besides Ser Tamlyn in a rearguard, in the final days of Dorne’s independence. The bodies of dead men piled around them and the desperate Dornishmen fighting with them by the time they were overpowered and taken captive. They were kept comfortably until the day came for them to learn that they would be among the forty-nine royal hostages sent on to far distant King’s Landing. Some wept, others groaned, others still cursed, but Aidan .... Aidan paused in silence, and then thanked his captors with all courtesy, for standing surety for Dorne was a duty befitting a sworn knight.
Years passed, and then the hostages were freed. In that time, Aidan had expanded his reputation as a knight of rare skill, winning respect on the tourney field and helping to found a tourney fellowship among the hostage knights, called the Sons of the Spear. There were conflicts, too, of course, but for the main, Ser Aidan kept away from trouble. The only thing that might have marred him was a curious friendship with the step-niece of the Master of Laws, a northern girl, but it was said Lord Ryger put an end to it. When the hostages were walked back to Dorne by Baelor, Ser Aidan was the only knight who chose to follow Baelor the entire distance, aiding and protecting the pious young king on his mission of peace.
24-06-161: When the news arrived of King Daeron’s death in Dorne, Ser Aidan’s initial instinct was to hope that King Baelor would not harm the hostages, but at the arguments and commands of Prince Cadan and Lady Joleta, he took part in an escape attempt, leading the ambush of two Mertyns men-at-arms, and then of three guardsmen. Donning their garments, Ser Aidan, Ser Tarion Sand, and another Dornish knight escorted Lady Joleta, Princess Ariana, Selara Dalt, Farien Yronwood, and Allia of Lys, only to be discovered and chased. They nearly escaped, only to find Preston the Lam there before them with six of Prince Viserys’s men.
Dragged away to join the rest of the hostages, Ser Aidan was beaten badly when he tried to free himself after Aisling Ryswell arrived, announcing King Baelor was on his way. When Baelor did arrive, they were all saved.
26-08-161: Riding in the coronation tourney, Aidan defeated his first three opponents, all men of note: Ser Edrick Buckler, Ser Kyle Piper, and the far-famed Ser Gueren Waters. In his fourth tilt, however, Ser Jaesin Lannister of the Kingsguard defeated him in the first pass, shattering his lance upon his chest. He went on to unhorse Prince Cadan Nymeros Martell, Ser Elmer Crakehall, Ser Almer Connington in a difficult contest, the remarkable Ser Luthor Rivers, Ser Aleyn Foxglove, and Ser Sarmion Baratheon. Facing Ser Jaesin at the end, both knights were unhorsed. The two fought on with swords, with the king’s permission, and Ser Aidan proved the swifter. A riot almost began at the prospect of the Dornishman being awarded the prize, however, and the two knights together proposed to the king that he split the prize, much as his brother and predecessor King Daeron did at the close of the Grand Tourney, when Ser Aidan and the Dragonknight shared the prize.
30-10-161: Departs King’s Landing with the other Dornish hostages, with King Baelor leading the way afoot.
01-02-162: Ser Aidan reaches Sunspear, where he is reunited with his cousins, and the sister he has not seen in many years, Lady Elysa.
30-03-162: Ser Aidan departs Sunspear with his sister Elysa and his cousin Ser Tamlyn, heading for Ghost Hill with the intention of visiting his kinsmen and then taking ship, with Elysa, to go home to Starfall to see their sister Alia.
21-08-162: Ser Aidan Dayne arrives late at Sunspear, having pushed on through the night. He had been away for a goodly time, first visiting Starfall where he discovered he was unwelcome, and then visiting with acquaintances in the vicinity before returning to Sunspear.
15-09-162: Riding in Princess Ariana’s nameday tourney, Ser Aidan wins six jousts and takes the champion’s prize. Among the knights he defeats are Prince Rhodry, the Knight of the Bones who was unmasked as Lord Aryard Manwoody, his cousin Ser Tamlyn, and Ser Laurent Dalt. The prize is 2,000 golden suns worth of precious stones. Ser Aidan takes the crown of the Queen of Love and Beauty and gives it to Princess Ariana.
With Prince Cadan, founder of the Sons of the Spear, a tourney brotherhood made up of most of the Dornish knights who had been held hostage at the Red Keep. He holds no offices, and has shown little interest in political advancement.
Alia Dayne: Though Alia and Aidan have never been close—indeed, Alia has been said to be hostile to him in times past—Aidan supports his sister as a dutiful younger brother should.
Elysa Dayne: Elysa is much closer to Aidan than Alia is, perhaps because she has never rebuffed his concern for her. At the same time, she has always been frivolous and, indeed, scandalous. It’s an embarassment to Aidan that she has had a child out of wedlock, but even so he is known to speak fondly of his wild sister.
Mirielis Dayne: Mirielis is loved by Aidan as a son is expected to love a mother. This does not mean he knows her well, or understands her, however.
Cadan Nymeros Martell: Ser Aidan’s efforts to found the tourney brotherhood of the Sons of the Spear were strongly supported by Prince Cadan, who has always honored the Knight of the Twilight’s courage and prowess. In return, Ser Aidan has been a staunch supporter, even when he seemed to have misgivings.
Tanyth Toland: Tanyth is Tamlyn’s twin sister, although she’s not precisely similar in personality. If anything, she’s even more relaxed in how she approaches life. Aidan has met her on a number of occasions, when she visited Tamlyn at Starfall or he visited with him at Ghost Hill, and she’s said some very shocking things in his hearing. He was for a long time sure that she only teased with such flirtations… but it appears that he has realized that she was not, and the two now seem inseparable.
Tamlyn Toland: Ser Tamlyn is Aidan’s cousin, and they get along very well, being of an age and both being promising young squires and then knights. Tamlyn squired for Lord Aeron at Starfall and so the two came to know each other well. Though Aidan has always been just a bit better at fighting, Tamlyn has always been more relaxed about what he does and how he does it.