The youngest of the three Martell brothers, some say Rhodry is the most dangerous—not so much for his unquestioned skill in arms, but because of the wildness and cruelty he is known for. He serves (unhappily, and irresponsibly) as the Keeper of the Tower of the Sun, but prefers to spend his hours in the shadow city, chasing wine, women, and other such pleasures.
Black the piercing eyes, that are curtained by lashes dark as soot. Black the sharp-lined brows, that with the merest flicker can speak volumes. Blackest of all the mane of hair, that spills like a torrent of ink down his back. He is a son of Dorne: the Rhoynish blood plain in his olive skin and the shade of his hair, the old blood clear in the sharpness of his features. There is a lean and hungry look to his visage, a severity that makes the sword-edge lines of cheekbones and long, pointed nose all the more striking. His mouth, too, is of a narrowness with lips thin and hard, given to cutting: the smirk a sardonic knife, the frown a headsman’s portentious axe, the smile a razor with blood already on it and still it is not sated; his face reveals that there is little of kindness in him. It is fitting that such a man is as slender of body as he is of face, his body a whipcord of firm muscle and supple sinews over long limbs, and all its trained strength and fierce grace appears to be under his mastery.
His garments are as princely as he is, fully in the Dornish style of robes both loose and close-fitted to created layers that flow easily and provide protection against sun and heat. His tunic is of palest red linen, almost rose in hue, while the scarlet robe over has copper fastenings engraved with sun and spear of his house. Though that, too, is of a light linen, the overrobe is far more magnificent, a crimson so deep to verge on black. The silk is most costly by the look of its weight, and there’s golden satin trimming it here and there. The overrobe’s sleeves are wide and loose, but folded back to keep them away from the hands and to show the underrobe’s closer-fitted, bunched sleeves that reach almost to his knuckles. Occasionally the leather of his boots might be seen as he walks, sits, or rides, embellished with shining beads and golden wire. About his waist, of course, is a knight’s belt, round medallions of gilt bronze with beads of jet picking out a black sun on each. Purse, dagger, and sword depend from it, and the last of these is clearly not for show: it shows stains of use, and though the scabbard itself is a lovely red leather with gilt fastenings, the sword’s own fittings are plainer, leaving it a functional weapon rather than a beautiful one.
A wild youth, spoiled as a child as some might say, grew into a wild and dangerous young man, all would agree. Whether it is some madness in him or not—maesters who have been consulted differ—the fact is that Prince Rhodry is a man of a cruelly mercurial disposition, quick to grow bored, quick to find entertainment by coming up with unpleasant things to do with those who dare to come into his orbit. If it were not for his blood, his prowess, and a certain amount of charm and good looks, he probably would have been killed long ago. As it is, he’s fought not a few duels, for few men have as hot a temper as he has.
Beyond this, Rhodry is an unmitigated indulger of fleshly lusts, enjoying men and women, girls and boys alike it seems, and the enormities he’s committed in this area make him the sort of man that leads others to lock up their sons and daughters when he comes visiting. All these features have been made markedly worse since the death of his paramour, Ser Corentyn Yronwood, in battle in the opening days of the conquest of Dorne. His rages are more brutal, his anger more cutting, his dissolute carousing more earnest since that black day. He is no model of chivalry, of courtesy, or indeed of basic human compassion or constraint.
It is remarked in the winesinks and pillow houses that Prince Rhodry Nymeros Martell was born under an omen. The black sun was in the sky on the day he left Princess Coryanne’s womb in the 138th year of Aegon’s Landing, and a black sun is a sign full of portents in the land where the sun is as important as the spear. At his birth Maester Renfred, who delivered him, was clearly disappointed at the timing as he was missing this rare chance to take measurements during the eclipse. The attending midwife, however, gave the squalling newborn boy a grim look, and muttered some half-forgotten charm from the days of the Rhoynar, whose Sun graces the banner of House Martell.
The young prince was robust as a babe, and remained robust as he grew, though once the baby fat came off of him he seemed like to be a slender man. His childhood was spent in rough play with his peers, in driving tutors and masters-at-arms to distraction with boundless, unfocused energy, in bedeviling friends and foes alike. His eldest brother took an active dislike to him, and the next eldest tolerated him by keeping contacts brief and irregular. Pricess Coryanne did little enough to put an end to it before her death, distracted as she was by her paramour, and then dead as she was by that paramour’s own hand. His father tried rather more, but to no avail. Even as a youth, he developed a reputation for his lusts, and his indulging it with most any woman, girl, man, or boy who would risk his attentions.
Matters changed when he was introduced to Ser Corentyn Yronwood, a promising young knight, already famous for raiding into the marches and performing well in tourney and melee. Somehow, Ser Corentyn was able to subdue the spoiled prince, who would become his squire. It was plain enough that the wild, dangerous youth was not quite tamed, but at least controlled, and the two soon enough acted as paramours. This does not mean scandal did not follow Rhodry, even so—his bastard son Lewyn Sand was conceived during this time, and there’s some that claim that the two flipped a coin to decide who should claim the child, both having shared the woman who bore him—but after two years under Ser Corentyn, Rhodry earned his knighthood. After this, they formally introduced one another as paramours. They were inseparable after that, sharing everything. In 156, the first full year of Rhodry’s knighthood, they entered several tourneys together, in which Rhodry and Corentyn both distinguished themselves. It was the last of these, at the end of 156 just before Daeron came to the throne to bring ruin on Dorne, that Rhodry defeated his paramour in a melee at Lemonwood. Everything seemed perfect then.
When Daeron invaded, Prince Rhodry and Ser Corentyn urged Marence to send forces to hold the passes, urgings he was slow to act on, thinking that the lords of the mountains could do well enough alone, and that if not, having a reserve ready would make mroe sense. Prince Rhodry, still finding moderation difficult, said unfortunate things to his brother, while Ser Corentyn kept his tongue. They left the court together, as always. They went to Yronwood and the Boneway together, as always. They joined the fighting together, as always. But they would not die together. Rhodry and Corentyn had distinguished themselves in leading attacks by day and night to harry and slow King Daeron’s progress. On the 12th day of the 5th month, the Young Dragon seemed to retreat, but it was all a ruse. Ser Sarmion Baratheon’s forces managed to cut Prince Rhodry off from his friends and overwhelmed him, making him a prisoner. When Ser Corentyn and others under his banner attempted to rescue the prince, the Stormbreaker led the counter-attack and killed Yronwood. It’s said that the monstrous Baratheon had Ser Corentyn’s head removed and then threw it down before Prince Rhodry, asking him to identify the knight.
The effect this had on Rhodry is only told in fragmentary tales, for he spent the rest of the months of the war a prisoner. Some say he tried to take his own life, and others say he killed so many guardsmen watching over him that eventually he was kept chained in a deep, dank dungeon at Yronwood once that castle fell to Daeron. Whatever the truth, at war’s end Prince Marence was allowed to ransom his brother for the sum of three thousand gold dragons. The Rhodry who emerged from Yronwood seemed little different from the young man who was Ser Corentyn Yronwood’s paramour ... but soon enough it was clear that without Ser Corentyn, his direction was lost, and he was as wild and without restraint as he had ever been before. His prowling the shadow city, his liasons, his carousing, his duels (he was ever quicker to make enemies than friends at court), his rages—they were like as not to lead him to an early grave, everyone agreed. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, his brother Marence—often at odds with him—unexpectedly appointed him his Keeper of the Tower of the Sun, tasked with dealing with the entertainment of guests; a responsibility Rhodry neither wanted nor appreciated.
13-05-161: Egging on his brother, Prince Rhodry may have led Marence to finally make a choice in the war. Rhodry is placed in command of the spears sent to Godsgrace, several thousand strong, to oppose the Young Dragon.
26-05-161: Prince Rhodry leads the Dornish van at the Battle of Godsgrace, and fights with notable valor. The van forces Stormbreaker’s forces to retreat, holds off the Tyrell cavalry until Ser Perrin’s foot drives it back, and more. But the tide of battle turned with Oakenfist’s unexpected arrival and the confusion of signals which led Ser Perrin south. Prince Rhodry had also become obsessed with battling Stormbreaker, who had murdered his paramour. It was a close fight between the two great knights, until others entered the fray, and Rhodry was forced to retreat with the rest of the Dornish forces.
02-06-161: Following a stratagem suggested by Ser Mavros Uller, Prince Rhodry lets a handful of trusted knights and the chief commanders know that he will feign grave injury and have it put about that he is on his death bed, or perhaps already dead. The prince is brought to his tent after the battle and remains there, attended only by the most trusted “mourners”.
09-06-161: Prince Rhodry hid amidst the Dornish army at the “surrender”, after spending a week in his tent to make sure the army did not know he was not gravely injured. When the trap was sprung, he charged out with a troop of cavalry, to make sure the job was done. He trampled Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, after he had killed two of the murderers. Then, dismounting and taking up the fallen peace banner, he approached King Daeron. The Young Dragon, trapped beneath his dead horse, struggled to reach his sword. Prince Rhodry thrust the butt-spike of the banner through the king’s throat, driving it into the dirt, and leaving him to choke on his blood. He stole the king’s crown—the crown of Aegon the Conqueror—from his head, and attempted to take Blackfyre, but the sword was firmly lodged in its sheath beneath the weight of the dead king’s horse.
10-06-161: Following a plan of Ser Mavros, Prince Rhodry leads a large cavalry force that attacks the invader’s baggage when the camp falls to riot. He slays several men, and battles against a number of worthy knights. Once the baggage is largely destroyed, he follows Uller’s call to withdraw.
16-06-161: Coming up to Ser Sarmion’s forces in the desert, he finds the forces dug in in a desert village. The fighting is sharp, with the prince giving the chief command to Ser Michael Blackmont as he prepares to take forces past the village to station them between Baratheon and the Tor. However, Stormbreaker proves wily and soundly defeat Blackmont to the point where the prince must give up his position, to rejoin with the much-weakned Blackmont.
18-06-161: The Dornish maintain a nearly-continual series of skirmishes and raids agains the Baratheon forces, trading blows, attempting to wear them away. For whatever reason, Rhodry focuses on Stormbreaker, perhaps thinking that the Tor would be capable of holding out against Lord Swann.
22-06-161: Giving Ser Michael Blackmont charge of overruning the harbor, Prince Rhodry leads a squadron of Dornish knights to sweep up looters and stragglers, and clear the gates of the castle so the garrison can join them. The resistance he might is notably fierce, led by Crakehalls and Marchers, and at one point he suffers tremendous odds against him yet manages to succeed. He unhorses Ser Burton and Ser Elmer Crakehall, and kills a number of men beside.
30-07-161: Rhodry departs in the morning for the Planky Town, with two household knights and some servants as escort. There he’ll take ship the next day—a captured merchant galley from the Arbor—for an unknown destination.
12-12-161: Having returned from his mysterious tour of the East, Prince Rhodry appears at a feast held for the returned former hostages and presents Samara Sand to her father, Ser Mavros Uller, who fathered her on a Free Cities concubine in the time of his exile and then left her there.
Keeper of the Tower of the Sun by appointment of Prince Marence, an office once held by his brother Prince Cadan and which was eventually given to him some time after Cadan was made a hostage. The prince is notably uninterested in carrying out the duties of the office, leaving much of the work to his subordinates.
Marence Nymeros Martell: Marence and Rhodry have never gotten along, and in truth the brothers dislike one another. Yet blood is thicker than water, as some might say, and so Rhodry is generally supportive of his brother.
Cadan Nymeros Martell: It’s well known that Rhodry likes his brother Cadan more than he likes his eldest sibling, but that’s because Cadan is easier-going and has made it policy to interact with Rhodry as little as possible; a policy which Rhodry largely approves.
Tanyth Toland: Rumors had it that Rhodry has known Lady Tanyth intimately from youth, but if it were true, well, it was not a relationship on par with his love of Ser Corentyn Yronwood. For a time,an acquaintance has been renewed, and it seemed suitably torrid to keep his interest in the longer term… with occasional flair-ups, of course, until one seemed to end their connection and the two went their separate ways. Their interactions since have been few and rather cool.
Corentyn Yronwood: Rhodry’s paramour was a gifted knight, and one who somehow could subdue the wildest of Rhodry’s passions. Corentyn one the wild youth over, taking him on his squire, and the two were lovers from the start. Only after being knighted two years after did they formally declare as paramours, however. When Rhodry was captured in the midst of battle on the Boneway, Ser Corentyn mounted a charge to rescue him, only to be brought down and killed by Ser Sarmion Baratheon and his men. The Stormbreaker’s last insult was to behead his corpse and throw it onto Rhodry’s lap, asking him to identify him.
Quinlan Qorgyle: If Rhodry doesn’t get along with his brothers particularly well, it’s still an improvement over his relationship with his father. To say that Ser Quinlan is frustrated by his dissolute ways and irresponsibility is to put it mildly.
Samara Sand: The natural daughter of Ser Mavros Uller, fetched—under mysterious circumstances—from the Free Cities by Prince Rhodry. The woman was not, by any stretch of the imagination, very grateful towards the prince as far as anyone could see. Her exotic appearance and strange manners—including carrying about a sword—has made her a curiousity at court, as is her relationship with the prince. Despite her apparent dislike, she bore a pair of twins not long after her arrival, twins given names that have been used by Martells of the past… but Samara has not named the father, and has even denied that Prince Rhodry is the father. The prince himself says otherwise.