The ruse to draw out the Unsullied was a success, as the bulk of the Dornish force—strengthened by heavy horse under the command of Ser Sarmion Baratheon, the Stormbreaker—drove into Bloodstone to threaten a fortress and the Pentoshi sellswords and slave-soldiers moved into pursuit. Little did the magisters of Pentos know, however, that this was an elaborate trap. The outriders ahead of the Pentoshi column sent no word of trouble… but they were sellswords, and their company had been suborned with chests of coin by Ser Laurent Dalt, the Keeper of the Sandship. When the column passed beneath a
Pentos and its forces have proved most stubborn, as the Dornish army on Bloodstone finds itself in a stalemate: holding half the island but not being able to push past that, as each day brings the opportunity for reinforcements from Pentos to change the balance of power. Siege and counter-siege, raid and counter-raid, skirmish and even a battle—but at no point have the allies been able to win an advantage, and this is owed almost entirely to the legion of Unsullied that Pentos has used as a stalwart anchor for its forces. Again and again the Unsullied have proved too disciplined and too
The war to free the Stepstones of the oppressive control of the Free City of Pentos continued after the parley proved a failure. Oakenfist withdrew his fleet to Gray Gallows in a movement that surely surprised the Pentoshi… but it was merely a stratagem, a way to quietly divide the fleet into three parts that would assault different parts of the isle of Bloodstone. With the help of natives to the Stepstones, Oakenfist determined three locations that would be the likeliest place where men could be landed… and though some of them might be well-defended, it was hoped at least one would prove
The stubborn citadel, manned by Unsullied, falls at last on Grey Gallows—but at a bloody cost, as 300 Dornishmen lie dead in the storming of the fortress. Yet with the harbor secured, and a toehold won in the Stepstones, the question that followed was what to do next. The Dornish leaders wished to fight aggressively, to aim for the Pentoshi strongholds on the isle of Bloodstone, but Lord Velaryon who commands King Baelor’s fleet refused to move so quickly without a chance to send galleys ahead to scout the isles nearest to Grey Gallows first; indeed, Oakenfist’s preference was to take lesser
As Lord Velaryon’s fleet, carrying the Dornish forces under command of Ser Laurent Dalt and Prince Rhodry Martell, sits in the waters of Grey Gallows as the citadel guarding a small, lonely harbor on that stony Stepstone isle is blockaded and put to a fitful siege. After swift victories at sea driving away or capturing the Pentoshi ships—some its own galleys, some sellsails from Myr and elsewhere—Oakenfist found that the foothold he hoped to make on Grey Gallows was contested by the well-made fortress garrisoned by two hundred Unsullied and a dozen sellswords. Their leader, the sellsword
As preparations for the joint force of the Iron Throne’s fleet and the Dornish spears continue unabated, the Planky Town has remained full to bursting of Dornish levies and knights and men-at-arms on the one hand, and northron sailors and lords and soldiers on the other. The great increase in the Planky Town’s watch has proved necessary, for the confines of the Planky Town have seen a number of disputes, brawls, and four stabbings since the ships arrived. It’s true that much of the friction began only as time wore on… and saw an increase, too, with the results of the tourney pitting knights
Ravens had flown from the Broken Arm to Sunspear, to report the first sighting of the Iron Throne’s fleet of ships that had come not in war, but in peace and alliance. Longships were dispatched from Sunspear to meet the vessels and escort them on to the Planky Town where the Lord Protector had raised thousands of men to provide an army for that fleet to carry to war. Though the court and lords of Dorne are nervous—as are at least some of the leaders of the fleet (the Stormbreaker’s demand that no Dornishmen set foot on his own vessels comes to mind)—and a handful nurse secret (sometimes
The wind does not stir, and has not done so for three days, now. Blackwater Bay is calm, a gray sea covered by a gray fog. Ships lie in that bay, and at the docks, waiting for a breath of air from the west to carry them out to sea, and to begin the long journey to Dorne. In the halls of the Red Keep, it’s said that Lord Velaryon consults daily with maesters. The septons gathered at Baelor’s behest to join the fleet (it would not do to leave any sailor, man-at-arms, or knight without the solace of spiritual council) join the king each day in prayer… but some worry that among them are those
Rumors run rife, as they always do in the city of the dragon-kings. But they reach a new fervor on the topic of the Stepstones, controlled with increasing ruthlessness by the Free City of Pentos who extracts protection tolls in coin and goods and sometimes even flesh. For the realm of King Baelor, it is a nuisance, but not a great one—or so some argue. And yet in the highest of councils, the king’s own small council, the tenor of the conversation is quite other: the Master of Ships is in favor of a joint expedition proposed by the Lord Protector of Dorne; the Master of Coin would prefer that
As the sun rose on a cool winter day in Sunspear, the heir to Yronwood received his knighthood in the sept of the Princes of Dorne. His vigil through the night had been undisturbed and serene, as such things should be, and at dawn septons entered and with them also were Ser Quinlan Qorgyle, Farien’s mother Lady Linnet, and other lords and ladies of note from the court and from throughout Dorne. They witnessed as Farien was raised to knighthood by Ser Quinlan, the Lord Protector of the Realm, on behalf of his son Prince Marence.
There were some who thought Lady Yronwood seemed not best
In Sunspear, the Lord Protector Ser Quinlan Qorgyle named the date for an open court session, his first since ascending to the position when his son Prince Marence Nymeros Martell retired to Starfall to continue the long, slow recovery from his poisoning the previous year. Ser Quinlan, who had returned from virtual exile at his son’s call, showed himself to retain all his experience from when he last sat the throne during Marence’s minority: he briskly dealt with criminal issues, judging quickly and decisively. Afterwards, he announced to the court the appointment of a new Keeper of the Tower
Tensions mount, day by day, and there are those now who fear Prince Marence’s infirmity could very well lead to a violent struggle for the control of Dorne. In the halls of power, the Keepers of Sunspear struggle on, maintaing a tenuous order in the city… and watching disorder grow unchecked outside of it, as distant lords begin to ignore their missives and decide matters as if there were no higher power than themselves. Matters are made worse by the partisans of Prince Marence’s brothers, Cadan and Rhodry, each of whom has laid claim to the regency of Dorne while their brother languishes in
As the Keepers gathered the officers of the court of Sunspear to deal with affairs of the Old Palace and the shadow city, trouble brewed thanks to the attendance of the princes Cadan and Rhodry. With Prince Marence still unfit to rule—gripped by paralysing fear at times, by deep lethargy and indecision at others, and still physically weak from the yet-unsolved attempt to poison him—unease has grown concerning how the realm would be ruled and only the efforts of the three Keepers to maintain a semblance of control has kept panic at bay. But the brothers? The brothers may have begun the slow
In the wake of the bloody conflict between the Dalts and Gargalens over a desert well, some wondered how a lasting peace could be restored. The heir to Lemonwood had died, cut down by the Gargalens of Salt Shore. Retribution was called for, and it was given—in a way. For Prince Marence, having for too long (as some say) been indecisive at last called for an end to bloodshed. Wild Willum Gargalen was sent into exile for his part in Ser Blaise’s death, and the well fell to neither Lemonwood nor Salt Shore but to Sunspear. There were many who were dissatisfied with Prince Marence’s decision, but
From the Citadel, pale wings took flight across the realm.
In Oldtown, bells tolled.
In Highgarden, the news was taken as reason for a winter festival to be readied.
In the bowels of Casterly Rock, Lord Loreon resumed counting his coins.
In Riverrun, the Tullys were occupied with the latest series of petitions and counter-petitions from the Blackwoods and Brackens, and considered the question of whom would attend the marriage of Jannia Tully to Lord Jarmon Buckwell in a few months time.
At Storm’s End, Lord Corwen Baratheon is said to have dismissed the news of a white raven’s arrival,