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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,
From the Tower of the Sun, where the court of the Prince manage the affairs of the realm, an official pronouncement is issued declaring as true something that had been rumored and gossiped about for weeks: Dorne is indeed sending emissaries to the court of the Sealord of Braavos to discuss important matters concerning trade in the narrow sea. With rumors of corsairs growing bolder—news from King’s Landing, filtered through galleys and couriers alike, made that more than plain—and Lys and Pentos approaching open war over the Stepstones and trade routes, Dorne’s interests are plain enough. But
In the shadow city, in the winesinks and the pillow houses, there is talk of many things, of news from places near and far. Merchants tell of the disruption of trade caused by fears over the Iron Throne fleet in the Stepstones meaning to do more than sweep out pirates, and of the real harm that the notorious corsairs of those waters have caused in the Narrow Sea. But others speak of the greater storm brewing between the Free Cities, a trade war that might become something all together more dangerous if they come to blows.
In the halls and chambers of the Old Palace, the nobles tell similar
After many months of negotiation, waiting, and speculation, and a fortnight after plans were at last announced, the Dornish emissaries to King Baelor’s court at last departed by ship from the Planky Town. The feast the evening prior to their departure had been without any noteworthy incident. Prince Marence had arranged no joust or melee to go with it, perhaps for fear of what might happen; little more than a month before one of the Iron Throne’s own emissaries—the famed Lord Mallister—had come to a horrible, disfiguring jousting injury thanks to the prince’s own brother, Prince Rhodry. The
It was with anticipation that the court and the people of the shadow city met the tourney that Prince Marence had called, though it was not necessarily a welcoming anticipation. The rumors were rife that the tourney was an occasion for the Prince of Dorne to name the date at which a party of emissaries would leave for the Iron Throne, counterpart to that foreign embassy already in the city. Many doubted the efficacy of such a plan, the trustworthiness of the lords north of the mountains, or even of the gods-mad king that rules the Seven Kingdoms. Yet still, perhaps the rumors were wrong…
Weeks had passed since the emissaries from the Iron Throne had arrived at the Old Palace of Sunspear, and the lords and knights and ladies in that company seemed to have found a place at the court that was, if not comfortable, at least safe. Though there were tensions—snide remarks and sullen glances, whispers behind backs and any number of minor discourtesies offered them by some of the Dornish—it had seemed peaceful enough. Perhaps in the cause of improving relations further, perhaps merely to show his strong support for the embassy, Prince Marence commanded a tourney with rich prizes. It
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