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It was a feast of welcome, and a feast filled with joy. Years ago, the hostages demanded by King Daeron departed for the Red Keep, and now free Dornishmen and women have returned to their native land. The shadow city and the Old Palace were lit with torches and lamps, music played, and wine flowed. Many were the lords and ladies from throughout the realm who were there to greet their kin and celebrate with them, from crippled Lord Gargalen to Lady Allyrion. Courtiers great and small were there as well, and with them came the talk of what to do next, what great challenges were before Dorne
Though autumn may be slowly turning leaves north of the Red Mountains, in Dorne the sun still burns nearly as fiercely as it did in the long, blood-drenched summer, though the night winds off the sea blow cold. Prince Marence has been said to have kept late hours, doing what he could to begin to repair the damage done to Dorne by the Targaryen invasion and conquest, and the rebellion that followed. Ser Mavros Uller, the former exile, is now accounted one of his chief advisors, though he holds no formal office (Prince Marence’s father’s doing, it’s said.)
Thoughts turn towards the matter of
It was, in a way, anticlimactic. When the bird arrived, tired from its long journey from King’s Landing, the Old Palace’s maester carried the message to the Seneschal, who in turn brought it before Prince Marence, who was at that time in conference with certain lords and ladies and knights, discussing the way forward for a war-weary Dorne. The message was read, and King Baelor’s terms—practically in perfect agreement with Prince Marence’s counter-offer—were, it seems, much as Prince Marence hoped. What were two more towerhouses in the Prince’s Pass and the Boneway, after all, when compared
The Dornish court gathered in the Prince of Dorne’s throne room, beneath the golden dome of the Tower of the Sun. The cause? Word had at last had arrived from King’s Landing. and rumors had it that the new king Baelor, pious to a fault, spoke of peace. The Prince arrived in company with his brother, Prince Rhodry, whose expression was murderous. Everyone soon discovered why, when the prince read the letter from the king. Though Baelor wished peace, and offered to exchange all the hostages held in King’s Landing in return for the Dragonknight and certain other prisoners, he had been convinced
Prince Rhodry Nymeros Martell has made his triumphant return to Sunspear, after having spent some time at Godsgrace awaiting word from the four corners of Dorne regarding what remnants of the king’s army exist. Ser Perrin Blackmont, reconciled with the prince after the debacle at the Battle of Godsgrace, was left in command of much of the force that Rhodry brought back from the Tor, with orders to mobilize them if the king’s forces to the north at Yronwood attempted to venture back into the depths of Dorne. As for himself? Rhodry seemed intent on shedding the last of his responsibilities as
In the wake of King Daeron’s murder and the near-riot in King’s Landing, King Baelor prayed and fasted for three days and nights. Only after he recovered from this did the young king begin to rule. And the tasks he set before his council? To proclaim the forty-nine days of mourning for Daeron I, to prepare his coronation after that time, to see to the safety of the Dornish hostages—including a formal pardon for Ser Tarion Sand, who killed one of the guards in an attempt to escape to safety—and…
... to make peace with Dorne. This, Prince Viserys—still his Hand—urged the king against before
From Godsgrace to the fords of the River Vaith to Salt Shore—the Reachlords and Riverlords led by Ser Ardin Tyrell, Lord-Protector of Highgarden, had reached the end of a long, brutal march, shadowed every step of the way by Lord Andrey Blackmont with a larger host. But Lord Blackmont’s refusal to engage them—save in constant skirmishing and the battle at the fords—and the fact that none of the scouts they had sent ahead to Salt Shore had returned meant that the captains of the Westerosi host suspected yet another Dornish trick at the end.
And what a trick it was. For when they crested the
The night fell on the ransacked town of the Tor. Soldiers made merry in its streets, confident they were beyond the power of the Dornish and that the war for them was over. But in the night something stirred, the Speardancer and Prince Rhodry had brought up their soldiers in the dark - perhaps taking lesson from the Stormbreaker’s unstoppable march from the week before.
Meanwhile, the Stormbreaker and his good cousin, Lord Swann, were about the business of securing what goods had survived the near disaster of the Young Dragon’s conquest. Their commanders otherwise occupied, the soldiers of
The Planky Town is lost.
Having been left in charge of the efforts to seize the rest of the Planky Town while Oakenfist took a great part of his fleet and some of its forces to race towards the Tor, Ser Aloran Celtigar made a ferocious effort to do as he was commanded. However, ill-fortune and the sudden appearance of 500 more Dornish forces from Sunspear threw back the Targaryen forces. Bit by bit, their gains evaporated, and then the streets and alleyways and docks that they held were lost. In the end, with no hope of Oakenfist returning in time, Crackclaw made the difficult decision to
The colloquy of the leading lords and captains of the army lasted a mere hour, following the destruction of much of the baggage. Ser Ardon Tyrell’s men had seized a part of what remained, and the stormlords another part, and Ser William’s men a third part. No agreement could be made as to a single direction for the army, nor a single commander. And so, in the interest of preventing any more bloodshed, Ser William and others agreed to break the army up, each under its own commander:
Ser William himself would lead the king’s household and such men as wished to follow him along the Scourge,
In the wake of the king’s death and the arguments over control of the army and the baggage, with the Dornish looming somewhere to the east and Godsgrace still standing, it was no surprise that when morning came, nothing was resolved. No, not though the lords and captains argued for an hour, with soldiers and men-at-arms trickling in to watch and grow frustrated. Cat-calls came from the crowd, curses, demands. And then, somehow, matters exploded: a riot began. First fists, then clubs, knives, swords. A true slaughter, as fellow soldier fought fellow soldier, and the men of common blood dared
It had all been arranged. Dornish captains would ride out beneath the holy truce banner, to surrender to the king. Five knights, representatives of the army and a number of Dorne’s chief lords and ladies, would make their submission to the king, the Dornish army in attendance with no banners flying to show their place as supplicants. The king would meet them with his companions, to receive their obesiance. It was all quite simple, it seemed. The war was won, Godsgrace near to falling after a fourth hole gaped, fresh, in its walls. Only a matter of time, surely, especially with that rabid dog,
Four gaping wounds mar the walls of Godsgrace, holes smashed through brick and stone by the king’s great siege engines. Each day that passes sees more and more harm done, and it seems that already the king’s army has begun preparations to storm the city once an opening or two more are opened. The inhabitants of Godsgrace do what they can to fill the holes with rubble, but it is a paltry effort. Victory against Godsgrace—and so all of Dorne—now seems a matter of days away.
So, perhaps, it was no surprise when a small group if Dornishmen appeared from the southeast, carrying the
The night of the king’s nameday was a quiet one, marked by an extra ration of wine for the troops and some celebration after the first hole had appeared in the walls of Godsgrace after his trebuchets—their parts brought by Oakenfist, who had returned to the Planky Town—had gone to work. The camp rested at ease, as did the king in his pavilion. Little did they realize that their night would be interrupted by the sudden assault of the Dornish army.
The first inkling of what was about to befall were at the pickets on the east side of the siege camp, where the Marcher lords Swann and Dondarrion
Months of travel and fighting culminate in this: a great battle outside the walls of Godsgrace, the king’s army facing more than 10,000 Dornishmen. The battles arrayed themselves against one another, the king holding a stronger reserve rather than attempting to extend his lines beyond that of the enemy, for they had anchored their left against the walls of the town. The battle opened with the vans charging one another, led by Ser Sarmion Baratheon and Prince Rhodry Nymeros Martell. When the Dornish sought to sweep wide to flank the king’s van, Ser Almer Connington thought to do the same
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