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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
It was well-known in Dorne that Prince Marence was a man given to caution in war ... and of late, his caution has been a byword for inaction and even for cowardice, though none would dare say it to his face ... except his brother, Prince Rhodry, that is. But with events as they are, many had expected it when the prince called them to the throne room beneath the golden dome of the Tower of the Sun. They waited there patiently—overlong, some may have thought, but they were patient none the less—as Prince Marence Nymeros Martell, Lord of Sunspear and Prince of Dorne, prepared to give the
The Young Dragon marches on and on. A week ago, he attained the source of the Scourge, the deep spring-fed oasis which sends its waters to join the greenish flow of the Greenblood. Along the banks of these rivers, life flourishes, and there are villages and farms enough. But much of these have been stripped bare by the Dornish army that’s there ahead of them. Out numbered though they are, almost three to one, the Dornishmen have fought the great force with raiding tactics—their outriders have been seen in all directions, attacking foragers, occasionally coming within bow range of the main
Yronwood is invested. Girded by a new wall—a wall of earth, surrounded by a trench—in which some five thousand of the king’s force shall remain, to build siege engines and to hold the blockade of the mighty Dornish-held castle, Yronwood is as firmly under siege as it was when King Daeron first broke through the Boneway some four years ago. A boy of 14 then, the Young Dragon would go on to great glory, glory to match Aegon the Conqueror, when Sunspear bent its knee and the rest of of Dorne followed. The years since have been difficult, with Dorne unruly, with hundreds, thousands killed by
While war raged in the north of Dorne, at the mouth of the Boneway around the twice-besieged Yronwood, in Sunspear matters had been different. Prince Marence had been quietly gathering spears to his seat, after sending a troop of men under the royal banner, Ser Laurent Dalt and Ser Baduin Santagar at their head, north to join his bannermen in liberating Dorne. This proved successful, with Vaith and Godsgrace freed of foreign sellswords and Targaryen garrisons alike, and the sun-and-spear of Dorne travelled on to the Boneway where they joined Lord Mors Manwoody in taking control of the Boneway
The Dornish forces held the ford of the river that barred the king’s passage along the Boneway for two days, repelling numerous assaults. With daring and skill, they had forces on the other side of the river roving, harrassing any attempts to find a sound water supply, leaving the encamped force to sneak what water they could in the night. The result, under the hot Dornish sun, was a force withering from from too much thirst. Horses, in particular, were the hardest hit—some died thanks to the lack of water. The strange, cool wind from the west was barely any comfort, when the sun was as
The king’s march has come to a halt, after the inexorable push down the south had proved so successful. After the Battle of the Rampart, the Dornish forces seemed to lessen their raids against the march, although outriders could often see enemy horsemen on swift sand steeds shadowing the march, and signs of Dornish spears having been just ahead of them. Still, contact with the enemy was rare. But each day drew the force a little nearer to a river cutting across the Boneway, a river in a deep gorge, its only crossing a ford at the base following a narrow and winding track. Such a place where
The king’s march progressed through the Boneway, despite the minor skirmishes and raids suffered all along the line of his great army as it wound through the red mountains of Dorne. Each day meant a day nearer to Yronwood, under siege by the largest of the Dornish armies. Yet each day also meant a day further from the source of much of the king’s supplies, and each day meant that his army was outstripping his supply a little more. Water in particular had become a precarious thing, and on some days the army was forced to march into the night to be able to rest, exhausted, at a watering place.
As the rebels of Dorne seize back more and more of their land—Salt Shore, Yronwood, and Wyl the last of King Daeron’s strongholds—battle has been joined in the Boneway, as Ser Sarmion Baratheon led forces under the Baratheon banner to force their way up the mountain pass. Their purpose? To throw back Lord Manwoody and the rest of the rebels, to relieve Wyl that was virtually under siege, and to meet the Young Dragon’s seaborne force. But Lord Manwoody, that wily old lord, succeeded in delaying the greater force of stormlords. The king would have no help.
Well over a hundred galleys,
After the fall of Vaith and the execution of Beslon the Bad, the Dornish forces under Ser Baduin Santagar and Ser Laurent Dalt occupied Vaith while planning—in concert with Krazdan Big Nose, the new captain of the Bright Banners—what they would do to liberate Godsgrace from King Daeron’s garrison there. The next day, the former pit fighter from Meereen led the greater part of the Bright Banners eastwards, loaded with much of the coin they were paid for cutting their banners and joining the rebels. A week later theyreached Godsgrace. There they were allowed to enter the town, under the false
A hard fought battle led to an interminable siege at Vaith, with the Dornishmen under-supplied and the Bright Banners within the walls of the town isolated from any likely help. Would the Dornishmen try to storm the town? Would the Beslon the Bad attempt a truce? Matters hung in the balance, before a parley was called and Beslon and some of his officers rode out to meet Ser Laurent Dalt and his companions half way between the walls and the Dornish siege camp. For the most part, it seemed as is Smallwood was quite bored and sought the parley as entertainment. The banter traded back and forth
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