A fortnight has passed since the assassination of Lord Lyonel Tyrell and the destruction of his force of some three thousand knights and men-at-arms at Sandstone. Lured there to see the tar-covered, desicated head of Andrey Blackmont, he found the old blind lord of the castle solicitous, though his castellan Ser Mavros was away. As was his custom, Lord Tyrell took the lord’s bed chamber for his own, and having developed a fondness for Dornish women, he pulled a bell-rope to summon some slut to warm his bed. Unfortunately for him, at the pull of the rope, the bed’s canopy fell open and
The feasting hall of the Sandship witnessed Prince Marence hosting Ser Alyn Velaryon, the king’s master of ships and commander of two of the chief forces in Dorne, and a number of other knights and lords in the king’s service. It was a relatively somber affair, the Dornish men and women present less enthused than even the knights from beyond the red mountains for the most part, and some of the guests at the high table were less than pleasing conversation. Ser Alyn, the famous Oakenfist who seized the Planky Town and smashed a Dornish fleet off the Broken Arm, was a genial man, it’s true, but
In the Prince’s Pass, the outlaw lord Andrey Blackmont and a handful of his men crept from their hiding places in the fastnesses and tracks of the red mountains of Dorne. Their purpose? A parley with Lord Qorgyle’s castellan, Ser Mavros Uller, a man once exiled from Dorne and now rising high thanks to an old, blind lord’s trust and the esteem of the Young Dragon. For weeks now, Ser Mavros at the head of a troop of Qorgyle spears played a cat-and-mouse game with the rebel who had done so much to choke traffic across the Prince’s Pass and who bedeviled Ser Wallace Chester in Starfall. A number
Lord Stark has returned now to his seat in the North, after his visit with the king. In Braavos, the Sealord deals with the preparations for his wedding in the coming year to Princess Rhaena, while the Archon of Tyrosh and the Prince of Pentos threaten war against him. It’s said that reavers from the Iron Isles have skirted Fair Isle and the shore of the westerlands, to the concern of Lord Loren. And in King’s Landing, matters great and small are carried out. Black-winged ravens carried missives to Dorne, orders and commands, while a Dornish hostage—soon to be an heiress, if the Dornish do
Carried on black wings, word has reached King’s Landing of Lord Chester’s assassination in the midst of the shadow city. King Daeron, the Young Dragon, had planned to go to a last hunt with the Sealord of Braavos before his departure back to his city; with the news, he gave up the notion, instead closeting himself with his councillors for a time. Birds could be seen winging their way from the Grand Maester’s tower, flying south, some hours later. More, rumors ran that half a score of royal galleys were to be prepared to journey to Sunspear as swift as may be with fresh levies and knights to
In far away Dorne, in the Sunspear of the Martells, there was a feast of farewell of an evening for Lord Belion Chester, known as Reaversbane. Having been in Starfall after taking part in the hunt for Andrey Blackmont and other rebels in the western end of the red mountains of Dorne, the lord had developed a reputation as a man who was not afraid to spill blood to pacify the countryside for his king. So he was called upon by Lord Tyrell to aid him in doing the same to the region about the Greenblood, and he stayed at Sunspear awhile to consult with Ser Alyn Velaryon. It was at Oakenfist’s
Word sweeps like wildfire through the Red Keep when a raven from Dorne announces that King Daeron has decided to return at last to King’s Landing after nearly two years spent conquering and pacifying Dorne. The news spills over its high walls to the streets below, and excitement is in the air; in some quarters of the city, flurries of celebration—near-riots, according to the City Watch—erupt spontaneously. The bells of the septs of the city, from the greatest to the very meanest, toll with joy, and not long after it’s said that his grace’s kin are seen amidst a small throng of the court at
Though the name of Caston Vaith is only vaguely known among the smallfolk of King’s Landing as that of some rebel Dornishman, the court of King’s Landing has had greater cause to know, and rue, the name of the man who had almost single-handedly maintained Dornish sentiment against King Daeron Targaryen, the rightful lord and protector of Dorne. In his endless efforts, Lord Caston lost much of his army in return for what seemed to be only fleeting victories against his enemies, yet Dorne’s commoners (and far too many of its nobles) were heartend by it. So when a raven arrived from Sandstone,
Ravens arrive almost daily in King’s Landing from various corners of Dorne, bringing news of rebels and outlaws, skirmishes, supply trains, deaths, garrisons, and more. Amidst the onslaught of tidings are the occasional gems, the things that inevitably slip from the chambers of the high and mighty to the court at large, and thence on to King’s Landing. Most notably is the news that his Grace, the King, has put aside his hunt for the now one-armed rebel Caston Vaith, who is thought to have taken to skulking in the desert. Instead, after seeing Vaith secured against possible attacks, he has
Confused word arrives from the Dornish Marches, as several ravens arrive through the morning and afternoon: Broken men from the war in Dorne have made some small incursions into the Dornish Marches. A whole army of demon Dornishmen, under the command of the vengeful spirit of the Hell-knight, bringing the seven hells to the villages and holdfasts. Men flying the banner of the Fowlers, or the Manwoodys, or perhaps the Sun of the Rhoynar without the spear. They number a fifty, three hundred, four thousand. They’ve sacked holdfasts, or perhaps castles. They’re near to Blackhaven, or to
Kingsgrave has surrendered to King Daeron, and then with Lord Tyrell the Young Dragon successfully seized Blackmont after its small garrison—abandoned by Lord Andrey Blackmont, a rebel who took what few troops remained to him down the Torentine to live like outlaws in the reaches around Starfall—surrendered to him. Such was the glad word that has eventually found its way to King’s Landing. On the other side of Dorne, Ser Alyn Velaryon—the king’s cousin, and already far-famed as admiral of his fleet—has arrived at the Tor to find Lord Caston Vaith’s forces gone and Lady Jordayne recently
Since the glad word that Skyreach had fallen to Lord Tyrell, little news has come from Dorne of any note, save for the advance of King Daeron and Lord Tyrell to take the final resisting castle of Kingsgrave. But early in the morning, a raven from Sunspear arrived to reveal that things had changed dramatically: not only was Kingsgrave still free, but Blackmont too had gone over to the rebels ... and worst of all, hundreds of leagues to the east the gutted town of the Tor had risen up under the incitement of the rebel lord, Caston Vaith, and trapped the garrison within the castle. Lady Jordayne
“Black wings, black words,” it’s said, but this is not the case when the latest raven from Dorne wings its way to the archmaester’s tower. Soon enough, word spreads throughout the castle: Skyreach has fallen to Lord Tyrell’s siege. Details are sparse as to how this transpired, but it seems losses were entailed in the process. King Daeron had not yet joined Lord Lyonel’s host at the time of the successful taking of the castle, but was known to have left Hellholt some days prior to it, and so is expected within the next few days.
On the evening of the sixth day of the month, a swift galley—the Black Sword—dispatched from Oakenfist’s fleet in Dorne arrived at King’s Landing unheralded in the night. A pair of knights from the ship oversaw the offloading of some materials before commandeering horses from the City Watch at the River Gate. At the Red Keep, the pair let their business be known, and the result was that they were ushered to Prince Viserys in the middle of the night.
By the afternoon of the seventh day, news began to spread through the castle of just what the visit meant: after much delay, the first official
Prince Viserys Targaryen, the Hand of the King, had let it be known that he would hold an open court session on this day. In the days prior, petitioners could be seen coming and going from the Tower of the Hand to have the prince decide whether they would be called upon. When the day came for the court to be in session, anticipation was high that the prince would reveal news from Dorne and perhaps even some of the king’s decisions as to what lords and knights would receive rewards. They would not be disappointed. Many lords and ladies were in attendance, among them Carmella Dondarrion, Jonn