Blood of Dragons: Tidings

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Sites of Interest
... And So’s the Army
IC Date: Day 10 of Month 6, 161 AC
RL Date: February 21, 2010.

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 to lay hands on their betters.

Lord Manfred Dondarrion, wading into the conflict to try and bring calm, was torn apart by the men maddened with fear. The rumor of looting of the baggage spread like wildfire through the camp, and more and more men rushed in to try and get what they could, even though Ser Meros and his stalwarts had dug themselves in and held the encircled wagons against all who came at them. Ser William Waxley, supported by the king’s household, attempted to put matters to an end, but he was attacked by rioters and had to fight for his life. The Crakehall cousins, Ser Elmer and Ser Burton, waded into the sordid business, striking down men hell-bent on looting, taking wounds in the process. Stormbreaker took men around to the north side of the baggage train, while Ser Meros was distracted, to try and break through the defenses.

Trumpets sounded, of the enemy sighted, but the rioters would not stop—especially when the handful who did look about them, who tried to gain a vantage outside of the camp, saw nothing. But the trumpet did act to bring even more men running to the baggage, to try and seize what they could to stave off doom. It was a great and wild mess. What possessed one knight to charge out towards Godsgrace on his own, to have arrows sent towards him to hurry him back away, none could say. And then ... well. Perhaps they were prescient. Cresting a hill to the east, the Dornish foot appeared in all their number, marching towards the practically-abandoned defenses. And to the north? The full might of the Dornish cavalry, and before them all Prince Rhodry Nymeros Martell in his copper-plated armor and his bright robes. The Dornishmen had always intended to attack the camp, it seemed ... but the chaos in the camp, the rioting, accelerated matters.

Even still, with the Dornish bearing down on them, the rioting was slow to stop. Ser Alek Reyne battled with a polearm-wielding madman, the great Ser Almer Connington cut down a muscular swordsman while trying to keep the stormland knights together, the Crakehalls and westermen fought for their lives, and more.

And then the Dornish were on them, crashing like a tide. From Godsgrace, the gates opened, and Ser Michael Blackmont and Ser Laurent Dalt sortied out, six hundred additional cavalry. Martell cut men down to left and right, Ser Mavros Uller and Dread Daven Wyl brought great knights down, and the Red Spear made his presence known. Ser William Waxley attempted his best to organize a defense with the aid of Ser Luthor Rivers—who fought famed knights such as Wyl and even Prince Rhodry, risking life and limb—but to little effect. In the end, it came down to the efforts of certain captains and lords—the Reachlords and the Stormlords proved decisive—but it was all much too late. Again. For the Dornish broke through to the baggage, and ruined much of it. Ser Meros Tyrell was cut down by Speardancer, his death a testament to his folly. Though the tide turned against the Dornish at the end, it did not matter—they chose when to retreat, and fled the field with victory assured. Now only a mere handful of the supplies originally gathered remained, and hundreds slaughtered on the field.

When Ser William spoke to Almer Connington, the knight told him that before anything else, the matter of who would command the army would have to be decided. Wounded and weary, the steward agreed, and convened the captains and lords who had survived that black day to determine what to do. And in it all? A certain Mertyns knight and his squire were gone, missing, and none could find their bodies…