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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 the official purpose of the mission is not among the things the pronouncement discusses; merely the fact of the embassy. And the fact that, to the surprise of many, it was not Prince Cadan (whom all the rumormongers were sure had been chosen to lead the embassy) or Ser Mavros Uller who would head it… but Prince Rhodry, a man known for many things, but circumspect diplomacy not being among them.
Yet the rumors that have floated about the court may provide an explanation: it is an embassy of war, seeking to ally with Braavos against Lys, for it’s whispered that the old ties of Prince Viserys, Hand and uncle to King Baelor Targaryen, to Lys might lead the Iron Throne to ally with them to try to control the Stepstones. Perhaps, some already suggest, that is the true reason that the Iron Fleet under the famous Oakenfist sailed for the Stepstones, not so much to root out the pirates under Saan and his minions, but to make way to seize those stony, blood-soaked isles and control the flow of trade between the Summer Sea and the Narrow Sea. And this, of course, Dorne could not allow, not when the Stepstones are a stone’s throw—so to speak—from the Broken Arm.
What better man, then, then a proven, warlike prince to lead such an embassy? Among the courtiers the answer varies between disagreement and astonishment, though none will say it aloud or broach it with Prince Marence. In the end, guided (it’s whispered) by Ser Mavros Uller, the Keeper of the Tower of the Sun, it appears the prince has determined to put a bold face on Dorne’s willingness to enter the fray, to win wealth and glory in return for the spilling of blood. A guard will travel with the prince and, it is said, certain advisors… including kin to the Lord Shariff, and Ser Mavros’s own bastard daughter, born in the Free Cities and said to be familiar with Braavos and its people. Already ships are readying at the Planky Town, and men of the household guard are travelling there with wagons full of chests and other such things in their care.
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