After many months of negotiation, waiting, and speculation, and a fortnight after plans were at last announced, the Dornish emissaries to King Baelor’s court at last departed by ship from the Planky Town. The feast the evening prior to their departure had been without any noteworthy incident. Prince Marence had arranged no joust or melee to go with it, perhaps for fear of what might happen; little more than a month before one of the Iron Throne’s own emissaries—the famed Lord Mallister—had come to a horrible, disfiguring jousting injury thanks to the prince’s own brother, Prince Rhodry. The Lord of Seagard had been at death’s door for several days before the maesters said that the worst danger was done. It became a topic of common speculation, whether the infamous prince—the man who had ended the Young Dragon’s life, as well, none could forget—had deliberately aimed his lance for Lord Mallister’s helm, shattering the visor and stoving shards of it into the lord’s face while cracking teeth and bone. But survive Lord Joscelyn did, and there were many who were relieved that the emissaries did not come bearing his corpse along with Prince Marence’s gifts to the young king on the Iron Throne.
Heading the embassy were the august lord Orlyn Jordayne, a well-respected name in Dorne, and Ser Perrin Blackmont, part of a cadet branch of that old house and for long one of the Keepers of Sunspear who aid the prince. In his stead as Keeper of the Sandship, the knight called the Sand Dog would be named, and many remarked he was wed to Ser Perrin’s daughter. Besides these older men, others had been sent with the embassy, to match the numbers King Baelor had dispatched to Sunspear in the cause of peace: the lady Maia Gargalen, said to come bearing certain relics of the Faith, the knight Aubry Allyrion, and other knights besides. Most notably, however, was the knight appointed to head the embassy’s small troop of guards: Ser Aidan Dayne, the Knight of the Twilight. But it was not his presence that was notable, but that of his young esquires, for Prince Marence also revealed that he had made his son Prince Maron the squire to the famous knight of Starfall… and others had noted that Maron’s cousin, the bastard boy Lewyn Sand, was also now Ser Aidan’s page and part of his household. Few understood how it was that Prince Rhodry had come to decide to foist the boy on a knight, and fewer still understood why he’d choose Ser Aidan of all knights, but choose him he did, and it seems it was done. And so a bastard and a royal prince, too, are part of the embassy to the king’s court.