In Sunspear, the victorious commanders of the combined fleet and army which saw victory on the Stepstones were feted at the command of the Lord Protector of Dorne. Lord Velaryon, Prince Rhodry, and more attended the feast in the Sandship… but it must be said the crowd was thin, with the hall only half-filled. Ser Quinlan Qorgyle, the Lord Protector, carried on as if the feast was was packed to the rafters, and spent much time conversion with Oakenfist. The news from the Stepstones was largely to the good: though there were some lamentable losses, Pentos had ceded its control of the Stepstones. The Unsullied that one of their magisters had used to give Pentos a fighting chance against the united forces of Westeros would be broken up in smaller units and sold elsewhere, thereby preventing their being used in future hostilities by the Free City. As to the disposition of the Stepstones themselves? Neither Westeros nor Pentos would lay claim to it, and instead the Pentoshi agreed that they would cooperate with King’s Landing and Sunspear in efforts to prevent any other Free City attempting to lay claim to it. The problem of corsairs and pirates—who have often found the Stepstones an excellent base of operations—would be considered at some later time.
And away to the north, a different sort of arrival took place: a single ship, dispatched from the Stepstones to bear the wounded hero, Ser Sarmion Baratheon, to Storm’s End for his recovery, and thence on to King’s Landing so that word of the victory over Pentos could be borne to the king. Dispatched with letters from Lord Velaryon, Ser Garlan Hunter was selected to deliver them to the king. Word from Storm’s End warned the court of his arrival, and so the sight of the sail on the horizon was no surprise. Ser Garlan was greeted by an escort of gold cloaks led by Ser Jaynard Lydden and a scattering of nobles of the court, who escorted the knight on through the Red Keep and before the Iron Throne. However, neither the king nor his Hand were present; instead, Ser Conrad Arryn, the king’s steward, greeted his fellow Vale knight. Pious King Baelor was at prayer, praying for the safe recovery of the Stormbreaker and giving thanksgiving for the end of hostilities, whilst the Hand had commanded that Ser Garlan should meet with him privately once he was refreshed. In the interim, Ser Garlan reported the basic details to Ser Conrad and the knights and ladies in attendance, informing them of the victory and how it was achieved, of the heroics of Ser Sarmion, and of the losses that were suffered. Word would spread from those in the throne room through the rest of the court, and by nightfall even paupers in the streets had heard that the king’s fleet and Dorne’s army had united to win the Stepstones free of Pentoshi domination (not that that fact would do the paupers much good).