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The latest day and night of riot in Flea Bottom and the surrounding area proved too much for Ser Richard Harte and the City Watch to deal with, as the commander’s efforts to bring a relatively bloodless end to the disorder proved futile thanks to the worst scum and villains of the city egging on their fellows with the hope of rich pickings from the wealthy areas to the east of Flea Bottom. When King Daeron learned of the latest setback, some say he raged aloud, while others say he took it calmly before calling for his retainers and captains to be roused and his squire to be woken to arm him: the king himself would ride out and put an end to the riot. Men were shaken from their heads and groggily prepared themselves to ride in the hour before dawn towards Manse Row, where the struggling City Watch were attempting—and failing—to halt the march of looters, rapers, and murderers.
When the king arrived, he found retinues of guards and knights protecting the manses of the many high lords who reside there, and immediately had trumpets sounded to have them called out to join his force which soon swelled to over four hundred mounted men-at-arms and footmen. Ser Richard, haggard, reported the breaking of his latest company of gold cloaks and their flight before the rioters. King Daeron cut him off and made it plain he considered Harte to have failed him, and promised that he would put an end to it before telling Ser Richard to join his remaining men to see the last of the women and children safely away in case he was worsted. But the king intended no defeat, and immediately laid out his plan of dividing his force into three. Ser Reynard Caron would lead the vanguard, to crash into the rioters and throw them back towards the Little Square, while King Daeron and most of the rest of the White Swords would lead a larger force (including the northman Ser Raynard Locke) to sieze the up-hill side of the square to prevent rioters from trying to seize the high ground or, worse yet, seek refuge in the ruins of the Dragonpit. Last of all would be Prince Aemon the Dragonknight and the remaining household knights, joined by Ser Jonn Lannister (specifically called on by King Daeron) and his retinue to go downhill and dismount so that they could follow an alleyway back around and behind the main bulk of the rioters that refused to flee.
Little did they know when they crashed into the enemy that Ser Dagur Saltcliffe, the Iron Serpent, and several men had sought shelter in an abandoned manse after having gone into Flea Bottom the day before on some unknown errand despite the savagery and chaos that was being carried out there. Ser Dagur was nearly killed by some of Caron’s knights, mistaking him for one of the looters in the frenzy of violence, when Ser Reynard himself saw the Iron Serpent and roared at his men to leave him be. The two consulted briefly, and Ser Dagur took a fallen knight’s horse to join the Lord Commander in shoring up the right flank of his troop that had been beset by wily rioters who had taken to hiding amidst the manses during Caron’s initial charge. Prince Aemon and Ser Jonn led the rearguard through to barrel down the sloping hill, driving all before them, before taking to their feet and entering an alleyway that would lead back to the Little Square. A few knights were killed in the course of the fighting, dragged from their horses, but many more of the rioters died. When the Dragonknight arrived with the Targaryen and Lannister knights, he and Ser Jonn proceeded to sow confusion amidst the rioters and assault their flank while King Daeron moved to support Ser Reynard’s line.
Soon it became a rout, and Daeron’s cry for no quarter was heeded by most; the Young Dragon himself cut down any number of men on their knees, men who had moments before howled for his blood now thinking they could dare to have his mercy. Blood pooled in places well past the ankles, and bodies piled like cordwood. Maesters and septons would later claim six hundred bodies were sent to their graves that day, many of them cut down while attempting to run or surrender; against this, no more than twenty knights were killed. There was great relief in much of the city, but women in Flea Bottom have had cause to lament. Women elsewhere, too, have reason to lament, for the knights that were killed while valiantly serving their king. Among the dead was Ser Osric Vikary, a lieutenant of Ser Dagur Saltcliffe’s, who died from wounds incurred in the course of the Iron Serpents misadventures in Flea Bottom.
The city afterwards would sigh a breath of relief, for the most part, while the king returned to the Red Keep to give such commands as would be needful to completely restore order in the city.
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