The night of the king’s nameday was a quiet one, marked by an extra ration of wine for the troops and some celebration after the first hole had appeared in the walls of Godsgrace after his trebuchets—their parts brought by Oakenfist, who had returned to the Planky Town—had gone to work. The camp rested at ease, as did the king in his pavilion. Little did they realize that their night would be interrupted by the sudden assault of the Dornish army.
The first inkling of what was about to befall were at the pickets on the east side of the siege camp, where the Marcher lords Swann and Dondarrion had their men encamped. The sentries and pickets were slain by mounted archers, picking them out in the moonlight, and then units of cavalry led by Lord Andrey Blackmont and Ser Michael Blackmont ran amok through the camp. The marchers were thrown back in a riot, attempting to struggle into armor only to be cut down, running in terror in search of safety while Dornish lances pierced them. Lord Manfred attempted to raise a defense about his pavillion, as Lord Swann eventually managed to bring some orderly counter-attack together. Trumpets sounded, raising the alarm through the camp. King Daeron would put on his armor, but the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Reynard, warned him of the grave dangers of riding into battle immediately; he himself begged leave to lead the Young Dragon’s cavalry south, while the king would wait and gather a larger force to enter the skirmish decisively. At the same time, Ser Sarmion Baratheon and Ser Ardon Tyrell, along with Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, led the larger part of the army’s horse into the combat, each flanking the Blackmont forces.
Out of the darkness, more Dornishmen entered the fray, Ser Mavros Uller and Prince Rhodry Nymeros Martell leading a thousand horse into the rears of the counter-attack from the royal horse. And away to the west, the gates of Godsgrace opened: Ser Perrin Blackmont sallied out with a thousand spears to join the combat, climbing the hill and driving Ser Bryce Caron with half of Stormbreaker’s horse northward. Ser Reynard’s charge proved of great importance, as it relieved pressure on the Tyrell cavalry, which was split in half by the force of Ser Mavros’s charge and thrown into chaos in the night; half the cavalry was forced to retreat to the north, to desperately regroup as yet more Dornishmen appeared.
It was a fierce battle under the moonlight, friend striking friend in the confusion and the darkness, and men falling on both sides. The marcher lords were savaged, hundreds of men killed or wounded. On the field, great deeds were done, whether it was Speardancer defeating the bold young knight Ser Symeon Westerling, or the fall of Ser Elric, the Shade of Ghost Hill at the hand of Ser Dagur Saltcliffe, or Lord Davit Gargalen slaying Ser Yonel Storm and unhorsing the remounted Ser Symeon and then Ser Luthor Rivers when he rode to the rescue of Speardancer. Ser Ermen Frey killed Ser Edmore Qorgyle, only to have Mavros Uller unseat him, while Ser Stevyn Locke unhorsed Ser Pippen the Purple and slew Ser Trevor Manwoody after that worthy managed to unseat Burton Crakehall, who later pummelled Ser Jarvis Sand, the Bastard of the Red Dunes, along with Ser Luthor.
Despite all the feats of prowess by the Dornishmen, the tide turned against them when the stormlords managed to fight back Ser Perrin’s foot and lead a renewed charge into the Dornish at the southern side of the engagement. Stormrbreaker was in the forefront, and his cavalry plunged through the Martell knights, a tide of steel and lances. Prince Rhodry himself fell in the assault, his household knights shouting his injury with alarm, or even his death—matters were confused, but the wild prince was glimpsed carried off on a horse, copper armor bloodied. With this, the Dornishmen collapsed, and it was all the commanders could do to retreat smoothly. Lord Andrey’s cavalry was routed in full, and he barely escaped with his life. Ser Michael was able to cut his way out of the press of enemies after Lord Davit came to assist him and then led his men to join Ser Perrin in withdrawing into Godsgrace. As King Daeron led his pikes into the melee, much of the Dornish force was fleeing, back to their oasis-encampment in the desert to the southeast. In all the chaos, Dread Daven Wyl, a prisoner in the king’s camp, managed to effect an escape while there were still Dornishmen nearby to aid him.
A grand victory, and perhaps a decisive one: the siege continues, the weak walls of Godsgrace will inevitably fall, and the Dornish army—bereft of the warlike prince—no longer having the strength to dislodge the king’s great force. Already, the king prepares his men to assault Godsgrace once more holes are knocked into its walls, a matter of days only. With Godsgrace’s fall, so falls the Dornish rebellion.