Blood of Dragons: Tidings

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Sites of Interest
The Red Sands of Dorne
IC Date: Day 18 of Month 12, 160 AC
RL Date: September 02, 2009.

A fortnight has passed since the assassination of Lord Lyonel Tyrell and the destruction of his force of some three thousand knights and men-at-arms at Sandstone. Lured there to see the tar-covered, desicated head of Andrey Blackmont, he found the old blind lord of the castle solicitous, though his castellan Ser Mavros was away. As was his custom, Lord Tyrell took the lord’s bed chamber for his own, and having developed a fondness for Dornish women, he pulled a bell-rope to summon some slut to warm his bed. Unfortunately for him, at the pull of the rope, the bed’s canopy fell open and hundreds of stinging scorpions fell on him. Stung many times over, he died in poisoned agony, screaming at the last. The rest of his forces would scream too, cut down without warning in the castle, butchered in the tents outside by Qorgyle spears led by Mavros Uller, driven to die of thirst and privation in the desert. Sandstone had risen.

Hellholt was aware of what was planned, in some fashion, and the garrison there was caught unawares by Lady Uller’s kin leading the smallfolk to seize the castle. Many were the knights who surrendered, and each and every one of them would hang from the battlements by sunset. Hellholt had risen, too, on the very day. Word spread by raven, and one by one garrisons were destroyed or captured, forces in the field ambushed or scattered. At Starfall, Ser Wallace Chester was away escorting a caravan packed with supplies when the news arrived there, and the castle’s maester contrived to tell the news only to Lady Dayne and her supporters. Ser Wallace arrived the day after, and that very night he was murdered—by Lady Alia’s own hand, some say, a bloody revenge for the forced marriage he subjected her to. And her son by him, little Lyonel?

The infant boy has not been seen since that bloody night, and there are those who expect the infant was flung into the Summer Sea. Now Dayne spears are mustering, and worst luck still several transports from the Arbor were in Starfall at the time; all captured now, and all ready to ferry forces along the coast.

When the Planky Town learned the news, the orphans of the Greenblood rose suddenly, risking flames to burn Ser Alyn Velaryon’s ships. Rumor would at first claim half the king’s fleet was burned, but only a few ships were in fact destroyed; the rest were taken to sea, no means of mounting a successful defense possible at the time. Now the fleet is said to wait at the mouth of the Greenblood, considering a means to win back the Planky Town. As far away as the Tor and even Ghost Hill, garrisons have been defeated and castles liberated, although in those areas prisoners were taken among those of noble rank.

And then Sunspear… There, Prince Marence—cut off by distance from immediate news—refuses to act in support of a general uprising, unaware of the full breadth of the uprising. Courtiers anxiously urge him on, while his shariffs and knights try to keep the peace in an uproarious shadow city where the commoners call for the spears to go to war. Ser Alyn Velaryon and many of his chief lieutenants were captured, the news arriving by chance while they were unprepared at a feast, but Ser Meros Tyrell and a number of other knights and men-at-arms are still nominally free, having barricaded themselves in Oakenfist’s walled headquarters. Marence’s brother, Prince Rhodry, has suggested breaking down the walls and capturing those who survived, but Marence so far refuses.

What castles remain in the king’s hands, then? Blackmont remains, and Kingsgrave, but Skyreach fell, its garrison surrendering after finding their position impossible. Wyl remains in the king’s hands, and Yronwood, but Red Rhys, Alyx the Witch, and Lord Manwoody have cut off any chance of support being exchanged between the two seats, and it’s said Manwoody is preparing engines of war to lay siege. Perhaps most importantly, there is Godsgrace, where the garrison threw back an attempt to seize the castle, and then forced order in the castleton by force of arms. V aith, too, remains under control of Beslon the Bad and his sellswords, the Bright Banners, but this is thanks to the depridations that the commoners has suffered since he was appointed there, leaving them with too little strength to do much against the practiced killers from the Free Cities.

Dorne has risen in strength, smallfolk taking up their spears and bows and daggers, looting camps and supply trains, ambushing and murdering patrols; and it’s only a matter of time, it seems, before at last Prince Marence Martell throws his support to the uprising.