Two dozen ships were sighted from the heights of Aegon’s High Hill, making their weary way down Blackwater Bay towards the city. The banners and pennons that flew represented a dozen different houses, many from Dragonstone, but one banner in particular was the most noticeable: the Targaryen three-headed dragon, flying from the top of mast of each and every ship. The king’s—the new king’s—fleet had returned from Dorne, carrying on it the pitiful remnant of his grand army who had survived months of hard fighting, fighting which culminated in disaster. The Young Dragon’s murder, the dissolution of his army, the heroic flight across the deserts with Dornish harrying them every step of the way, the loss of the Planky Town, the storming of the Tor and the breaking of the siege of Salt Shore, and then the worst storms that Autumn in the narrow sea could conjure—it’s a wonder any man among them lived.
From the Red Keep issued guards, knights, courtiers, and the royal family. From Visenya’s Sept came the litters bearing the High Septon and some of his Most Devout. From the streets, the winesinks, the alleys, came hundreds of the Kingslanders to witness the arrival. A pall of gloom lay over them still, following the news of their bright young warrior-king’s murder, and so their jubilation was muted as Ser Alyn Velaryon, King Baelor’s cousin and master of ships, appeared on the deck of the Black Dread as it pulled into the docks. The cog the Just Maid was loaded almost to bursting with knights and soldiers, and among the fleet was a new ship, a galleas from the stormlands, flying the Baratheon banner and bearing Ser Sarmion Baratheon.
Greeted by the king, Baelor graciously gave thanks to the Seven for bringing so many safe. The High Septon came forward, and provided a long blessing on the soldiers. Prince Viserys, the king’s Hand, was there ... and as soon as he was able, he began to discuss what had befallen in Dorne with the captains of the forces. The Iron Serpent, Ser Dagur Saltcliffe, could be seen sharing some word of Salt Shore’s defenses, and discussing other matters related to events in Dorne. Ser Ardon Tyrell, the Lord Protector of the Reach, and Ser Alyn both accompanied the royal party to the Red Keep where a feast was laid out for the knights and lords, and beer and meat for the soldiers in the yards, and bread for the kingslanders outside the csatle walls.
King Baelor hardly touched his food, but had a kind (and pious) word for all who came to his attention, and he spent much time sending rich portions of the finest food to various persons, such as the heir to Storm’s End and his kinsman Ser Endros Buckler. Viserys, on the other hand, spent most of his time consulting with the newly-returned warriors, and soon excused himself from the feast to continue such consultations into the night to learn all he could of Dorne’s situation. With rumor flying that Baelor, in his godliness, was desirous of peace, it’s no great surprise that Viserys places such urgency on knowing everything there is to know, to attempt to negotiate the most advantageous peace possible rather than simply giving an unconditional surrender to Prince Marence away in Sunspear.