In Sunspear, the Lord Protector Ser Quinlan Qorgyle named the date for an open court session, his first since ascending to the position when his son Prince Marence Nymeros Martell retired to Starfall to continue the long, slow recovery from his poisoning the previous year. Ser Quinlan, who had returned from virtual exile at his son’s call, showed himself to retain all his experience from when he last sat the throne during Marence’s minority: he briskly dealt with criminal issues, judging quickly and decisively. Afterwards, he announced to the court the appointment of a new Keeper of the Tower of the Sun, as that office had been left vacant since the resignation (by name, at least, though rumors claim not in fact) of Ser Mavros Uller, in the person of Lord Neilyn Toland.
There were those who had supposed that an older man, longer at court than the Lord of Ghost Hill, would recieve the office; and indeed, rumors had it that Toland’s name was barely mentioned in meetings of the Lord Protector’s councillors. That Lord Toland had been often in Sunspear of late was true enough, but few seemed to have realized his ambitions in this regard.
As a new officer was added to the court, another left: Ser Ulwyn Uller retired from his role as master-at-arms after many years of leal service, and for his reward he was given lands and a holdfast near Planky Town. However, Ser Quinlan noted that no successor had been decided… and the sharp-eyed noted that Ser Selwyn Sand, Ser Ulwyn’s natural son and a member of the household guard, seemed dismayed by that. Yet that paled in comparison to the next announcement: that Princess Ariana was finally to wed her betrothed, Farien of House Yronwood, in a moon’s turn. When Prince Marence had sickened, the troublesome Lady Yronwood had attempted to convince certain figures at court that Farien should instead wed the Princess Mariah. Ser Quinlan, it seems, disabused her of this notion, and so even now preparations are being made for a grand wedding and wedding tourney, with Lady Linnet and a bevy of Yronwood guards set to arrive at Sunspear to take part in the festivities.
It was then time for the Lord Protector to hear petitions, and here Ser Laurent Dalt, the Keeper of the Sandship, raised the spectre of increasing piracy in the Stepstones with the end of the Pentoshi-Lysene trade war. Many at court seemed grim at the two choices before Ser Quinlan: spend coins out of a strained treasury for sellsails from the Free Cities to combat the pirates, or accept piracy while the funds were used to rebuild the fleet that the Young Dragon had destroyed.
But in this, Ser Quinlan shocked many at court when he raised a third possibility: an invitation to King Baelor to send a fleet to Dorne to use it as a base against the pirates, an invitation that the Dornish emissaries in King’s Landing had already been exploring. It was clear from Ser Laurent’s response that this possibility was not something that he favored—and many read in it that other key officials at court would require convincing, to say the least. The prospect of Alyn Oakenfist commanding a fleet off Dornish shores would leave a sour taste for many.
The Lord Protector acknowledged that all the possibilities would require deliberation, to determine what would best serve Dorne. And with that, he brought the court session to an end.