As Lord Velaryon’s fleet, carrying the Dornish forces under command of Ser Laurent Dalt and Prince Rhodry Martell, sits in the waters of Grey Gallows as the citadel guarding a small, lonely harbor on that stony Stepstone isle is blockaded and put to a fitful siege. After swift victories at sea driving away or capturing the Pentoshi ships—some its own galleys, some sellsails from Myr and elsewhere—Oakenfist found that the foothold he hoped to make on Grey Gallows was contested by the well-made fortress garrisoned by two hundred Unsullied and a dozen sellswords. Their leader, the sellsword captain Menio Cravys, had refused to surrender the well-supplied fortress, noting that by the time he and his men were starved out the Pentoshi forces would surely come to pin Oakenfist’s fleet against the island’s shores and defeat it.
Suggestions to resolve the impasse swiftly were made at a council afterwards: storm the citadel at the cost of a good deal of blood, attempt to see if the walls could be mined, bring the heaviest siege equipment from the fleet’s war galleys to shore and see if they could do damage to the wall, or perhaps bribe Cravys and his men. Ultimately, Velaryon—knowing how irresistible sellswords find gold, and how flexible their loyalties are—chose the last route even as he prepared for a storming of the citadel. Meeting under a truce banner, Lord Oakenfist and the captains of the host offered Cravys and his men a chest of gold and transport to a destination of their choice in return for the castle. Cravys negotiated a second, smaller chest before agreeing, and said he would return to the citadel to make the arrangements with his men regarding the division of the spoils and would be prepared to open the gates the next morning.
The next morning came, and went. There was no activity on the walls, no response when a herald sounded a trumpet and shouted for Cravys. Growing uncertain, the Dornish lines readied themselves in case there was a sally from the castle, and Oakenfist wondered if Cravys had changed his mind. After all, at dawn some sails were seen on the horizon, doubtless Pentoshi ships, and perhaps the salvation of the fortress was at hand. It was in the early afternoon when at last a head appeared above the walls, wearing the spiked helm of the Unsullied. The herald called again, shouting, “Where is Menio Cravys?” And the Unsullied, one of the famed eunuch slave-soldiers of Slaver’s Bay, replied, “He comes.”
With a ponderous noise, the fortress’s sole trebuchet launched a new projectile into the air. Men aboard the vessels at the docks shouted and scrambled for fear some stone was to crash through a deck, but they need not have worried, for a body is not a tenth as harmful as a stone. Menio Cravys’s corpse splattered blood in all directions as it fell well-short of the ships. And then on the walls, more Unsullied appeared, hauling up and then dumping a dozen more bodies from the walls, bodies with ropes around their necks so that they hung there. So ended Cravys and his sellswords. When Oakenfist was informed, he tried again to parley with the Unsullied, but the banner-bearer carrying the peace banner had spears flung at him as the Unsullied refused even so much.
And so it continues, and with time pressing the siege engines work ceaselessly while the Dornish host prepares siege ladders and a battering ram.