The pavilions have swelled in number around King’s Landing, as banners from across much of the Seven Kingdoms have arrived led by proud knights and lords eager to fulfill their duty to King Aegon and more eager still for the glory of conquest in Dorne. The city is bursting to the seams with men-at-arms and sellswords, causing great trouble for the gold cloaks at times as wherever soldiers gather camp followers are sure to follow. The day soon approaches for the march on Dorne, it’s widely rumored, and across the Blackwater the last of the king’s wooden “dragons” even now nears completion under the oversight of master artisans and the pyromancers. The king’s own household guard protects the barrels of wildfire stocked nearby, and they are watched night and day, while more are transported from the depths of the Guildhall of the Alchemists in careful operations that involve cleared streets, wagons packed with sand to soften every jitter, and ultimately pole barges that travel only when the tide at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush is at its mildest.
The knights of the realm who have come to the king’s call have kept themselves entertained in many ways, but more than one tourney has taken place in and around the city, most informal, some formal. Lady Taria Buckwell, a grand dame of the court, hosted one such event which drew a goodly field of knights. Famous knights entered, champions like Ser Conrad Arryn and Othan Blackmane, but it would not be their day. At the end, the day was carried by the Warden of Crackclaw Point, Ser Dermett Corbray, when he overthrew Ser Luthor Rivers, commander of the City Watch. Word has come from other parts of the realm of similar feats of arms taking place, such as a tourney at Horn Hill where the young Lord of Highgarden, Leo Tyrell, won his spurs after overthrowing a number of the Reach’s boldest knights. They had gathered there at the behest of Ser Ardon Tyrell, acting as Lord Protector for his nephew, to gather forces to hold the mouth of the Prince’s Pass and prevent a counter-attack by the Dornish.
And in Dorne? The letters of protest and attempts to dissuade the king from his course appear to have failed, and so the Prince of Dorne has had the Boneway reinforced, and even now the Dornish banners are readying to defend every inch of ground between the Marches and Sunspear. But as to the threat from the burgeoning royal fleet, there Dorne has found itself less prepared. Envoys have been sent out to the nearest Free Cities, in hopes of raising sellsails to defend Dorne’s coast, but none have returned ... and it’s said that emissaries from the Iron Throne already in the Free Cities have tried to dissuade any from taking up that commission. It is just as well that much of the Dornish coast is unsuitable for landing, but the few good harbors are in need of reinforced defenses in a limited time. Even the Prince’s Pass is seeing activity, the Fowlers and Blackmonts and Daynes raising banners, and many wonder if indeed Dorne will attempt its own attack in hopes of dissuading King Aegon’s march.