Tensions mount, day by day, and there are those now who fear Prince Marence’s infirmity could very well lead to a violent struggle for the control of Dorne. In the halls of power, the Keepers of Sunspear struggle on, maintaing a tenuous order in the city… and watching disorder grow unchecked outside of it, as distant lords begin to ignore their missives and decide matters as if there were no higher power than themselves. Matters are made worse by the partisans of Prince Marence’s brothers, Cadan and Rhodry, each of whom has laid claim to the regency of Dorne while their brother languishes in his chambers, his poisoned mind too unsettled and frightened to offer any opinion on the matter. The younger prince has been the more overt of the two in seeking support, for he has had private audiences with the famed Ser Madyn Santagar, who in turn has avoided all public acknowledgment of Prince Cadan; the enmity runs deep between Spottswood and Prince Cadan, ever since the furor with his lady wife.
Though no violence has broken out in the alleyways and stews of the shadow city, the Lord Shariff has ordered more men to patrols and to watch after noble men and women who venure there. Violence may be for the moment distant in Sunspear, but outside of it is a different matter entirely. Ser Laurent Dalt, Keeper of the Sand Ship, returned empty-handed from Lemonwood after having gone there to appeal to Ser Dinias Dalt to put aside his grievances against the Gargalens. Some claim to have heard Ser Dinias spit in his face and had him driven out of Lemonwood, while others report matters quite differently, so certain are they that Lemonwood’s banners will be dispersed rather than increased.
Yet the truth is nearer the former than the latter. Lemonwood’s levies and knights have not yet crossed into Salt Shore’s lands, nor to that land which had caused the feud that led to the death of the heir to Lemonwood and the exile of Wild Will Gargalen, but it is only a matter of time. Lord Davit Gargalen has sent missives and queries to Sunspear, requesting, then suggesting, then demanding that the Dalts be put in their place, or else it will come to bloodshed. And indeed, in the Old Palace the first reports of Salt Shore calling its own banners have arrived.
Lords further away are even more reticent to await Sunspear’s commands, and one at least—Lady Linnet of House Yronwood—has gone further, growing reticent to agree to a past bargain struck. Her son and heir Farien Yronwood, Prince Marence’s own squire, has brought word that his lady mother desires that he wed Mariah Martell, rather than his betrothed Princess Ariana. Why now, some might wonder, after a betrothal that has lasted more than two years? But the answer is clear: without a prince of sound mind, or some accepted substitute, the court becomes a pit of vipers where the ambitious slither their way upwards on the backs of others and misfortunes.