The Blackwater Rebellion was a war fought from 186-187AC, between King Daeron I Targaryen, and his cousin Prince Aegon the Usurper. Though the war was fought in every region of the Seven Kingdoms, it's origin and most climactic battle both took place near the Blackwater, and the capital city of King's Landing.
Following the death of his brother Baelor in 161AC, Daeron Targaryen's policy towards Dorne was largely one of feigned ignorance. Despite having conquered them as a boy, as a man Daeron refused to march against them, nor seek vengeance for the many slights and provocations that occurred more and more frequently. The Marcher Lords of both the Reach and Stormlands were subject to constant raids from the south, fighting back these excursions with little aid from the Crown, even while the death of Lords Lyonel Tyrell and Durran Baratheon went entirely unanswered. Resentment towards King's Landing slowly grew into anger, the King turning his attention more and more toward his family and faith, rather than the besieged lords along his southern border.
Daeron's new found faith won him few friends, but it did bring him a measure of peace. It was said that the High Septon alone knew how to assuage the immense guilt he felt over the death of his brother, and ease the burden of the Crown. It still came as a surprise to many however when, in 175AC, Daeron announced that construction of a new sept in King's Landing would begin, upon Visenya's Hill. It was set to be a massive undertaking, costing the Crown and realm a fortune - but there was a plan to ease the costs. At the urging of the High Septon, Daeron decreed that those lords who did not follow the Faith - namely those men of the Iron Islands and the North - would pay an extra tax that would go directly to funding the construction of the new sept, to be named the Grand Sept of Baelor, after the deceased prince. Many of the King's advisors warn against such a move, but Daeron refused to yield. The Starks and Greyjoys are infuriated by the action, but have little recourse save payment.
In the capital itself, Daeron's cousin Aegon Targaryen made few attempts to hide his disdain for the King, freely speaking his mind both in council meetings and alehouse halls. Many of those who had issue with Daeron found a sympathetic ear in Aegon, whose charm and bold, decisive nature won him many friends across the realm. When issues amoung the Marcher Lords at last drew the eye of the Crown, Hand of the King Viserys Targaryen sent Aegon south to address their concerns on behalf of the King. The Black Prince - so named for his habit of wearing clothes of that colour, and the dark cloud that would overcome him when angered - soothed many tempers in the south, but only for a time. Rather than winning their loyalty for the throne Aegon largely convinced the marcher lords of his own ability, promising them that he would show the Dornish little mercy, if only he wore the crown instead of Daeron.
His words found many willing ears, and rumours began to spread across the realm, professing Aegon to be the true king, and Daeron ineffectual and weak. Some lords began to speak of a Great Council to decide the matter, a slight variance to the one held nearly seventy years prior. In taverns and tournaments from Oldtown to White Harbour, men began to praise "brave Prince Aegon", calling him Aegon the Fearless - though King Daeron laughed when he heard the title, and named him Aegon the Feckless instead.
But as time went on, King Daeron could no longer laugh at his cousin nor his antics. Aegon walked with his head held higher every passing day, and his three sons were swiftly becoming intractable, quarreling with Daeron's own boys and calling themselves princes. Aegon's sexual excesses were of issue as well; the High Septon was infuriated when the Black Prince impregnated two Silent Sisters on two separate occasions, and more than one lord complained to the King about Aegon's loose morals and sharp temper. King Daeron decided to curb the man's pride, and teach that entire branch of House Targaryen a lesson in humility. The chance came in 185AC, when Ser Edgar Belmore of the Kingsguard died in his sleep. Passing over the expectant Quentyn Ball, King Daeron named Aegon's eldest son, Daemon, to the Kingsguard.
Both Daemon and his father refused the order, the Black Prince marching into the throne room and defying his cousin before the gathered court. Infuriated, King Daeron rose from his throne and banished Aegon and his family from the capital, though not from the realm entire. Aegon made his way north, to Duskendale.
In the later months of 185AC, Daeron took ill with a sudden cough, confining him to his bed. A series of prolonged Dornish excursions into the south of the Stormlands brought tensions there to all new heights - this proved opportunity enough in Aegon's eyes. After less than six months in Duskendale, Aegon Targaryen - now styling himself Aegon IV - declared his intent to claim the Iron Throne.
Open Rebellion Edit
Aegon sent letters across the realm, informing those lords he thought would back him that war had come at last. Several great houses rallied to his call, including House Stark, House Tyrell, and House Baratheon, all of whom had suffered grievances under the reign of King Daeron. Though Houses Tully and Lannister remained loyal to the crown, many of their vassals joined the Usurper's cause. In the Vale, only the Sisters expressed open support for Aegon or his sons.
The Blackwater Edit
Aegon's location was public knowledge, the fact that he had chosen to endure his exile so close to the capital seen as yet another slight toward his cousin. When word reached King's Landing that he planned to press his claim, Daeron - sick and bedridden - wasted no time in naming his cousin a traitor. Ambrose Butterwell and a hastily assembled army of Crownlords were sent to capture Duskendale - only to be defeated on the Rosby road by rebels. The ruined army retreated southward, while Aegon marched north, gathering strength. Knights and veterans of the Dornish war all flocked to him, many of the northern lords of the Crownlands paying him fealty. The men of Crackclaw point turned out in great numbers, united for the first time in centuries under the command of a man named Borros Brune. Aegon sent the majority of his forces toward Lord Harroway's Town, under command of his son Aelor, before joining the Lothstons in Harrenhal.
The Marcher Lords Edit
The Dornish attack only recently turned aside, the Marcher Lords of the Reach and Stormlands quickly began to arm in defense of their champion, Aegon Targaryen, who had brought their cause before the Throne countless times since the Conquest of Dorne. With both the Tyrells and the Baratheons in the Black Dragon's camp, it seemed like there would be little resistance to their march north. But it was not to be.
It swiftly became apparent that the force of Dornish raiders defeated outside of Nightsong were only a small portion of the attacking force, who spilled out of Prince's Pass and began to raid and burn in the lands south of the Cockleswent. Lords Caron, Tarly, Fossoway and Ashford march to meet them, encountering several thousand Dornishmen in the foothills of the Red Mountains. Lords Dondarrion and Selmy march to join the Stormlander forces to the north-east, only to encounter a loyalist Toyne army in the mountainous hills west of the Slayne. The Swanns, surprisingly, remain loyal to the Crown, and join forces with the Morrigens and Mertyns to lay siege to Griffin's Roost, prompting the Stags to march south and meet them.
- The Battle of the Red Hills - Dornish invaders, thought to be routed at Nightstong, appear deeper in the Reach and begin to raid and pillage. The marcher lords of the region gather and face them in the foothills of the Red Mountains, defeating several thousand men who retreat back down the pass.
- The Ambush by Summerfield - Lord Toyne sends out his sons along the pass and strike at at the marching Stormlords as they file through a valley. They catch the defenders unaware, doing a great amount of damage before a Dondarrion leads the charge up one of the hills, setting the attackers to flight.
- Siege of Griffin's Roost - Lords Swann, Morrigen, and Mertyns set out to besiege Griffin's Roost. A small skirimish sees the Conningtons retreat into their castle, unable to defeat such overwhelming forces. They manage to send a raven to Storm's End before the attackers completely envelop the fortress.
The Men of the Northmarch Edit
Though much of the southern Reach remained neutral in the conflict, keeping their allegiances quiet or only nominally supporting their liege lord, the Lord of Goldengrove, upon hearing of Aegon's rebellion, immediately raised his banners for the Crown. They begin to muster upon the Roseroad, joined by the Caswells, Cranes, Footlys, Webbers, Roxtons, Vyrwels, and Merryweathers.
Lord Rowan proved braver than he was wise, marching the assembled host south toward Highgarden. Hearing that the Marcher Lords were largely occupied to the south, he spurred the army onwards, hoping to reach the Tyrell stronghold before reinforcements could arrive - only to outpace his foot by nearly a day, the majority of his horse riding ahead. They had only just come within sight of Highgarden when a force flying the banners of House Peake, Ambrose, and Osgrey appeared, waylaying the unsuspecting van with heavy crossbows. Lord Rowan led a valiant charge against the southern flank, slaying Aubrey Ambrose in battle before being dragged off his horse and captured. Many of the knights and freeriders with him were slain, though a young Roxton knight managed to rally the defenders into an organized withdrawal.
A day later the rest of the force would come upon the spot, now under the joint command of Lords Webber and Vyrwel. House Tyrell was there to meet them - bolstered further with levies from House Bulwer, Ball, and Oakheart.
- The Folly by Greentree - Led by a Rowan, the horse of the Reachlord loyalists outpaces their foot, coming upon Highgarden before the rest of the host. Not long after passing the point where the river curves a bit east, narrowing the land and making maneuvering difficult, an ambush is sprung by several rebel forces. A young Roxton manages to organize a retreat, falling back to the village of Greentree before escaping back to the rest of the host.
- The Battle at Highgarden - The Tyrells and their vassals meet the remainder of the loyalists outside of Highgarden, just past the bridge over the Mander. By most accounts they outnumbered the loyalists by a great degree, both in horse and infantry. Repeated charges by the Tyrell cavalry saw the left flank of the Rowan battle line waver and break, rolling up the formation at once and setting them to rout.
The Red Lion and the Gold Edit
When word came from Duskendale about the rebellion, Lords Brax, Tarbeck, Crakehall and Reyne raised their banners for Aegon. Young Robb Reyne was a close friend of the Black Prince's eldest son, and considered one of the finest knights in the realm. Under his leadership the rebels swiftly rallied, defeating Lord Lefford outside of Sarsfield and advancing to threaten the Rock. In the south, Redtusk led the siege of Cornfield, demanding that Lord Swyft and his family surrender. The Lord of Cornfield refused to yield.
The Lannisters did not sit idle as rebels overran his lands - rallying men from Kayce to the Banefort, ferried south with aid of Farman ships, the Lord of the Rock prepared to face the Red Lion and his host in the field. Battle was joined outside of Lannisport, a horrific affair that saw houses from across the Westerlands pitted against themselves. In the end, House Lannister emerged victorious, the shattered remains of their foes retreating east; only to find the Sarsfields and Leffords waiting for them.
Lord Lannister sent his men south to besiege Crakehall, and liberate the besieged Cornfield.
- The First Batttle of Sarsfield - Not expecting such swift resistance, Lord Lefford immediately marched down the Riverroad toward Casterly Rock, hoping to join up with the loyalists before he could be waylaid. Unfortunately he was caught just outside of Sarsfield, within sight of the castle, and his force was driven up into the hills. Though also fellow loyalists, the Sarsfield levies were not yet gathered, and thus they did not sally forth to aid the sore-set Lefford forces.
- The Siege of Cornfield - Ever defiant, Lord Swyft refused Redtusk's increasingly generous offers, despite being severely outnumbered by the attacking forces. Some say that he even forbade the consumption of fowl during the siege, demanding that all ate only pork - though this is likely a mummer's tale, exaggerated by singers.
- The Battle of the Rock - The forces of either side were well matched, and many saw the battle as possibly deciding the future of the Westerlands. The fighting was fierce and bitter, and seemed to go either way until Robb Reyne was slain by a young nobleman, bested in a duel to the surprise of all. As shock raced through the lines the Brax vanguard rallied behind their lord, crashing into the Lannister lines - which held firm, despite all odds. The attack left an opening at last for a sudden charge by led by Banefort - turning the battle swiftly in favour of the loyalists.
- The Second Battle of Sarsfield - Now better equipped, their full forces gathered, the men of Sarsfield fetched the survivors of the First Battle of Sarsfield out from the hills, and gathered dozens of incoming loyalists from across the region. When the remnants of Robb Reyne's army retreated towards the castle, the Sarsfields, Leffords, and their allies, struck - ending the host for good.
The Sunset Sea Conflict Edit
While the mainland collapsed into conflict, the Iron Islands remained largely neutral for the first few months of the war, raising men and ships but not deploying them. Both Aegon IV and Daeron I reached out to the Greyjoy of Pyke; the former offering much the same terms as he had offered the Starks, while the latter promised the Ironborn concessions not seen since the the Conqueror first landed. In the end it proved prudent - the Ironborn sailed to the defense of King Daeron, heading south along the coast to battle.
Much of the Westerlands fought for the red dragon, and so her coasts were largely off limits - but the Reach was known to be amoung Aegon's most stalwart supporters, and it was there the Ironborn steered their vessels. Initial victories near Old Oak were swiftly undone however, as the Arbor and Shield Islands sailed forth to contest the seas. The Ironborn suffered three defeats - two of them catastrophic - before at last they retreated from the coast, heading back to the Iron Islands and - many assumed - out of the war.
- The Reaving of Red Lake - The Ironborn landed without warning, emerging from the mists with the dawn, as was their way. They avoided most castles and strongholds, favouring villages and the like instead - pushing their way east. They advanced as far as Red Lake in their reavings, though were turned back there by House Crane.
- The Defiance of Greenshield - Tentative attacks on the Shield Isles began weeks before the first major assault, testing the vigilance of the defenders. one such foray prompted swift vengeance from the northernmost of the Shields, who sailed forth to contest the seas. Though House Chester was greatly outnumbered and suffered a grave defeat, their attack saw a dozen Ironborn ships sunk, and a half dozen ruined beyond repair.
- The Battle of Shields - Deciding then to end all possible retaliation from the South, the Ironborn set out in strength to scour the Shields and end their threat for ever. The Shieldmen, ever valiant, even in the face of overwhelming odds, sallied out to meet them. The battle was fierce, but the Ironborn proved too numerous, using their large warships to batter the enemy fleet toward the coast, where their deep keels saw them run aground. Here they were easy pickings for the Ironborn longships. In the end, the Reachmen were forced to retreat - and the Ironborn came on after them.
- The Assault on Bandallon - Lost in the headiness of their victory, the Ironborn continued on, sailing further south. They made landfall west of Brightwater Keep and placed Bandallon under siege, foraying out to raid and plunder as they saw fit. Houses Hightower, Beesbury, Bulwer, Cuy, Costayne, and Florent, all sallied forth to defend the Reach - as the Redwyne's came down with their ships. The Ironborn were dealt a stinging blow, bested on both land and sea - until the Harlaw fleet broke through the Redwyne lines, and rest of the navy followed afterwards.
- The Battle at Sunset - The Ironborn retreated northwards, settling on Greyshield in hopes that they would have a chance to recuperate. Though Grimston had not fallen, most assumed their numbers would discourage the Grimms from attacking. This assumption proved false - as night fell, the Grimms struck, setting alight a half dozen ships and fighting with savage fury. Assuming that reinforcements from the mainland had come, the Ironborn embarked immediately and in haste. Though they lost only a hundred men, and a half dozen ships, the Battle at Sunset directly led into the next battle of the Sunset Conflict.
- The Storm of Splinters - As day broke over the sea, the morning after the Battle at Sunset, the Ironborn turned their eyes south to see the Redwyne and Oldtown fleets in pursuit, as well as the remnants of the Shield fleet to the east. The following battle took place in deep sea, just off the coast of Greyshield, and saw more than a two hundred vessels sink into the abyss.The Greyjoys abandoned their conquests in the Reach and fleeing northwards for their last attempt during the War.
- The Defeat of Blazewater- On the bitterness of defeat Lord Greyjoy prepare his fleet for a last assault during the War planning to cover the loses sacking the coast to cover the losses of the War, believing the Blurson forces were concentrated in Moat Caitlin as the other Lords.Unfortunately for the Ironborn the Haze fleet was set in Blazewater Bay to prevent any attack from the South,the vessels collide in a huge naval conflict. All ended when Russ Blurson sank the flagship of the Iron fleet taking Lords Drumn,Tawney and Goodbrother as captives,The Ironborn were forced to retreat to their homeland.
The King in the Riverlands Edit
While Aelor Targaryen held the Lord Harroways Town and the ford across the Trident, Aegon the Usurper arrived in Harrenhal and set about the subjugation of the Riverlands. He sent half his host to support the Brackens in the west, under command of his eldest son and heir, Daemon Targaryen. The young prince was a fine fighter, and known across the realm. Hedgeknights and small folk flocked to him, bolstering his ranks and granting his camp ample supplies and followers both.
Aegon remained in Harrenhal, planning how best to coalesce the scattered forces of his supporters and march upon the capital. It was during this time that he first noticed Lord Lothston's wife - a beautiful woman, famed in the Riverlands for her alluring smile and easy charm. Ever a slave to his own desires, Aegon sent Lord Lothston and part of his host east, to capture Darry - and took the man's wife for his own.
Darry, supported by the Mootons and several lords of the Crownlands, proved too strong for Lord Lothston to take. He retreated to Harrenhal; there to find Prince Aegon and his wife in bed with one another. Outraged, the Lord of Harrenhal struck the King - who promptly cast him into his own dungeon.
In the west, Daemon and his army grant the Brackens victory in the Battle of the Fork, but it proves short lived. House Tully and Piper arrive from the south, while the Mallisters arrive from the north - reinforcing the Blackwoods and throwing the Brackens back across the river. Lord Mallister is wounded in the fighting, and his men halt to ensure their lords safety - grant Daemon the opportunity to face his foes in separate parts. He gathered his forces, and those of House Bracken, marching south to face the Pipers and Tullys in the field. The battle is hardfought, the Black Dragon's heir fighting like a man possessed - but Blackwood bowmen arrive to reinforce the loyalists, and they are driven back. Daemon and his men retreat toward High Heart, sending a message to Harrenhal about their defeat, begging for reinforcements. The Maester of Harrenhal, infuriated by his lord's imprisonment and Aegon's general abuse of the castle and it's residents, burned the letter in secret.
- The First Battle of the Fork - Daemon Targaryen and the Brackens, bolstered by Daemon's army and the knights who clamoured to fight by his side, drove the Blackwoods across the Red Fork, into Blackwood Vale. Several Blackwood scions were slain or captured, and after the victory Daemon was said to profess that "Blackwood borders would never extend so far south again."
- The Siege of Darry - Instructed by Aegon Targaryen to seize Darry for the rebellion, Lord Lothston marches out with his men to place the castle under siege. He is there for hardly a week before reinforcements arrive for the loyalists - Mootons and Hollards and Wodes in number. After a short battle Lord Lothston is forced to retreat, falling back to Harrenhal.
- The Second Battle of the Fork - Reinforced by Tullys, Pipers, and Mallisters, Daemon and his allies are driven out of Blackwood Vale in a bitter and hard-fought battle. Though Daemon fights well, slaying one of Lord Tully's sons and forcing a Piper scion to yield, the Brackens are forced to retreat across the River. A young nobleman wounds Lord Mallister.
- The Battle of Riverrun - With the Mallisters paused to tend to their wounded lord, Daemon presses south to face the Pipers and Tullys alone. The battle seems pitched until the Blackwoods arrive, pouring arrows into the rebel flank and rear. Lord Bracken is wounded, and the army begins to rout - Prince Daemon manages to steady their retreat, leading them back toward High Heart.
The Storm in the South Edit
Victories at Highgarden and Griffin's Roost see the tide in the south turned in the favour of the Rebels. Lord Baratheon, boasting several hostages and the unified might of the southern Stormlands, begins his advance up the Kingsroad. Far to the west, the Tyrells do the same - marching up the Roseroad toward King's Landing.
In the capital, King Daeron still refuses to allow his sons to march, demanding that both remain safe in the capital. Maekar, his second son, manages to escape the city - rallying the Crownlands and the houses of the Narrow Sea. Furious, but unable to call him back, Daeron sends the Kingsguard to watch over his son - Aemon the Dragonknight, Gwayne Corbary, and Terrance Toyne all joining the young Prince in his defense of the Crownlands. It seems hopeless - though the Arryns are crown loyalists their forces have only just left the mountains, slowed by a sudden storm that made the valleys nigh impassible. House Tyrell and House Baratheon are already on their way, and all agree that should they arrive, the war was all but over.
By his own volition, and despite his defeat in the Battle of Highgarden, Lord Caswell instructed his men to sabotage Bitterbridge, destroying access across the Mander. Lord Tyrell and his host and were forced to find another means of crossing, or else abandon their supplies and wagons. The obstruction won the crown precious time, and Maekar wasted little of it - gathering his army the Prince marched into the Kingswood, ready to meet the Baratheons.
Joined by Houses Penrose, Errol, Buckler, and even the Tarths and other loyalists of the Stormlands, Maekar and his host made camp north of the Wendwater. The Lord of Storm's End, marching with the full might of his region, elected to meet him head on. The Battle of Redriver was the the third largest in the Rebellion, and saw acts of both valour and cowardice. In the end, the young Prince Maekar emerged victorious, the strength of the Stormlands broken.
- The Liberation of Griffins Roost - The Baratheons march upon Griffin's Roost, backed by Houses Fell and Grandison. With the Conningtons sallying out of their gate, the fury of the Baratheon charge proves too much, shattering the loyalist lines. Many nobles are taken prisoner, all but securing the Stormlands for House Baratheon.
- The Breaking of Bitterbridge - Lord Caswell, unhappy but resolute, decides to sabotage Bitterbridge. After several days of labourous work, the stone structure is sent cascading into the Mander, ending any hope of Lord Tyrell crossing it with his forces.
- The Battle of Redriver - After the defeat at Griffin's Roost, many of the loyalist vassals once more swear to Storm's End. Others flee north, to fight with the Stormlords who yet serve the Iron Throne. These join up with Prince Maekar Targaryen and the Kingsguard, who gather a host of Crownlanders and wait in the Kingswood, by headwaters of the Wendwater. Lord Baratheon chooses to meet them, and in the ensuing battle the river runs red. Lord Maekar's position proved unassailable, despite several attempts by the Baratheons to uproot him, and the trees made maneuvering difficult. When a new member of the Kingsguard fought his way to Lord Baratheon and slew him, the battle was all but over. The newly re-sworn vassals of Storm's End were the first to break, followed soon after by the rebels themselves.
The Wolf Marches Edit
Though ever a reluctant supporter of Aegon, at last the Starks of Winterfell were ready for war. Their host, gathered at Moat Cailin over long months, began it's arduous journey south. Word flew swiftly, spreading fear in the hearts of the loyalists and hope in those of the rebels. Such a fresh host could swiftly turn the tide of the war, winning the Riverlands for Aegon and the crown not long after. The Vale, however, still stood true.
Under the command of an Arryn, Royce, and Hunter, the hard heart of the Vale stood against the approaching army of the North, outnumbered severely but holding the surer ground. Waiting for their foes just outside of the swamps of the neck, the Battle of the Bite was the largest battle in the Rebellion, and saw ten thousand men from the Riverlands, North, and Vale slain, and many more wounded. In the end, the Arryns were defeated, their army thrown back and routed. Winter had come to the Riverlands.
- The Battle of the Bite - An enormous battle just off the Kingsroad, near the bay most men call the Bite. Lord Royce took the center, Lord Hunter the right and the Arryn the left, while Lord Stark allowed his men to arrange themselves as they would. With the flat terrain it seemed like the perfect spot for cavalry tactics, and here the Vale excelled - outnumbering the Northern horse nearly four to one, and far better in both armour and quality. When battle was joined the Starks drew into formation, allowing the Vale to crash against them like a hammer. The two forces grappled like drunken men, neither willing to yield - until the Arryn brought his horse in a wide berth, hoping to smash the Northern flank and drive them towards the sea. The Neck, however, was unforgiving - the charge faltered and broke in the swampy, treacherous earth, and the Northmen - largely afoot - took swift advantage. Desperate to support the crumbling left Lord Royce sent men to aid them, weakening his center line that still held the road. The Starks spared little time - led by Umbers, Forresters, Whitehills, Karstarks, and a half dozen other nobles, the Northern Van pierced the Vale's heart like a heavy axe, shattering their center and dividing the army in two. Lord Hunter was driven toward the Bite, while the young Arryn was forced off deeper into the Neck, the Vale's forces routing shortly after.
The Boarhunt Edit
The loyalist forces of the Westerlands besieged Crakehall in 187AC, though the castle soon dipped its banners in surrender. Redtusk, now renegade and rebel both, abandoned the siege of Cornfield to flee eastward, in hopes of joining his strength to Aegon's. The Lannisters and their supporters, steadily growing as more and more lords of the West bent their knees to the Rock, were not about to let their second greatest foe escape.
Redtusk and his men took to the foothills of the Westerlands, and the Lannisters followed after. What followed was nearly a month of cat and mouse, a search that would eventually be known as the Boarhunt. By the time Redtusk was cornered his force had dwindled by nearly a third, though those men who remained were hardy and seasoned. Battle was joined just south of Deep Den, where at last Redtusk was slain.
- The Siege of Crakehall - When the loyalist forces arrived at Crakehall, they outnumbered the defenders nearly thirty to one. Seeing little hope, Lord Crakehall dipped his banners, leaving the Redtusk to his own devices.
- The Liberation of Cornfield - As the Lannisters approached, Redtusk fled. The Swyfts, seeing their tormentor and would-be conqueror run, sallied forth, slaying scores of rebels before they could rally and escape to the hills.
- The Battle of the Hills - Cornered in the foothills of the Westerland mountains, Redtusk and his men turned to face their harriers. Caught in a rocky, narrow valley, there was no room for tactics or strategy - only brawn and short, sharp swordwork. The battle was long, carrying through the heat of the day, and Redtusk's men fought bitterly. Only when their leader himself at last fell, slain in a duel on the side of the hill, did they at last break and flee.
A Sudden Blow Edit
The Starks had split their forces, a third marching south toward the Trident to provide Aegon immediate relief, while the rest approached the Twins, which had thus far remained neutral. Before an ultimatum could be issued, however, word arrived from the North - Flint's Finger and Cape Kraken had fallen.
The Ironborn, it seemed, had not abandoned the war at all - instead, they had gone in search for easier prey. While the Starks marched south, the Greyjoys had readied their assault - striking at the Flint Cliffs while most of the fighting men were gone. Unwilling to leave his people to the Ironborn, Lord Stark made the decision to turn around - marching home again, and leaving Aegon to his fate. Lord Stark asked Lord Blurson to march the Haze fleet south but he bitterly said that he would not aid any king in the south.
Main Article: The Kraken's Conquest
A little ways south, the remnants of the main Arryn force rallied under the command of the Lord of the Eyrie. United in a solid mass, the men of the Vale advanced upon the ford held by Aelor Targaryen and Lords Roote and Cox. Though fighting across a river, the knights of the Eyrie proved victorious - capturing both the ford, and the Prince, for the Crown.
- Battle of the Ford - The secondary Vale force, greatly reinforced by survivors of the first, launched an assault against Prince Aelor's position on the other side of the ford. Though the young Targaryen had set up defenses and blockades, the Arryns used numbers and horseflesh both to great advantage, aided in turn by a stalwart beachhead formed by a young nobleman and his host. Once the river had fallen Aelor's army abandoned him, fleeing towards Harrenhal. The knights of the Vale captured or slew many, including Borros Brune, and took Aegon the Usurper's middle son prisoner.
The March on King's Landing Edit
Word arrived in Harrenhal soon afterwards. King Aegon was in a black mood for a fortnight, infuriated by Lord Stark's decision. It was during this time, after several weeks with no word from Daemon, that the maester's treachery was discovered. Aegon immediately gathered his host and marched west - but only after torturing the man to death.
By the time Aegon Targaryen arrived at High Heart, the battle was all but finished. It had been a long siege - nearly three weeks - but in the end, the hordes of camp followers who accompanied the popular Prince had not come properly supplied. Though rations were stretched, there were not enough - and by the third week encamped upon the hill, a group of men attempted to make their escape. Breaking through their own defenses and charging down the hill, the advance was doomed from the beginning. Lord Blackwood and his archers, aided by Lord Vance and his horse, made short work of the attempted escapees. Afterwards, the loyalists closed in.
Aegon took one look at the head of Daemon Targaryen, mounted on a pike at the base of the hill, and turned his army around. The Tullys, Pipers, and the rest of their host was no where to be seen - most assumed the two armies had passed one another by chance, mere miles apart. All expected to find Lord Tully waiting for them at Harrenhal, his army bolstered with those forces that could not reach him beforehand - and likely by the Lothstons, who would waste no time in dipping their banners. With the North lost and word of Western defeats arriving every day, Aegon saw no recourse but to join his forces with the rebels in the south, and march upon King's Landing directly. Following the eastern bank of the Blackwater Rush, Aegon and his army descended toward the Gold Road, hoping to join their forces with that of the Reach. Messengers were sent, a raven from Stony Sept making its way to Tumbleton in time for a rider to reach the Tyrells. The two armies converged by the Blackwater Rush, and began their march towards King's Landing.
- The Battle of High Heart - Daemon and his army had fled to High Heart, an incredibly tall hill that many thought to be unassailable. For a time it proved safe enough; no advance could be made against them without their knowing it, as the hill commanded the plains for miles around. As loyalists encircled the hill it took little wisdom to know an attack was imminent. Daemon's popularity had brought him thousands of camp followers, men and women of little use in combat that sought only to be part of the tale, or win what coin they could from the soldiery. Many urged him to cast them out, but the young Prince would hear nothing of it, sure that aid was on its way. As the siege of High Heart drew into its third week, the commonfolk began to starve. Realizing that Aegon and his forces were not coming, Daemon Targaryen attempted to cast out the unnecessary followers - but the surrounding forces would not let them through, sending them right back to the rebels. Lacking the discipline of proper soldiers, a band of men sought to break free from the encampment, and the fortifications that Daemon and his allies had erected. They broke through the barricades and were slaughtered on the hillside as the sun began to set; and with this, Lord Tully decided not to wait. The loyalists forces advanced upon the hilltop in a hail of arrowfire, dusk deepening all around them. By the time they reached the top of the hill it was nearly dark, and torches all there was to see by. They cast grim light upon the macabre scene, a black and hard-fought contest that saw thousands of men perish upon the hill. Many look back on the night and swear that demons had taken part, ghosts and children of the forest running about in the madness, slaying men with impunity. Such claims, of course, are dismissed - but what is known is that when dawn rose, the loyalists were victorious, and Daemon Targaryen lay slain.
- The Liberation of Harrenhal - Not long after Aegon had abandoned Harrenhal, loyalist soldiers there retook the castle from the men he had left behind. Lord Lothston was freed from his own dungeon, and promptly executed or imprisoned those men of Aegon's that remained. When the Tullys, Pipers, Blackwoods, and Mallisters arrived at Harrenhal, Lord Lothston swiftly offered his fealty.
The Battle of Blackbridge Edit
Forces from across the realm had gathered, and it seemed the end of the war was nigh. Maekar and the Kingsguard had wasted little time in the Kingswood, allowing the defeated Stormlanders to retreat as the Prince and his army rushed north. The Arryns left a holding force at the ford and made their way south as well, joining with the Riverlords by Harrenhal and making their way to King's Landing.
King Daeron I Targaryen had grown strong, the illness that had taken him to bed giving up its grip. At the sight of the loyalist armies, battle-ready and weary, a light appeared in his eye that had not been seen since the days of the Conquest of Dorne. Daeron Targaryen had been born to fight - and though in recent decades he had forgotten it, his blood and bone had not. The King donned his armour, the Crown Prince and Maekar as well, and for the first time in decades he marched forth from King's Landing, accompanied by all seven of his Kingsguard, and the whole host of loyalists from the Crownlands, Riverlands, Stormlands, and Vale. They marched west along the Gold Road, making no secret of their coming - and when Aegon heard that Daeron came to face him himself, the Black Dragon's anger grew to all new heights.
Aegon gathered his army, made up of remnants of Redtusk's forces who had escaped the Battle of the Hills, as well as his Riverland allies. The Reach made up the core of his strength, bolstered further by Bulwers and Florents who had joined the rebels after the Ironborn assaults. Word came that the Lannister armies still pursued Redtusk's surviving men, and approached along the Goldroad rapidly - but Aegon cared little for a lion when there were dragons to be slain. He marched eastward, his armies glittering and strong. The two forces met along the Blackwater Rush, on either side of the bridge where the Goldroad crossed the river.
All accounts agree that Daeron struck first, his vanguard led by Maekar Targaryen, Aemon the Dragonknight, and several other nobles and Kingsguard. The battle waged for hours, but in the end the Crown emerged victorious. Aegon and his youngest son escaped, retreating westward with the remainder of their forces. The Tyrells, thoroughly broken, bent the knee to King Daeron on the battlefield.
Main Article: The Battle of Blackbridge
The Last Days Edit
Aegon Targaryen, some called Usurper, others the Black Dragon or the Black Prince - fled northeast with his youngest son, Viserys, and the rest of their army. Pursuit lasted days, the rebel king's forces slowly stripped away by combat and cowardice, as the crown kept up a relentless chase. In a battle along the river young Prince Viserys was slain in single combat - largely marking the end of any hope for Aegon's line. A few days later the King himself was found - hanging from a tree, with his crown and signet ring no where in sight.
When the body of Aegon Targaryen was discovered, King Daeron immediately ordered the halt of any pursuit of the rest of his army. The war had gone on long enough, the king decided, and it was time for the realm to heal. Daeron called off all hostilities between the rebels and the loyalists - including those involved in the Northern war, where the Ironborn still held lands taken from the Starks.
Daemon and Viserys, Aegon's eldest and youngest son, were both confirmed to be dead, slain in battle with royal forces. Aelor, his middle son, yet lived - captured by the Vale during the Battle of the Ford. Aelor was turned over to the Crown, and though many urged for Aelor's execution - Daeron chose to send his cousin's son to the Wall.
Aelor Targaryen was the first of the rebels to be sent to the Wall - but he was not the last. In total Daeron would send nearly thirty lords to the Wall, and hundreds of commonfolk. Some of these would later be slain in the Slaughter at Shadow Tower.
Princess Naerys and her daughter would be taken to King's Landing, to remain in the court of King Daeron. Though most agree that Aegon likely sired a large number of bastards, none are known to the realm at large.