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Westeros Blog: Footsteps in the Desert

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The negotiations between the King of the Seven Kingdoms, Baelor Targaryen, and the Prince of Dorne had ended. Word had passed through the court of Sunspear that among the terms of the new peace were the unmaking a marriage (that of the heir to Salt Shore, Joleta Gargalen) and, more importantly, the betrothal of Prince Marence’s daughter Mariah to the king’s cousin, young Daeron, the son of Prince Aegon and his sister and wife Princess Naerys. This was met with unrest in some parts of the court, concern that too much was being given away to this pious boy-king who thinks the Seven speak to him. Others, however, met the news with relief, relief and the hope that once King Baelor returned to his Iron Throne, all would be peaceful between Dorne and the Seven Kingdoms despite the unruliness of certain lords and knights.

So it was with a certain trepidation and the beginnings of triumph in their hearts that many at court gathered early in the morning to send Baelor on to the Planky Town, where a galley was waiting for him to carry him on to King’s Landing. The king was late, of course, for he had insisted on early prayers at the Old Palace’s sept. Many waited, as time passed, gossiping about various matters. Most of the Martells were present, though Prince Rhodry was a notable absence, and one which Marence was eager to undo by sending shariffs out into the shadow city to find him.

This proved forgotten, however, when Baelor appeared. Prince Marence bid him a safe journey home, promising him that the galley would see him there swiftly…

And then Baelor revealed he was not going. Not by sea, in any case. As he prayed, the Seven appeared before him, and informed him that he should walk back to his home, just as he walked away from it; not in an act of contrition, but an act of thanks giving for the grace that the gods have given him and his subjects through the successful negotiation of the peace.

Of course, attempts were made to dissuade him, but he would not be gainsayed. In the end, Prince Marence acquiesced, forced supplies on him, and sent him on his way . . . but not without an honor guard that would follow at a distance, led by Wild Will Gargalen.

The peace that may have fully been concluded within the month seems now destined to be months further away thanks to King Baelor’s overzealous piety. And there are concerns that he might never reach his destination, given Red Rhys of the Scourge’s activities, and the rumors regarding Lady Yronwood…

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