The Battle went better than expected, the fight nearly killed me.
Lord Tuttle responded upon his return as I thought he would. Time in the dungeons was a price I was willing to pay for the good of the house to which we have bound our fortunes. And just as he promised, Dorian Blackbar came back with an army. 10 warships and a legion of raiders. With the raiders on land and the warships bombarding from sea, I knew that we would not hold out much hope if things did not go right from the start.
Thankfully they did. Captain Simon Tuttle went out on Crush and organized the fleet for the Blackbar’s welcoming. Ser Kelvan Cuy was admiral of the fleet and did a great job leading his men. He destroyed the lighter ships in one salvo taking with them any troops they might have been carrying. Then chased the Blackbar’s armored ships to shore. Blocked in by our fleet, they had no choice but to attack.
Lord Aleric Tuttle led our troops bravely. I was his shadow through the preparations, as well as the battle itself. I had been concerned that the Bravossi pirate would try to assassinate Lord Tuttle during the melee, but My worry was only wasted effort. The Blackbar forces were in such disarray after coming off the ships that the Tuttle forces, led valiantly by Ser Ser Gareth Hewett, destroyed them before they could set foot on Shell Island. While Ser Gareth was taking the ships and crew prisoner I fought beside Lord Tuttle. When he began to fight Dorian Blackbar I became concerned for his safety, but the rout of his troops had taken the fight out of Blackbar. Lord Tuttle went a step farther and took the head from his shoulders as well.
Once Ser Blackbar died, all that was left was butcher’s work. Sailors surrendered and we dealt mercifully to the mortally wounded. Suddenly the bell was ringing from Tannenhall. I feared that perhaps raiders had gotten around us. Maybe another ship landed troops on another part of Shell Island. Lord Tuttle, Ser Gareth, and myself were the first to leap onto our horses and ride towards the castle. I was quickly outdistanced (I have never liked horses and they do not seem to abide me either). Arriving to the castle last I saw the dead bodies lying about, but not the roar of troops that I was expecting. Rushing inside after Lord Tuttle and Ser Gareth, I saw the body of my sister lying on the floor in a pool of blood.
I rushed beside her. Her head was gashed open and blood had run over her face and pooled underneath her head. What other injuries she may have had I could not tell for my mind clouded with rage. The person that had done this would pay for it with their life. I then heard Lady Maera Tuttle hysterically telling her lord father what had happened. The traitor that had kidnapped her previously had come back for a second attempt. Elyana Fyr taking a single blow had given her the delay she needed to escape. But it had not been long. He might still be in the castle.
I rose from beside my sister, murder in my eyes. I drew steel and sprinted off in search of this man that I had not been able to kill the last time we met. In the bandit cave from which Ser Gareth and I rescued Lady Maera, he had been one of many and I had been one of two. We retreated, Lady in hand, rather than die fighting a losing battle against the man who was probably the greatest sword fighter in the Arbor and his allies.
My search led me straight to the dungeons I had spent a week guarding as my punishment. From the top of the steps I saw ex-Ser Denis treating with Lyndon Tuttle, and they also saw me. Lyndon looked as though he had seen the devil himself, and backed back into a corner. The only thing that spared him from my attentions was the fact that he seemed to just be leaving his cell now. Which meant that Denis deserved my attention and my blade. Drawing my dagger, I screamed in my rage and slashed for his neck. There would be no maiming or humiliation for what he had done, only death.
He dodged at the last moment but my blade still took a chunk out of his shoulder. His response was deflected off my armor leaving barely scratch. My second blow went wild and scored cleanly on his armor leaving him untouched. His second blow left me with another scratch. After two nicks scored, he seemed to lose his confidence and I grew more so I brought in my dagger for a finishing blow. Denis ducked under and brought his longsword heavily into my side. I felt ribs crack as I stumbled back, but I used the opening to score a hit on his leg. He looked at me and smiled as he took the sword in both hands and swung in a large arc. From his face I could see that he intended to leave me less whole than I left Lyndon Tuttle, and from his strength I saw that he could do it. I leaped to the side to avoid it, but his speed was incredible. Rather than lose my entire sword arm, I took only a glancing blow to my armor. Still, I was pushed to the ground, ribs broken, now on both sides. From what I heard from Meridora Vigneron while I was under her care, it was much more than just broken ribs. I had injuries that could not be seen as the ribs had splintered inside of me and cut as though they were daggers made of human bone. At that moment, all that I knew was that my breath had left me as I coughed blood upon the leather boots of ex-Ser Denis.
I had only enough time for one more blow. He looked down at me and I saw it through his eyes. I had bloodied him and was a worthy opponent. But I was not good enough. I would die, just as my sister, because we had come to a place that we did not belong. We had upset his plans and death was the penalty we would pay. I might have had time for one last blow, but I would not have the strength. I had come to this place looking for death, and it was his face that I had found. Knowing that he was my death, I also knew that I had nothing to lose. I had time for one blow and I would not give up until I was dead. I am Dylan Fyr of House Fyr. We are an ancient house of dorne, from the times when the first men walked with the children of the trees. Our sigil is a plate of bountiful food, because our enemies choke on us. He killed my sister, but I would make him choke on our deaths. Just as Lyndon Tuttle, I would have ex-Ser Denis remember my name.
“From the depths of hell, I stab at thee,” I whispered. Then I drove my sword up his loincloth. Had I not been on the floor, had he not been walking closer for a killing stroke, had he not been so confident of his eminent victory, I would have never had the chance. But in my vigor to take from him his manhood, I missed. Directly behind the cod piece was a gap in the armor. My sword slid in, all the way to the hilt. Finding only soft tissue, my blade had slid into Denis’s body as easily as if it were a scabbard. It took him less than a moment to die, but when he collapsed, so did I. He fell right on me, pinning my legs to the ground.
It was this moment that the hero would normally be allowed a moment of respite from the horrors of life, but this is not a song or an epic poem. Instead Lyndon Tuttle knocked the dagger from my hand and straddled me, not that I could have stood up on my own anyway, intent upon strangling me with his one hand. In my weakened state he very well my have succeeded if Ser Gareth had not arrived at that very moment. Apparently he had checked on Lady Olivia Tuttle before searching for the bandits. Hearing my cry he rushed to the dungeons and caught Lyndon Tuttle trying to kill me again. After knocking him off and throwing Lyndon back into his cell, Ser Gareth assisted me back into the great hall. There Meridora had pronounced brought Elyanna back to consciousness.
Over the course of the next week Meridora nursed us both back to health. She cut into my side and removed some splinters of bone and helped sew up some pieces inside. She said I would be fine, so I don’t know why she got so mad when I went back to training. I had already had a week off for bed rest. She is staying in the castle now too, so I get to hear her harping about taking it easy. I think I’ve been taking it easy enough. ex-Ser Denis taught me that I was taking it too easy already. If not for a lucky blow I would be dead. I must train, but not for this ridiculous tournament coming up. I must train to survive the coming storms. In the North they say that winter is coming, in Dorne we say unbowed, unbent, unbroken. No matter what comes, we are ready and we persevere.