Our battle with the Blackbars has ended, and much sooner than I had imagined. Their fleets lie at the bottom of the Straight. Their sons are dead. Their soldiers ransomed back. Their ships ours. It is….a curious sensation. This has been the first battle I can truly say I have been a part of. And I cannot say that it was skill alone that won this day. Careful planning, preparation, and investment are more the victors. We had the opportunity of time to prepare, the ability to choose the field of battle. Sir Cuy’s leadership in the fleet prevented half the raiders from even landing, and my Lord Father easily saw to the rest upon the docks, taking the head of Dorian Blackbar himself.
My father… Feelings about him are complicated. I know that my position as his second son does not lend me much to his approval. I cannot be married off to cement an alliance like Maera, and I am not the heir like my brother. I can only hope to be of service and in some small way prove myself in his eyes. But at times it never feels like enough.
I have not my sister’s wit nor her way with words. And whenever she speaks on my behalf, Father dismisses it as an outpouring of affection, not proof of true worth on my part. And I cannot say that I feel he is entirely wrong. I should not need Maera to speak up for me to him. I should strive to be recognized without such things.
But again, I am no great swordsman like Ser Gareth or Dylan. Nor a learned admiral like Sir Cuy… But this is mere pity. It serves no use. Dylan is more than redeemed in my eyes for his valiant stand against our former Master at Arms. While he is hot-headed, I suppose I can expect little else from a Dornishman. And I do feel that his heart is in the right place. It is simply a matter of keeping his head in the same position. Elyana nearly died herself defending Maera, and I know for that she has my eternal gratitude.
Ser Gareth has a point, as it is our forces are spread much too thinly about the island. Our very home was invaded and practically taken by one man during the battle! We shall need to see to training more troops. I fear we shan’t be so lucky the next time we are caught off guard.