The Band of Nine, also known as the Ninepenny Kings, was a group of merchants, mercenaries and pirates from the Free Cities who banded together to carve out kingdoms for themselves and who caused great turmoil in Essos and the Stepstones. This group was the cause of the War of the Ninepenny Kings.
The Band of Nine began their conquests by overrunning the Disputed Lands and sacking Tyrosh, where they set up Alequo Adarys as a tyrant. They then marched on the Stepstones, conquering them with ease. King Jaehaerys II Targaryen had known that the Band of Nine meant to win the Seven Kingdoms for Maelys the Monstrous, who styled himself King Maelys I Blackfyre. But he hoped that the alliance of rogues would founder in Essos, or fall at the hands of another alliance in the Free Cities. When that did not happen, the thin and scrawny king, who did not lack for courage or intelligence, resolved to meet the Ninepenny Kings upon the Stepstones, choosing to take the war to them. The actions that followed are collectively known as the War of the Ninepenny Kings, or the Fifth Blackfyre Rebellion.
The Targaryens responded quickly, sending their own force to the Stepstones. Maester Eon's Account of the War of the Ninepenny Kings, is a splendid source for the details of fighting, with its many battles on land and sea. It showed that the war ended when Ser Barristan Selmy killed the pretender Maelys I Blackfyre. The remainder of the Ninepenny Kings had no interest in Westeros and fell to their own domains. Half a year of hard fighting remained before the Band of Nine lost the Stepstones and the Disputed Lands, but Alequo, the Tyrant of Tyrosh, managed to remain in power for another six years, before the Archon of Tyrosh was restored.
The Names and Styles of the Band of Nine
- The Old Mother, a pirate queen.
- Samarro Saan, the Last Valyrian, a notorious pirate from a notorious family of pirates from Lys.
- Xhobar Qhoqua, the Ebon Prince, an exile prince from the Summer Isles who founded and led a sellsword company in the Disputed Lands.
- Liomond Lashare, the Lord of Battles, a famed sellsword captain.
- Spotted Tom the Butcher, from Westeros, captain of a free company in the Disputed Lands.
- Ser Derrick Fossoway, the Bad Apple, an exile from Westeros, a knight with a black reputation.
- Nine Eyes, Captain of the Jolly Fellows.
- Alequo Adarys, the Silvertongue, a Tyroshi merchant prince, ambitious and wealthy.
- Maelys Blackfyre, the Monstrous, Captain of the Golden Company.