Battle of the Gullet
|Battle of the Gullet|
|Conflict||Dance of the Dragons|
|Result|| Greens/Three Daughters victory|
Sack of Driftmark
The Battle of the Gullet, also called the Battle in the Gullet, was a battle that took place in the Gullet during the Dance of the Dragons. It remains amongst the bloodiest sea battles in all of history.
House Velaryon blockaded the Gullet and controlled access to Blackwater Bay at the start of the civil war. After the assault on Harrenhal by Prince Daemon Targaryen and further blows to the greens, Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King to Aegon II Targaryen, hatched a plan to break the Velaryon fleet's blockade. Otto reached out across the narrow sea to enemies of Prince Daemon, the Kingdom of the Three Daughters, hoping to persuade them to move against the Sea Snake, Lord Corlys Velaryon. Otto's plan took time and Aegon II eventually ran out of patience with his grandfather's prevarications, tearing the chain of office from his neck and tossing it to Ser Criston Cole.
However, the schemes of Ser Otto eventually bore fruit, as the High Council of the Triarchy accepted his offer of alliance in Tyrosh. Ninety warships, commanded by Admiral Sharako Lohar of Lys, swept from the Stepstones under the banners of the Three Daughters, bending their oars for the Gullet.
Meanwhile on Dragonstone, it was decided by Prince Jacaerys Velaryon that his half-brothers, Aegon and Viserys, would be fostered with a prince of Pentos until Rhaenys had secured the Iron Throne, they departed a Pentoshi cog, the Gay Abandon, towards the end of 129 AC. The Sea Snake sent seven of his warships with them as escort.
The Gay Abandon carrying the two Targaryen princes encountered the Three Daughters' fleet, which had sailed up to the Gullet. The Gay Abandon was taken captive and her escorts sunk or captured. Possessed only of a dragon egg, Prince Viserys had no way of escaping from the cog and was made captive.
Nine-year-old Aegon managed to escape the Gay Abandon by flying on his young dragon Stormcloud. Sailors attempted to bring them down and Stormcloud was wounded by arrows and scorpion bolts. Nevertheless, they managed to fly to Dragonstone, where Aegon delivered the news of the new threat from the east. Stormcloud at Dragonstone died from its wounds.
Flying on Vermax to meet the fleet of the Three Daughters, Prince Jacaerys swept down upon a line of Lysene galleys. The sailors had fought dragons during the War for the Stepstones, so their captains directed their spears and arrows against Jacaerys. One ship caught on fire and then another, however. When the dragons Silverwing, Sheepstealer, Seasmoke, and Vermithor joined Vermax from the Dragonmont, the line of Free Cities warships shattered as one galley after another turned away.
Vermax flew too low, however, and crashed down into the sea, possibly wounded from a crossbow bolt to the eye or pulled down by a grapnel. Survivors said he struggled in the rigging of a burning galley and sank with it. Jacaerys leapt free, but was killed by Myrish crossbowmen.
North and south of Dragonstone the battle raged into the night. The fleet bypassd Dragonstone, perhaps believing that it was to strong to assault, but they instead attacked Driftmark. Spicetown was brutally sacked, with its inhabitants butchered and left as carrion. High Tide and the treasures of Lord Corlys Velaryon were burned, with his servants cut down as they fled.
Thousands died from the battle, and Spicetown was never rebuilt. The Velaryon fleet lost almost a third of its strength. Prince Jacaerys Velaryon and his dragon Vermax were killed, and Prince Viserys Targaryen was taken captive.
The Triarchy's admiral, Sharako Lohar of Lys, took a combined fleet of 90 warships from the Stepstones but only 28 survived to limp home, losing 62 ships in the battle. The reaction of the Triarchy to such a hard won victory is unknown but by the time of Maiden's Day in 130 AC the Triarchy had begun to tear itself to pieces.
- Archmaester Gyldayn