Duskendale. Art by Michael Komarck.
|Location||Westeros, crownlands, Blackwater Bay|
|Government||House Rykker, feudal lord|
|Religion||Faith of the Seven|
|Notable places||Dun Fort, Seven Swords|
Duskendale is a large port town off the coast of Blackwater Bay. It is located northeast of King's Landing and Rosby in the crownlands. Formerly ruled by the Darklyns, it is now the seat of House Rykker.
Duskendale spreads out around its harbor and has cobbled streets. The gatehouse opens to a market square. The castle of House Rykker that overlooks the port is the Dun Fort, a squat square stone castle with big drum towers. Duskendale is surrounded by strong walls which shimmer palely in predawn. Guardsmen wield spears and wear chain mail hauberks. The largest inn in Duskendale is the Seven Swords, across from which lives a skilled painter, the sister of the captain of the gatehouse. Duskendale contains multiple septs.
South of the town is a rocky headland that shelters the harbor from the storms of the narrow sea and north of it rise chalk cliffs. The Duskendale road runs northeast beside the shore between the grey-green sea and low limestone hills, and the ruins of the Hollard castle are found where the road forks to Crackclaw Point and Maidenpool. Fishing villages dot the road for miles. The Rosby road connects King's Landing to Duskendale.
During the Hundred Kingdoms the ancient Dun Fort of Duskendale was the seat of petty kings of the First Men from House Darklyn. They sometimes claimed the mouth of the Blackwater Rush and Crackclaw Point, but were unable to consolidate control.
At times the town swore allegiance to House Durrandon, the Storm Kings from Storm's End. For instance, Monfryd I Durrandon seized Duskendale and Maidenpool after defeating petty Darklyn and Mooton kings.
During the coming of the Andals, the Darklyn king at Duskendale forced Togarion Bar Emmon to abandon the northern Blackwater for Massey's Hook. Benedict II Justman, King of the Trident, added Duskendale to his Andal realm, but House Justman was eventually extinguished by the ironborn.
The Storm King Arlan III Durrandon conquered the entirety of the riverlands during his reign. A few generations before the Wars of Conquest, Halleck Hoare, King of the Isles and the Rivers, extended the domain of House Hoare east to Duskendale and Rosby.
At the start of Aegon's Conquest, Lords Darklyn and Mooton were slain battling Aegon the Conqueror, who was atop Balerion, and Orys Baratheon. When Lord Darklyn's son surrendered Duskendale, Visenya Targaryen took much of the town's wealth but left it undamaged.
Duskendale became part of the new crownlands sworn to House Targaryen, the kings controlling the Iron Throne, and King's Landing began to surpass the older town during the reign of Aegon I. King Jaehaerys I Targaryen and Queen Alysanne Targaryen visited Duskendale's boatyards during their royal progress in 51 AC. Duskendale continued to grow during Jaehaerys's reign.
Dance of the Dragons
House Darklyn supported the blacks when the Dance of the Dragons began. In 129 AC, King Aegon II Targaryen's forces easily sacked Duskendale, burned the harbor, and beheaded Lord Gunthor Darklyn. This marked the start of the greens' offensive. Gunthor's widow, Lady Meredyth Darklyn, worried that Prince Aemond Targaryen would burn Duskendale with his dragon, Vhagar.
After the Storming of the Dragonpit, Gunthor's widow, Lady Meredyth Darklyn, was convinced by Ser Harrold Darke to briefly let Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen stay within Duskendale. Rhaenyra sold her crown to buy transport from Duskendale on the Violande. After Aegon II regained the Iron Throne, Lord Borros Baratheon marched on Rosby, Stokeworth, and Duskendale, forcing their lords to pay heavy ransoms in King's Landing. Levies from Duskendale joined Borros's host, but the Darklyn knights went over to the Lads during the Battle of the Kingsroad. Braavosi ships landed Lord Leowyn Corbray army from the Vale of Arryn at Duskendale.
During the regency of Aegon III, Duskendale's trade was hampered by the Daughters' War in the narrow sea. The town suffered from Winter Fever in 133 AC, but then profited during the Lysene Spring.
Defiance of Duskendale
During the Defiance of Duskendale in 277 AC, King Aerys II Targaryen was held captive within Duskendale by Lord Denys Darklyn, who hoped to win a charter and more autonomy for the town. After Ser Barristan Selmy rescued the king, House Darklyn was destroyed by Aerys and Lord Tywin Lannister, and Duskendale and its lands and incomes were give to House Rykker. Even with the Darklyns gone, many of their kin remain in Duskendale, with names such as Darke, Darkwood, or Dargood. Ser Dontos the Red, last of House Hollard, left Duskendale while a boy.
A Storm of Swords
During the War of the Five Kings, Duskendale is marched upon by northern infantry under the command of Robett Glover, Ser Helman Tallhart, and Harrion Karstark. They are met and defeated by Lord Randyll Tarly and Ser Gregor Clegane in a battle at Duskendale, however. Robett is eventually exchanged for Martyn Lannister and sails north from Duskendale.
A Feast for Crows
Lord Tarly's casualties are buried as heroes in Duskendale's septs, while northern casualties are buried in a mass grave north of the town. With King's Landing recovering from the Battle of the Blackwater, the port of Duskendale is busier than ever. The Rosby road is safe until Duskendale, but the woods beyond are dangerous with outlaws and broken men.
Brienne of Tarth visits the town in her search for Sansa Stark. She stays at the Seven Swords, visits the Dun Fort, and has her shield repainted from the arms of House Lothston to those she had once seen at Tarth. Brienne encounters a boy in the streets and a pious dwarf in the Seven Swords. North of the town she sees remnants from the recent battle. Brienne takes the Duskendale road north to Maidenpool.
Luco Prestayn's Lady Bright sails from Braavos for Gulltown, Duskendale, King's Landing, and Tyrosh. Seastrider sails from Oldtown to Tyrosh, Pentos, Duskendale, and Maidenpool. While in Braavos, Arya Stark spots trading galleys out of Duskendale.
Chapters that take place at Duskendale
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 4, Brienne I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 20, Brienne IV.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Durrandon.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: Andals in the Stormlands.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
- Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
- Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
- Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
- Fire & Blood, Aftermath - The Hour of the Wolf.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
- Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.
- Balman claims it was six years ago in 300 AC. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: The Grasslands.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 14, Brienne III.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 22, Arya II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 25, Brienne V.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 34, Cat Of The Canals.