|House Darklyn of Duskendale|
|Coat of arms||Fusily sable and or, upon a pale in dexter gules seven escutcheons argent|
|Seat||The Dun Fort|
|Title||Lord of Duskendale|
|Cadet Branch||House Darke|
|Founded||Age of Heroes|
|Died out||277 ᴀᴄ|
House Darklyn of Duskendale ruled the town of Duskendale and the surrounding lands in the crownlands for centuries. Their keep was the Dun Fort, at the top of a hill that dominates the town. The lordly Darklyns are now extinct as result of the Defiance of Duskendale, although the related Darkes, Darkwoods, Dargoods still live in the town.
The Darklyns had been petty kings of the First Men during the Age of Heroes. Their closest allies were their bannermen of House Hollard, who served them loyally and provided brides three times for the Darklyn kings of old. The Darklyns claimed the mouth of the Blackwater Rush during the Hundred Kingdoms. The petty kings of Duskendale were once conquered by the Storm King Monfryd the Mighty.
During the Andal invasion, the Darklyns forced Togarion Bar Emmon to flee from the northern shore of the Blackwater to Massey's Hook. Even after their small realm was swallowed up by larger Andal kingdoms, the Darklyns' power sometimes reached as far as Crackclaw Point.
Lords of Duskendale
During Aegon's Conquest, Aegon I Targaryen and his bastard half-brother Orys Baratheon defeated the Darklyns of Duskendale and the Mootons of Maidenpool in Aegon's first test. The Darklyns bent the knee to the Targaryens and served their new kings as the proud Lords of Duskendale.
During the Targaryen rule, the Darklyns were close allies to the dragonlords to the point that seven sons of Darklyn joined the Kingsguard, more than any other house, a fact which is referred to in the Darklyns' coat of arms. Ser Robin Darklyn was one of the first members of the order.
Ser Steffon Darklyn was a member of the Kingsguard of King Viserys I Targaryen and became Lord Commander of the Queensguard for Rhaenyra Targaryen when the realm was divided between the blacks of Rhaenyra and the greens of her half-brother Aegon II Targaryen. Lord Darklyn attended Rhaenyra's coronation and sat on her black council; in retaliation Aegon's Hand Ser Criston Cole sacked Duskendale and had Lord Darklyn beheaded during the Dance of the Dragons. Lady Meredyth Darklyn briefly sheltered Queen Rhaenyra after she fled King's Landing.
The Defiance of Duskendale took place during the reign of King Aerys II Targaryen when, according to the smallfolk, Lord Denys Darklyn was convinced by his wife, Lady Serala of Myr, to take Aerys captive. According to semi-canon sources, the defiance was in fact caused by Lord Denys's refusal to pay taxes after Aerys denied his demands of certain rights for his citizens and a town charter for Duskendale.
During the imprisonment of the king, the master-at-arms of the Dun Fort, Ser Symon Hollard, slew Ser Gwayne Gaunt of the Kingsguard. The Hand of the King, Lord Tywin Lannister, assembled an army that could easily storm the town, but Lord Denys menaced that he would kill the king as soon as the attack started. Aerys was held prisoner for half a year with Tywin's army waiting outside Duskendale.
The situation remained invariable until Ser Barristan Selmy of the Kingsguard entered the Dun Fort and rescued the king. Having lost his hostage, Lord Denys had no other option than to surrender at once. He bent the knee and begged for mercy, but the king demanded his head and all his family's. Lord Denys, his brothers and his sister, uncles and cousins were beheaded. Lady Serala, called the Lace Serpent for the supposed poison of her words, was burned alive after her tongue and her female parts were torn out with which it was said that she had enslaved her lord husband.
House Hollard, which had served House Darklyn during the defiance and had a close relationship with their lords, had their lands taken, the castle torn down, and its members also executed. Only young Dontos Hollard was spared because Ser Barristan asked for mercy.
The Darklyns were succeeded as Lords of Duskendale by House Rykker.
A Feast for Crows
- Lord Darklyn, husband to Lady Meredyth, who was killed early in the Dance of the Dragons when King Aegon II's forces sacked Duskendale. Lord Darklyn was beheaded.
- Lady Meredyth Darklyn, who led the family during the Dance of the Dragons.
- Lord Denys Darklyn, the rebel lord who seized his king and was executed, the last member of the house.
- Unnamed sister of Lord Denys, married Ser Jon Hollard and had one son.
- Lord Denys had at least one brother.
- Lord Denys had aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Known Darklyns who served in the Kingsguard
- Ser Robin Darklyn, known as Darkrobin. He became one of the first knights of the Kingsguard when the order was founded by King Aegon the Conquerer in 10 ᴀᴄ.
- Ser Davos Darklyn was a member during the reign of King Maegor I Targaryen.
- Ser Rolland Darklyn he joined the sworn brotherhood on a battlefield and died an hour later. He was the youngest member to serve in the Kingsguard until Ser Jaime Lannister (who was fifteen at the time).
- Ser Steffon Darklyn was a member during the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Durrandon.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: Andals in the Stormlands.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 20, Brienne IV.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
- The Princess and the Queen.
- ConJose (San Jose, CA; August 29-September 2) report So Spake Martin
- The World of Ice & Fire.
- The Sons of the Dragon.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.