Second Battle of Tumbleton
|Second Battle of Tumbleton|
|Conflict||Dance of the Dragons|
|Result||Victory for the blacks|
The Second Battle of Tumbleton or simply Second Tumbleton was a battle during the Dance of the Dragons. It took place between the greens and the blacks at the town of Tumbleton in the Reach, which was already ravaged from the earlier First Battle of Tumbleton.
During the Battle of Tumbleton, the market town of Tumbleton was betrayed by Ser Ulf White and Ser Hugh Hammer, who had the dragons Vermithor and Silverwing burn the town. The greens then sacked the town and executed blacks who surrendered. Ser Hobert Hightower was the most senior Hightower remaining in the green army, as his cousin, Lord Ormund Hightower, had been killed in the previous battle. Prince Daeron Targaryen, sickened by the sack of Tumbleton, ordered Hobert to put a stop to the victors' behavior, but Hobert failed to do so.
Ulf and Hugh were reluctant to help Daeron advance toward King's Landing. Lord Unwin Peake wanted to wait until the greens were reinforced by Lord Borros Baratheon, while Hobert Hightower desired to retreat to gather supplies from the Reach. The greens' inaction caused their great host to slowly dissipate through desertion and disease.
After hearing of unrest in King's Landing against the rule of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen, younger nobles such as Ser Jon Roxton, Ser Roger Corne, and Lord Peake called for advancing on the capital, but Hobert preached caution and the Two Betrayers remained stubborn. When Hugh crowned himself king and had his men attack Roger, thirteen loyalist lords known as the Caltrops plotted against the two baseborn dragonriders.
Meanwhile, the baseborn dragonrider Ser Addam Velaryon, whom Rhaenyra had condemned after hearing of the Two Betrayers, was resolved to defend his honor by retaking Tumbleton from Ulf and Hugh. He fled from King's Landing atop Seasmoke and allegedly sought counsel from the Green Men on the Isle of Faces. Addam set out to recruit a new army from the rivermen, by visiting every castle great or small and scraping together survivors of previous battles, along with old men and young boys. A brave and charming young man and glib of tongue, Addam succeeded in convincing many lords to contribute what aid they could - due to a combination of being impressed by his dragon, and being terrified of what green victory in the war would mean for them after the horrific sack of Tumbleton. Among them were Benjicot Blackwood, the 12 year old Lord of Raventree Hall (whose father had died in the Battle of the Burning Mill, and who later fought in the Fishfeed); Sabitha Vypren, widowed Lady of the Twins whose husband Lord Frey had died fighting in the Battle by the Lakeshore, who was now also joined by her father and brothers from House Vypren; Lord Stanton Piper and Lord Joseth Smallwood (who had survived defeat in the earlier Battle at Acorn Hall); Lord Derrick Darry (leading the survivors of Castle Darry after Vhagar burned it, killing the original Lord Darry); and Lord Lyonel Deddings. Hugo Vance, the new Lord of House Vance of Wayfarer's Rest after the death of Tristan Vance at the Battle of the Red Fork, came with three hundred of his own men plus Black Trombo's company of Myrish sellswords (Hugo and Trombo had earlier fought in the Butcher's Ball, destroying Criston Cole's trapped army). Most notably, House Tully finally joined the war, with its army full strength and fresh. Seasmoke's arrival and the fate of Tumbleton finally convinced the reluctant Elmo Tully to end their neutrality, against the wishes of his bedridden grandsire Lord Grover Tully. Altogether, Addam collected together a new army of rivermen nearly 4,000 strong.
On the day on which the Caltrops had decided to enact their coup against Ulf and Hugh, the greens in Tumbleton were awakened in the night by sounds of battle. Though Addam's 4,000 rivermen were outnumbered, they had the advantage of surprise. Columns of knights attacked from the north and the west, while archers fired their arrows. Seasmoke's dragonfire burned the greens' camps outside of Tumbleton, as well as buildings in the town which had survived its earlier sack.
Ulf White slept through the battle within the Bawdy Badger, an inn in Tumbleton. Hugh Hammer rushed to the stables so he could ride to Vermithor, but he was slain by one of the Caltrops, Lord Jon Roxton. Prince Daeron the Daring died amongst his camp west of the town, although his method of death is disputed. The blacks tried to kill the sleeping Silverwing and Vermithor in the fields south of Tumbleton, but failed to do so. The riderless Vermithor slew two score knights who attacked him, then took to the air and fought indiscriminately. Lords Stanton Piper and Lyonel Deddings were burned by the dragon.
Addam and Seasmoke had been battling Daeron's dragon, Tessarion, in a nimble fight. When Addam saw the raging Vermithor, he redirected Seasmoke to the larger dragon. Lord Benjicot Blackwood believed that Vermithor would have torn Seasmoke to pieces, but Tessarion suddenly joined the brawl and all three dragons fought. Vermithor slew Seasmoke, but then collapsed and died shortly after. Tessarion failed to take flight three times, so Lord Blackwood has his best archer, Billy Burley, mercy kill the Blue Queen.
The battle ended at dusk.
The blacks were victorious in the Second Battle of Tumbleton, but their victory was incomplete. Although the river lords lost less than a hundred men and slew more than a thousand of Hobert Hightower's green army, the blacks failed to retake Tumbleton. King Aegon II Targaryen's green survivors retreated into Tumbleton and sealed the gates. The blacks, lacking siege equipment, retreated during the night after the battle. Three of the four dragons died, with only Silverwing surviving. The Caltrops continued their plotting against Ulf White; Hobert and Ulf died from drinking poisoned wine. Lord Unwin Peake succeeded Hobert as commander, but the great host which had marched from Oldtown was wracked with plundering deserters. Lord Peake led the remainder in a retreat from Tumbleton, ending the green threat to King's Landing.
Apart from the losses in dragons, the battle was a decisive victory for the blacks, with under 100 men lost compared to over 1,000 greens killed despite their numerical superiority. Ultimately the battle was also a strategic victory for the blacks, given that the disintegrating Hightower army had to withdraw back to the south. Even so, while Addam's sacrifice had saved King's Landing from the Hightower army, the blacks had lost control of King's Landing itself anyway, when due to fear at the approach of the Hightowers the city was plunged into chaotic riots. Lord Grover Tully passed away shortly after Second Tumbleton, allowing Ser Elmo Tully to briefly become Lord of Riverrun. The mostly intact river lord army of nearly 4,000 regrouped at Riverrun, where Elmo continued to gather more men - including the Mallisters and the Brackens - until within about two months their combined forces increased to nearly 6,000 men, and they marched east to face the Baratheon host in the Battle of the Kingsroad outside of King's Landing.
The dragon was Seasmoke, his rider Ser Addam Velaryon, determined to prove that not all bastards need be turncloaks. How better to do that than by retaking Tumbleton from the Two Betrayers, whose treason had stained him? —Archmaester Gyldayn