Author's Notes: Hey everyone, sorry that it has been so long. As always I own nothing.
The next day the army broke up and began moving to their appointed tasks. Sansa was not sure what would happen to her once the army broke up. She assumed that she would be accompanying the Queen, but she learned that that was not to be the case. She was surprised when Sir Barristan himself came to her tent and requested that she accompany him and Mace Tyrell when they marched to King's Landing.
"It seems a rather unusual request Sir Barristan."
"Indeed my lady it is. In truth it is more the Lady Margaery's request than mine.
"The lady is returning to Highgarden and had request that you accompany her there. However; the Queen was persuaded that you are too valuable to allow that and instead you must remain with one of the armies. Prince Martell is…inclined to impetuousness. I think it likely that he does not have the patience for a lengthy siege. He will likely launch an assault on Storm's End and that will be bloody no matter what the result is. That would not be a safe place for you.
"You are too valuable to risk in the sea battle which the Queen is looking for." He paused and smiled.
"And I very much doubt that you will want to go with the Dothraki." Sansa tried not to grimace at the thought. The Dothraki both frightened and repulsed her and the thought of being alone with them was quite abhorrent to her. Sir Barristan saw the look and understood the sentiment behind it. Thus Sansa found herself, once again, heading towards King's Landing. She was beginning to think that a curse had been placed on her which made it impossible for her to permanently get away from the accursed place.
The army moved at pace which seemed to perturb Sir Barristan, though Mace Tyrell did not seem to mind it as much. Part of it was the weather. Though it was not snowing as it was in the North the weather was definitely colder than the first time Sansa had come to King's Landing, an event that seemed a lifetime ago. From one of the maesters with the army Sansa learned that it would, in fact, snow this far south, another thing which Sansa had once thought impossible. Sir Barristan was obviously aware of this fact as well and he kept urging greater speed, clearly afraid of being trapped outside of the city when the snow came and they would be almost as pressed for supplies as those inside the city.
Sansa learned most of this from Tyrion. Apparently it was believed that it may be unwise to have a Lannister in an army which was made up primarily of Dornish. Instead he would accompany the army going to King's Landing and once the city fell he was to assist Lord Tyrell in the admiration of the city, though some of what he said indicated that he expected to be running the place pretty much on his own. When the army would set up camp for the night he often came to her tent and they would talk about the events of the day. As he did most of the talking Sansa did pick up bits and pieces of information about Westeros as a whole.
She learned that Varys had reported that Stannis had taken the fortress of Moat Cailin. While it seemed that the King himself had departed the fortress and had returned north he had left a significant force at Moat Cailin, apparently including a large contingent of men sent by Lady Jeyne Bolton. Tyrion confessed his lack of understanding as to why the King would go back north when he could advance into the RiverIands with none of the other factions in a position to send reinforcements to oppose him. Sansa had her suspicions, but did not voice them. She doubted that Tyrion would believe her and she had no desire to give voice to what she feared, she felt it would just make it more real to say it aloud. In addition to occupying the fortress the men had also been reported to be rebuilding and expanding the fortifications as much as the weather and available recourses would permit. While their primary source of material was wood this would do much to enhance the natural defenses of Moat Cailin.
"Indeed," Tyrion told her; "Unless the Queen attacks with her dragons it is likely that Moat Cailin will throw back any attack made against it, just as it did before the coming of the Conqueror."
"But why would Stannis use Bolton soldiers?" Sansa asked.
"They are among the most hated and least trusted men in the North?" Tyrion smiled cynically.
"That is exactly while he is using them. They are more numerous than many of the other Northern houses. Also, they are as far south as it is possible to be and still be in the North. If they were to turn on their fellows again then the Bolton troops will have all the others at their backs and the other houses will have plenty of warning. Also, if they are killed then all that Stannis loses will be the troops that he can trust the least." Of the Queen there was no news and Sansa could tell that this was the cause for concern among many of the leaders. There had, on the other hand, been several ravens from Prince Martell.
Their march through the Stormlands had met with spirited, if uncoordinated, resistance. Some lords, or those holding their lands, bent the knee as soon as the Dornish and Unsullied approached while others resisted. It appeared that the Lannisters had called many of the lords of the Stormlands to King's Landing and thus even those who were inclined to resist had few soldiers with which to do so. Unfortunately for the prince the once exception was his ultimate objective: Storm's End.
The Baratheon's ancestral home was still held by forces loyal to Stannis led by Sir Gilbert Farring, Lord Elwood Meadows and Sir Lomas Estermont. They had shut their gates as soon as Prince Martell and his army drew near. It was strongly suspected that they had been laying up supplies in preparations for a siege from the Crown. Despite Sir Barristan's fears it appeared that Prince Martell was not inclined to launch any hasty attacks on the castle's strong walls and had settled in for a siege.
As for the army which Sansa was with, it finally arrived at King's Landing. Like Storm's End King's Landing had shut its gates. Sir Barristan, who had taken sole command of the army in all but name, set about preparing for a siege. Men were set to digging trenches while others were set to cutting down trees to construct siege engines. It appeared that the defenders were content to remain within the walls and did nothing to interfere with the construction of the siege lines save for launching stones from war machines on the walls. It seemed that in spite of Tyrion's beliefs Sir Barristan was indeed settling in for a lengthy siege. Three days after they arrived the defenders showed that the attackers were not going to have it all their own way.
Sansa was awoken by the blowing of trumpets, rushing out of her tent she beheld a scene of panic. Men were shouting and throwing on armor while calling for their horses. Sansa's tent was located on a small rise and Sansa was able to look down and see what was causing the panic. Coming down the Kingsroad toward the city. They were all armored and bore the banners of House Lannister and other houses allied to them. There did not appear to be enough of them to defeat the besieging army and instead seemed to be attempting to break through to the city. While the Reach soldiers were struggling to prepare for battle, the Dothraki who had joined them had no such problems. Whooping and screaming at the top of their lungs they charged at the approaching knights.
"Fools." Hissed Tyrion, who had come up beside her.
"The Knights?" Sansa asked. Tyrion shook his head.
The horsemen charged the knights, spreading out to flank them. As they did so they unleased a volley of arrows. While a few felled knights many of these were either blocked by the knights' shields or rattled harmlessly off their armor and horses' barding. When the Dothraki charged in close they fared no better. Their spears and curved swords for the most part had no more success than the arrows, bouncing off the knights' heavy armor. The swords and axes of the knights flashed and cut through the Dothraki's unarmored bodies. Some knights did fall as Dothraki weapons found chinks in the knights' armor, but these were relatively few in comparison to the Dothraki dead. They seemed to realize this and they broke off, moving too swiftly for the slower knights to catch. The knights did not make the effort and instead continued in their effort to reach the city.
The Dothraki charged again though this time they kept their distance. Instead of firing at the knights themselves they aimed for the knights' horses. These were barded and most escaped unharmed, but some fell, many of these trapping their riders under them. Some of the knights broke off in an effort to drive the Dothraki away, but these would simply ride away too fast for the knights to catch and these soon gave up and returned to the rest of the column. Meanwhile the Reacher archers had drawn up, but were reluctant to fire as there was a significant chance that they would hit their allies.
Just then a party of knights broke from the camp and charged towards the conflict. They smashed into the Lannister knights and the two became a confused mass. They proved better able than the Dothraki to deal with heavily armored knights and in the end less than half of them were able to break through and make their way through the camp, losing still more of the number and reach the city gates, which opened just long enough for them to ride through and then closed again.
Author's Notes: Well, what did you think? I wanted to show why I do not think that the Dothraki would be much good against knights. Book knights, with full plate armor and barding for their horses, not show knights who mostly seem to wear leather and no horse armor. They would not be expecting this because, as some have pointed out, the Dothraki have not fought knights before and would not be prepared and would need a bloody nose to get the point. Next one will be the siege itself, what do you all think of them undermining the walls. Do you think that would work?
Today is Memorial Day in the US. I have at times been accused of being ethnocentric and I will admit that I am unfamiliar with the days that other countries commemorate their fallen on. However; I would like us all to remember those who have given their lives for others. It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived. George S. Patton. May they rest in peace for their watch has ended.