The War of the Seven Banners was a war fought between the years of 364 and 368 AC between the Kingdom of the Iron Throne and the Seven Bannermen, a group of mercenaries and leaders who had grown impatient and angry at the empty promises which had been made by Aemon Targaryen. The Seven Bannerman were a group of forces that were intent on forcing King Viserys III Targaryen to bend to their demands, and were primarily led by the forces of Myr, Pentos and Tyrosh.
The conflict was largely fought in the Disputed Lands of Essos and the Flatlands of Pentos, and was lead by King Viserys Targaryen, his brothers and several other noble lords and commanders. The conflict was a stunning victory for the Crown and it exposed the next generation of generals and warriors, men such as Prince Alleras Martell and Mathis Frey served to shed further light on the old heroes of the Realm, such as Aegor Targaryen, Baelor Hightower, Steffon Baratheon, Daven Lannett and Quentyn Payne.
The conflict ended in 368 AC with a truce between Westeros, Myr and Tyrosh, who had found their own relations faltering with Lys and Pentos - both of whom had withdrawn from the conflict entirely by that point. The War of the Seven Banners is remembered in Westeros as the war wherein the Targaryens took a preemptive strike against their enemies and were greatly rewarded for it.
King Aemon Targaryen had become excessively ambitious after the death of his queen Saera Celtigar and was prone to making empty promises and demands that would come back to haunt him. Aemon had used promises of wealth, lands and marriages to his family to win favours and preference from powerful men across Essos - and all were famously denied when Aemon declared "he was done dealing with the Essosi dogs" just before his death.
Aemon's actions would have grave consequences, sowing the seeds of chaos as the men who would become the Bannermen still held Westeros accountable for his promises - and would come to demand that King Viserys fulfill them one and all.
King Viserys and the Bannermen Edit
In the year 363 AC the Seven Banners arrived in Westeros, demanding to meet with King Viserys. When Viserys offered them audience, the Bannermen demanded that he make good of his father's promises. Viserys kindly refused but his tone grew fierce and angry when the Bannermen insisted, and he promised to slaughter them all if they didn't not cease.
The Bannermen where furious and stated that if Viserys did not give them their promised wealth they would come and take it themselves. Implying that they had already garnered the support of the Sea Snake in the Stepstones, the Seven Banners promised that Westeros would pay for Aemon's promises in blood, gold, women and whatever else they desired to take.
King Viserys took the tongue of one of the diplomats for his insolence, the hands of another for threatening to strike the King and the ears of another for refusing to listen to the King as he spoke. He then sent them on their way and called his own banners, realizing that Aemon's ambitions and jealousy may have caused a war which would not be prevented.
Outbreak of War and Viserys' Five Landings Edit
After the forces of the Crown had been marshaled, King Viserys and his generals quickly devised a plan to destroy the enemy and protect their lands. Some wished to wait for the Bannermen to come to Westeros to destroy them at home, while King Viserys and a few others wanted to do what their ancestors had done and crush the fools in Essos before they could make any ground.
Ultimately King Viserys ordered an attack against Myr and Tyrosh, beginning what would later become known as Viserys' Five Landings; a series of assaults that would be unleashed slowly over the next four years. Using the many resources at his disposal, and the surplus of dragons in his treasury and the bountiful harvests that had occurred under his father, Viserys would set out the next day for War.
The First Three Landings Edit
The Iron Throne initially sent three waves of soldiers across the seas numbering near 10,000 soldiers and over 100 ships in early 364 AC. They were led by Viserys III Targaryen, Aegor Targaryen and Steffon Baratheon in three separate groups, each with a specific target in mind. Also accompanying them were hundreds of knights, squires and lords, as well as part of the Iron Fleet and the Ironborn, who had been given orders to raid and plunder the Stepstones and Tyrosh, who were their enemy.
King Viserys was the first to land, and he and his forces landed on redstone, a large island just south of Tyrosh to directly threaten the Free City. The Tyroshi were surprised, but ready for Viserys and quickly led part of their fleet and army to meet him at the Battle of Redstone. Viserys was successful and quickly landed his forces on the island, crushing the Tyroshi resistance that came out to meet him. The victory was a success, and now they directly set their sights upon Tyrosh, although they wanted news from Prince Aegor and Lord Baratheon before making their next move.
Prince Aegor had the most difficult landing as he was ordered to eliminate the Pentoshi forces moving south through the Flatlands to join their host with Myr. A combined host would greatly outnumber the Crown's forces this early in the campaign, so Aegor was ordered to destroy the Pentoshi at any cost. After receiving news from his scouts that the they were being led by Prince Salassor of Pentos in a hurried march, Aegor wisely sailed his ships and armies into the Sea of Myr, up the river into the Flatlands, where he quickly made camp. He and his forward commander, Ser Mathis Frey, waited for several days for the Pentoshi to arrive, brutally ambushing them once they had neared the river. In a valiant feat of military genius, Aegor crushed the much larger host while Mathis slew their prince in single combat, clinching a total victory in the Battle of Corpse Lake. This victory would be critical for the Crown, as it prevented the allies of Pentos, Myr and Tyrosh to support one another.
Lord Steffon Baratheon and Prince Alleras Martell, accompanied with Lord Quentyn Payne and his two eldest sons, led the third landing, and landing South of Myr in the disputed lands with the mission to threaten Myr. The generals landed unopposed, their allies having scored a victory in the Battle of Redstone and proceeded North along the road to Myr, to engage and destroy a Myrish vanguard in the Battle of the Skirts. The battle would be bloody and would come to a standstill, with neither force emerging victorious and Lord Quentyn Payne and his sons perishing in the conflict. Prince Alleras Martell, a boy Prince at the time, took command of one of the army's flanks and kept the enemy from overwhelming the Westerosi forces, and show his worth in the war. While they had not defeated the enemy and marched to Myr, they still were able to block the Myrish from assisting Tyrosh and would later destroy the Myrish Vanguard when Aegor Targaryen arrived to besiege Myr.
These victorious were essential for the Crown and King Viserys, who proceeded to the next part of the Campaign and issued the next orders for their forces. The King would attack Tyrosh, raiding and threating the holdings until they bent. Prince Aegor would march from his victory in the Flatlands to attack Myr, drawing the Myrish forces away from Lord Steffon Baratheon.
The Fourth and Fifth Landings Edit
A year after the initial landings, Viserys had failed to make any ground against the Tyroshi, who were equally patient and resilient, fighting back the Crown's attacks. Viserys was not able to get a chance at landing on Tyrosh and was constantly forced to deal with the Banner of the Sea Snake who had continued to be a thorn in his side. Prince Aegor had arrived a few days from Myr, and the Vanguard that had been engaged in battle with Lord ______ for the past year was forced to withdraw to defend the city. Viserys, knowing that they had not the manpower to earn a decisive victory and hearing that Pentos was again sending soldiers to Myr, quickly ordered the second waves of soldiers to be brought over the sea.
The fourth landing in Essos was lead by Viserys' youngest brother, Prince Daeron Targaryen and the fifth landing by Ser Daven Lannett. Prince Daeron was to target Myr itself, launching an attack by sea to capture the harbour and cut the trade to the city. Daeron was successful in this, earning himself renown in the Battle for Myr Harbor in a bloody battle leaving Myr to be besieged by three armies over the next three years.
Ser Daven Lannett landed in the Flatlands along the Western coast, accompanied by Lord Jory Mormont and was ordered to march North to Pentos to draw out their forces and prevent them from marching to Myr to lift the siege. Ser Lannett wisely caught the attention of the Pentoshi reinforcements and kept a slow march, ensuring that they had a strong strategic position before engaging in any skirmishes. While the fighting was not as bloody, it was very frequent and Ser Daven was constantly engaged with the Banner of the Narratys Princes in the Skirmishes of the Flatlands, forcing them to waste supplies and resources and to not rejoin their allies.
The Bannermen Retaliate Edit
With the war looking like it was entering a stalemate, the Sea Snake decided that it was time to bring the attack to Westeros, while most of King Visery's were tied up in Essos. Leading a fleet and with numbers bolstered by mercenaries, they set sail to Westeros with plans to raid and pillage.
Attacks get launched on Tarth and Dorne. King Viserys is forced to send part of his army in Tyrosh to respond to the raids and attacks on the Emerald Isle, while the Band of Blue commander, Ser Garth of the Red Fork fights back against raids in Lemonwood. A sellsword fleet which was sailing up the Greenblood, accompanied by the Sea Snake's fleet, managed to sneak by the Planky Town unaware until it was caught by the vigilant Lord Gerold Santagar who repelled the forces back with the local population. As the fleet routed and were advancing back out of Essos, they were caught by Prince Alleras Martell and his forces, who ambushed them in the mouth of the Greenblood. Additional strikes were made in various regions in the Stormlands, costing Westeros time, manpower and resources that could have been spent funding their war in Essos. Thanks to the relief force sent by Viserys, and the armies of Lord ______ Baratheon and Prince Alleras Martell, the invading forces are pushed back. The damage is severe, and the cost of resources and supplies is great. Sending part of his host away to Tarth left Tyrosh with the opportunity to push King Viserys back to onto Redstone, leaving him besieged and in grave, grave danger.
The second battle for Redstone begins and is just as bloody as the last. Despite being vastly outnumbered Viserys holds on for almost a year while awaiting reinforcements to save him. One of his Kingsguard knights, Ser Duncan of Bitterbridge perishes in the action. A few weeks later, he is replaced by Ser Mathis. Meanwhile, Aegor and the other armies in Myr begin to be worn down in their second year of war, having already exhausted much of their resources and will power.
The Sixth Landing Edit
While not considered an official landing, many refer to the Slaughter of the Rocks as the Sixth Landing of the campaign, as it is when the relief forces led by Baelor Hightower and Lord Roryn Greyjoy arrive at Redstone to lift the attack of Tyrosh upon King Viserys, who had been held under siege for nearly a year now. The forces arrive just in time and are unexpected, hitting the Tyroshi from behind. Lord Baelor first crushes them in a massive Naval battle and then breaks them on land, after King Viserys initiates a sortie against the Tyrosh after seeing the arrival of his allies. With the Tyroshi pincered between them, the Crown easily crushes whatever resistance they put up. It was a victory, and the new forces from King's Landing would be instrumental in finishing the campaign in Essos.
The Long War Edit
With his victory at Redstone and new forces to add to his army, King Viserys and his allies were able to continue the campaign in Essos and move back onwards to Tyrosh. Myr remains besieged another year by ________ and Aegor but is will stocked and ready to outlast the invaders who were rattled by attrition. In the Flatlands the Pentoshi have retreated and Ser Daven Lannett sails to Tyrosh to assist King Viserys. Lys has also stopped sending support in the form of mercenaries to the Seven Banners after their forces are crushed by King Viserys outside of Tyrosh in a quick battle. With Lys, Pentos and the Sea Snake out of the picture, only two bannerman remained. The Banner of the Archon and the Manner of Myr who were both stuck besieged in their cities. The attacks would continue for another year until finally a peace was made.
Victory At Last Edit
In the year 368, Myr was on the brink of surrender. Their trade had been eradicated by the siege and their allies sent no relief. Tyrosh was facing the same dilemma as King Viserys had broken through their first line of defences, claiming the Harbor and capturing several of their ships. Tyrosh, hearing that its ally in Myr was on the verge of surrender, agreed to meet with King Viserys and arrange a ceasefire. Negotiations would carry on for over a week, but ultimately an agreement was made and the Westerosi would finally return home. In exchange, King Viserys was offered some war reparations (that ultimately went unpayed) and several high profile hostages. Myr would be temporarily occupied by Prince Daeron over the following eight months.
The Westerosi armies would return to Westeros by the end of that year, bloodied tired and seemingly have waged a war with little gain. Many wonder if the campaign served any purpose, but King Viserys quietly reminded everyone that had they not struck first they would likely still be defending their shores against the Essosi invaders who would have come in full.
The War of the Seven Banners required much of the Wealth and resources that Westeros had built up under the rule of King Aemon. Many wonder if launching the campaign against Myr and Tyrosh was wise instead of defending against them on Westeros lands. The War itself is constantly under debate and many both criticize and praise King Viserys for his actions.
The war depleted much of Westeros' Fleets, but they would be repaired later on or replaced with ships captured from Myr, Tyrosh and the Sea Snake during the war.
Prince Daeron, after returning the city to its respective rulers, was thrown off course by a storm. His ship separated from his fleet, leaving him stranded in the Stepstones. Days later, his vessel was boarded by pirates. They put the crew to the sword and took the Prince hostage. Prince Daeron's kidnapping would come to an end six months later, when the pirates foolishly attempted to collect his ransom in King's Landing.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the War came in the form of the young Myrisa Rogare, a young cousin of the Rogare family who was captured by King Viserys after his capture of the Tyrosh Harbour. Myrisa, only 15 at the time was taken in by King Viserys as a hostage and then later as a War Bride following his return from war. When Viserys returned to Westeros in 368 AC he wed the young girl and made her his second Queen, much to the displeasure of the realm and the rest of his family who thought the match illogical and insulting to the memories of those who had died fighting against this women's family. Regardless of what they thought of the new Queen who would quickly cement herself as able in politics, deception and particularly manipulative of her husband and would bear the traditional features of the Valyrians. Queen Myrisa would ultimately bear a son in the year 374 AC, Aenys Targaryen who would be named the Crown Prince of Westeros and would be the pride of Viserys before he fell ill.
Returning from the War, King Viserys developed a chronic illness that left him often debilitated, forcing him to leave many of his previous duties to his council. While he didn't appoint a regent his illness would get progressively worse and worse, contributing to him falling on his death bed in 380 AC.