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The Iron Throne is mine by right. All those that deny that are my foes.
— Stannis Baratheon

Stannis Baratheon is the younger brother of King Robert of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, as well as Renly Baratheon. When Robert was killed by a wild boar during a hunting accident, Westeros was plunged into civil war after Eddard "Ned" Stark discovered that Robert's son Joffery was not, in fact, Robert's son, but rather child of an incestuous relationship between Jaime Lannister and his sister, Queen Cersei Lannister. Eddard sent letters revealing Joffrey's true parents across the Seven Kingdoms.

In response, both Stannis and his younger brother Renly raised their own armies and claimed the Iron Throne. Shortly thereafter, the factions in support of Joffrey's false claim to the Iron Throne, including Cersei and his grandfather, Tywin Lannister, who was, in truth, the power behind Joffrey's throne, had Eddard Stark imprisoned after he attempted to lead a coup to depose Joffrey. Ned's imprisonment and later execution prompted his son Robb to fight for the independence of the North. At the same time, Balon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands rose against the Iron Throne, staring what would become known as the War of the Five Kings.

Early in the war, Stannis converted to the faith of R'hllor, the Lord of Light, under the guidance of the priestess Melisandre, with most of his household following suit. Melisandre soon proved herself to be a powerful sorceress when she "gave birth" to a shadow creature shortly after she started having an affair with Stannis. This shadow killed Renly Baratheon, though only Renly's guard, Brienne of Tarth, realized Stannis was behind that assassination- the shadow had the face of Stannis.

Stannis continued to wage war on the Seven Kingdoms for the Iron Throne and rule over the kingdoms but ultimately met his end at the Brienne of Tarth while leading a campaign against the House of Bolton. He died filled with guilt over the actions he had commited during his campagain.

Battle vs. Silvermask (by SPARTAN 119)[]

Three months previously,

King's Landing, Westeros

"Do you take me for a common sellsword?!", Tywin Lannister furiously asked the mysterious man in the silver mask, claiming to be the prince of a country somewhere in Essos.

"I just think our interests are mutual", Hilmes replied, "You want to secure the throne of Westeros for your nephew, and I wish to take my place as rightful king of Pars. If we were to form an alliance, my forces could deal with your upstarts, and then you would provide men to uphold your end of the deal."

"Very well then", Tywin said, "You will have my support after the end of this war... if bring me the head of Stannis Baratheon."

"You have my word", Hilmes said, "in a few months, I will have brought my fleet in from Pars".

The Parsian prince them walked out of the room, down the long spiral steps leading down the Tower of the Hand of the King. At the bottom of the stairs, Hilmes walked through the expansive Great Hall of the Red Keep, and walked out the two open wooden doors.

"With both Lusitania and Westeros on my side,", Hilmes thought, "The recent setbacks will be of no consequence, the false prince Arslan will fall, and all supported him will kneel before me... or die".

Near Sharp Point, Massey's Hook, South of Dragonstone, Westeros

The defenders of House Bar Emmon, a vassal house of Stannis Baratheon's had their backs to the wall... or more literally the sea, by the new company of Sellswords in service of the Lannister usurper, Joffrey Baratheon. With most of the Lannister armies on campaign against Robb Stark, the Bar Emmons had not expected an army of thousands to literally show up on their doorstep.

But show up they had... Several great trebuchets set up by Hilmes' Parsian army hammered the walls of the castle at Sharp Point day and night. In the distance, Parsians constructed several siege towers with which to storm the walls. Thus far, the walls of the castle had held, however, it would only be a matter of time before the defender's rapidly dwindling supplies ran out.

Still, all hope was not lost- for Stannis Baratheon had sent a force to reinforce Sharp Point, a necessary staging area for his assault on Kings Landing.

Midnight, A few days later, Massey's Hook, several hundred meters behind Hilmes' lines

It had been several weeks since the mysterious army led by the man in the silver mask has arrived on Massey's Hook, intent on taking Sharp Point, a strategic castle aligned with Stannis on the mainland out of the fight. They had constructed massive siege towers and pounded the walls with trebuchets, and yet they had not yet attacked. No doubt they were biding their time, waiting until their foe was weakened from hunger and lack of other vital supplies.

Stannis Baratheon was not going to let the mercenaries get the chance. In the dead of night, he sent Ser Irmy Florent to launch a sneak attack on the besieging forces with a raid group of a few hundred men and several ships.

Ser Irmy was the first off his ship onto the beach, leading his men up a gap in the sea cliffs and into the forests that surrounded the wide clearing in which both the castle of Sharp Point, as well as the besieging Parsians.

It was about 100 yards from the edge of the forest to the Parsian siege towers, illuminated by the full moon, as well as numerous torches set up by the invading soldiers. At the edge of the forest stood a simple earthwork, a trench and mound of earth.

As Ser Irmy climbed down into the trench, heard a most unexpected sound, a splash as his feet landed into a about a foot of what felt like water. "It looked like the invaders knew so little about building field fortifications that they let this one fill with rainwater", thought Ser Irmy, "This will be very easy.

Ser Irmy started to over the edge of the trench and over the mound, followed by his men. Along the trench line, over 100 men were in the flooded earthworks. From the top of the siege towers and along the invader's lines, hundreds more light glowed the there had been torches before. At that moment, he realized something was wrong.

At that moment, hundreds of flaming arrows flew forth from the siege towers, firing not at the castle, but down, on Irmy's attacking force. The silence was broken by shouts of men and the sounds of hundreds running for cover in the forest or the trench.

As the first fire arrows made contact with the liquid that filled the trench, one thing was immediately clear: it was not water.... it was oil... Instead of extinguishing them, the flaming arrows ignited the liquid, causing the trench to erupt in flames.

Over 200 men perished in flames, their screams filling the air as the Parsian archers reloaded their recurve bows, raining down more arrows onto the scattered, confused survivors, cutting them down left and right. Among the slain was Ser Irmy Florent. Without their leader, the attacking force was in disarray.

From a hidden position in the forest to the northwest of the castle, Hilmes looked down, the flames reflected off his Silver Mask. This was going be a total rout, just like Atropatane. Now, it was time to strike the final blow of the first battle of his campaign.

Hilmes drew his sword and spurred on his horse, leading a group of about 50 cavalry.

"Charge!", Hilmes yelled, "Cut them down as they flee!"

The pounding of hooves filled the air as the men on the west side of the flaming trench found the Parsian cavalry upon them. The cavalry burst forth from the woods, into the clearing from the north.

Horse archers fired arrows at the Westerossi soldiers, already broken ranks after losing half more than half their number, including their leader. Men were struck down left and right by arrow, spear, and sword. The remnants of the Westerossi force fled to the sea, back to their ships. Most of them, however, would find themselves cut down by the Parsian cavalry, as well as a force of Lusitanian and Parsian infantry, who join Hilmes after finishing off the survivors of the flames.

Dawn broke over Massey's Hook to reveal the fields filled with corpses, hacked apart by blades, pierced by arrows, or reduced to blackened husks by the flames. Only about 70 of the original 500 Westerossi soldiers escaped in their ships. On the side of the Parsians and their Lusitanian allies, there were only about 25 dead.

A few weeks later, Sharp Point, Massey's Hook

A few weeks after the defeat of the first army Stannis had sent his way, Hilmes' forces had captured the castle at Sharp Point. South side of the Blackwater Rush was no was now controlled by pro-Lannister forces.

From the top of the great tower of Sharp Point, near the currently unlit pyre that served as a primitive lighthouse, stood

Hilmes of Pars. He looked across the strait to Dragonstone, the island fortress that was the seat of Stannis Baratheon.

Now all Hilmes had to do was take the island and win Tywin Lannister's war for him, and he would have the Lannister's support in his own war for the Throne of Pars.

"Arzhang", Hilmes called to one of his most powerful allies, an expert in earth travel magic, and representative of Pars' guild of sorcerers, "Infiltrate that island and kill Stannis Baratheon. You will of course be well paid for this."

"I shall strike tonight, he is already as good as dead, my liege", Arzhang replied, before the black-robed wizard disappeared, seeming to vanish into the stone floor of the tower.

A hours later, Dragonstone, Island on the mouth of the Blackwater Bay, Westeros

Stannis Baratheon stood in front of the great table at Dragonstone. He had lost the castle at Sharp Point, one of his few outposts in the Crownlands, and a crucial staging area for his assault on Kings Landing to the west.

"I still do not understand why you could simply perform the ritual, like you did to deal with Renly", Stannis said to Melisandre, neglecting to mention his role in the 'ritual'- which had involved committing adultery for the purpose of fratricide.

"Lord of Light is not a sellsword, Your Grace....", Melisandre said, before shouting, "Your Grace!", a second time.

With her second shout, Melisandre waved her hand, the flames in the two torches flanking the entrance to the room shooting out, behind Stannis.

"Behind you!", Ser Davos Seaworth yelled, causing Stannis to turn on spot, just in time to see the flames strike a dark, robed figure in the face.

The fire seemed to stagger the figure, but were not cause any permanent damage. However, it was just enough to cause the figure to disappear from sight, and reappear on top of the great table. The figure lunged down at Stannis' back with sword in hand.

Davos drew his blade just in time to block the strike. As he prepared to retaliate, however, the figure was gone again.

"What in the Seven Hells!" one of the guards yelled!"

As Arzhang disappeared, having failed to destroy his primary target, he reappeared behind the unexpected factor in this fight: that red witch, and now, a secondary target.

Before she could react, Arzhang thrust his blade into her back from behind. The witch coughed up blood, staining her dress an even darker red.

Melisandre fell to knees, then face down on the floor. Then she learned if all she believed so fervently was true...

But the second sorceror was not long in joining her. As he withdrew his sword from her, a Baratheon soldier thrust his own sword into him before he could disappear.

Ironically, Arzhang died in almost the same way as his victim, impaled through the back, and into the heart.

"Lady Melisandre!", several voices yelled almost as soon as the assassin had fallen.

"She's dead, your grace", one of the guards said.

"This changes nothing", Stannis replied, "All Westeros will bend the knee... or they will die!"

Dragonstone, around midday

Oars struck the dark surface of the water as a fleet of about 50 galleys sailed north from Sharp Point towards Dragonstone, sails bearing the emblems of Pars and Lusitania. On the bow of the ship at the head of the fleet stood Hilmes, Prince of Pars. His silver mask shone in the sun.

In spite of his confident appearance, Hilmes was somewhat concerned- he had lost Arzhang in the failed assassination attempt, though word was that the mysterious Red Witch the served Stannis was slain as well.

In the end, it would come down to a clash of steel. Dragonstone was in sight. The smaller ships moved in closer to the island, ready to drop off ships, as other stayed behind to blockade the island.

The fleet had landed on the western tip of Dragonstone island, out of range of the archers and siege engines in the castle. Here, Hilmes could set up his own siege engines.

A few hours later

Thus far, everything had gone according to plan- they had not met any naval resistance from Stannis' fleet.

Stannis's soldiers stood on the battlements of Dragonstone castle crossbows and longbows at the ready if Hilmes' men made their move. Thus far, however, they were biding their time... and why shouldn't they... they were the attacker, and the attackers had all of time in the world it was the defender who would sooner or later run out of food and supplies.

Hilmes patrolled up and down the lines, inspecting his men as they dug trenches and piled up mounds of earth and rock. It was hard going in the shallow rocky soil of Dragonstone. In many places, it was not possible to dig trenches, so they simply raised long mounds of rocks, which would eventually reach out up to about the height of a man. These earthworks would slowly snake towards the castle, covering the soldiers as they erected trebuchets, mangonels, and other siege engines, or exchanged fire with the archers on the walls of Dragonstone.

That night, around midnight, Dragonstone.

Sallador Sahn, pirate and sellsail in service of Stannis Baratheon stood at the bow of his ship, one of about ten which had materialized from the hidden rocky inlets of Dragonstone. His ship moved silently though the moonlit seas, save for the fall of the oars, towards his targets, a group of beached vessels that lay off the.

The ships of the Summer Islander mercenary were not even noticed until as hostile even as they sailed within a hundred meters of their quarry.

At a range of less than 50 meters, Sallador raised his scimitar and pointed the weapon, giving the order for his archers to fire.

The pirate archers in the employ of Stannis fired their bows and crossbows, sending a rain of arrows and bolts some of them flaming, raining down the beached Parsian ships, which were used as barracks for the troops. At the same time, ballistae mounted on the bows and sides of some of the larger ships discharged

Flaming arrows struck the rolled up rigging, setting two of the Parsian ships ablaze, the flames spreading down the masts, onto the beached ship. Men jumped out of the burning vessel, into the sea or onto the sand of the beach.

Those arrows that did not set fire to the ship struck Hilmes' soldiers, killing some instantly, while simply causing others to fall to their knees, clutching wounds. A ballista bolt ran through a soldier, before continuing and impaling the man behind him.

The pirates in the employ of Stannis threw grappling hooks and pulled their ship in close. As the ship closed in, Prince Hilmes of Pars appeared. An arrow flew at the prince, but it struck his silver mask, bouncing off and falling to the ground.

"Stand and fight!", Hilmes yelled as he drew his sword, "The armies of Pars will not be overcome by this rabble!"

As Sallador's Lysian pirates closed, pulling their ship up to shore to attack the beached Parsian fleet, the surviving Parsian archers loosed their arrows.

The volley flew straight into the the assembled sellsails, whose front ranks fell face down on the deck, or else into the shallow waters. The next ranks, however, jumped from ship the ship.

Hilmes met the first Lysian on deck with a swift cut from his blade, causing him to fall face down on the deck. He then thrust his sword forward, cutting down another of Stannis' mercenaries.

Inspired by their prince, the sailors and soldiers of Pars and Lusitania fought back. Slowly, they pushed back the Lysian pirates from their ship....

But there was another threat advancing on their forces. From the direction of the sea cliffs below Dragonstone came a rain of arrows. Stannis' longbowmen had stationed themselves about 100 meters from the walls of the castle, at the top of the sea cliffs were now firing down on the Parsians.

Hilmes seized a shield and jumped down from the deck of the ship shield over his head, arriving at the stone earthworks where his men now stood, taking cover from the arrows.

After what was only a few minutes, but seemed like an eternity, the arrows stopped falling, replaced by the shouts of charging men.

From a gap in the sea cliffs, hundreds of a Baratheon soldiers charged, led by King Stannis Baratheon himself, leading from the front, with his sword in hand.

The few Parsian archers did nothing to phase the charging men, who soon arrived at the earthworks. With a shout, Hilmes raised his sword and vaulted the earthworks, followed by his men.

A surprised Baratheon soldier was the first to fall, pierced by a thrust from the Parsian prince's blade. The prince then took a second strike at another enemy, whose blood sprayed onto the ground with a rapid strike to the throat.

Hilmes' blade cut through soldier after soldier, trying to force his way through the ranks, towards his target: King Stannis himself.

Stannis Baratheon stood near the middle of the front ranks of his soldiers, sword in hand, leading from the front, enemies falling before his blade.

Hilmes lunged at Stannis, cutting down another Baratheon knight, before making a cut at Stannis. Stannis raised his shield, and blocked the blow.

With near inhuman strength, Hilmes made another strike. The prince was the superior swordsman, it was all Stannis could do to defend himself.

However, all the skill in the world could not change the fact that, with the prince focused on Stannis' troops, Sallador's pirates were now making advances, quickly taking the beached ships and surrounding the Parsian on both sides.

The surviving Parsians were trapped in a pocket, which Hilmes fought at the edge of, his last hope being that if he could kill the king, Baratheon leadership would collapse, and he could break out of the ambush.

But it was not to be. Even as Hilmes defended against two opponents- Stannis and Ser Davos Seaworth, he could not deal with a third, a Baratheon soldier who thrust the point on the end of a Lochaber axe into Hilmes' back.

The severe wound left the prince wide open, allowing Stannis to make a thrust into his unguarded throat. Blood sprayed from the neck of the prince of Pars, before he fell face down on the battlefield as Baratheon knights rushed over his lifeless body, to finish off what remained of his troops.

Several days later

The ambush by Stannis and Sallador Sahn had prevented a protracted siege, catching Hilmes' troops off guard before they could unload their siege engines or set any of the battlefield traps he was so famed for.

The surviving Parsian and Lusitanian troops, mostly on ships patrolling off Dragonstone, or else occupying Sharp Point loaded up in the vessels and fled the shores of Westeros.

Expert's Opinion[]

Stannis won this battle is in something of a "come from behind" victory in spite of Hilmes' superior X-Factors and battlefield tactics. His victory was thanks to his superior weaponry, more powerful sorcerer ally, but most importantly, his far greater combat experience.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.