Siege of Astapor
|Siege of Astapor|
|Conflict||Targaryen campaign in Slaver's Bay|
Astapor sacked and burned|
Migration of survivors
Yunkai, one of the remaining Slaver Cities, declares war on Astapor, and the Yunkai'i hire several sellsword companies, including the Long Lances, the Company of the Cat, and the Windblown. The Yunkish are also joined by two iron legions from New Ghis, and Cleon is defeated in a battle at the Horns of Hazzat.
The armies of the Yunkai'i descend on Astapor. When Cleon commands the Astapori to march out against the Yunkai'i, the Butcher King is slain by his own soldiers. Another man declares himself Cleon the Second, but his throat is cut eight days later. That man's killer claims the crown, as does the first Cleon's concubine. The supporters of the rival monarchs fight within Astapor.
Meanwhile, the forces of Yunkai and its allies besiege Astapor, devour the Astapori crops, and slaughter their herds. Inside, the Astapori starve; King Cutthroat and Queen Whore accuse each other of feasting on the flesh of the slain. Men and women gather in secret to draw lots and gorge upon the flesh of those who draw a black stone. The pyramid of Nakloz is despoiled and set aflame by those who claim that Kraznys mo Nakloz is to blame for all their woes. Others blame Daenerys but many still love her. There are rumors that King Cleon sent for Daenerys and she is coming at the head of a great host, with food for all. There are other rumors that she has been seen mounted on a dragon flying high above the camps of the Yunkai'i.
Inside the desperate city the Green Grace has a vision that dead King Cleon will deliver Astapor from the Yunkai. The despairing Astapori heed this vision and attempt to break the siege, making the decision to have Cleon's corpse disinterred and strapped onto the back of a starving horse to lead Astapor's new and inferior Unsullied on a sortie outside the city's gates.
The fight beneath the walls of Astapor begins at dawn when the new Unsullied march out of the gates in a sortie against the forces of Yunkai and its allies and sellswords. Some of the Windblown are asleep when the battle commences so they must quickly don their armor. Three hundred yards away Astapor's Unsullied pour through the gates and form up in ranks beneath Astapor's crumbling red brick walls. Having joined the mercenaries in disguise, Prince Quentyn Martell, Ser Archibald Yronwood, and Ser Gerris Drinkwater join the Windblown horse line as drums beat in the distance. Gerris points out to Quentyn the Butcher King, sitting tall upon an armored horse in a suit of copper scale that flashes brilliantly in the sun.
As the Yunkishmen run about in tokars trying to arrange their half-trained slave soldiers, Unsullied spears crash through the siege lines. The Windblown and the Company of the Cat are ahorse in minutes, however, and they thunder down on the Astapori flanks. At the same time, an iron legion from New Ghis pushes through the Yunkish camp from the other side and meets the Unsullied spear to spear and shield to shield. The rest of the battle is butchery.
Caggo cuts the Butcher King down, fighting through the king's protectors on his monstrous warhorse and opening Cleon the Great from shoulder to hip with one blow of his curved Valyrian steel arakh. Cleon's fall breaks the Astapori Unsullied; they throw down their spears and shields and run, only to find the gates of Astapor shut behind them. The Windblown ride down and slaughter the frightened eunuchs, slashing right and left through the Unsullied.
After the defeat of their Unsullied outside the walls, the Astapori impale the Green Grace upon a stake in the Plaza of Punishment and leave her until she dies. In the pyramid of Ullhor, survivors hold a great feast with poisoned wine in the night so they will die by the morning. The bloody flux then kills three men in every four.
A mob of Astapori eventually slay the guards and open the main gate, allowing the legions to come pouring into Astapor, followed by the Yunkai'i and the sellswords on their horses. Queen Whore is killed in the fighting, and King Cutthroat is torn apart by dogs in a fighting pit. The legions seal the doors of the Temple of the Graces, which is full of sick Astapori, and set the building afire. The blaze spreads throughout Astapor, however. There is no way out, for the Yunkai'i have sealed the broken gates to keep the dead and dying inside the city.
The Tattered Prince takes the lion's share of the Windblown's Astapori plunder. Caggo becomes known as Corpsekiller for having cut down the already-dead Cleon in battle, although he does not care for the name. The allied hosts march north to Yunkai to take provisions before continuing on to Meereen.
Hundreds or thousands of Astapori survivors eventually pour into the countryside, but many have the bloody flux. The Yunkai'i command their sellswords to hunt the survivors and drive them back to Astapor or north to Meereen to prevent the Astapori from going near the Yellow City of Yunkai.
In Meereen, Daenerys Targaryen receives the news of the fall from three escaped Astapori, a brickmaker, a weaver, and a cobbler. From her terrace at the Great Pyramid she thinks the sky to the southwest in the direction of Astapor is smudged and hazy with smoke.
—thoughts of Quentyn Martell
That was butchery, not battle.
By the time he'd left the field, his sword was running red with blood and his arm was so tired he could hardly lift it.—thoughts of Quentyn Martell
Ash and bone is Astapor, and ash and bone its people.—thoughts of Daenerys Targaryen