The Stepstones are a chain of islands between the southern narrow sea and the northwestern Summer Sea. The islands are located east of Dorne in Westeros and west of the Disputed Lands in Essos. Just to the north is Tyrosh, which is sometimes considered the northernmost and easternmost of the Stepstones.
The islands are often affected by storms.
There are fourteen major islands in the Stepstones, and countless other minor islands, most little more than small outcrops in the Narrow Sea.
- Golden Haven
- Larazor’s Rock
- The Veiled Isle
- The Island of Serpents
- Grey Gallows
Barring the Island of Serpents, all the isles of the Stepstones have been at some point inhabited, and thus settlements, some well-kept but most decrepit and abandoned, can be found throughout. Ports and bays large enough to shelter a fleet from a passing storm are found on many of the larger isles, in particular Bloodstone, Highwatch, Scarwood, Grey Gallows, Redwater and Pryr.
The Iron Throne
In 313AA, a Corsair King invaded the Stepstones, and quickly forged an Alliance with King Renly Baratheon upon the Iron Throne. The treaty would last a decade before finally the increasing demands from the Corsair eventually drove the two Kings apart.
In 323AA, the fleet of the Corsair King attacked Greenstone, raiding the port and the surrounding town. Lord Estermont was sent fleeing for his life as the Corsair King warned more attacks will follow if his demands were not met. As the Redwyne and Martell fleets sailed for Bloodstone, Renly and his Master of Ships Montererys Velaryon gave chase to the Corsair King, but were ambushed near Ghaston Grey. Through a narrow victory, the Royal Fleet sends the pirates fleeing for the Stepstones, where they would linger and give trouble to the Westerosi forces for the best part of a year.
Bloodstone eventually fell after nearly a year of fighting, marking the end of the Reign of the Corsair King. As the rest of the isles fell under control of King Baratheon, there were some that believe the Corsair escaped, but no evidence has ever been found to confirm this. Seeking to consolidate his control, King Baratheon assigned each of the isles in the Stepstones a protector, who was given a garrison and workers enough to build a keep upon the isle. They were made responsible for the maintenance of their island against the presence of pirates, although within two decades, all had slipped from the grasp of the Iron Throne once again, the keeps and townships created falling to ruin and disrepair, or turned into hives for the very villainy they were built to guard against.
The Lords of the Stepstones
- Ser Matthos Hardyng, Lord of Pryr
- Ser Jack Mullendore, Lord of Highwatch
- Ser Josua Norcross, Lord of Felstrong
- Ser Jacelyn Lake, the knight of the Tor
- Ser Brandon Bigglestone, Lord of Scarwood
- Ser Jaime Bettley, the Guardian
- Lady Evelyn Longwaters of Golden Haven
- Carron Codd, the Master of Larazor’s Rock
- Ser Tommard Lowther, the Lord of Redwater
- Master Salloreon Sol, who kept his seat on Dustspear
- Ser Vaellyn Rykker, the Lord of The Veiled Isle
- Ser Pate of the Blackwater, Champion of Bloodstone
- Auster Merryweather, Lord of The Island of Serpents
- Ser Kenned Kayce, the Lord of Grey Gallows
Timeline of Events
- 313AC - The Corsair King invades the Stepstones, and quickly forges an Alliance with King Renly Baratheon upon the Iron Throne. The treaty would last a decade before finally the increasing demands from the Corsair eventually drive the two Kings apart.
- 323AC - The fleet of the Corsair King attacks Greenstone, raiding the port and the surrounding town. Lord Estermont is sent fleeing for his life as the Corsair King warns more attacks will follow if his demands are not met. As the Redwyne and Martell fleets sail for Bloodstone, Renly and his Master of Ships Montererys Velaryon give chase to the Corsair King, but are ambushed near Ghaston Grey. Through a narrow victory, the Royal Fleet sends the pirates fleeing for the Stepstones, where they would linger and give trouble to the Westerosi forces for the best part of a year.
- 324AC - Bloodstone eventually falls after nearly a year of fighting, marking the end of the Reign of the Corsair King. As the rest of the isles fall under control of King Baratheon, there are some that believe the Corsair escaped, but no evidence has ever been found to confirm this.
- 325AC - Seeking to consolidate his control, King Baratheon assigns each of the isles in the Stepstones a protector, who is given a garrison and workers enough to build a keep upon the isle. They are made responsible for the maintenance of their island against the presence of pirates, although within two decades, all had slipped from the grasp of the Iron Throne once again.
- 342AC - By the second moon of the year of 342AC, all the previous protectors of the Stepstones put in place by the Iron Throne had either departed the isles, died, revoked their responsibilities or turned to piracy too themselves. By the end of the year, pirates, corsairs and other vagabonds alike had returned to the isles in vigour.
- 349AC - A new pirate-king settles in the Stepstones. In exchange for allowing Tyroshi vessels through unmolested, the Archon tolerates their presence. Growing increasingly irritated at the disruption of trade through the Stepstones, the Sealord of Braavos partners with Magisters of Pentos and Myr to remove the pirate-king supposedly responsible. Purple-hulled vessels fall upon the pirate's kingdom based out of Highwatch. They spend the next year and a half systematically scouring each isle in turn, eradicating all pirates, corsairs and raiders that they find.
- 350AC - The Braavosi attempt to set up a trading colony of Scarwood, in the Stepstones, much to the irritation of the Tyroshi and Lyseni. The Archon at the time, Syrynio Pahyrs, hires the Red Hands to attack the colonists, then denies Tyroshi involvement upon the rage of the Sealord. The Braavosi abandon their efforts in the Stepstones.
- 363AC - A group of sellswords lands upon the isle of Scarwood at the settlement of Torturer's Deep. Their captain declares himself king, and send forth his men to collect tithes from his new subjects. Such actions do naught but turn the island's residents against him, who rise up against him in a great riot. The newly made king and his men are forced to flee, but a number are captured by another Pirate-King as they sail away.
- 364AC - The Archon of Tyrosh announces to his Free City that they have tolerated the tyranny of the Stepstones too long, and as the Valyrians did before when they claimed the isle upon which Tyrosh was built for their own, it is was time to stake a claim to the isles. Raising a vast fleet bolstered by sellsails, they sweep through the Stepstones, tearing out piracy at the root wherever they find it. Fourscore settlements are razed entirely, and a hundred more purged of their population. Pryr, Highwatch, Felstrong, Tor and Scarwood had been taken within three moons, and by another three, all but Bloodstone and the Veiled Isle bore the banner of the Archon and the Free City of Tyrosh. When the Pirate-Lord of Bloodstone Ronel Storm, known more commonly as the Accuser finally sailed from his island fortress, it seemed that the Stepstones would be taken. However, it was not from the Stepstones that trouble brewed. Two of the Archon's captains, Malenhor, Captain of the Malachite Shield and Daaror, Captain of Sandloach grew overzealous, and sought to expand the conquests ever further. Seeing the isle of Estermont to the northwest and knowing it to be supposedly as bleak and windswept as the Stepstones themselves, they managed to persuade a number of other captains to join them on their sail to the Stormlanders' isle, hoping it would serve to please the Archon. The ensuing chaos remembered as the Bloodying of the Shell resulted in the death of three members of House Estermont, and served to drive the Iron Throne and the Free City of Tyrosh to the point of war. Through desperate diplomacy, and the heads of the captains involved, peace prevailed, but relations between the Free City and the Iron Throne have been strained since - and invasion from the east is now another thing that King Baratheon finds himself worrying about.