The heir to House Dayne, acting as squire to the Sword of the Morning in the Red Mountains, has been killed along with an entire strike force of 300 men in an ambush that speaks of treachery. Kalen Sand is suspected of betraying the force in order to win back his position as heir to the house. Mors Martell, Prince of Dorne and liege lord to House Dayne, has decided to task Kalen with a mission to test his loyalty and his ability. The sword Dawn was lost in the ambush and not returned to Starfall as it always has been in the history of the House. Kalen Sand has been instructed to leave home on a mission to retrieve it, and not to return to Dorne without it.
When the Prince of Dorne sent a raven to the Citadel requesting a scholar who was an expert on the mountain clans of the Vale, Haskell Ullvetten was dispatched. In addition, a mysterious Braavosi was appointed a member of the small party to accompany Kalen, with little explanation save that he possessed skills that would be useful. The group made a fairly uneventful trip from Starfall to the Prince’s Pass, and thence North up the pass, keeping a wary eye open for bandits. They camped in the crags overlooking the pass on the first night, and made the watchfort of Kingsgrave the following day.
The Braavosi followed the Prince’s Pass further north, past Kingsgrave, in order to watch for a possible messenger to be dispatched in secret, if a spy or traitor remained at the fort and attempted to send word to the ambush force of pursuit. Kalen and Haskell spent an uneventful night at Kingsgrave, and in the morning Marq Fowler provided them with access to the clan symbols recovered from the ambush site. Haskell was able to verify that they appeared to be authentic mountain clan sigils. Following that brief visit to the study, they were given command of scouts and a small force of guards to investigate the site of the ambush.
The site investigation revealed little new, serving primarily to confirm what they had already determined. They were able to see the path that the clansmen had used to fall upon the Martell and Dayne forces and to see the layout of the battle site. With little else to learn, the three companions moved on northward up the Prince’s Pass and their escort returned to Kingsgrave. That evening, the small party found an ideal site at which to make camp for the evening, but during the watch they heard the sound of people among the hills and ambushed them. Kalen tried to get them to surrender, but a fight occurred in which only one of the men survived. They brought him back to their cavern hideout and questioned him , but after they realized he was a common brigand they decided that they would free him in the morning before they broke camp.