Deployments At Alderbrook

Although small, compared to the great battles of Robert's Rebellion, the Battle of Alderbrook was the decisive engagement in determining control of the inland Cape of Eagles during the early stages of the Greyjoy Rebellion. With victory at Alderbrook, the Riverlords would stand to lift the Siege of Four Eagles Tower, while a Greyjoy victory would lay open the road to Stonebridge, achieving full encirclement of Seagard and the union of Maron Greyjoy's host with Rodrik's.

Although roughly equal in number, the two armies were of entirely different character. The Ironborn lacked cavalry, and were at a marked disadvantage in bowmen, but possessed far superior shock troops, as the whole of their force was veteran heavy infantry, against the bulk of Riverlord footmen being unarmored levies.

Deployment of forces:

Riverlord Host (apx. 706 men)

Outriders: 40 men
Heavy Cavalry under Ser Riordan Nayland
-Houses present: Nayland (Stonebridge), Nayland (Mire), Erenford
-Knights present: Triston Darant, Tam Cooper

Vanguard: 100 men
Heavy Cavalry under Ser Ryman Frey
-Houses present: Charlton, Frey, Haigh, Valentin
-Knights present: Aleister Charlton, Andrey Charlton, Aron Haigh, Harlyn Haigh, Anton Valentin, Alek Coope, Keelin Dorsey, Jarod Rivers
-Squires present: Rowan Nayland, Caytiv Hill

Division of the Left: 125 men
75 Armsmen and 50 Levy bowmen under Ser Marvish Erenford
-Houses present: Charlton (20), Erenford (15), Frey (20), Haigh (20), Valentin (50 bowmen)
-Knights present: Maldred Rivers

Division of the Center: 245 men
200 Levy pikemen, 20 Levy spearmen, 10 levy bowmen, 15 Armsmen under Ser Rygar Nayland
-Houses present: Nayland (Mire), Nayland (Stonebridge), Darant, Terrick
-Knights present: Bruce Longbough
-Non-knightly nobles present: Rafferdy Nayland

Division of the Right: 180 men
10 heavy cavalry, 20 Armsmen, 100 Levy spearmen, 50 Levy bowmen under Ser Anders Flint
-Houses present: Flint (Flint's Finger)
-Knights present: Erik Jast, Markus Ilgrave

The Reserve: 20 men
Heavy Cavalry under the joint command of Generals Stevron Frey and Rickart Nayland


Greyjoy Host (apx 700 men)

Ironborn Right: 200 men
Warriors of Old Wycke under Harald "The Grimbrother" of House Goodbrother.
-Houses present: Goodbrother, Stonehouse

Ironborn Center: 250 men
Warriors of Old Wycke under Andrik the Unsmiling, champion of House Drumm.
-Houses present: Drumm

Ironborn Left: 200 men
Warriors of Orkmont under Lord Alyn Orkwood of House Orkwood.
-Houses present: Orkwood

Ironborn Reserve: 50 men
Warriors of Old Wycke under Maron Greyjoy.
-Houses present: Drumm
-Nobles present: Lord Dunstan Drumm, the Lord of Old Wycke.

The Battle

Both armies drew up within sight of each other, the Riverlords approaching from the east with the Greyjoy line drawn up defending the approach to Terrick's Roost. The name of the battle was drawn from a copse of alder trees atop a small hillock that served as the Frey command post.

The Frey Vanguard was held in reserve on the far left flank, while the Outriders were in reserve to the far right. The Greyjoy strategy was to break the lines of Riverlord infantry, before the Westerosi knights could prove decisive. The Frey strategy was to weaken the enemy at range, absorb the shock of the initial Ironborn onslaught, and then counterattack with a decisive charge of their own heavy horse.

As the battle began, the rapid advance of all three Ironborn divisions was so swift as to negate the Riverlords' advantage in archery, swiftly bringing the battle to close quarters.

On the Riverlord right (Ironborn left) a strong advance by the Orkwoods under Alyn Orkwood inflicted heavy casualties on the Flint levies, with Lord Orkwood himself engaging Ser Anders Flint, unhorsing and wounding the Northern knight. Several detachments of the Flint line broke under the ferocity of the Orkwood assault, and the flank was seen as being in danger of collapse.

On the Riverlord left (Ironborn right), The Grimbrother led a hard charge of veteran raiders against the outnumbered men-at-arms of the Frey houses. Although fighting was fierce, neither side was able to gain a distinct advantage, and the battle lines on both sides held firm, for some time. During this phase of the battle, Harald the Grim cut his way toward Ser Marvish Erenford, managing to wound the heir to Heronhurst, but not cut him down.

Meanwhile in the center of the field, the Drumm frontal assault had been unable to break the tightly ordered ranks of pikemen formed up opposite them. The Ironborn champion, Andrik the Unsmiling, generally held to be the strongest man among the Ironborn race, sought personal combat against Rygar Nayland. The maile of the Drumm warriors was less proof against the crossbow fire of the Nayland Armsmen under Bruce Longbough and Rafferdy Nayland. The Terrick and Darant levies, seen as less reliable, were held in reserve and (apart from the bowmen) never became engaged.

At this point, with the Allied right in danger, the signal was given for the counterattack of the Westerosi knights to begin. As the Outriders under Riordan Nayland broke the momentum of the Orkwood advance, the bulk of the Frey chivalry on the left charged into the ranks of the Goodbrothers, with many knights seeking the glory of slaying the Grimbrother. Despite the weight and vigor of the Westerosi charge, the Goodbrothers and Stonehouses held firm, their ranks unbroken.

Although the charge of knights failing to achieve a decisive breakthrough, the mounting casualties of the Ironborn, combined with an inability to break the Westerosi lines led to a gradual retreat. Harald the Grim led an orderly retreat on the Ironborn right (Frey left), while the last Ironborn troops still resisting were the Orkwoods under their chieftain, but the outcome was no longer in doubt and Maron Greyjoy ordered a full withdrawal, hoping to lure overzealous knights into a prepared ambush. This gambit failed, thwarted by the same excessive Frey caution which had defeated a swift advance to the relief of the Roost in the first place.


Losses among the Riverlord host were significant but not crippling, at about twenty percent of the total force killed or wounded. 16 Armsmen were killed, along with 44 of the peasantry dead. 3 Knights were killed as well as a pair of Flint horsemen. The Allied wounded totaled 85, leaving the Frey army with an operational strength of 561 after the battle. Losses were heaviest among the Division of the Right, with one third of the Flint strength killed or wounded.

The Ironborn fared worse, losing near half their number. Of the initial seven hundred, 108 were killed in the fighting, or died of wounds soon after. 89 were wounded and captured, and 120 were missing after the battle, with losses most numerous among the Drumms of the center division, who lost 139 of their 250 men in the action. The Greyjoy force numbered 380 combat-ready warriors upon retreat to the Roost.


In their withdrawal, the Ironborn set Terrick's Roost to the torch, a rearguard action occupying the Frey force long enough to fully evacuate to their longships, thus lifting the Siege of Four Eagles Tower, which had lasted sixteen days. Frey Outriders came into sight of the Roost by nightfall on the day of the battle, and the army marched into the town square on the following morning.

The Battle of Alderbrook left Rodrik Greyjoy's force at Seagard as the only standing army of Ironborn remaining on the Cape of Eagles, although as the Iron Fleet still dominated the sea, a fresh force of invaders could arrive within weeks, leaving the outcome of the Cape Campaign still in doubt. Even among such wariness, lifting the Siege of Four Eagles Tower marked the first significant reverse in what had been an unbroken series of wild Greyjoy successes, prior.