Our Bridges Don't Burn
House Baybridge Founding
During the reign of the Targaryen King Daeron II, Theon Shipwright, a man aptly named for his seemingly uncanny ability to build sea worthy vessels, had been employed by Prince Baelor Targaryen (a.k.a. Baelor Breakspear) at Storm’s End to build his naval fleet and to captain his ship Mariah’s Spear. Theon had constructed the ship himself, using ebon wood, a rare lumber that had the reputation of being unworkable. Theon, unknowing of it’s reputation, had found a grove of ebon wood deep in a forest on an island off the coast of Shipbreaker Bay. Stripping it down to build a ship for Prince Baelor, he discovered that the wood had most of the seafaring properties of wood, but made for much stronger hulls, able to withstand the sails through some of the bay’s rockier outcroppings. This earned Theon great favor at the Targaryen courts.
During the First Blackfyre Rebellion of 196 AC, with both the Blackfyre and Targaryen forces marching towards Redgrass Field for the decisive battle, Quentyn “Fireball” Ball, a longtime friend of the attempted usurper Daemon I Blackfyre, marched a unit through the Stormlands, taking much of it to torch. When he learned that much of Baelor Breakspear’s infantry force had set up a camp on Starship Isle, he sent a small unit across the bridge to the island to sabotage their camp while he stayed on the mainland with the bulk of his unit. Once his own men were across and engaged with Breakspear’s men, “Ser” Fireball sat fire the bridge to the island, trapping Breakspear’s infantry, who would have to choose to stay on the island or swim across without first donning their heavy armor. This move would certainly be a huge blow to the Targaryen ground forces, which is what Fireball was counting on. He immediately began the march towards Redgrass to convene with the Blackfyre host.
From the bow of nearby Mariah’s Spear, Theon Shipwright saw the plumes of smoke rising from off the island. Knowing this was where Prince Baelor was harboring his infantry, Theon broke for the island, taking two smaller Targaryen ships with him. When Theon saw the burning bridge, he knew that it would take time for the smaller ships to ferry the infantry men across. Thinking quickly, Theon fashioned crude planks to stretch from one of the smaller ships to the next, and another to stretch from that ship to the mainland, forming a bridge across the bay. He then ferried units of soldiers from Starship Island to the smaller ships, allowing them to cross the ship bridge. These units were able to surprise the Blackfyre forces at the Battle of Redgrass Fields, forming a pincer with Brynden Bloodraven’s archers and inspiring the iconic song “The Hammer and the Anvil.”
For his bravery and ingenuity, King Daeron II knighted Theon Shipwright, who took the name Theon Baybridge. King Daeron II also gifted Theon the ship Mariah’s Spear, as well as the island on which Theon had found the ebon wood on. With the help of the Baratheon family, Theon built up the Ebonwood Isles, and, before his death, was able to see the completion of Ebonwood Castle.