The Dragonhunt is the colloquial name for the pursuit of the dragon Cannibal in the year 197AC, that saw several hundred men under the command of the Prince of Dragonstone, Aenys Targaryen, attempt to slay the monster or at least drive it from Westerosi lands. In the end they were successful - though Prince Aenys would meet his end in the final conflict.
Since the Dance in 131AC, most of Westeros had not seen dragons outside of the skulls the Targaryens kept in the Red Keep. On Dragonstone however, one remained - the beast known only as Cannibal, who even during the Dance roared forth to hunt men and dragon alike. Following the civil war he retreated to the caves of the Dragonmont, and there remained for decades; largely undisturbed and half forgotten, feeding on fish and cattle and - more than likely - men.
Some time in 197AC, a lone dragonseed was seen heading up into the hills of Dragonstone, no doubt to seek out the legend and do his best to tame it. No attempt to tame the dragon has ever succeeded, but from time to time men would try regardless - only this time, the beast seemed to have enough. Mere days later it came roaring forth from its hiding place, sweeping down on the villages of Dragonstone below.
The Dragon Hunt Edit
The attack on Dragonstone was fierce and swift, its defenders unable to resist the might of a beast nearly a century and a half old. Much of the island was forced to evacuate, fleeing on skiffs and ships and sailing vessels to nearby Driftmark.
Aenys Targaryen, the Crown Prince and Lord of Dragonstone, was in King's Landing when the beast struck, though he wasted little time in gathering a force to retake the island. Nobles in the capital and men from the surrounding region all volunteered - and in the fourth moon of 197AC, the Prince and his small army set sail from King's Landing.
It took several days for the dragon to be found; though when it was, Aenys and his men struck immediately. Cannibal was an old dragon, large and clever, with scales that resisted most arrows and darts. He retaliated against his aggravators with tooth and nail and flame, slaying dozens and setting scores more to rout. In the end neither side proved victorious - the dragon was too strong to slay with bows or crossbows, but it could not draw close for the hail of fire that threatened its eyes and wings. The creature also seemed to boast a healthy fear of men and their weaponry - gained no doubt from a century of living close to them, hunted and hated. Eventually the dragon took wing, choosing flight where fighting could not conquer, disappearing over the horizon before the hunters could pursue.
Sharp Point Edit
For a time many thought it was over - mayhaps the beast had flown off across the sea, there to perish or emerge in Essos as someone else's problem. Many breathe a sigh of relief; until word arrives from Sharp Point, urgent and desperate.
The dragon had returned.
Calls for aid went out, men from the Stormlands, Vale, Riverlands and Crownlands all volunteering to help track down the beast. Once again Aenys took the lead, setting out to find the beast and liberate Sharp Point. Though the castle itself was safe, the beast's lair on the cliffside was riddled with corspes charred and half devoured. The would-be dragon killers attacked, driving the creature once more into the skies - this time heading south.
Southward Bound Edit
So the hunt began in earnest - weeks tracking a beast that left no tracks, only smoke and charred remains. Further calls for aid proved the main source of their information, directing them along the path the creature took, following in his shadow. Eventually they came to the edge of the Kingswood.
The dragonhunters entered the woods with trepidation, word sent north to the capital instructing them to prepare for the worst. King Daeron sent Lord Darklyn, the Lord Commander of the City Watch, and several Kingsguard along with a host thousands strong to guard the southern edge of the Blackwater Rush, in case the beast should emerge - while Aenys and his men searched the forest for any sign of it. They uncover him at the headspring of the Wendwater, ousting the creature with flaming brands and arrows. It took wing, abandoning yet another haunt to its pursuers - and heading due north.
Lord Darklyn and his men were ready for the beast, wounding the creature and managing to drive him south again. The Prince's hunters followed, harrying him all the while, driving it skyward again more than a half dozen times and denying it any rest or recourse.
When Cannibal ventured too close to Grassy Vale, Lord Meadows and his men marched out to meet it. The dragon avoided their ranks, doubling back and continuing it's generally southward direction. The dragonhunters followed doggedly all the while, wondering where at last this chase would end.
The pursuers herd the beast towards Summerhall, aiming to use the fortification and the high mountains to trap the wounded beast on the ground. The plan works, to their horror - the mighty drake rounds upon his pursuers and attacks, breathing tongues of flame hot enough to cook a man in his armour and send stone running like riverwater. The battle is fierce, hundreds succumbing to the creature's onslaught - including the Crown Prince himself, noble Aenys slain in combat. As the hunters closed in, great ballistae bolts firing from the walls of Summerhall as archers and crossbowmen aimed for eyes and joints, Cannibal gave a terrible, shuddering roar; beating mighty wings in laborious flight, heading south once more, into the Red Mountains.
The Red Mountains Edit
Unable to track the creature into Dorne, and unwilling to trek through the high and deadly mountains in pursuit - the hunting party at last called their journey to an end. They returned to King's Landing in a mix of sorrow and triumph - the wrong dragon slain, and a terror loosed upon the border between two ever-warring realms.
Cannibal lives in the Red Mountains to this day, his great form sometimes seen winging through the peaks of the mountain range. For the most part it seems to rarely venture out from it's haunt, the wounds it received in the Hunt hampering its flight. Farmers in Dorne and the Reach both report attacks on livestock, though no man dare venture into the mountains to slay the beast for good.