The World of Ice and Fire - A procession honoring the sacred god of Norvos.
From the founding to the present, Great Norvos has been a theocracy , ruled by its bearded priests, who are themselves ruled by their god, who speaks his commands to them from the depths of their fortress-temple, which only true believers may enter and live. Though the city has a council of magisters, its members are selected by the god, speaking through his priests. To enforce obedience and keep the peace, the bearded priests keep a holy guard of slave soldiers, fierce fighters who bear the brand of a double-bladed axe upon their breasts and ritually marry the longaxes they fight with.
The World of Ice and Fire - Dornish reavers in Oldtown
As Oldtown grew wealthy and powerful, neighboring lords and petty kings turned covetous eyes upon its riches, and pirates and reavers from beyond the seas heard tales of its splendors as well. Thrice in the space of a single century the city was taken and sacked, once by the Dornish king Samwell Dayne (the Starfire), once by Qhored the Cruel and his ironmen, and once by Gyles I Gardener (the Woe), who reportedly sold three-quarters of the city’s inhabitants into slavery, but was unable to breach the defenses of the Hightower on Battle Isle.