Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:17 pm

(About a clearly superior fighter):
"How would you beat him?"
"Over the head, with a club, while he sleeps."
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:38 am

Hey, for a fifteen year old squire (now knight) Paedrigs score list is quite good. Four victories in duels (three of his opponents were knights) and three victories in his first tourney (o. K. Adham Dannett was allready poisened at the time) is not bad in comparence to two times lost...
And ORTEN...I could have beaten him with one hand... >:)

Concenring the possibilitie of more...subtle means of dealing with Orten...
It was a matter of abilities AND of mentality.
Neither Ragnar nor Paedrig are the right man for such an approach. Ragnar is very unsubtle and has the drawback "honourable". Paedrig TRIES to act honourable and did also not have the right abilities (sneak, thievery - for 'spicing' his food or wine - or contacts).
And Eric who might have not such moral constrictions (although he is more a man of words not daggers) did also not have the abilities or contacts...

Eisen
War might be good for SOME business. But for an dye business (Erics profession) which needs open roads and unhindered trade (and given the fact that our potential opponent did have nothing to do with this and some of the local players wich Eric wants in the boat certainly DO NOT want any war)...
And his nephew (who is lord, decide about the taxes etc.) also do not want a new war at the moment...
No, i think Eric is happy as long as dear little nephew Gard did not start war taxation and not cut down some of the investments Eric want to participate with... >:)
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:33 am

_____________
Wedding Knight
_____________

(Warning! Massive Spoiler although I had modified the story)
Since William’s player did not longer participate we decided to let the char in the south. Concerning Ragnars player it is still uncertain if and when he did have time so we decided that at the moment Ragnar was on a trip to the Twins (de jure he is still a ward of house Frey)…

***

Two weeks had passed since the return of the Blyth delegation from their trip to Kings Landing. Short after news arrived that Lord Jon Arryn of Eyrie (Hand of the King) had died by a fever. It was unclear who would become his successor (Lord Lannister, one of King Robert’s brothers or perhaps even Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell).
But there were things that matter more for house Blyth – Lord Gard Blyth of Dragonport get an invitation by Lord Vickon Aran to meet him at Krayenhorn were Lord Aran want to discuss the idea of a joint border defence of house Blyth of Dragonport, Blyth of Krayenhorn and Aran of Starbone. Another topic of the meeting should be a possible marriage alliance between Dragonport and Starbone.
And last but not least Lord Vickon Aran wanted to know more about the intrigue of house Lugus against house Blyth and Dannett so he urged that members of house Blyth who went to Kings Landing should also show up.

To make a good impression (and also because of the several attempts to kidnap/ kill members or guests of house Blyth during the last months) Gard decided to travel with ten bodyguards (commanded by Paedrig). Beside this Gard was accompanied by his sister Alyanna, his uncle Eric, Alyannas maid and a domestic (16 people altogether).
When the party left Dragonport they were stopped by Elen, the healer of the castle. The young woman warned Gard that he should be careful because she had dreamed some of the food that would be offered might be poisoned. Gard did not know what to do with this warning – he did not believe in dreams and prophesies, but on the other hand the words made him nervous…
Beside this the short travel to Krayenhorn was uneventful.
When the party arrived they were welcomed warmly by Lord Gawan (his greeting for his bastard nephew Paedrig was a little bit short). Lady Anya also greeted the guests but only briefly because she had much to do for the arrival of the Arans. The great numbers of the party (almost twenty people) did not make it easy to find places for all.
While Alyanna tried to help Lady Anya with the preparations Eric ordered the domestic to organize a bath (a demand that could not be fulfilled easy given the preparation chaos).

Some hours later the Arans arrived at Krayenhorn. It was also a group of some numbers (again ca. 20 people) and now it was clear why Lady Anya was stressed – to find sufficient quarters etc. for 40 people (a dozen of them of noble birth or at least some status) plus their horses and baggage was costly and not easy…
The Aran party consisted of Lord Vickon Aran of Starbone himself, his second son Ser Vickon, Lord Arans daughter Meera and his granddaughter Elyssa, house Arans Septa Berena, Torrhen Fallkirk (squire of Ser Vickon and member of a house with which house Blyth is at odds), some service maids and men and a small group of guards under the commando of Ser Pirron Strife (a former hedge knight). Ser Strife was an attractive young man with black hair and eyes, a controlled appearance and quick reflexes.
Meera Aran was a beautiful young lady of almost eighteen years with perfect manners. Her niece Elyssa (fifteen year old) seemed to be shyer than Meera and (although nice to look at) not so breathtaking beautiful as her aunt, her body still a little bit girlish.
Lord Aran was welcomed but Alyanna and Eric noticed that Torrhen Fallkirk seemed to be pissed of by something and looked with almost hate at Ser Strife and Lord Gard Blyth (this was curious because the last time Gard and Torrhen meet they get along much better than could be anticipated given the history of their houses).
However there were of course other things to do (and Alyanna was also preoccupied because Ser Vickon once again showed his affection for her, giving her a beautiful night blue silken scarf, claiming that her beauty had caused him some sleepless nights).
Because of the scare place it was planned that Eric and Paedrig (he was now a knight and although Ser Gawan was still not very fond of his bastard nephew he certainly treated a knight with respect) and also Torrhen Fallkirk and Ser Strife would sleep in the old tower of Krayenhorn while the other noble guests will sleep at the palas. Ser Vickon gave Alyanna his quarters as a gesture of courtesy, so he also stayed at the tower.
Ser Vickon soon started (once again) an attempt to seduce Alyanna but was easily overwhelmed by her social abilities. Alyanna successfully deceived him that she MIGHT be interested in an affair if he would support Gards plans for a wedding alliance.

After the welcome ceremony there was also the opportunity to bath (of course strictly separated by genders). It was not only a chance to get clean but also an opportunity for some polite conversation. Gard tried to ask Ser Vickon about his sister Meera (information how to court her would be welcomed given the fact that Gard did not have so much experience with such matters) but for Vickon this was only an opportunity to joke about.

Then it was almost time for the evening meal in the ‘great hall’ (in fact not SO great but big enough for this occasion). Of course the whole interior was a little bit more rustically than in a castle like Dragonport or Starbone – not so fancy, the meal not so exquisite etc. but Lord Vickon seemed to be satisfied (Alyanna and Eric noticed that Septa Berena and Meera Aran frowned a little bit about the more ‘common’ surroundings).
An important topic of the conversation were the adventures of the Blyth delegation in Kings Landing (although some of the more secret or delicate aspects were left out) – especially the young ladies and knights/ squires want to know more about the capital, the tourney, the royal castle etc. Meera and Elyssa both acted like perfect young ladies (although Elyssa was a little bit shyer than her two years older aunt). There was some tension between Ser Strife and Torrhen (who also looked not very friendly at Gard) but at least the two young men stayed mostly in the background, don’t argued against each other and Ser Strife soon left to look after the horses and men under his command.
For Gard the meal was also an opportunity to impress the Arans with costly gifts he had ordered for the family of his liege lord: an exquisite hunting knife for Lord Aran (a well known hunter), a bird miniature made of ivory for Lady Aran, a costly sword belt for Lord Arans heir Jonah, a castle forged hunting bow for Lord Arans son Ser Vickon, a book about the most known targaryan queens for Meera and exquisite riding gloves for Elyssa. The gifts were welcomed warmly (but Alyanna and Eric noticed that the gifts for the two young girls might be not so well planed – Elyssa seemed more interested in the book than in the gloves).
After the meal there was time for poems recited by the girls, and even Gard told an old ballad about the founding of house Krayenhorn quiet well, as an honour for his knight-father. The Lords played cyvasse (a dornish table game) against each other and Gard did win against Lord Aran and Lord Gawan (Eric did not play because he did not see many chances for him).
Eric used the time for some conversation with septa Berena (some time ago in exchange he had promised Septa Jonelle, head of Septrie Eaglewood, in exchange for trade benefits that if there should be a marriage between Blyth and Aran he would try to organize that Jonelle can do the ceremony. Of course this promise was a little bit tricky given the fact that normally a wedding is celebrated by the septa of the bride’s house). Eric soon noticed that Septa Berena did have a very low opinion of Septa Jonnelle and that these two women were constantly at odds. Eric did his best to heighten Berena’s dislike for Jonelle, hoping that he could incite her to some inappropriate words/ acting that would anger Lord Aran.
Lady Anya did secretly questioned Lord Gard about the new healer of Dragonport – especially her abilities and discretion. Gard gave her his positive opinion about Elen, although he could not hide that some parts of her behaviour looked strange for him…

***

Early the next morning the young squires/ knights (Torrhen, Strife, Vickon and Paedrig), soon accompanied by Lord Gard and Robert Waters (master of arms of Krayenhorn), meet at the training ground for some sparring. Gard and Ser Vickon started and Gard was able to win. The next two fighters should be Ser Strife and Torrhen – but this quickly got out of hand when Ser Strife sent Torrhen to the ground, almost broking his shield arm. Only Paedrig’s and Vickon’s quick reaction prevented further bloodshed. While Ser Strife gets some ‘nice words’ by the master of arms young Torrhen was sent to master Ornim (Alyanna helped the master although the young man was a little bit embarrassed to have a young beautiful lady deal with his injuries).
When Lord Aran heard about the fight between Torrhen and Strife he criticized Strife briefly but put the whole matter beside as the foolish acting of young men.
After the breakfast Lord Gawan informed the Blyth party that he wanted to show Lord Aran some of his horses at midday – with Dragon, a beautiful black destrier (which the Blyth party had already shown at Kings Landing) as the ‘star’. Gard and Paedrig asked if they could ride Dragon for the show and Lord Gawan opted for Gard (after all he still was a little bit at odds with his bastard nephew while Gard was his former squire).

Lord Aran asked Paedrig and Eric to give him a detailed report about their adventure in Kings Landing and the intrigue of house Lugus. Meanwhile Alyanna visited Torrhen because she wanted to know the causes of his brooding and his trouble with Ser Strife. She soon came to the conclusion that Torrhen might perhaps admire Meera Aran (Gards potential bride) a little too much and that this was the cause of his anger against Gard. Concerning Torrhens problems with Ser Strife it seemed that Strife (a man of no special heritage, knighted by a hedge knight) did his best to give Torrhen (who was of much higher heritage but still a squire) a hard time, even offending his family. Torrhen also claimed that while he was a much better jouster than Strife the knight get all the attention by the young ladies (Alyanna did her best to conceal her amusement). Given the fact that Elyssa Aran also visited the injured young man and was very concerned about him Alyanna came to the conclusion that perhaps Elyssa might have a crush for Torrhen…
At the same time Gard was on a ride outside the ‘castle’ together with Meera Aran, Ser Strife (who mostly stayed in the background) and some guards. He did his best to charm the young lady but was no match for her – she easily charmed HIM.

After the ‘grilling’ of Paedrig and Eric about their time at Kings Landing was over, Eric also wanted to know more about Ser Strife and his trouble with Torrhen by asking some of the guards and service people of the Arans – but he did not get much information. Ser Strife came into service of Lord Aran perhaps two month ago. Most people jugged him as an able fighter, not very social but not unfriendly, not too arrogant or haughty, perhaps a little bit ‘common’ in some of his manners – but after all for a hedge knight…
No one did know a special cause for his trouble with Torrhen.

Meanwhile it was time for the horse show. Gard did his best but was unable to show the full potential of Dragon. However Lord Aran did buy the horse at the spot.

After this it was time for the real biz. Lord Aran and his son, Lord Gawan, Lord Gard and Eric gathered together to discuss the matters of war and love (or to be more correct of border defences and marriage). It was no problem to come to an agreement concerning the idea of an additional scout unit that should patrol along the Krayenhorn borders and into the contested borderlands to prevent infiltration by clansmen (or warn in the case of a real invasion). While Krayenhorn should take the biggest part of the costs house Aran and Dragonport should also participate (although Gard was willing to spend much more money than Lord Aran).
Concerning Gards idea of a line of watchtowers the two older lords were sceptical. They did not want to make any binding agreement until the border patrol had shown its worth and house Fallkirk was also in the boat. Eric (who wanted to use the installation of watchtowers as an opportunity to influence a member of the Dragonport city council by giving him a lucrative contract) urged for the idea that the Lords should already order the material for the buildings. But (without much support of his nephew Gard) he did not have any success because no Lord wanted to spend money (and/ or storage place) for a project that was still uncertain.
But beside this everyone was happy: Lord Gard’s idea was accepted mostly, Lord Aran was glad that he should spend such a small amount of money (1 wealth point) and Lord Gawan was happy that Gard spend such a BIG amount of money (3 wealth points)…
Together with the resources of Krayenhorn (4 power points) the spend money would be enough for a trained scout unit with some upgrades.
Now it was time to discuss the possible marriage alliance between Starbone and Dragonport. Although Lord Aran acted sceptic at least Eric was able to detect that in reality Lord Aran actually favoured the idea of a marriage between Lord Gard and his daughter Meera – but he wanted of course a big bride price.
The discussion went on until the late afternoon but in the end it went well for house Blyth (one cause for this was the fact that Lord Arans son Vickon – charmed by Alyanna the day before – did not support the position of his father wholehearted) although the bride price was still into question (this should be decided tomorrow).

Alyanna (who was not invited to these political / military affairs) used her time for a picnic with Lady Meera, Elyssa and Anya. They were accompanied by Ser Strife, Ser Paedrig and Torrhen Fallkirk. The two young men of the Aran party mostly tried to ignore each other although their differences were still not settled. That both of them cared especially for Lady Meera did not help to ease the tension. But at least there was no open confrontation. Paedrig’s attention was mostly concentrated on Alyanna (sister of his lord) and Lady Anya (because of his secret affection for her). Alyanna who wanted to get more information about her potential sister in law started a charm offensive against Elyssa, judging the young girl as an easy prey.

During the evening meal the atmosphere was a little bit…strange – gladness and accordance on the one hand (between the lords), and tension between some of the young knights/squires. Lord Arans granddaughter Elyssa seemed to be also concerned because of this tension.
But beside this it was still a pleasant meal. The girls again recited or sung (Elyssa seemed to be a quiet able poet), and Gard recall a poem in which a Lady similar to Meera was praised (he could not create such art but was able to use older texts).
But than it was time to go to bed because a boar hunt was planned for the next morning.

***

The hunting party (all noblemen minus Torrhen who was still not full recovered) left before dawn together with a group of peasants who should chase the wild boars to the hunters and some soldiers as security.
The hunt was very successful – half a dozen of boars and pigs were killed without serious harm for one of the hunters (although Gard must help Eric who gets a little bit into trouble).
When the hunting party returned Gard get some praise for his courageous acting.

After a short meal it was time for the second part of the marriage bargain. This time the participants were Lord Aran, his Septa Berena, Lord Gard Blyth and Eric Blyth. Now it was the question of the price – and given the fact that the marriage would increase the status of house Blyth it was clear who must pay.
However house Blyth was able to decrease the bride price significantly by their bargain skills (Eric was a great help for Gard) and the promise to support house Aran in their vague plans of a possible marriage between Ser Vickon Aran and Naerys Weymouth (given the fact that she was the only living child of her parents this would be a opportunity for house Aran to gather more power and land).
In the end the marriage would cost House Blyth 4 wealth points (quite a sum but certainly less than Lord Aran had planned). The marriage should be in two weeks – Lord Aran was a man of rash acting (if he wanted it).
After this was dealed Eric brought another topic on the table – which septa should lead the ceremony (remember he had promised this honour Septa Jonelle, head of septrie Eaglewood, in exchange for trade benefits)? Septa Berena reacted furious (perhaps also because Eric had incited her towards Jonelle the fore last evening) but Eric used her not very diplomatic acting to incite Lord Aran to speak a final word. Influenced by Eric the lord decided that Septa Jonelle should lead the ceremony. Septa Berena stormed out of the room – the promise that Eric and Lord Gard would spend some money for her plans to improve her sept could not tilt the fact that she was shoved beside.
(In game terms her disposition towards house Blyth and especially Eric decreased significantly).
After the meeting Eric get some not-so-nice words by his nephew who would have preferred the situation handled without alienating a septa who had some influence in the family of the liege lord…
Meanwhile Alyanna used her free time to charm Elyssa Aran (she hoped to get some information about Meera – f. e. why several former marriage plans for Meera were cancelled). Although Alyanna could convince the younger girl that she could tell her all her problems, it was not much substantial – beside the fact that Meera seemed to not have liked her former potential grooms.

During the evening it was time to announce the wedding plans (Septa Berena stayed at her chamber by the way). Of course Meera accepted Gards pledge (which was accompanied by a gift of costly jewellery) like a perfect young lady. Some of the Blyth party (Eric and Alyanna) noticed that the wedding announcement certainly troubled Torrhen, while Ser Strife seemed to be amused. Both young men seemed to be a little nervous (just like the two Aran girls).
Meera gave Gard a scarf of red silk as a ‘sign of her affection’. Gard (and Eric because of his keen senses) noticed that there was something hidden in the scarf.
Gard later find a small letter inside the scarf with the message ‘I must speak with you. Meet me at the stables at midnight. M.’

Before the members of the Blyth party went to bed Lord Gard told them about Elens warning about ‘poisoned meals’ although he was still sceptic – dreams and omen…
No one had an idea what this warning could actually mean (if there was any real background): However Gard asked Paedrig to have an eye on Torrhen (after all the young squire seemed to be very angry because the planned wedding).

Later the night Gard sneaked out to meet Meera at the stables. He was a little bit suspicious but did not think that Meera did plan something sinister against him.
It seemed that Meera mostly did want know more about her fate in Dragonport and her future husband. She seemed a little bit afraid, claiming that she did agree mostly because the will of her father and not her own.
Gard did his best to tilt her fears. But when he noticed how the almost intimate strangeness of their meeting, Meera’s closeness and her whispered words affected him in a very disturbing way, the young Lord retreated hastily before he could do something not honourable (although he did know that to leave his future bride in such a rude way was also not very gentlemanlike…).

***

The next morning the Arans and Blyth of Dragonport wanted to leave Krayenhorn. The Lord and Lady of Krayenhorn (together with a group of soldiers) would accompany the Arans to the borders of their territory. In the end Lord Gard decided to also accompany his liege lord although this would be a detour.
Before the party did leave Krayenhorn, Gard asked Meera for a short conversation, apologizing for his rash leave last night and again promising that she will have nothing to fear from him. Lady Meera on the other hand apologized for the not-very-ladylike idea of a secret meeting and claimed (quiet convincing) that now her fears are mostly gone.
Eric meanwhile tried to calm the waves he had created the day before by embarrassing Septa Berena but the Septa was very cold and reluctant, giving him no chance to charm her.
The trip to the Aran-Krayenhorn borders was mostly uneventful. Lord Gard and Lord Gawan discussed the future mobilisation of the new scout unit – Gard recommended the use of mens from the borderlands and perhaps even a recruiting attempt in White Harbour (the next northern town with which Dragonport did have a direct connection by ships). He also opted for the idea that the troops can spend their past time in Dragonport (the city did certainly have more…facilities for the amusement of soldiers) while detachments of Dragoonport troops should accompany the scouts from time to time to strengthen the patrols and get some experience in the wilderness.
Lord Gawan welcomed the ideas and was pleased that his former squire was such an able commander.

After leaving the Aran party at the borders of their territory Lord Gards party arrived Dragonport in the late afternoon without any problems.

End of part I
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Eisen » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:39 pm

I smell trechery afoot... Any time the bride to be is able to out intrigue the husband you are just asking for trouble :P Guard may be so eager to marry into a better house that he's blind to the potential danger.

I think he would have been well served to ask the local Maester to perform a maidenhood test on Meera before forking over 6 wealth points. Something smells like fish here...
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:38 am

I see your argument and soon you will see if you are right >:)

But may I remind you (also for everyone who might want to use such an action as ensurence) that such a "maidenhood test" by a maester/ healer would be
a) certainly a very embarassing idea for the bride and her whole family - and given the fact that this is the liege lord of house Blyth... >:)
b) not so meaningfull as one might think (remember that argument about Margaery Tyrells maiden status in Martins Books?)

And by the the way the bride price was "only" almost 4 wealth point.
The 3 other wealth point Gard wanted to spend for supporting the mobilization of a scout unit at Krayenhorn did have nothing to do with the wedding. This was a matter of border defense (and of course of his ties with Gawan, who had knighted Gard).

Hope i can tell the rest of the adventure at the end of the week...
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:29 am

Wedding Knight Part II
(This is just a short complement for the time between the meeting at Krayenhorn and the wedding at Starbone. I hope that I can tell the rest in a few days).

Given the fact that there were only two weeks until the wedding should happen there was much to do. Gard, Alyanna and Eric wanted to find some costly gifts (although it was not easy given the limited time and possibilities) for the wedding.
Alyanna did buy the best clothing and jewellery she could find for the bride (and also something for herself and her mother) while Gard get the miniature of a wyvern for Meera (she did collect such items) and did also buy silver dishes and plates for the Arans. Given the limited possibilities of the local marked Eric decided in the end that his present for Gard (and his bride) would be money (a whole wealth point). By this he would certainly be one of the most (or even THE most) generous guests of the wedding.
Paedrig (who did not have such resources) decided that a beautiful shadowcat fur would be the right gift.

Beside this Gard get the idea that a welcome festival for the new lady of Dragonport would be a wonderful idea, a chance to present the future lady to her new home and vice versa – and also to act a first time as a “good” (and generous) lord to his people, who know him until now only as administrator, defender and judge. Eric and Alyanna did most of the calculation and came to the conclusion that such an event might cost ca. 200 gold dragons (1 wealth point). However after spending so much money for the securing of the border and for the bride price (7 wealth point altogether) and the warning of his mother that he was not the king who often ordered festivals and tourneys with borough money, Gard thought that it would be clever to let other participate – the city council to be specific.

Eric (who did most of the organizing) agreed with this idea and tried to find the right strategy to get the city council into the boat. While he did have good relations with the two ‘newcomer’ members of the council (Hakon Trader and Gunnar Grout) he asked them for a private meeting at the local bath/ brothel ‘mermaids’ pool’. He could easily convince the two men to spend some money. Erics idea was that the two men should work as ‘icebreakers’ – their willingness to spend money should set the other council members under pressure. Gunnar Grout warned him that given the internal rivalries between the three old families and the three newcomers (plus Eric) this idea might work – or not. Anyway both were willing to act especially generous (and by this increasing the pressure) if Eric/ Gard would compensate their generosity by some secret given money. Eric agreed to this idea.
Concerning the three other members of the council Erid and Alyanna tried to find some weak points and bargain possibilities to influence. But this time Eric did not try do start separate talks with them – he only did sent some private letters one day before the next council meeting.
Towards the council leader Ablar Townsman he mentioned the possibility that he might support a wedding between one of Ablars young female relatives with the rich merchantman Ruben Piper (the ex-would-to-be-husband of Iris Dannett). Owyn Timber gets a reminding that he could get a lucrative contract if the lords would build a line of watchtowers. For Elynora Hatched Eric did make some vague comments that her ambition for her son (she wanted him to become council leader one day) might be supported by Lord Gard.
However because he did not want any binding promises (and a letter was certainly weaker than a private meeting) the council members were still a little bit sceptic. But in the end Eric was able to get almost ½ wealth point out of the council members.
However when it did come to the actual preparations of the festival Eric was a little bit overwhelmed by such many duties. While he tried to control every aspect of the organization he was not able to hinder some of the council members to minimize their financial participation a little bit (in the end house Blyth must spend some extra gold dragons). Alyanna did her best to help her uncle and she did it very well (her task was mostly the organization of the decoration, some minstrels etc.).

Concerning the wedding, news came to Dragonport that of the local houses only house Weymouth (and Blyth of Krayenhorn) would participate. House Dannett did apologize that they could not come (perhaps because of the still fragile health of Lord Dannetts son and the fact that Iris after her ‘adventures’ did not yet want to be part of such a great social event) and did sent some gifts. House Fallkirk did simply not answer the invitation. This might be not very wise, because it could anger the Arans too, but given their old feud with Dragonport it was not very surprising…

Alyanna meanwhile used her information network to learn more about Ser Strife but she did get not much more than Eric beside some rumours and gossips – f. e. that Ser Strife MIGHT did have an affair with someone at Starbone although no one know with whom. Another (very vague) rumour was that Ser Strife did look like someone of the Aran family (although it was again unclear which one this might be) and perhaps might be a bastard (f. e. of Lord Aran or one of his older sons). These rumours were supported by the fact that Ser Strifes career seemed really fast (first only member of the cavalry but now an officer and trusted bodyguards). Of course on the other hand he was still a knight (although a hedge knight) and by this much more worthy than a common mercenary or sworn sword.

One day before the party should left towards Starbone Lord Gawan of Krayenhorn and his wife arrived at Dragonport claiming that they want to travel together with the Dragonport party. This was only half truth because they also wanted to meet the healer of Dragonport secretly (still the problem that Lady Anya did not get pregnant – just like Lord Gawans first wife).
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Eisen » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:22 pm

lol Eric is giving money as a weding present? I'm pretty sure that's considered very tacky back then just as it is today :P
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:32 am

But when it is SO MUCH money...
A trunk full of gold dragons did have its own beauty i think... :lol: (especially for a lord who has spend almost all of his monetary reserves :wink: ).
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:56 am

Wedding Knight Part III
(Sorry, this is still not the complete story - the whole thing cost much more time than anticipated. More to come next week, i hope).

***

Than it was time for the travel to castle Starbone. For the next few days the commander of the city garrison should be the interim steward. Before he left, Gard had ordered to choose some men as future bodyguards for the new Lady, and to be aware if Joren Ripon (the last Ripon of Twinwood, who had try to kill Ser Vicon Aran during his last visit) might try to harm an Aran-family-member again. Beside Lord Gard, his mother, sister and uncle the travel party consisted of Lord Gawan and Lady Anya, Ser Paedrig Rivers, almost half an dozen servicemen/ maids and 14 soldiers from Krayenhorn and Dragonport.

It was a long trip to Starbone and the ‘street’ was not very comfortable (a typical problem in this area) but uneventful. At the Aran borders the party was welcomed by Ser Vickon Aran and a cavalry detachment. Vickon was in a good mood, joking with Gard and flirting with Alyanna also he was a little bit angry about the rude reaction of house Fallkirk (not even an apology and almost ordering back the two members of their house who stayed at Starbone).
It was still unclear if the Weymouth delegation would arrive this or the next day. Vickon also mentioned that septa Berena did have left the castle for some unspecific but urgent matter of faith (an excuse – in reality she might be still pissed off. But it was also a good explanation why Septa Jonelle would lead the ceremony). When the party passed by some small hamlets the inhabitants gathered together. Some of them cheered and praised the wedding (and the future husband of Lady Meera).

Castle Starbone was erected on a hill, protected by slopes at two sides. It was an old castle, built after the andal invasion. The party was greeted warmly by the whole Aran family and their high ranking servants etc. (minus septa Berena). It was obvious that the antipathy between Torrhen Fallkirk and Ser Pirron Strife had not faded away (and Torrhen still looked not very happy because of the wedding). Alyanna (still a little bit cautious because of the rumours she did have heard) came to the conclusion that there was indeed a vague similarity between Ser Strife and one of the members of house Aran (Elyssa Aran to be specific). Both young people looked like they did have the blood of the first men in their veins (small and lean, dark eyes, hair and taint), while most members of house Aran have the appearance of the Andals (tall, light hair and eyes).
There was time to bath and change the clothes before the great evening meal. Of the other guests only Septa Jonelle from the Septrie Eaglewood (who should lead the ceremony) had arrived. The young head of Eaglewood (not even thirty) acted like it could be expected from a high member of the faith (of course she was very pleased because she could lead the ceremony).
It was obvious that there should not only be a festivity for the noble/ higher ranking guests but also for the local smallfolk – the gates of the castle were wide open and there were numerous activities to prepare the ‘great day’.

Of course the family of the husband-to-be did get special attention and prominent places at the table. The meal was opulent, some minstrels were hired for this occasion, the atmosphere was delightful and all guests acted with perfect manner. The most prominent topics of the conversation were the wedding and the events at Kings Landing (or at least the parts that could be told in the presence of ladies). Alyanna get much attention by Ser Vickon – a situation which seems to anger Lord Aran and his wife a little bit. Gard concentrated his attention on his future bride.

During the meal message arrived that the Weymouth delegation had arrived Starbone (earlier as expected). When Lord Aran left the hall to greet the newcomers Gard wanted to accompany him. However he was stopped because Lady Meera suddenly felt ill and left the hall in hast. When she later returned she claimed that this was only the result of nervousness and perhaps some ill prepared food (Eric who had witnessed the scene was not certain if she said the truth).
Meanwhile the Weymouth came into the hall. The delegation consisted of Lord Weymouth (a calm, cautious and not very pretentious man in his thirtieths) his wife (a born Manderly) and their daughter Naerys (a shy and calm girl of fifteen years, certainly a bit ‘normal’ in comparison to such beauties like Meera, Alyanna and Anya). Lord Aran (and also his wife and his children) treated them very well (given Lord Arans normal temperament it was almost unusual).
Naerys was seated right beside Ser Vickon Aran and (after some meaningful views were exchanged between father and son) the young knight concentrated his charm towards the new guest – at least for some time. However the young lady was very shy and seemed to be more comfortable with a conversation with Elyssa Aran (both young woman seem to have something in common) and Alyanna.

Lord Aran announced a deer hunt ‘a la Reach’ for the day, some riding/ jousting manoeuvres in the afternoon (plus a poetry contest). The wedding should be in the late afternoon/ early evening followed by the obligatory meal.
He claimed that the deer hunt would be a great fun, a real manly adventure – and Lady Anya Blyth of Krayenhorn claimed that she could ride at least as good as many men who will participate.
Lord Aran laughed and accepted this challenge but Lord Gawan (who was calm, almost a little bit depressed during the whole day) was not very amused. However he did not argue.
It was late when the meal ended and all the guests went to bed.

Given the fact that the place was a little bit cramped by the number of guests some did not get single quarters. Eric f. e. should stay in the same room as Ser Vickon. The young knight joked that his father perhaps wanted to ensure that his son do not sneak out undisturbed or invite one of the young ladies in his room. He was well aware that Lord Aran wanted him to court (and in the end marry) Naerys Weymouth but seemed not certain if he did like the idea.

Alyanna soon noticed that someone had sent one of the minstrels to who started to sing love songs etc under her window. She guessed that this might have been Ser Vickons idea and thought that it might be the best to bribe the minstrel that he should do his serenade under the window of the bride – as an ‘gesture of admiration by Lord Gard’, and because she want not to insult Naerys (or anger Vickons parents and their plans for their son).
After the minstrel has gone away she did hear an argument in one of the quarters nearby and sneaked out of her room to listen. It soon became clear that she witnessed a little quarrel between Lord Gawan and his wife. Gawan criticised Anya’s idea of participating in the hunt and even accused her that perhaps her ‘adventurous behaviour’ might be a cause for the fact that she still not could get pregnant.
Lady Anya countered with the statement that this was not the diagnosis of Elen (the healer of Dragonport). Short after this the quarrel (which never gets very loud) seemed to have ended and Alyanna returned to her room.

***

Very early the next morning the hunting party started. The noises of horses, hunting dogs and hunters did wake up even the people who did not participate. The party consisted of most of the young knights, squires and lords (and also the older one) who could ride plus Lady Anya.
It was a clear, beautiful morning and everyone was eager to be the best when the dogs tracked a great deer. It was not easy and sometimes even dangerous to follow the prey. Gard did his best to stay at the top but some other hunters outmatched him.
Ser Strife did have bad luck when his horse jumped over a small wall – he failed, got unhorsed and even trapped under the fallen horse. Lady Anya immediately stopped to help him (as did Paedrig who had an eye on his aunt) while the other hunters followed the prey. In the end it was Ser Vickon who did catch the deer, killing it with one single sword stroke.
Skinning and take out the prey was a bloody business but none of the Aran men thought he was to ‘noble’ to do this job. While the hunting dogs did get the intestines of the deer, the hunters got small stripes of the fresh raw liver (an old but a little bit barbaric hunting tradition). When Ser Strife, Lady Anya and Ser Paedrig arrived it was obvious that Torrhen almost gloated over the misfortune of his tormenter.
Lord Gawan used the situation to remind his wife that this sport was certainly too dangerous for women. Her answer was that SHE did not fall from her horse, but than she apologized for her ‘unwomanly’ behaviour.
When Lord Aran wanted to get on his horse suddenly his saddle girdle split and he went down - right into the pack of hunting dogs. A yellow bitch (and I mean a female dog with this!) attacked him and must been killed. This dimmed the enthusiasm of the hunters because it was a bad omen (the arms of house Aran have a yellow dog in it)…

*

In the same time the castle was humming with the preparations for the big event (cooking, cleaning, decorating etc.). The small castle almost seemed TOO small and Lady Aran ordered and chased the service men and maids around mercilessly.
However for the honoured guests there was not much to do. Eric ordered a second breakfast and Alyanna wanted to socialise a little bit more with the Aran girls. But when she arrive Lady Meeras chamber she did hear some sort of argument and tried to listen secretly. She did hear only single words and half sentences, something about shame and worth of someone, a warning to be silent etc. but Alyanna could not detect who was speaking and who/ what was meant.
To get a look at the situation she silently sneaked away and then returned a little bit louder, knocking on the door and acting as if she had just arrived.
When she marched in Alyanna did actually find Meera Aran and her niece Elyssa (who seemed very disturbed). None of the three young Ladies mentioned the argument but when Elyssa left the room short after, she was followed by Alyanna. To get a real conversation with her was not easy because she tried to evade this and used every possibility (f. e. the duties of the festivity preparations and Erics arrival who also detected that something was going on) to get away.
But in the end Alyanna was able to get through her defence, noticing that Elyssa was deeply troubled by something that did have to do with the honour of her family – with rightfulness and trustworthiness. But Alyanna must also promise Elyssa that she would not reveal the source of her information and that she will do anything to prevent any harm for the honour of house Aran.
After this promise Elyssa did reveal the shocking and embarrassing truth: Her ‘aunt’ Meera (would-to-be-bride of Lord Gard) was pregnant – probably by Ser Pirron Strife.

Alyanna was uncertain what to do with this – but clearly she could not act as if nothing had happened. She secretly informed Eric Blyth and they both decided to bring this case to Meera’s mother but letting Elyssa out of the picture for the moment. Of course Lady Aran acted furious after hearing such a ridicules accusation. Eric (who was suspicious that Meera’s parents might already know about the pregnancy) could not detect any proof of this. She seemed really surprised and shocked. It was not easy to convince her that this even might be a possibility.
But then she stormed into the room of her daughter, creating quite a scene. Meera at first denied everything but under the threat of a medical examination by the castle master her defences seemed to falter. She did break down crying and confessed that she indeed was pregnant. As she told it Ser Piron Strife might have misunderstood her acting and feelings towards him and one evening when they were suddenly alone in the castle garden…
After this she was too ashamed to say anything about it.

In the same moment noises outside the building indicated that the hunting party was returning. The three (Lady Aran, Alyanna and Eric Blyth) left Meera Arans quarter and came to the conclusion that Ser Pirron Strife must be arrested immediately – but of course as calm and secretly as possible.
Following the ideas of Alyanna and Eric Lady Aran tried to separate Ser Strife from the public scene and the group of the lords, knights and honoured guests by ordering him to one of the (at the moment mostly abandoned) castle towers where two guards were waiting to arrest him.
However Alyanna and Eric (both with very keen senses) soon did hear some noises out of the tower (swearing, fighting noises etc.) which indicated that the arrest might not go as swift as planned. While Eric tried to convince Lady Aran to give him her ring so he could order additional forces into the fight (not so easy because she was in the middle of all attention and the whole operation should go as silent as possible), Alyanna simply grabbed Ser Paedrig (who stood more at the sideline of the scene), ordering him to go to the tower and help to arrest Ser Strife.
Although the young knight was a little perplex by this request he simply nodded and followed the orders. He arrived just in time to notice Ser Strife climbing out of a window of the tower. However his attempt to flee was blocked by Paedrig. The fight was unfair – Paedrigs sword against a simple club. In the end Ser Strife did get two nasty injuries and went to ground unconsciously. Of course the fight did get some attention by others but when Lady Aran did arrive the scene she was able to cover this by claiming that she ordered Ser Strife’s arrest because he had stolen some of the wedding gifts. Lord Aran ordered that Ser Strife should be brought to his quarters and that a guard should watch the door.

Then it was time to tell him the truth. Of course he was as furious and shocked as his wife (a second time Eric did not find any signs that this was only acting). Lord Aran also informed his eldest son and heir Ser Jonah. No decisions were made for the moment because Gard was not yet informed about the whole problem. However Lord Aran warned that time was thin and that everyone must act very careful to prevent a scandal. Because of this he also came to the conclusion that Ser Strife (still unconscious) should stay at his quarter for the moment although Lord Aran would have liked the idea to put him in jail. However he did not want any further attention for the moment…

***

P.S: Dear readers :D. I would be interested in your ideas how such a situation could/should be handled?
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Eisen » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:26 pm

Whoa ho! Did I call it or what? I knew something smelled like tuna! Great job Alyanna for figuring out the dirty little secret.

Once Gard finds out I expect him to be beyond pissed. Were I in his shoes I'd demand the bride price back at once. Clearly the wedding is off. I'd also demand some other form of compensation from the Arans for trying to pawn off damaged goods. More wealth or possibly lands. If they refuse then it's time to dust off the warfare rules!
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:11 am

Clearly if a wedding is canceled under such conditions the bride priece should be given back. And it would be a very good cause to cancel the whole thing.

But concerning the question of an compensation or waging war...
This is certainly tricky. Remember Gard is still a little uncertain and not a character who goes to war easily on his own. And there is still the question if Lord/Lady Aran did actually KNOW the...specific conditions of her daughter.

May I also remind you that starting warfare against someone who is certainly stronger than you (and has more allies) might be not a very wise idea? >:)
There are at least one house (the Fallkirks to be specific) that would be delighted to have such an opportunity.
None of the other houses are really a close friend of Dragonport (the relationship with the Dannetts might have increased but they will certainly NOT go to war with us against such an enemy) with the exception of house Blyth of Krayenhorn - only a landed knight and bound to the Arans by strong oaths. This would have some sort of dramatic quality (oaths against family and personal ties) but in the end Lord Gawan of Krayenhorn might follow his duties - even if this mean to go to war against his former squire (which he sees as a son he did not have).

To start war against your liege lord... (remember house Aran and Fallkirk had already extinct a local house only fifteen years ago. And Lady Aran is a Frey >:) )


"And so he spoke, and so he spoke,
that lord of Castamere,
But now the rains weep o'er his hall,
with no one there to hear." >:)
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Eisen » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:59 am

Pft I say, and another pft for good measure!

Firstly if I were in the Aran's shoes I wouldn't let it come to war. I'd give back the bride price right away and then offer some other form of compensation to smooth things over. I'd want to keep Gard and house Blythe on my good side. Even though I think I can win a war against them I still don't want them shoutting the sordid details of this scandal to everyone in the seven kingdoms.

From Gards point of view..time to man up and grow a pair! If you take this insult lying down then everyone will think your a chump! The house is sure to loose some respect and Influence over this affair. Don't be afraid of war with a superior foe. Numbers don't always equal victory. Use some cunning and strategy and prove you deserve to be Lord Blythe.

Besides he has the strong sword arm of newly minted SIR Paedrig on his side. Surely that will tip the odds against any foe using clubs.. :P
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:42 am

Hmm...but as I (as the game master) mentioned one or two times to Gards player his char acted sometimes a little bit to nice (and do not stand up enough). Might have something to do with the bad example of 'standing strong' and 'getting your will' his dead brother has given...
I can only give him options and hints (by npc) in the end it is upt to him to decide...
The Arans f. e. want that he still marry Meera but with a halfed down (or even more reduced) bride price. His mother opted for the replacement of Meera by Elyssa Aran. Eric is uncertain if he goes with Lady Blyth idea or still opted for Meera (but with a bride price of 0)...


Although i would say concerning this <<<if you take this insult lying down then everyone will think your a chump<< this would only be the case if someone (beside house Aran - which will be carefully enough to keep this quiet) did actually KNOW it. :wink:

And remember even the old, proude and mighty house Arryn of the Vale accapted such an 'damaged good' (Lysa Tully) for his Lord from a house that was only equal (at the best) not superior. O. K. the final result of this marriage was not very good... >:)
By the way it is funny that Littlefinger gets away so easily for his deeds. Comparing to the might of house Tully and Stark he was certainly worth no more than a hedge knight is for the Arans and Blyth. Getting pregnant one of the Tully girl and embarrassing the other, her family and her would-to-be-groom by his idiotic attempt to fight against a STARK! and than simply getting away with some little bruises and a little relocation...
Slicky, slimy, lucky bastard i must say...

I do not think Gard will go to war against his liege lord until they actually harm one member of the family or so. Far to much the *good son* and eager to not start a war on his own.
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Eisen » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:40 am

Good points. I hope Gard decides to man up and start taking some names, but if the player is willing to take things lying down then a good GM should always keep piling it on :)

As far as Lysa and John Aryan go, if I rember right that marriage was the price for getting the Riverlands invloved in Robert's Rebellion. Everyone knew Lysa wasn't a maiden but Hoster offered the armies of one of the seven kingdoms if a great lord like Aryan would take her off his hands. Seemed like a good trade at the time but all things considered it was a pretty raw deal :P
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:11 am

Since Paedrigs player (which acted als GM this time) did not have so much time, the last part of this report was written by me (as Gards player).

***

Wedding Knight Part IV

After Ser Pirron Strife was in custody it was time to tell Lord Aran the truth about his daughter Meera. Of course he was as furious and shocked as his wife (a second time Eric did not find any signs that this was only acting). After some swearing and threatening the health (and manhood) of the absent Ser Strife, Lord Aran informed his eldest son and heir Ser Jonah. No decisions were made for the moment because Gard was not yet informed about the whole problem. However Lord Aran warned that time was thin and that everyone must act very careful to prevent a scandal. Because of this he also came to the conclusion that Ser Strife (still unconscious) should stay at his quarter for the moment although Lord Aran would have liked the idea to put him in jail. However he did not want any further attention…

When Eric (not very tactful I must say) informed Gard about the pregnancy of his would-to-be-bride the young Lord reacted at first with disbelieve and than with anger, disappointment and sadness, feeling betrayed and fooled by Meera. A good marriage was one of the things he dreamed of and after the first meeting he had the illusion, that Meera might become a good lady. The news was like a knife from behind. For him it seems a little bit as if fate played a bitter joke with him again – first he become Lord, another thing he had secretly wished, but only because he was not able to rescue his brother, and now…
Alyanna tried to calm the waves while Gard’s mother, Lady Fiana, was angry too but ensured her son that he should and would act like a real lord. To have a closer eye on the villain Ser Strife, Eric ordered Paedrig to accompany the Aran guards who were watching at the door of Ser Strife’s chamber (he should also inform Eric or Gard if the Aran’s want to interrogate the hedge knight).

The atmosphere was very tense when the heads of house Aran and Blyth meet to decide what to do. Lord Aran was accompanied by his wife, his eldest son and the maester of Starbone while Gard was accompanied by his mother, sister and uncle.

It soon became obvious that Lord Aran seem to prefer ‘business-as-usual’: Meera should get rid of the unborn child by drinking moon tea, Lord Aran would half down the bride price (he might be willing to reduce the price even more), Lord Gard should marry Meera. Of course they must also get rid of Strife although this might be tricky because he was still a knight and only arrested by the allegation of stealing. Any open trial or ‘to harsh’ penalty might reveal the scandal or at least spread rumours. However perhaps if he would be ‘killed during a flight attempt’…
Concerning the idea with the moon tea for Meera, Lady Aran seemed a little bit concerned (as was the Maester) about the medical risks. An abortion was always dangerous and although the Maester did claim that under normal condition a healthy young women should have no problems (and would also not endanger her fertility by the procedure)…
Lady Fiana Blyth opted for another possibility – there was still another Aran girl who might be more trustworthy and ‘pure’ than Meera – Elyssa Aran. Meera could f. e. claim that she has found the faith and want to spend her live in service for the Seven instead of marry…
Of course such a solution would cost house Aran BOTH eligible girls and such a radical change one the day of the wedding could very likely wake some rumours…
Eric was not certain if he should support Lady Fiana or go with Lord Aran’s idea (but lowering down the bride price even more). Alyanna did stay mostly silent but was sceptic about the idea of her mother. After all Elyssa had revealed the pregnancy of Meera. To use her now as replacement bride seemed not very fair and Aly’ had promised to do anything to secure that no scandal emerge.
Gard was not certain what to do and claimed that he did need more time and that he did want to meet Meera before he would decide. This was accepted by Lord Aran but he warned Gard that there was not much time given the fact that the wedding was planned for this evening. To get more time both parties came to the conclusion that perhaps Lord Aran’s riding accident and Meera’s ‘illness’ of at the last day (f. e. because some ill prepared food) would give an opportunity for a little delay.
With this both parties separated for the moment. Alyanna suggested that the quarters of Ser Strife should be searched for any hints that there was more behind him than an honourless hedge knight – but Lord Aran more or less dismissed the idea of any conspiracy (also because Alyanna was only a girl and did not have any valuable facts or plausible theories).

Following the original wedding plan the next event should be some riding exercises of the young knights and squires to show their abilities with horse and lance. The event took place but given the fact that Lord Aran could not conceal his anger very well (his wife and his oldest son acted more convincing) and the absence of Lord Gard, Meera and Ser Strife the atmosphere was a little bit tense and the competition for the remaining participants certainly not very hard. Paedrig (who did get the allowance to leave his post at Ser Strifes door) obvious dominated the contest and was rewarded with a beautiful silver goblet although Lord Aran’s praise sounded only half hearted, leaving Paedrig a little bit disappointed (but still clueless). Lord Aran’s temper, the circumstances of his riding accident, the absence of Meera (plus the rumours about her illness) was the cause for some gossip and speculations although the real causes stayed hidden.

Eric and Alyanna had a short chat with Lady Aran and convinced her that it might be wise to send for Elen (the healer of Dragonport). Given the fact that the Maester of house Aran seemed uncertain about the risk of an abortion a women with a little bit more practice in such matters might be a good idea…
Although Lady Aran did not want any further witnesses of the shame of house Aran she could be convinced because of her fear for Meeras health (her husband seemed to care less in this case). Of course it was Paedrig who was sent away with the strict order (but without telling him the real cause) to bring Elen to Starbone as fast as possible. The young knight was a little bit curious (especially when Gard mentioned that Elens dream warning did come true) but followed his orders.

Meanwhile it was time for the next event (a poetry contest) although now it was declared that the marriage should be delayed for one day because of the ‘illness’ of Meera. To honour the young bride the event was relocated to the place under her window (when she showed up at the window Meera certainly looked ill enough to make the story about her illness plausible).
This was again a contest for the young nobles but this time both women and men could participate. This time Gard did participate to prevent any speculations about his absence although he was certainly not in a very happy mood.
However his love ballade was certainly the most moving recitation, followed by Elyssa Arans poem about the flight of the three dragons and (after her) Alyanna’s recitation of poem from the time of the coming of the Andals.
All other participants were certainly not as good (and Lady Anya again did show her sometimes a little bit…eccentric behaviour by choosing an ‘unladylike’ dark poem about the long night and the fight against the Others). Torrhen Fallkirks ballade about hopeless love and a knight’s struggle to get the attention of his untouchable lady d’amour was certainly nothing that Gard (or Lord Aran) could value at the moment.
The price for the winner was a flower that should be given the most cherished (or loved) person – for Gard a VERY bittersweet victory although he tried to not show it.

Gard than visited Meera but their bitter conversation did not help him to come to a conclusion. Beside apologies, self-hate, tears and the plea not to kill her innocent unborn baby – the last a thing he noticed with surprise because as far as he know she was raped – Meera had nothing to offer, sure not the explanation he wanted. Gard in fact did not blame her for her pregnancy – he had seen in his life more than one woman who had no choice – but for the lying to her parents and to him, even during her secret meeting. However he more and more toyed with the idea to accept Lord Arans solution that he should marry Meera Aran despite her lies because this would certainly mean that the Arans would be deep in his dept. Also any other solution might create the scandal he (and the Arans) did want to prevent, a scandal that may lead to some bad blood between both houses and would also harm the reputation of his house (as a “horned” groom and because another wrong-going marrying-project of the Blyths after the death of his brothers wife might lead to rumours about a “curse”). And last but not least he did not think that marrying Elyssa Aran might be a good idea because she seemed to be in love with another man (Torrhen), was eight years younger than he, and surely would be hurt as ‘bride-replacement’. To change a lying bride against an unwilling (and perhaps insulted) one was not SO appealing.
However when the Blyth family meet again his mother despised his idea and stated out vehemently that Elyssa Aran seemed to be at least trustworthy and would soon recognize the qualities of her new husband if she was not stupid. The old Lady Blyth also made it clear that she could never accept Meera as her daughter-in-law or gif this wedding her blessing. Gard should think more about the fait of his own house than the wish of house Aran to prevent a scandal. If he would marry Meera – how could he ever trust her to rein the house in his absence because of war etc.? And if the shameful truth ever came to light – what would this mean for his dealing with other lords? Eric supported her position (although only half hearted) while Alyanna (who still thought that she did owe Elyssa something) tended more towards Gards position. In the end Gard was still not able to come to a conclusion although he did know that the clock was ticking…

The evening meal in the great hall was not very a pleasant – at least for the people who did know about the actual problems (some of the others might still be troubled by the ill omen of Lord Arans riding accident). Outside the peasants who had come to celebrate danced and sung and cheered for the health of the bride (remember the spread rumours about a sudden illness) and a soon wedding at the next or the following day. They did have certainly more fun than some of the noble guests…
During the meal Torrhen Fallkirk rouse from his seat and claimed that he want to fight against Ser Pirron Strife who had spit on his honour and the honour of house Aran by stealing from the wedding gifts. Obviously the cover story for Ser Strife’s arrest seemed to him as a good opportunity to get revenge from his tormentor.
Lord Aran was not very pleased to be remembered of his problems, Elyssa was shocked and others (like Gard, Gawan and Jonah Aran, the knight-father) were at least sceptic about the chances of the young men. When Alyanna (in a mocking way) brought to attention the result of Torrhens last ‘training’ fight with Ser Strife and the fact that he was no knight yet, Lord Aran ordered the young man harshly to sit down and be quiet – there were others who might have more causes to call for a duel (a meaningful view towards Gard)…

After the meal ended the party split up. Alyanna made a short visit to Elyssa and found the young girl crying. It was almost impossible to calm her down. Elyssa feared that her two year older ‘aunt’ Meera and her grand parents would hate her if they ever found out her role in this whole tragic story.

Meanwhile Gard did have a short, strained conversation with Lord Aran who revealed that a first interrogation of Ser Pirron Strife had brought nothing substantial – beside some bumps and bruises for the young knight. But Strife simply claimed an open trial and accusation and beside this he did not say anything. And while Lord Aran wanted everything to keep under the radar he could not do what he desired most – to torture or even kill the arrogant bastard at the spot.
Lord Aran toyed with the idea that a duel (to the death) might be a good idea to get rid of Ser Strife – at least if someone more competent challenged him. But although Gard liked the idea to kill the man he warned that there would be still the danger that Strife did reveal the shocking truth. It would be wiser to finish him without giving him a possibility to fire up the rumours.
Lord Aran agreed and (inspired by some words of Gard) seemed to have find a solution. If he ‘banned’ the ‘thief’ (a certainly not too hard or suspicious punishment) some of Lord Arans could bring Ser Strife to a discreet place and get rid of him permanently. No one would find it curious if the ‘banned’ never show up again…
When Gard (like his sister) mentioned the possibility that there might be more behind ‘Ser Strife’ he did not get the reaction he intended because he mentioned the rumours that Ser Strife might be a bastard. Lord Aran seemed to know this rumours – rumours that indicated that Ser Strife might be HIS (or one of his sons) bastard. This was enough to fire up his anger and Lord Aran stormed out to set into motion the ‘putting beside permanently’ of Ser Strife. Gard went to the Septrie of the castle to pray and ask the Seven for guidance (they remained silent).

Hours later, after the last of the celebrating peasants had gone to sleep, Gard, Alyanna and Eric woke up when a small group of riders prepared to leave the castle – two men with a third (chained) one between them. Lord Aran did not lost any time…

***

It was still very early when loud knocking woke up Gard. Lord Aran stormed into the room swearing aloud – the two men who should ‘escort’ Ser Strife on his ‘way into exile’ did not come back.
With the shout ‘the prisoner has escaped!’ Lord Aran mobilized his men and only ten or fifteen minutes later his cavalry was ready to leave. Gard who wanted to participate in the hunt was stopped for a moment by Lord Gawan. The old knight certainly sensed that there was something more serious was going on beside the simple fact of a fleeing thieve. But when Gard stated out that he could not answer this, his old knight-father did not asked again.
Eric who did not think that accompanying the hunters would be a good idea (given his bad riding skills) decided to stay at Starbone. However fearing that Ser Strife might have left some ‘friends’ behind, Eric took his crossbow and positioned himself at a place on the castle walls from which he did have a good overlook – in the case of an sabotage attempt or something like that. Of course given the fact that the castle was still full of guests, peasants etc. and the fact that he did only know some of the more prominent members of the castle population it was not easy to decide if someone looked ‘out of place’…

Lord Aran was so eager that he not even waited for his master-of-hunt or the hunting dogs. Of course he did know where he should start his search – at the place were his men should kill Ser Strife and burry him secretly.
When the hunting party did arrived this place they found the bodies of two men – killed, brutally mutilated, their faces almost completely destroyed. One of the dead men was wearing the clothes of Ser Strife. A third man was missing and beside the corpses there was a small item made of branches and blood stained cloth. The tracks indicated that they were ambushed by three or four attackers. Could this mean that then men were killed by clansmen?
Gard was sceptic but it did cost some time to reveal that the man with Ser Strife’s clothing was NOT Ser Strife. More and more Gard came to the conclusion that his idea of an conspiracy was right – and that ‘Ser Strife’ might have something to do with (or might actually BE) Joren Ripon, the last scion of house Ripon which was almost extinct by house Aran and house Fallkirk during Roberts Rebellion. ‘Ser Strife’ has bullied Torrhen Fallkirk whenever he did have the opportunity and by raping/ impregnating Lord Arans daughter he has also damaged the honour of house Aran, and Gard had also suspicions about Lord Arans hunt/riding accident…

Such speculations did not help to calm Lord Arans temper. He did even beat one of his men to the ground because of a hapless (but ill placed) bad joke.
When the hunting dogs did arrive, the party tried to follow the tracks of their prey but this was not easy because the fleeing did have horses, a lead of 4-5 hours, and also did split up into three groups (two of two horses and one of one horse).

It might be that the whole situation (the fact that Lord Aran did know exactly where to look for the ‘fugitive’, the presence of two killed guards at the scene and the intervention of these unknown attackers could become a source of rumours and suspicion that there is more behind the whole thing than the lord wanted to say, endangering the cover-up attempts of house Aran and Blyth…

*

At Starbone Alyanna used the time to socialize a little bit more with Elyssa. This time the young girl was not so emotional than the last evening also still very troubled. But now her manners kicked in. Elyssa showed Alyanna some of her poems and ballads – the shy and reserved girl did certainly have talent.
The (only vague mentioned) possibility that SHE might marry Gard did not cheer her up so much.



In the early afternoon a very weary Paedrig did arrive at Starbone together with Elen. Both get time to rest.
In the meantime, the hunt after “Ser Strife” continues. Gard’s search-group could capture one of Strife’s men after a short fight – the other groups did only capture two horses. Gard asked if the prisoner could perhaps be used as an spy to follow Strife, promised a release from punishment and some money (he was sure that the loyalty under this scum was not very high – but their hunger for gold and life was), but Lord Aran and his oldest son Jonah followed a more…direct way. The prisoner was interrogated and tortured in the presence of Lord Aran and Lord Blyth and told them some disturbing facts. Although he did not really know if Ser Strife was “Lord” Ripon, this seems more and more likely. The prisoner mentioned that Strife had infiltrated the Aran-household indeed with the goal to attack and kill Lord Aran or perhaps one of his sons, against which he had an oath for revenge. But his attempts were unsuccessful, in one case the target had too many men, in the other he did not shows up at the place were his would-be-murders waited. The bunch of Ripon, who waited outside the castle and during the celebrities slipped in to prepare further action, was perhaps less than a dozen men strong and mainly located in the borderlands near the Mountains of Moon. The men were outlaws, half-civilized border-men and some who were even in this area seen as outcasts. “Strife’s” competent second in command was a female clanswarrior or halfblood called Nyra. This was exactly a woman how she was mentioned earlier in the hunt after Joren Ripon after his fouled murder-attempt in Dragonport. The spies at the castle noticed Strife’s arrest and so the group was aware when Aran’s men were on their way to finish him secretly. It seems that during his time at Starbone, “Strife” changed his mind what to do next. This caused some trouble between him and Nyra. She claimed, or so the prisoner told, he would loose a chance for his revenge only because of a nice face and two breasts. What he planed during the wedding was not entirely clear, but it seems that he had planed to kidnap Meera – with or without her knowledge. Even more unclear were his further plans after his escape, and while soldiers were sent to the possible meeting-points of the brigands which the prisoner reported, it seem very likely that Nyra and Joren did not trust her followers and meet on a secret place (indeed the hunt did not bring any result). There was no mercy for Joren’s man, he was doomed to death (but not now, because Lord Aran want not to much trouble at once). Both lords were now convinced that Ser Strife was indeed Joren Ripon, and his impregnating and rape – or whatever (Alyanna for example was uncertain if the young woman was really forced, what was what her brother and perhaps Meera’s father believed) – of Meera was perhaps some sort of honourless revenge against a easy target. Some could also think that he started to love Meera and changed his mind because of this, but it seems very unlikely to most (surely for Gard and Meera’s father), that she did start voluntary and knowingly a affair with a man which had try to murder her brother only short time ago.

Elen – which presence while allowed by Lady Aran angered Lord Aran, who want the number of witnesses be small – was ordered to examine Meera. She found out, that an abortion – while not without ANY risk – was possible without great danger. She seemed not happy with the idea to give this kind of medicine to a unwilling “patient”, but Gard persuaded her, that the unborn child could not be allowed to live in any case, anyway if Meera get married or not. An Aran-Ripon-bastard would be far too dangerous for house Aran (which hold land of the Ripons), and a constant risk for a disastrous scandal for herself and her family (and the family of her potential husband), much more because Joren still lived. Without a child it would hard to proof any rumours. If an abortion was not to avoid, it seems better if a competent healer take care (Gard – as a Blyth with a long tradition of relying on local healer – did trust Elen more than the local Maester who himself seems to be unsure).

While Gard was still uncertain what to do (his mother and uncle prefer the idea of changing the bride, his sister did oppose this), Lord Aran forced his daughter to accept her bitter fate. He told her, partly because of Gard’s arguments, the true identity of “Ser Strife”. Perhaps this betrayal did together with the pressure count heavy enough, and Meera which had defiant defended her unborn child before, changed her mind drastically. She did accept her father’s demand, asked Gard a second time tearfully for pardon and promised to be him a good wife, if he would accept her still. It was a hard fighting with words in the Blyth-family and a difficult decision, but in the end Gard decided to go on with marriage with the same bride. He had different motivations for this highly questionable and dangerous decision. On the one hand he still feel a little bit guilty to Meera, because he had sworn her an oath at Krayenhorn (also he did not know what she kept secret at that time, an voluntarily oath to the Seven is an oath). And he wanted in any case and for nearly any cost to secure the alliance with the Arans. He believed that his house desperately needed this, facing open and secret foes (the clansmen, the Lugus, perhaps the Falkirk’s or even the mysterious “fox cubs”) and hard times in the future. It seems clear for him, that future battles sure and soon would come, and for that day he want a strong connection with the local “big man”, who know how much he owe him. To give up his plan of a marriage with the Aran’s would also mean to loose in his first big project as lord (the alliance and the creation of the border-watch was very much his idea, also the daily work was in parts done by others). That danger he thought he could not accept, because he thought he must desperately proof – other people, himself and even the Seven – that he was at least as good if not better than his murdered brother. Additional, he tends to be a loyal follower to superior authorities he could admire and respect – his father and knight-father before, and now lord Aran. In addition he believed that a marriage with Elyssa would more likely lead to a scandal (changing the bride shortly before the wedding night would create suspicions). He also did not believe that it would be not a better start to marry a bride which secretly (or not so secretly) loves another man, as wedding a lying one. Also he think that Elyssa was clearly for now not able to manage her duties as lady and would of course feel deeply insulted if he chooses her as a “replacement” after he had courted her aunt. Last but not least the lower bride-price and Meera’s beauty did play a role. He was – of course – not lucky with the circumstances, uncertain about how much he could trust his future wife (and aware of the coming trouble in his family, because his mother claimed she would nether accept…THIS PERSON…as her new daughter), but it seems for him and the house the smaller “evil”. But he know, if the truth ever came to light, he would be a joke for everyone a week of travel around. On the other hand, his uncle Eric and he could convince Lord Aran to reduce the bride-price to one point of Wealth and to convince him (at least for now) that he was deep in dept towards the Blyth.

The marriage goes on as planed and only people with good awareness could see that not everyone was as lucky as he or she should be. Meera played her part perfect (Gard was less successful). Precious gifts were given and accepted, clothing, jewellery, horses, a falcon and so on, mostly to the bride and groom, but the presents to the Aran-family were also expensive. Oaths were spoken in front of the Seven under surveillance of Septa Jonelle (with this Erick’s deal with her was fulfilled, although if the details of the marriage ever would leak out, this could cause trouble), money was spend to the peasants. Meera Aran has become Meera Blyth. The feast went on, and there was very much and very good food and drinking even for a lordly table - even wine from the Arbor. Erick did not let the circumstances minimize his appetite for food and wine, while Alyanna looked nervous after any possible problem (for example between her mother and sister-in-law), but nothing happened. The newly wed couple was escorted to Meera’s chamber, were they stayed alone.

The next day the guests went home to their different locations. The local people welcomed the couple during the voyage, and at Dragonport, Paedrig, who rides faster than the rest, organized a good welcome. Erick presented his gift of around 200 dragons – a generous gesture which was warmly welcomed and praised from his nephew. The new lady was presented to the people of the castle. One or two days later, the prepared feast take place – very well organized, but more expensive as hoped. Although the old Lady Blyth could only half-hearted conceal her anger, Erick and Alyanna did their best to avoid any scandal. The feast did give surely Gard and his young wife a lot of good publicity under the townspeople.
Secretly Gard ordered Erick and Peadrig to be his best man – not for the marriage, but for the hunt after Joren Ripon (which was outlawed under his false identity Ser Pirron Strife, because the Aran’s did not want a public confirmation, that a Ripon was still alive, at least for now). A high bounty was promised by house Blyth, 50 dragons for Joren alive, 40 for a dead one (or severe punishment if anyone try to get money for a false head) and 10 for any information which lead to the killing or capture of the outlaw. Also any member of his bunch which helped to capture or kill him should get amnesty. House Aran join the hunt, and even the Falkirk’s – which did only know that Strife harmed Torrhen, the heir of the current Lord – become part of the manhunt, with requests of help to the other neighbours.
Even more secretly, Erick asked Alyanna to keep an eye on the new lady (although he tried to convince his sister-in-law to accept the new facts and his nephews bride), what the young woman promised and started to secure. And Alyanna himself did not forget her private intrigues – she started to search with the help of her net of “little birds” after able bounty-hunters and after a person, which she could use as a false outlaw to infiltrate Jorens men and hunt this threat to death.
Some days later, Meera had to drink the bitter medicine which aborted her child. She did as was demanded without signs of resistance; a procedure which seemed to work without further complications, beside that it is never an easy thing, although her pregnancy was not long. How she and her husband will live together is for now unclear, while the marriage is still not consummated, because Gard take care for the young woman who he think needs time to overcome a rape (or so he thought) and an abortion…
Altogether, the future of house Blyth is still uncertain and in danger. They have gain a strong ally, but also a new foe, and the possible scandal hangs over them or at least over Gard and his wife. How the new lady will act is unclear, the internal peace in the family is threatened with the old lady strongly oppose the new one. Additional taxes to the Frey’s, the cost of the marriage, the arming and creating of the border-guards and some attacks of brigands against the road from Dragonport to the inner Riverlands did reduce the wealth-reserves and income of house Blyth nearly to zero, although better months seem to be on the horizon. As ever, the future is in deep mists…

****

P. S.: During the whole adventure Paedrig was often a little preoccupied because he used every (rare) possibility to increase Lady Anya Blyth’s disposition towards him (he had even buy a small silver mirror with ivory frame in Kings Landing for her). In the end he was successful although this did cost much time and was not easy because Lady Anya’s resentments towards the bastard nephew of her husband (in game terms my char started a charm intrigue and won – but only by burning a destiny point. Quiet costly but given the fact that the affection for his ‘aunt’ is an important part of Paedrigs character…).
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Eisen » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:13 am

Welcome to the forums Gard! I don't know if you made the right call there. By going ahead with the marrage you give up any leverage you had over house Arran plus you hitch yourself to a wife that has proven to be devious and untrustworthy. It still was a great read and sounds like it was a very intense session! I hope it works out for you...

Edit: Just rembered..you didn't consumate the marriage either? :o That is liable to cause our hero Gard a few problems as well, dispite his good intentions. Tyrion Lanister knows what I'm talking about here ;)
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:10 am

On the other hand he has won a house which owe him - and which fate is now connected with house Blyth. Sure, if it ever come to light...better not to think about. As honour-bound as he is, he was the wrong person to use the secret as pressure against the Arans (aside from the way he actually did - reducing the bride-price to a quarter) :roll:
Actually the char has used the "forces of destiny" to avoid a total disaster from the beginning of this marriage (this mean, burned a DP). This make not sure that it will go well, but it let a least a chance... :wink:

Your other point... well, it is not so that he has no interest in Meera, although the alliance was also very important. But for now...perhaps SOME man find it not very appealing to sleep with a woman who was raped shortly before (so he think - it may not be true) and who has just aborted a child (medical problems of a short-term new pregnancy aside). He needs and wants a wife who at least respect him, not one who dies in childbed nine months after the marriage (remember the ill fate of his brother’s wife? Second such case in the huse would mean bad, bad karma, and is surely nothing he want). This and the fact that he is unsure how much he could trust his new wife calm his temper down a bit.
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:05 am

An old story part I
___________

This adventure was rather unique given the fact that it played during the Greyjoy Rebellion almost nine years before our normal adventures. But we wanted to integrate a short term visitor in the game play and his old group (which he had to leave because of his job) played their campaign short after Roberts Rebellion. We tried to combine the timelines and therefore…perhaps it is a story which Lord Gard told some entrusted people on one long evening in the castle of Dragonport…

*********

The adventure started in the late phase of the Greyjoy Rebellion. The Lannister fleet at Lannisport was burned month ago and also the Ironfleet was already destroyed by Stannis, leaving only scattered remnants of their naval forces. Robert’s troops had landed at Pyke and other islands and marched forward to besiege the dark heart of treachery.
The troops of Dragonport (200 personal-guards and bowmen) under Viserion Blyth together with 20 horsemen under Ser Gawan Blyth of Krayenhorn (accompanied by Ser Gawans 14 years old squire Gard Blyth of Dragonport) marched towards the coast to be shipped to Pyke as reinforcements for the royal troops.
On their marsh they were also reinforced by 100 personal guards of Ser Igen (the pc of our visitor), Lord of house Horn. He had married the only heiress of this house five years ago and took the name of her family after her house fought on the wrong side during the civil war and lost again ser Igens house Isenband. Initially Ser Igen wanted to send more troops but his wife (after a rather stormy start of their relationship they both had learned to accept each other) convinced him that it might be unwise to strip house Horn of most of his power – given the fact that the times were really uncertain and some of the neighbouring houses might use the good opportunity…

The marsh to the coast was rather uneventful; some small contingents of landed knights and little lords came as reinforcements, giving the whole contingent strength of ca. 400 men (plus baggage). The Situation between Ser Igen and Viserion was not clear. Viserion seemed to assume that by commanding the most men he was also automatically the commander of the whole army and Lord Igen did not want to push the matter.
At Whitecliff, a small tower at the coast with a natural harbour nearby, the troops meet ‘Admiral’ Moran Farman of Faircastle, commander of the ships which should bring the troops to Pyke. However the ‘fleet’ did not look very convincing – a crude mixture of cogs and merchantmen ships, sometimes in a bad shape. Also the number of the ships was not very promising, especially if additional forces of other local houses might arrive in time…
The air was very cold between Viserion and the ‘Admiral’. Lord Igen did his best to calm the waves and to keep his troops in good order (he did not want any misbehaving). Likewise Viserion and Gard kept their troops in order while they waited for the promised additional troops and ships.

However the whole army and fleet were not very watchfully, because everyone believed that the Ironfleet was destroyed. This was a mistake. During the fourth night, a small group of longboats (perhaps only raiders or survivors of the Ironfleet) attacked the ships, setting some of them on fire and killing a significant number of sailors. The troops at land were not able to do much until the archers were organized and started shooting.
For Gard it was his first ‘real’ battle and quiet traumatic although there was no close combat. But the chaos, the incoming arrows, the fire etc…
However the young squire did his best to do his duty and fired at the attackers while the lords tried to organize and command the resistance.
But when the ironmen finally sailed away they left behind almost half a dozen ships destroyed and some more damaged. This disaster did not improve the atmosphere between Viserion Blyth and the ‘Admiral’ – both blamed each other for the losses while Lord Igen and Ser Gawan tried their best to prevent any bloodshed between them.

Short after this news arrived that the promised reinforcement of House Wirot, one of the local houses, would not join them (supposedly because the danger of raider attacks). Given the fact that there was an old feud between house Wirot and Lord Igens house he did not trust the message (and was glad that his wife had convinced him not to send all of the mobile troops).
Viserion now urged not to waste more time waiting for additional ships or troops (which MIGHT come or not) but to get on board immediately. The ironmen might come back (perhaps even with more ships). If the forces left the harbour immediately it would be perhaps harder for the ironmen to find them – and anyway ships full of soldiers and archers would be a much harder opponent for raiders.
However after the ironborn raid there was not enough space for all troops, baggage and horses. Together with Lord Igen Viserion ‘convinced’ Ser Gwan (he did not have many choices) that the horses of his cavalry must be left behind. Ser Gawans men should form an infantry unit together with the small contingents of the local houses. Also the horses of the noble men and much of the baggage must be left behind.

The sailing trip to Pyke should be not longer than 3-5 days (depending on wind and weather). However even for such a short time the situation on board was very unpleasant for most of the ‘passengers’ (even for the noble men it was very cramped). Lord Igen gets really sea sick but most of the other lords and commanders (and even Gard) deal better with the circumstances. The first two days of the sail were quiet uneventful – no ironborn ships but a patrol of royal galleys on their way to the next friendly harbour for forage and repairs. The news were good but urged for more speed – Castle Pyke was already under siege from land and sea so if the reinforcement want to participate in the battle…
Beside this King Robert (or the men around him) had ordered the other fleets to raid some of the other islands, hunt down the rest of the raiders and ironfleet and spread terror.
During the third day the weather changed dramatically and the fleet was hit by a real storm. It was quiet a horrible experience for Lord Igen (Gard coming from a harbour town with relatives on the Sisters was a little bit more experienced with bad weather).
The convoy managed to stay together more or less (although some of the smaller ships get lost) but when suddenly land was sighted in the morning and some of the ships stranded no one did know what island this might be. Anyway it soon became clear that this was hostile territory when armed men gathered at the strand and the first arrows fly.

Lord Viserion ordered his troops to get on land and the other commanders followed his example. The landing was chaotic and it was real luck that the ironmen were clearly outnumbered (a raider unit and an undermanned archer unit against two personal guard units, one infantry unit and an archer unit). However Lord Igens troops did have some losses before the enemy forces were beaten and retreated to a small village were they try to regroup but were smashed again together with the local defence forces (in game terms an upgraded peasant levies unit). For young Gard Blyth it was his first battle with close combat and the first time he killed a man face to face.

After the hostile forces were destroyed some of the troops (and also some of the sailors which also landed) began to pillage and burn the small settlement, killing, maiming and raping the villagers (ironmen and thralls all together). While Lord Igen and Ser Gawan tried (successfully) to keep their own troops in order, Viserion was not able (or not willing) to do so. When Gard tried to stop some of the bloodthirsty soldiers (who were mutilating a boy of perhaps twelve years or younger) on his own he get into serious trouble. He was able to knock down two of the soldiers but was severely injured by the others – perhaps only Ser Gawan’s timely arrival spared Gard a bloody death or maiming by ‘friendly blades’. The plundering went on for some time.

After the pillaging finally ended it also cost some time to bring the baggage on land, aid the wounded and getting information where the troops actually had landed.
The good news was that this was actually the island of Pyke – and the bad news that they were some days away from the royal army.
Now was the question was what to do next. Viserion urged for an overland trip towards Castle Pyke. He also wanted to burn the stranded ships and organize the crew as some sort of marines. ‘Admiral’ Moran Farman of Faircastle urged for another approach – he wanted that the troops stay until the stranded ships were repaired, than the troops should be transported to Castle Pyke.
Gawan and Lord Igen did not want to burn the stranded ships but also did not want to wait here. In the end it was decided that the troops should march to Castle Pyke while the crew of the ships stay at the captured village until the ships were repaired. Faircastle was not very happy to be left behind in hostile territory but against the united front of three commanders he did not have any chances. Viserion ‘recruited’ three local scouts (he promised them that he will maim them if their description of the way to Castle Pyke might differ).
While the lords and commanders organized their troops Gard could only cure his injuries. He surely felt sick and depressed after what he has seen – war seems much less honourable than he thought. Ser Gawan stated out that his squire had acted honourable but stupid – while Viserion mentioned that his brother had acted only stupid. Viserion was concerned about his younger brother but also angry about his stupidity. A mere squire without real authority who tries to stoop raiding soldiers…

The next morning the troops began their march towards Castle Pyke – still almost 400 men strong but with only food for two or three days so they must be quick. Because of this the commanders ordered light package – all booty which was too heavy or cumbersome must be left behind (like all prisoners and ‘rescued’ thralls).

The first day was mostly uneventful beside a short skirmish with a little group of ironmen which attacked the column but quickly retreated after some minor losses on both sides. In the evening the troops built a camp and set up watch-posts around.
Lord Igen decided that it was time to discuss the matter of command with Viserion (this question was still a little bit open although Viserion seem to think that it was all clear) and asked the other commanders for a meeting.
Before the meeting Viserion ordered his brother Gard to his tent because it was time that he ‘learned something more about being a grown up man and knight’.
When Gard arrived at Viserions tent he found a young ironborn woman (perhaps 18 or so) and Viserions message that he did have an hour until Viserion return from the meeting.
The name of the woman was Swenja. She seemed unharmed but was afraid although she tried to not show it. Obviously Viserion (while to proud to plunder and rape like his men) was not too proud to give a captured girl the choice to be his ‘salt wife’ (and get some sort of protection) or…
Gard was furious because of the acting of his brother and because Viserion thought that Gard would appreciate such a ‘gift’. After all he had very clear imaginations about knightly honour, although he had learned a hard lesson about this in the last battle. So when Swenja tried to convince him to let her go he did not even argue and helped her to get out of the camp.
In the meantime Lord Igen was able to ensure some sort leading role in the expeditionary force by mentioning his superior military skills (f. e. he participated in Roberts Rebellion etc.) although Viserion was not very lucky about this.
When he returned to his tent and noticed that his ‘salt wife’ was gone he beat Gard unconscious and whipped some of the guards. Although Gard later tried to ease the pain of the whipped guards by giving some money his reputation now was certainly damaged (first fighting against some of the own men and than helping a prisoner to escape…).

(The narrator was a little bit surprised because he had thought that convincing Gard to help Viserion’s “salt wife” would cost more time. Ok, this situation was a classic scheme. But at least the girl was not a princess incognito and they did not start an affair *g*).
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:09 am

An old story part II

The next day see the troops on their march to Pyke Castle. There was little resistance – some arrows and stones were launched from the mist, out of the cover of bushes and hills. Since the soldiers of King Robert had neither scouts nor riders, there were little what they could do. They suffered some injuries, but no one was killed. The troops marched battle-ready, Lord Igen’s house-guard in the first position, with him and his personal squad, behind them the archers and after them Viserion’s house-guard, on the rear the mixed infantry under command of Ser Gawan. Gard, which stayed on the side of his knight, asked if it was not possible to answer to this small-scale attacks with one or two volleys of the complete archer-unit (even if that would kill not many enemies, it would sure hurt and frighten them), but Gawan dismissed this because the archers had not much ammunition. The lands were almost empty, but the soldiers did also not search after the smaller settlements and castles, which may be located some miles away from their path.

In the evening the camp was prepared again. There was a meeting of the commanders (now under the control of Lord Igen, Gard was not present – result of his earlier wrongdoings), in which Igen, Viserion and Gawan decided to make a march of force on the next day to reach the main army.
In the middle of the night there was alarm, because several fire-arrows were fired from covered positions around the camp. Some tents seem to burn. Lord Igen and also Gard get their weapons and rushed to the scene, but there was no greater damage. While Lord Igen give up his first secret thinking, that this may be a probing-attack to cover a secret entering of the camp on another place, Gard – who had exactly the same idea – went to the opposite side of the camp. And he was right – some ironmen seem to try to enter, crawling to the tents of the commanders. He cried out loud, and while soldiers rushed to the scene, he had to face one of the raiders. Both had to fight in uncertain light, but Gard slew his opponent in single combat, only to be nearly attacked by his comrades who mistaken him for an intruder. He could convince them from his identity. Some of the raiders were killed, but most escaped. Gard’s booty was an axe and an iron ring, but more important, he got back the respect of Ser Gawan.

The next day, the troops marched in hurry. No new attack happened so far – the enemies seemed to be repulsed by the failed attack in the night. Soon it becomes all to clear that the main army was near. The field were burned, the villages and lonely houses destroyed, with decaying corpses of animals and people everywhere. The soldiers marched trough ashes and dust. After noon the soldiers of Lord Igen spotted a lonely man, wandering in their direction. He did not wear any colours and showed no signal of fear or any other emotions as he closed the distance to their ranks. Lord Igen demanded to know who he was, but he did not answer. Then – as he was only some yards away – he burst out in a fighting frenzy, which hit the soldiers in surprise. None of them had ever thought that a single man could be so stupid to attack a whole unit. So he wounded mortally one man and slightly another, before he was hacked to pieces. Even Lord Igen who had seen combat several times before was shocked.
Evening was near when the next living people were spotted, a unit of cavalry. They wear the arms of house Waterman (minor house of the North). They greeted the reinforcements and shortly after the main army were reached.

The camp of Robert’s army was huge, tens of thousands of soldiers and army followers from the North, the Westlands, the Reach, some from the Riverlands and also (as part of the fleet) from the Stormlands. Lord Igen was able to secure the troops under his command a moderate place in the camp. He and his sub-commanders (including Gard, who now again escorted his knight but of course remained silent) meet Lord Eddard Stark, who was some sort of second-in-command. The Lord of Winterfell was not very lucky, that the numbers of the reinforcements were smaller than anticipated – a chance for Lord Igen to put all blame on house Wirot. Lord Stark did not say anything further about the fact. He might not be very happy that some lonely ships of the Iron Isles had damaged the reinforcement-fleet, but he did not directly blame the lords in front of him. He pointed out that the great attack against Castle Pyke, the final battle of the rebellion, would come in a few days. Tha plan was simple. After a hail of stones from the siege weapons against an already weakened section of the wall, ladders and siege towers would support an assault against the broken walls. Of course numerous lords want to be the first in the attack (or at least her troops to be the first). Since the reinforcements had no high status, they get not a really prominent role. The archers of Dragonport would support other units, Ser Gawans mixed infantry would be some kind of reserve, and the personal-guards of house Horn and Dragonport would be take part in the assault, but not on the first place.

The next two days the troops rested, and their lords prepared for battle. Gard meet some other squires and together they discover the camp, looking from distance after the famous or infamous men in the army. During that time, Pyke was under constant fire, and the Ironmen could only answer with few archers and some smaller siege weapons. Gard convinced Lord Gawan to send him to the archers (he did know that he surely would not be allowed to march in the house-guards ranks, and he stayed away from his brother, but he did not want to see the whole battle from distance). He got what he want with the strict order to stay in the ranks and follow any order of the centenar of the archers.
The last evening before the assault a great feast was hold for the lords, their heirs and famous fighters. Lord Igen and the other lords joined the crème de la crème of Westeros’ knighthood, most minor men and squires like Gard stayed outside and watched the famous men like Lord Lannister, the King, the members of the Kingsguard and so on come (and they could also HEAR King Robert very well during the following eat-and-drink-contest).

On the next morning the dogs of war were released. A storm of stone, iron and fire hit the walls of Pyke. The main castle of house Greyjoy lays on small islands and cliffs, but could only attacked after a breakthrough against the main wall on solid ground. A maritime landing was impossible, but the ships of the king did their best to add their firepower to the siege-weapons on land.
The walls of Pyke Castle were broken, and the armies of the Seven Kingdoms (all which were there) marched forward. Only some fire came from the walls, the towers and the huge fortified gate of the wall. A red priest with a burning sword was the first who passed the broken walls, soon followed by other soldiers. Lord Igen ordered his soldiers to march in marching-formation, as soon as he was allowed to follow the first assault-forces. Viserions used an open formation, which slowed down his men, but helped them against enemy fire. This seemed the better decision, because Lord Igen’s men got enemy fire and suffered some losses by scorpion bolts. Even the Lord himself was hit, but rescued by his solid Plate-armour. Gard did his duty in the ranks of the archers – a not very glorious, but necessary duty, but they had to stop to fire when the walls were reached.
Lord Igen led his forces trough the hole in the walls, soon attacking an already damaged unit of enemy raiders. The battle-tired Ironmen were no match for house Horn’s trained and well armed soldiers and exterminated in short time, causing nearly none damage in return. Viserions troops joined other soldiers which attacked the wall-towers and their garrisons. The enemy tried to retreat to the main castle, and the refugees, who had come to Castle Pyke but did not get shelter in the main keep, fall prey to the marauding soldiers of King Robert. The Battle became a chaos mixed with massacre, but the fight was not over.

Ladders now were sent into the chaotic scenes inside the castle. The archers were ordered forward to support the assault against the huge bridge-tower which protected the stone bridge from solid ground to Pyke’s great keep. Gard’s unit joined the fire of the King’s ships and other units, and at least one man was sent crying down from the walls by one of his arrows.
Lord Igen reorganized his men, so that he had to march behind Viserion’s troops, who did not rest so long. Both units start to scale the walls of the bridge-tower, and finally going over the top of the walls. But in this moment message came, that Castle Pyke had surrendered – the rebellion was over.
This did not end the horror for the refugees inside the walls (the main keep and the towers were safe). Few lords (like lord Igen, but not Viserion) were willing to stop their men from plundering, killing and raping. Gard helped his centenar to keep order in the ranks of the archers, which was only partly successful. He did what he could to help people who may cross his way, but he respected his order to stay in the ranks of his unit. So he made no booty, did not face a real risk and helped not much. For him, what he saw, heard and smelled on that day seemed a view of the Seven Hells – even more than on the day of landing. He had to learn that not only common men but also nobles and knights like those he wanted to join could act like savages. He surely never forgot the cruelties he had seen on Pyke.

After the battle and pillaging ended house Greyjoy had to bend his knees again. The Lord and his sole surviving son Theon must join a feast, in which the army of King Robert celebrated the victory. The young boy should sent away to be a ward at Winterfell (his only other surviving child, Theon’s older sister Asha, could stay away for security reasons). Lord Igen had a good, but not prominent place in the feast, but got more honour (that he had earned quite a lot) than money or booty from the victory. But he could be sure, that his soldiers learned a lot from the fights which they fought under his command. Viserion was knighted on the broken walls of Pyke Castle, after he fought remarkable well and also rescued a son of house Bracken.
The way home went well for all, but the welcome was a very mixed one. Lord Igen, which was glad to have lost only few men, had to learn that house Wirot had used the absence of him to raid the lands of his old house Isenband. Also the land of house Horn had suffered some losses (Wealth reduced by one). So it seems all too clear, that soon house Horn would call to arms again, to punish his treacherous neighbours. It was now in the hand of the Father, the Smith and the Warrior to decide if the battle-hardened soldiers of house Horn could take revenge.
Ser Viserion and Ser Gawan travelled home without greater problems, but some people thought that the war had hardened and darkened Viserion’s character further. His brother Gard had killed his first man (and two others had soon followed) and had gained some honour and glory to do well for a youngster of 14 in his first battles. He also had rescued his first maid (more or less) and learned some bitter lessons about war. At home he did again serve as squire to Ser Gawan in Krayenhorn, as loyal and dutifully as ever, if not more. He was knighted more than a year later with around 16. After that he did return to Dragonport, making his father proud and serving him well as steward in Dragonport. But between him and his brother the relations stay frosty at best – and did not grow better in the following years…
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Eisen » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:53 am

Flashback stories are always fun. Your lucky there's no trouble makers in your group who would have tried to kill Viserion or something to destroy the entire space time continum!!

It would be cool if we see some of the characters pop up in the main story. Perhaps Gard's 'salt wife' survived and seeks him out after all these years to offer advice or warn of danger. Lord Igen (or his heirs) might ask the players for help against his old rivals the Wriots.
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:40 am

Well, we will keep that in mind - in fact, there was the idea if we later play perhaps a session with later events concerning house Horn, but that is not clear (the winter...erm, I mean the war is coming, so very soon the fokus may shift to the greater politics...).
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Eisen » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:15 am

Do you mean that the events of the books will soon be happening in your campaign? If so the Vale is mostly untouched by the wars and whatnot. That should leave you with plenty of time to persue your own agendas.

Unless of course Ser Paedrig wants to make a name for himself when the Trial of Tyrion comes along. I'm sure Ser Vardis Egan would step asside and allow our hero to defend Lady Lysa's honor ;)
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:41 am

Yes, indeed, the events in the books will have impact soon. While we take the joust in Peril at King's Landing as the fest for the name-day of Roberts heir, Lord Arryn had died short ago. In a little while, the King will riding north, and we know what followed.

And while Dragonport (which is located not in the Vale, but north of the "outside" of the Mountains on the coast of the bite, and is a part of the Riverlands) is safe for most events in the war in the Riverlands, it will be effected. Surely Lord Frey will call his men to arms, when young Robb marches south, and this could include the Arans and their loyal bannermen (of course the Blyth of Dragonport, now smitten to the Arans not only by oath but by marriage and dark secrets). And who knows which men are chosen to help Lord Walders would-be-son-inlaw in the south?

With the little fight for the little dwarf we have very likely nothing to do (we are sworn to the Arans, not Arryns), but what this little dwarf do later (his arms-deal with the clansmen) could perhaps soon or later hit also Dragonport, if the weapons are distributed unter the tribes...

We will see.
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Nirnaeth » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:38 pm

Have been reading your log on my way to work for the past week and I daresay you must have had treemendous amounts of fun. The universe you write about sounds vibrant and consistent, and one can only hope one's game will be half as fun. Keep us informed! :D
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:53 am

Thanks, it is good to hear that you find it interesting. We will of course try to report the further events. The next log may perhaps not so dramatic as Peril at King's landing and Wedding Knight, the events are more the daily duty in keeping a castle working, or so it seems at least for now...
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