Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Sun May 27, 2012 6:49 am

Here some new events - not so dramatical as in the past, but it takes also time, and I think "house-management" ist not always deadly intrigues and bloody combat...

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Salt, wood and steel, part one
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Some weeks have past since the lord Blyth of Dragonport returned home with his young bride. The situation in the castle and town has changed little. On the upside things seem to go well. The financial losses could partly be compensated by good management, trade has increased. But there are hidden problems, which may come to surface sooner or later. The regular hunt after Joren Ripon hasn’t brought any result, and even Alyannas more secret attempts did not help until now. There is a covered conflict going on between the mother and the bride of the lord (more from the side of the mother), all to clear to all which could see true, but never in the open. While Gard treats his wife courteous and friendly, hearing her opinion and even giving her some minor duties, there is some distance between the two, even after Meera recovers from her “illness”. She is not – at least for now – the real lady of Dragonport, a hidden mistrust stands between the two. Gard did not know how much he could trust her, and what she thinks about him is unknown. Meera is well respected in the town (after the successful feast) and even by most of the people on the castle, but some members of the household did notice the hidden conflicts.
Clearly Gard’s general trust in other people and even more in his own abilities to judge them, to see through deceptions and intrigues, is damaged. He reacted as ever in times of conflict, burying himself in work, laughing even fewer than before, praying and working even more, relying on people who seem to need and respect his judgement and command (soldiers and townspeople) – and trusting those who showed that they are hard to fool, like Alyanna and Erick. He respect also Elen, more and more believing, that she may be indeed have some ,special abilities’. Even Paedrig get some benefits from the last events, his quick reaction when Alyanna send him to arrest Ser “Strife” helps him to get promoted to the formal champion of Dragonport, petty-captain of the house-guard. The young knight tried to hold contact with Krayenhorn, and indeed his last intrigue (charming his aunt) seemed to have work. On the other hand, being trusted by lord Gard means at first more duties as an officer and less time for any other things. Since Paedrig could not write (he try to learn, but this takes time) there are few possibilities to holding contact to Krayenhorn – anyway to which person.
Lord Erick seems more or less satisfied. His manufactory seems to work better and better, Eaglewood sending him wool exclusively, and he slowly works on the arrangement of a marriage between Ruben Piper and a girl from the Townsmen-Family, to boost his influence on both. He also recruited his personal bodyguard of five men, a hedge-knight Roger Brecon of Stonegate (fourth son of a small house on the Fingers, an able fighter but not very noble indeed) and four sworn swords (all of them men he meet during Peril at King’s Landing). Paedrig take part in training the men, which were paid by Erick alone (and are not part of the regular forces).
Alyanna had also found another field of interest – after the strange whispers about Elen’s abilities she has started to read about magic what she could found (in fact not very much). The whole family did hold contact with the Weymouth, to supporting a further project of the Aran’s, marrying the heiress of Weymouth with Vickon Aran of Starbone.

In the neighbourhood, not all things went well. House Dannett is still dealing with the consequences of their two nearby-wars with Dragonport, and surely lord Dannett is hit hard by the illness of his son and the shame of his daughter (Ruben Piper claims his money, after he had not got his bride), while Tygor Wyl’s presence at the Dannett-castle may create a little glimmer of hope for the family. Their wealth is reduced, and while the trade with Dragonport did increase again, they sure are not out of trouble. The shadows of the past are strong, rumours and mocking songs coming in, about the “lady of the whores”, the “many times consummated apple” (a pomegranate is the sign of the house), about the tree, on which this apple hung and was picked (Iris worked also in the Green Tree Inn) – songs, which are stunningly detailed. This brought the possibility of further conflicts, because in the area the Blyth’s were those who know most outside the Dannett-family…
Gard reacted swift, letting one or two minstrels the choice between getting beaten and their instruments crushed, or to praise the Dannett’s and Blyth’s in public. Some people which could her mouth not keep quiet while on Dannett-land did not have so much luck…
It took some time, before Alyanna could find out, that it seems the songs and rumours started to spread from the area of the Kingsroad, where the Lugus (while original a family of the Westlands, but gaining some additional parts of land in the Riverlands after the war or the usurper) had an inn…

Meanwhile Erick (Paedrig should help him) get new orders from Gard. They should secretly buy a larger stock of salt. Salt is an important problem in Dragonport since the community grows – it is to cold for salt works (and the house have not enough wood), and there is not salt mine nearby. Most salt here comes from the Falkirks, which burn salty peat and cooking the ashes (the Weymouth did the same on smaller size) and get in this way a not very good type of salt. Since the relationship between Blyth and Falkirk are not the best and the production not very high, salt is expensive. So in Dragonport a lot of food is cooked with saltwater or saltwater-plants. In times of war and winter, salt becomes even more important (and expensive), because it is necessary to securing fish, flesh and fruits from decay.
Since Gard believes, that the next winter may come soon or late (the last was several years ago, and now he believes more and more, that the prophecy of the Manderly-boy about which he was told by Peadrig might become true). So he invested two hundred dragons in buying salt. Erick and Peadrig were able to master the task. They bought salt from several traders, letting no one know that they want to create a huge stock, so they could avoid that the prices lift up to much. And Erick proves again to be a hard fighter with words, when it comes to the question of bargaining. In the end, Dragonport get the salt for a good price, much less than you pay on the market, altogether around 13 tons. This was a very unheroic, but maybe in future important victory.

The Lord spend most of his time with work, but he also has improved the ranks of the dogs (including some young elk-hounds) and falcons and other birds of prey of the castle, and sometimes he (often with his wife) rides out for hunt or to show Meera the land which is her new home, mostly with Paedrig as part of the personal guard.
Most of the money house Blyth of Dragonport earns and nearly all of the former reserves were bound in the raising of the border-guard, and in Gard’s private project of improving the strength of his units. He buys weapons in great number, not only to equip the scouts, but also for his own men. New bows, crossbows, arrows with steal-heads and better melee-weapons for the archers, better weapons for the garrison-unit and the personal guard, better weapons and armour for the cavalry – hundreds of dragons will spread their wings and fly, gold will change into steel. The drums call able men to the arms to enlist in the border-guard – in the lands of the Blyth (both houses), the Aran’s, and in minor scale also in the Dannett- and Weymouth-land. In few weeks, 50 to 60 men began their training, while Gard also trained his own men hard (regular marches, perhaps three a month, weapons drill, training swimming in smaller rivers).

Additional, Gard steps up the presence of soldiers in the border-lands, together with the riders of Krayenhorn and Starbone the cavalry of Dragonport rides trough the disputed territory, coming in contact with the small communities, painting maps and searching for safe paths trough the wilderness. This soon results in some minor conflicts with small bands of clansmen. Paedrig tried to join these forces, but he was not able to convince the centenar of the riders, which do not like the bastard-knight, so he had to stay. About four weeks after the wedding, the cavalry returned home after clashing with a small band of clansmen, bringing with them some cattle (some of the infamous manhood-eating goats of the mountains and some small cows), chopped heads of slain enemies hanging on the saddles. One was also on the saddle of the lord, who proved his tactical skills and took full advantage of his men superior training and equipment. As the people of the castle coming together to welcome the homecoming victors and Meera greeting her husband with wine, it soon becomes clear for those who have sharp eyes, that his armour is broken, his face pale and covered with fever-sweat. He tried not to show it open, praising his soldiers, but after that called after Elen. Erick, who stayed during the examination, learned that Gard had a hard fight with his enemy, suffering two hard hits before defeating him. During the march back, a covered archer also hit him with an arrow. The wounds were partly infected, but at least the arrow seems not to be poisoned. It was in some aspects a grim reminder on the fate of his brother, first wounded in an ambush, than murdered while recovering – and this leads to some harsh words between the old lady and Gard. Lady Fiana did not want to lose her second son in a similar way, and she made it clear that it was not the duty of the lord to participate in any small skirmish, even more if this fights happened abroad. Alyanna, which helped Elen, and Eric could mollify her mother/ sister in law a little bit.

The next days the lord stayed sick, but the wounds seem to be not life-threatening. His wife cared for him, helping Elen with the treatment of the wounded (under the surveillance of Gard’s mother which did not trust her). This sure brought the couple closer together, also some distance remained. Gard tried to use the time to learning more about his wife, asking her after her youth and telling her something about his life (for example about his experiences during the war on the Iron Isles), but to some kind Lady Meera stayed carefully and did not tell much about herself.
Gard was no man who rested long, even if he himself was immobilized. He calls a meeting after he recovers a little bit, bringing together several officers, Erick and Paedrig. He explained the problems, Dragonport has to face. The local production of weapons and armours is limited. The Aran’s with her mine produced a limited amount of weapons, and the Weymouth’s sells some bows, but for up to 300 bows and crossbows, often from better quality, for hundreds of swords, halberds, axes and lances, this sure was not enough. Asking traders to import the weapons would cost a lot. Also the local recruitment-pool was empty, with the scout-unit only a bit more than half complete. So he asked Erick to travel to White Harbour, to buy steal for crossbows, ivy for bows, better melee-weapons and armour, and also to ask the Manderly’s of White Harbour (You could find what is known about these house in the Campaign Guide on page 95) for permission to recruit able men as scouts. Erick accepted his new duty.

Of course he needed some men as support. The master of the hunt (Paedrig’s half-brother) should come with him to help to judge the recruits, and because Erick had to transport up to 1.000 dragons, he needs soldiers. He choose his private guard of five, Paedrig (Gard had ordered the young knight, because he trust his abilities) and also five men of the personal guard of Dragonport. Erick decided to travel with the help of Hakon Trader, a partner of him in business, which owns a small kogge and two coastal-ships and who was active in the trade with the North (and even married a daughter of a merchant in White Harbor). Erick was able to bargain a very good price for transport there and back again. He used the days before travel for informing himself about potential partners in White Harbour from which he could buy what he wants. Paedrig searched for rumours about potential dangers on the three-day-travel. While there was no news about active pirates in the Bite for now, he could hear enough – much more than enough – about the dangers of sea-travel. He “learned” about cruel pirates which slay anyone they defeat, giant kraken, which pull ships to the bottom of the sea or could snatch a man even from the highest top of a ship, about huge whales and sharks, which could sink boats and even ships, swallowing swimmers, about sea-lions and sea-bears, which eat human flesh, about horrible storms and cliffs, about the monster-waves which could sink entire fleets and destroy towns on the shore and, and, and. Surely the young knight was in some ways “impressed”. Erick gets his “ration” of myths and legends later during the travel, also the stories about the “white death”, drifting icebergs and –fields from the north, and a story about “something” that lurks in the ice, occasional coming on board, about the messengers of the wandering death with their blue eyes, hands that claws trough doors, strangling any man in reach. He stays more sceptical also he noticed that some stories were believed by the men which told them.

One early morning, Erick and his men left the castle, the gold sharply guarded by the soldiers. The travel to White Harbour was not a pleasure for Erick, who deals not very well with the sea and stayed sea-sick the first two days. Because the ship was small and the placing were they rested (they did not travel during the night) were not very civilised (mainly the coast of the Neck – which added to the stories additional rumours about dangerous lizard-lions and snakes), cleaning was nearly impossible and the food was bad (and Erick was a leader who did look after every single penny, which he spend, even more when not for his own pleasure). The ship passed greater merchantman-ships, flotillas of smaller fishing boats, which followed the treasure of the sea, hunting smaller fishes and even sharks, little whales and so one. Some warships also pass, but galleys were rare in the North. Finally on the afternoon of the third day, they passed the bay of White Harbour and arrive the important port, the gate to the North. It must be mentioned, that at first during the travel the air was a bit frosty between Roger and Paedrig. The head of Ericks guards thought he was the better choice as leader of the soldiers on this little travel. On the other hand he could not say much against the decision of his lord – and his attempt to defeat Paedrig in a training fight during the travel did not go as he planed, because he himself was defeated in a short time.
Kajani
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Sun May 27, 2012 6:51 am

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Salt, wood and steel, part two
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Warning: The following details about the town of White Harbour are sometimes individual fiction, not based on information from G. R. R. Martin or by Green Ronin. Feel free to use (or ignore) them…
As we played we had not all information from Dance with Dragons (which I prefer to read after translation), so...

Castle and town of White Harbour are located on the shores of the river White Knife were he flows in the Bite. The river can be used for travelling up to the area of Winterfell, around 100 leagues in the North. White Harbour is the most important (or only real) town in the lands of the Starks. With over 10.000 inhabitants it is more than ten times bigger than Dragonport. Of course Peadrig was impressed by the size of the town. The “down town” near the harbour and the river-harbour with their smaller wooden houses and mainly narrow streets is not very impressive. It is not allowed to load goods directly from riverboats to saltwater-ships and vice versa, they must be presented and sold first in the town (many outside lords and merchantmen did not like that very much). Even from their ship, the visitors could see the source of the wealth of White Harbour – ships from all around the Seven Kingdoms, perhaps even beyond, huge “mountains” of packages and long warehouses, and giant numbers of fisher-boats which bring their booty to their harbour. The people on land come from Westeros and beyond, half a dozen languages could be heard if you walk hundred yards. The port was full of inns, traders, whores, brothels and sailors but harboured also some houses from better quality for captains, officers and merchantmen, which are located in some distance from the fishing pier.
The safety in the whole town was in the hands of the “Mermen”, garrison-soldiers with the arms of house Manderly, wearing blue-green cloaks, short swords and tridents.

The lifestyle in White Harbour differs from the south. The people were mainly from the blood of the first men, even if they are mixed with other blood here. And while the Manderly believe in the Seven (and many of their people and visitors also do), there is a sacred place for the trees of the old gods, because there is no mistreatment for believers of the old gods. The people drank more beer than wine, seafood is very common and the cooks of White Harbour are famous for their art, especially with fishes. Important goods for trade are fur and wood, but also exotica like unicorn-horns (some look like ivory, others more like horn), and horn and wood are much more used for daily needs than in the south. Bows and crossbows (and other goods) could be found, build of whalebone, sometimes very precious and well-forged pieces, and you could find goods for which sharkskin and teeth, sword of swordfishes, shells etc. were used, and also things from outside of Westeros. The North himself export also living animals via White Harbour – aurochs for bullfighting, bears which could be trained as fighters or dancing-bears (mainly young animals, which mothers were killed) and sometimes also other animals (wolves and so on).

In the area of the harbour you could find masses of people, mud and smell, whores, small traders, thieves and people from around the world. If you leave the area of the harbour, craftsmen dominate, the muddy streets have boards of stone for walking. Here are the markets and there are lesser dirt and strangers, everything looks a little bit more solid. The part of the town towards the castle looks and behaves different – you can feel the wealth, the streets are paved with flagstones, the market sells precious goods, for example art from the famous silversmiths of Whit Harbour, security is high.
The new castle was greater than Dragonport or Starbone, a real castle – huge walls with half a dozen towers, a massive gate, a great keep and a smaller (for guests), with a strong garrison. The Manderly are much more committed to the idea of knighthood than many other parts of the North.
There were several possibilities to spend time. There were regular fighting-contests outside of the town, in which the lower people (and also some noblemen) proofed themselves as more or less able archers while the common folk also fight against each other with spears or staffs.

The group from Dragonport choose an inn which Hakon Trader had favoured – a more civilised (and boring) house than many others in the harbour-region. Some of the soldiers of lord Erick were send to the markets to hold their ears open about the situation on the trade with weapons and armour (even before Hakon Trader was “interrogated” which men would be the best addresses), and Roger was sent to castle White Harbour to ask for the permission of a meeting between lord Manderly and Erick and entourage. He did his duty with success.

The next day, Erick, Roger and Peadrig meet Lord Wyman Manderly. They had brought with them some gifts (a sweet wine from inside the riverlands), which was welcomed. Lord Wyman might be fat and mainly famous for his appetite, but he was well informed about the troubles in the south and interrogated them, for which purpose they need the men and weapons they want to get. He did not want to get into trouble if he helped to fuel a local feud – or at least he want to be paid well for doing so. Erick was able to convince the lord about the good intentions of house Dragonport and to minimize the amount of money he had to pay (even the support of Maester Theomore did not help Lord Wyman much). So the emissary of Dragonport get the permission he wanted and could later meet with the commander of the local garrison, Ser Marlon Manderly, to discuss on which places recruiting may be successful. Paedrig and Erick also paid condolence (the first more honest than the second) to lord Brandon Manderly, which son Eddard they had escorted from Eaglewood some months before to Dragonport (the young man which had some strange visions about coming danger was washed away/ jumped into the sea on his travel to White Harbour). The Manderly’s did not blame Dragonport for this incident, because it happened after Eddard was on board of a ship of his own town.

The next days were full of activities. Paedrig and Wulf Rivers (his half-brother) were in charge of recruiting the men for the scout-unit which should protect the borders against the clansmen. Men were sent to inns, brothels and markets to call hunters and other men to the arms, offering money and ale for free. The volunteers were interrogated about their career and abilities, and had to choose how well they fight, trace, shoot and could survive and operate in the wilderness (the last abilities were only tested in theory). Wulf and Peadrig were able to sort out some potential troublemakers and some people who only claim to be able, and in the end they had a mixed force of between 40 and 50 men with certain abilities. Most of them were local men, but some came even from the hill-clans of the North, and at least one (called Loren) was a crannogman which had strayed into the civilized world, a man which may not be a very good archer, but excellent with net and frog spear (he was a secondary char for Ericks player, for cases in which it would unlikely that the lord would take part in the adventure). The neckman has soon to learn that even in the North not all people respect or at least ignore his kind – he had to fight a brawl with one of his fellow soldiers, but was able to defeat him.
Beside of this duties Paedrig bought some gifts for his relatives in Krayenhorn – seven miniatures of ivory for his uncle (one for every of the Seven) and a real precious fur of a white bear for his aunt. He was also able to show his abilities in some training-fights with the younger knights at the castle, which must accept that the bastard was surely a good warrior.

Erick was able to bargain with the local traders to buy the weapons and armour Dragonport needed – and to a fair price. He was careful enough to avoid that the traders learned how much he needed, buying smaller amount of goods from different men, before they could speak to each other and raise the prices altogether. And he was able to look after the quality of the goods. He used his free time to buy a huge book about the Nightwatch, a gift for his nephew Gard, and looked also for foreign books in translation (at White Harbour, there were also books about places beyond the sea, some in common language), but found nothing what he want. Furthermore he was able to hire a young cook who just finished his training at White Harbour Castle (Erick, who had lived a great part of his life in Oldtown and King’s Landing found the life at Dragonport a bit too much…rustically).

The voyage back started not very good. The weather was a little bit rougher, and nearly a half or more of the recruits had clear problems with becoming seasick. Paedrig did his best to organize and advice them on board and during the nights on land (and he tries to counter Roger and some other men from the Dragonport-forces, which mocked the recruits with stories about their future enemies in the mountains). On the morning of the last day of the travel, he noticed something going on the open sea. It seems that a greater Kogge, the “Brandon” (named after Brandon the builder, a ship which travels often between White Harbour, Dragonport, Gulltown and sometimes King’s Landing) was attacked by a smaller ship. The flag of the pirate showed a skeleton with a battleaxe. He demanded to intervene, given the fact that several dozen of armed men were at hand (the recruits, which were not “green”). The captain of the “Tide daughter” was not very happy about the possibility of a fight – emotions which were shared by Lord Erick, who was willing to shoot after the attacker, but did not want to join direct combat hand to hand (fearing for the fright and that his men were not trained in combat on board). But helping effective via firing was not so easy, because it would cost time to reach a proper position, so that very likely the melee would start earlier. At this time firing would help not much because the men of the Brandon and the pirates would be to close together to find clear targets. So he had only the choice between passing and firing some arrows (which would not help much) or join the fight directly. He opt for the first, against Peadrigs emotional words, and the “Tide daughter” left the scene, causing only minor damage, and also getting only some hits.

After arriving in Dragonport, Erick informed the harbour (and the lord) about what happened. The welcoming was mixed. Lord Gard was happy with the results at White Harbour, which saved him almost two hundred dragons, and he offers Erick as reward two barrels of fine wine from the Arbor and Dorne, Paedrig get a precious castleforged left-hand dagger and the right to choose in which unit he wants to become petty-captain/centenary, in the ranks of the personal guard or the riders. But Gard did not conceal that he was really disappointed that his uncles had avoided helping the “Brandon” (and that worsen the disposition from Paedrig towards Erick also drastically). He organized a watch in the harbour (an idea from Paedrig), warned the traders and lords and send message to the Sisters, also starting to searching after information about lost ships, messages from attacks and about foreign ships, but more he could not do for now. Some days later news came, that the crew of the “Brandon” was massacred, the fright plundered and the ship was left drifting in the Bite – a strange and cruel behaviour for normal pirates, which often either steal the ship to or did not find their pleasure in killing ALL people on board.
Lord Gard, in the meantime healed from his wounds, thank those who cared for him and gave them rewards – Elen, his mother and his wife. It seems that his wounds were healed without further complications.
With the new men and weapons, the scout-unit could be formed in short time, officers were promoted, the units of Dragonport started to be “upgraded”, too. Loren decided not to join the unit, because Wulf Rivers asked him if he not better want to work for Dragonport directly as a hunter under his order.
In an official ceremony, the new scout unit was sworn in to her formal commander, Lord Gawan Blyth of Krayenhorn, while Gard and an emissary of Starbone were present. The men were well armed, but wearing as only sign a patch with a black ravens head on the shoulder. Than the unit marched out, to protect the lands of the Aran’s and Blyth’s (both branches) against the enemies from the mountains – while it seems possible, that another foe might emerge on the shores…
Kajani
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:34 am

And so it goes on - new troubble with old enemies...
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A Dornish Tradition
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The weeks after the return of Erick and Paedrig from White Harbour were quite busy, not only in Dragonport. Rumours spread that the King rides to the North with many men, likely to choose his old friend Eddard Stark as new ,Hand’.
For now no news came to house Blyth about the pirates which had strike in the Bite, but Dragonport stayed in high alert (after all, the town was at least once plundered by pirates before, and lives from sea-trade). For now the trade seem to work undisrupted and the income of the house stays on a good level thanks to the port and market place. Concerning possible problems with the pirates Gard spoke with the elders of the town, and the alderman Ablar Townsman had the idea of spreading rumours about a precious ship (perhaps similar to Erick’s and Paedrigs last mission), because he was certain the pirates may have spies in the town. The ship of course would be a trap, a idea which the lord seem to like – since it was clear for him that there was no way to hunt the raiders down easily, because the Bite was great and many of its coasts were no-mans-land, especially large parts of the coast towards the Neck in the West or between the sea and the Mountain of the Moon. On the other hand, the elders were not willing for now to spend money in supporting such a project. In addition, Gard keeps up the speed to arming his men.
Meanwhile the newly recruited scouts had started their duty in the borderlands. For now the clans stayed quiet, perhaps driven away after Lord Gards small victory and the presence of a new well armed force.
Ericks business was until now not harmed by the pirates, and he was happy that with his new cook life-stile improved a little bit for him. Loren did his duty as second hunter, learning as much as he could about living under “civilised” people, caring for the dogs and so on, but staying in some distance to Wulf Rivers, his direct leader. Paedrig changed his position from an officer in the personal guard to second in command in the ranks of the riders, a duty which send him to the disputed territories regularly. Because of that he was not present during the following events, instead riding along the borders.
Meanwhile the conflict between the old and the new lady of castle Dragonport had died down a little bit, leaving only some cold resentment but no open barbs. Clearly the new lady improved her position by getting closer with her husband, maybe because his nearby-death remind she that if he dies she surely would be send back to her family, instead of becoming the lady of Dragonport. Perhaps this was also a reason that she decided to invite her husband into her bed (Gard did not consummate the marriage until now because he cared for her health before/ after the abortion and even more was worried about her feelings about the abortion and that she was raped/ forced by ,Ser Strife’).

Alyanna, which still visited the Weymouth from time to time to help the Aran’s in marrying her youngest son Vickon to the only child of the other house, Naerys, was informed by her spies, that the Lugus seem to have still interests in the very neighbourhood of Dragonport. House Lugus hold not only their mainland and castle on the border between River- and Westlands at the Ironman’s Bay but also a small fiefdom on the Kingsroad westwards from the Twins, where they had a prosperous inn, a fortified tower and some soldiers, which were now improved in numbers. The Lugus, she learned, had contacts with the Weymouth, obviously in the hope to merry one of HER sons with the heiress of the house, and also messages were exchanged with house Falkirk, the old rival of house Blyth of Dragonport. There the subject of the contacts stayed hidden. Maybe they want an alliance against house Blyth, or perhaps instead or additional a marriage between the sister of the young Falkirk-lord and one Lugus-son or between the youngest Lugus-daughter and the Falkirk-lord? Alyanna decided to go on with spying against the enemy houses, informing her uncle Erick which was more or less the only person in the household which was able to see trough her masks. He gave the information along to Gard, claiming them as discovered by him but praising also Alyanna, which he claims had found out some of the information in gossip with the Weymouth’s. Gard informed the Aran’s, and Erick and Alyanna came to the conclusion to harm the Lugus’ interests as much as possible, for example by enforced spreading of rumours about past and present acts of cruelty and infamy, mocking songs and so on.

For house Dannett bad and good news come side by side. Iris Dannett and Tygor Wyl were promised to each other (Gard send some presents, trying to improve the relationship with the house), but Lord Dannett had no success with his complains against house Lugus which he had send to the Twins (the Frey’s are liege-lords both for the Aran’s and in this way for the Dannett’s, and also for the Riverland-lands of the Lugus). The rumours about Iris were getting even more poisoned, now speaking about a ,bitch-bastard’ which she either strangled or left in the wilderness after giving birth to him – clearly no insults which calm the mood of her father, brother and future husband.
It seems that the Dannett’s were in need of allies, and since Gard had an interest in ending the old feud and perhaps finding potential friends against HIS foes he ordered a warm welcome when news arrived, that Adham and Iris Dannett with Tygor Wyl want to visit Dragonport. A small feast was prepared by Erick and Alyanna (nothing expensive but a good chance for Erick’s cook to show what he could do), and some musicians and artists were hired in Dragonport. Gard decided to avoid more active events like ,higher’ hunt or fighting-contests, remembering that young Adham might not be happy to see young men in action while he was still suffering from the tears of Lys which nearly killed him. Gard made clear, that under NO circumstances any of the rumours about Iris should be mentioned – with harsh punishment if someone did not follow – and informed also the centenar of the town’s garrison to take care that all things went well there.

During the visit a small hunt with birds of prey were organized, and Tygor Wyl used a chance to speak with Gard under four eyes. It seems clear that there was no real chance for punishment of the Lugus in legal way, but an open attack would surely anger the Frey’s, which had not interest that two houses which are more or less directly sworn to them harm each other. He was also worried about the arming of the Riverland-garrison of the Lugus and the constant intrigues (the rumours he also blamed – rightly – to the Lugus). So he voted for an old Dornish tradition in internal feuds and against the northern neighbours, called razzia (raid). He was informed that the Lugus were at the moment recruiting a new unit of riders for their Riverland-garrison. He wanted to steal the horses, at best during travel but if necessary also if they still have arrived, a operation of perhaps a dozen men from the Dannett’s and Blyth’s, acting without banners and marching away from the streets, driving the horses to the south and selling them there.
Gard agreed – he also want no full-size war, but was deeply angered and insulted by the actions of the Lugus which nearly drove his house in war with the Dannett’s some months ago and tried to harm his reputation deeply. He also found attacks against the military might of the Lugus more appealing than honourless attacks against their peasants. Together with his officers and supported by Erick he prepared the raid in secret, claiming openly it would be only another long range border-patrol as he did some in the past. He did not know if the Lugus may have spies around, so even the soldiers were not told what the real mission would be. Some good fighters and men with knowledge about horses were chosen and prepared for a longer journey, as were Wulf and Loren, and Wulf also prepared the meeting with a local guide which knows the paths in the area best.
Gards mother (she and his wife were included in the discussion because Gard see them both as rulers if he was absent and want to hear their opinions) welcomed the idea of the raid, but was opposing the idea that he want to take part, since he still had no heir and was wounded only some weeks ago. Gard was able to convince her that he needs such small victories to raise the respect of the men towards him (which in many cases were still the men of his dead brother). Meera stayed more or less silent.

Some days later the ,patrol’ left Dragonport, changed direction in the wilderness and at a secret place they meet Tygor Wyl and his men, bringing the numbers to around one and a half dozen men. The journey to the land of the Lugus was more or less without special events, but exhausting. Possible ways for the escape after the raid were discussed with Tom Hunt, the local guide, which also mentioned that he knows a possible contact which would buy the horses (original plan was to sell them on a southern market some days away from the Lugus-land). The men of course did not wear colours, mostly only light armour, and weapons which may draw attention were concealed (like the Valyrian blade ,Scorpion’ of Tygor Wyl).
The group take cover on a hidden location outside the land of the Lugus (secretly Gard ask himself sometimes from which source Hunt knows so much about the tactics of cattle-thieves...). Tygor Wyl decided to meet his local contact a last time, which brought him information that the horses were already here as were some riders in addition to the regular garrison (a unit archers), and that the commander, a man called Hill (perhaps a Bastard-Lugus) was a tough guy, but most of his men seem not to take their duty very serious. Also there were rumours that one of the Lugus-brothers (it was unclear if it would be Naton, a tough fighter which was maimed in duel by Paedrig at King’s Landing, or Orten, a more cunning and treacherous man which may be the brain behind the Lugus-intrigues) would visit the tower in some days. The raiders had to act swiftly, but Gard convinced Tygor that it would be better to wait at least one day so that the scouts could spy on the tower.
It becomes clear, that the Lugus were not awaiting an attack but work to improve their defences. The tower now should get a palisade, which was half-complete at best. The horse-pen had two watchmen, as were two on the top of the tower. Dogs were not present.

The plans were made during the next day for the attack in the coming night. Wulf, Hunt and Loren should shoot down the watchmen on the tower – together with on or two other archers – just in the moment when two men (Gard and Tygor) would ride “harmless” and open to the pen, claiming to be simple travellers (two men surely did not look after an attack), drawing their weapons at short distance and riding forward. The rest of the men would advance after that, opening the pen and driving the horses out. After that the men and horses would march in hurry down the Kingsroad, leaving the road at dawn, after that marching on smaller paths to meet Hunts contact and sell the horses.
,Of course’ it does not went completely as planed. When the archers sneak in, someone of them was spotted and a first half-hearted call of alarm was heard. The attack was now started in hurry, and some Lugus men were killed or wounded, the horses driven away (but not all, some escaped in the wilderness). The archers of the attackers fired ,suppressing fire’ while the men of the Lugus awake and try to regroup, but were not fast enough. Retreat was ordered by Gard, which was wounded by axe and arrow but managed to fight on, and Tygor. Loren falls from his horse in that hasty retreat, but his Lord helped him out, taking him on his horse. In the end several men were wounded and one was missing, around thirty horses (rounsey’s and a single palfrey) captured. The group could not search after the missing man, a problem which could lead to mayor trouble if the man would be captured and interrogated, but now they had to retreat before the garrison could organize enough horses to follow the attackers, or the Lugus-son arrives, perhaps with enough men to doing so.

The next days the men ride southwards, avoiding the Kingsroad, hiding their traces as good as they could (of course not very successful for forty-plus horses, even if the hunters work very well) and even leaving some simple traps behind them to slowing possible enemies down (ropes across the way and small pits to harm horses, sometimes with hidden stakes or stakes in the water when the path crosses a river). Loren did manage a huge part of the work, exhausting himself, while Gard had no problems in managing watchmen-duty and help to care for wounded (he may be a lord, but one with no problem to get dirty hands if necessary). They marched hard, exhausting themselves and the horses, but successful avoiding clashes with the Lugus. After four days they reached the village of Hunt’s contact in the disputed areas near the mountains – only to discovering that the man was just hanged for selling weapons to the clansmen. After that it was decided to change direction sharply, driving the horses to homeland instead of riding further south (which would exhausting the horses even more, making them hard to sell), giving them time to recover and changing the brands. To cover the change in direction the hunters started a huge grass- and bushfire, which spread rapidly. It seems that the idea worked, and after some additional days of marching the group finally reached Dannett-land, were they departed, and the Blyth-party rides home.

Some days later it become clear that the lost man have had luck, he was neither killed nor captured but managed to come home wounded. But it seems likely that while no clear evidence was left of the guilt of Dannett and Blyth in the attack, the hate of the Lugus may grow further. News came, that the Lugus-son Naton was shot and killed by ,bandits’ during his attempted to catch the raiders. It seems very likely for Gard and the others that his brother Orten had come back to the old Lugus tradition of eradicating people which stand on higher position in the ranks of the heirs, but now he had someone he could blame…

The mysterious information source of Tygor Wyl seemed to be Jeyne Fielders, called ,Blackbird’, a young minstrel he, Erick and Paedring had meet at King’s Landing where she had her own trouble with the Lugus and no hesitation to spy for money. But Tygor was more able in recruiting a spy than WORKING with her, because his meeting with her did not went as unseen as hoped, so that she had to flew – and was granted asylum and a good salary at castle Dragonport, maybe also a trace which will lead to house Blyth as part in the attack. In the end, the whole raid was more or less a success, at least for now. The booty was small, but Lugus had suffered a minor hit, which cost them time, money and perhaps men, and of course house Blyth had earned respect from their old rivals, the Dannetts. But will the Lugus take revenge and how will her new heir Orten react? Will his attempts to get a foot in the door by marriage or alliance be fooled or will he succeed? No one knows for sure…
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:31 am

___________
Duties and Honours – part I
___________

The weeks after the secret raid were more or less peaceful, at least in the beginning. The local trade flourished and the arming of Dragonports units was completed. In addition secret preparations were made to strengthen the forces of house Blyth even further if necessary. Eric cared for his personal business, Paedrig tried to act as a new cavalry-officer. Alyanna kept up her secret intrigues and researches. After a second ominous warning from Elen, that she did foresee great bloodshed in the south, but did not know how Dragonport would be involved (since she saw a dragon in her dreams, and there was a dragon on the arms of the house), the young lady also searched intensively for information about magical phenomenon’s in the area. Alyanna discovered a lot of details, but most seemed to be only gossip. She heard many local stories (about ghosts, the magic abilities of the Neck people and so on), about witches and skinchangers of the clans in the mountains, even rumours about a local group of magicians/ witches long LONG time ago. There were rumours that some areas in the region “darkened” during the Long Night, a shadow which never completely faded away, and tales about a dragon in the mountains before or during the coming of the Andals, whose fall might have lead to the name “Starbone” of the castle of house Aran (but it was still unclear if he was slain in the age of heroes or during the Andal conquest. Perhaps the falling star which gave the castle of the local liege-lord its name WAS the dragon). Also rumours existed about magic abilities in the ranks of the local healers of house Blyth of Dragonport, about strange blood in the houses Weymouth and Blyth of Krayenhorn, coming from the north or the Neck people and so on…
Some time ago a maester of the Citadel, named Roderick, had done some research about local tales, magic remnants, witches, oracles and magic places of the region but he had left after some years and took his books with him, possibly to Oldtown. This happened years before Roberts Rebellion.
Alyanna told Elen about her information, but the rumours about the magic abilities of the clans were nothing new for the young woman from the wilderness – and the old tales about magicians and witches at the time of the andal invasion seem to be of little interest for Elen. However Elen reacted to the (even older) tales about the remnants of the Long Night. Alyanna was not able to get more out of Elen for the moment.

In the more rational area, there was also some news. House Dannett, Aran, Blyth of Krayenhorn and Blyth of Dragonport tried to strengthen their new connections (forged by recent agreements, marriage and aid) by a military manoeuvre in which up to hundred armoured riders would take part. For house Blyth of Dragonport and house Dannet this was also an opportunity to intimidate potential enemies (although the situation was a little bit…complicated given the fact that house Fallkirk, a potential enemy of Dragonport, did have good ties to the Dannetts in the past – and to house Aran).
House Dannett also tried to muster additional troops (light cavalry) which they wanted to send into the south after the planned marriage of Ser Tygor Wyl and Iris Dannett to help him to claim his birth rights as heir of house Wyl of Boneway Castle. Therefore they needed money, arms and horses. A great three day fair market at Dragonport that should be held in the same time the manoeuvres took place would be a good opportunity to get some of this and to bargain with their new ‘friends’ for additional aid.

While Lord Gard of Dragonport was busy organizing the military manoeuvres and to meet the Lords of the houses Aran and Dannett (his sister Alyanna take part in this journey, partly because she supported some plans of Lord Aran to wed his son Vickon to the Weymouth, partly because she was a gifted negotiator), Gard let his wife Lady Meera, his mother Lady Fiana and his uncle Lord Eric organize the fair market. In the weeks before Meera was actually very successful in manipulating her husband who had great interest in her sympathy and now began to trust (and love) her, so she got more liberties and power than before and replaced more and more Gard’s mother as trusted person on his side, maybe exactly what she had in mind. Secretly her agenda goes even further, to remove the old lady from the castle altogether, perhaps by suggesting she may join the faith. She was already able to win the septon of Dragonport as some sort of support, but that plan is far from realized.

Given the fact that the air between the mother and the wife of the lord was still a little bit…frosty (and that Meera also secretly did not like Eric very much) the cooperation of this three was not as easy at its sound, although hidden mistrust stayed under the surface.
While Lady Meera did prepare the welcome festival for the guests from Krayenhorn (Lord Gawan and Lady Anya) and the Dannetts (Adham Dannett and Tygor Wyl), Eric’s duty was the organization of the great market. He bargained with the city elders about who should do what, how much the city elders and house Blyth should spent for the event etc.
Despise the fact that Eric Blyth was supported by some of the council members and (half hearted) by Lady Meera, the alderman of the city, Ablar Townsman, was able to beat Eric in the negotiations – house Blyth had to pay more than it was planned. Lady Meera later remarked (perhaps a little bit sarcastic) to Eric that he perhaps should marry into the family of Ablar Townsman instead of unsuccessfully trying to beat him in an intrigue (Townsman in fact had already mentioned such a possibility).
Eric did not comment this, but for the great market he was willing to act as one of the market judges (an honourable but boring and sometimes tricky position given the plenty problems which can arise during a fair market).

In the meantime Ser Paedrig Rivers did pay special attention to the question of security. With permission of Lord Eric and Lady Meera he selected men of the personal guard of house Blyth and ordered them into the city to assist the city guards and watch over the goods of the merchantmen, artisans, guests etc. They should prevent any trouble and stay alert for potential problems (after all house Blyth did have some serious problems with clansmen and pirates, a feud with house Lugus etc.). He was able to find the right men for these duties.

To get enough money for his ambition in Dorne, Tygor Wyl (assisted by Adham Dannett) asked Eric for some money (200 gold dragons), promising him some profit if Tygor Wyl might be successful - and some land of the Dannetts as security, if the Dannett/ Wyl-attempt failed. Eric was quite happy with the deal he brokered with the two young men.

Adham and Tygor also bargained with Lord Gawan of Kraynehorn to get horses for a good price. Paedrig stayed out of this because he did not know who he should help – his uncle or the man who knighted him?

Instead of this he used much of his time to accompany his aunt Lady Anya. He soon recognized that she was a little bit disappointed because her husband let her out of all important business (in Lord Gawans opinion his 17 year old wife was too young and careless for such topics), giving her only some minor task (buy some goods for Krayenhorn etc.). Paedrig used this opportunity to increase the intention of his secret love towards him by telling her everything he did know about the ‘important stuff’ (politics, military plans etc.). He also gave her the opportunity to ride on his new horse Nymeria, a beautiful dornish sand steed Paedrig (a gift by Ser Tygor Wyl after Paedrig had helped him during the tourney in King’s Landing to get back the valyrian sword of house Wyl). Lucky for both, Lord Gawan did not notice this – he was never very fond of the ‘unwomanly’ activities of his wife (hunting, riding through the wilderness etc.).
The young lady was quiet impressed by the attentiveness of her (two year younger) nephew and her intention towards Paedrig increased to friendly. Slowly the situation between Paedrig and Anya became a little bit…dangerous, given the fact that the lady also slowly began to realize his feelings for her.
When Lady Anya and Alyanna meet, the young lady of Krayenhorn used the opportunity to ask Alyanna for some fighting lectures (Anya had heard that Gard allowed his sister to practise with real weapons and was quite curious). Alyanna agreed (that she could train her abilities which she learned in King’s Landing was a result of a failed attempt to kidnap her and that Dragonport was still in a hostile environment). However they trained secretly because Anyas traditional and pious husband would not like the idea of women who could fight.

Meanwhile Eric was busy with the duties of a market judge. There was much to broker, bargain and organize, quiet a number of little problems between locals and guests etc. However he also did have to deal with some drunken scouts who wanted to celebrate their free time and created some trouble. With the help of Paedrig (who arrived a little later) he was able to calm the waves without disturbing the festivity.

But the next morning a much more serious problem got the attention of Eric and Paedrig. They got the news that Marian Strand, a young maid from Dragonport, was brutally raped and beaten during the night – a crime which harmed the peace of the festival seriously, angering and disturbing many people. After all in a city of only 1000+ people such crimes did not happen very often, and quickly some people blamed the foreign merchantmen and guests of the market.
Following Paedrig’s hint Eric ordered Elen Fairyeyes (healer of Dragonport and more competent than the healers of the city) to look after the girl before she was interrogated. Eric did everything to minimize the public effect of the crime. He was able to convince the frightened and traumatized young girl to tell him everything about the rapist, getting a good description and the information that the clothes of the man did smell of fire and ash.
With this information it was able to start some investigation, focussing on blacksmiths, bakers etc. Soon the list of potential suspects went down to two names. Eric wanted to interrogate them himself but Paedrig convinced him that it would be better to let him and two lightly armed personal guards do the job.
The search did not last very long, because the first suspect (a journeyman of a local blacksmith) attacked Paedrig and tried to flee when he noticed the cause of their arrival. After a short fight he was overwhelmed and imprisoned.
Eric decided that it would be proper to let Lord Gard judge this serious crime but he ordered to put the suspect into the pillory and (after a hint of Lady Meera) let him be whipped brutally to give the people what they want.
He also give Paedrig a reward for his prompt and able actions but the sum (1/2 gold dragon which Paedrig should share with the two guards who assisted him) mostly angered the young knight. After all Lord Gard was normally much more generous. Some friendly and warm-hearted words might have been more appreciated than this money which Paedrig took as an insult.

In the meantime the military manoeuvres took place and most troops did their part quite well, as did the men from Dragonport. However the performance of the Dannett troops was not so good – perhaps because of the bad health of Lord Alfric Dannett, a man of over 50 years with a fragrant constitution. His heir Adham did his best while he visited the troops but it was obvious that he also had health problems (long term consequences of his poisoning at Kings Landing). Gard and Alyanna Blyth also recognized that the young man might show some kind of interest into Alyanna although he did not act towards his interests.
Lord Vickon Aran was more interested in politics. He asked Adham Dannett about his future plans for himself and his house (perhaps Lord Aran was interested in a good marriage for his grandchild Elyssa?).
Lord Aran also mentioned his hopes that the feud between Blyth and Fallkirk could be ended (or at least dimmed) like the old Dannett-Blyth feud. However Gard was not very fond of this idea and stated out his believes that the Fallkirk’s might aided and armed the clansmen who attacked Dragonport some month ago. Lord Aran remembered Gard that it was his idea to build a ‘limites’ (line of watch towers, supported by mobile scout units) against the clans – a plan that could only become reality with the support of house Fallkirk. This did not impress Gard very much because he had come to the conclusion that his ambitious idea of a permanent defence line might be too expensive.
It was also obvious that house Aran planned to strengthen its might and influence f. e. by gaining an additional banner house.
Beside this Lord Aran acted concerned by the rumours about pirates at the Bite and mentioned that he might be willing to spend some money and men if a trustworthy ally of house Aran want to build some warships (given the fact that house Aran did have no coast line or port they could not built their own fleet). Gard was more interested in increasing the position of house Blyth in comparison to the other vassals of Lord Aran. During the following intrigue Gard was quite better than Lord Aran but decided not to press his luck – in the end he get a (vague) promise of a better standing of house Blyth for the (likewise vague) promise that he would try do built a naval force “if possible”. The specific details of this agreement were left open for the moment.

After Alyanna and Gard – who seem to be glad to be at home and reunited with his young wife – returned, the Lord seem satisfied with the way in which the market was handled. He was concerned after he heard about the crime and ordered the suspect to be interrogated, a task which he managed by himself. Robyn Ash denied the rape – his attack against Paedrig he of course had to admit – claiming that the girl was a whore who deserved beating because she had tried to steal his money, but he was intimidated from the Lord until he confessed that this was a lie. Gard decided that his crimes were to hard to be punished only by money/ forced work, and that maiming him as it would in his eyes just – castrated for the rape and a hand cut of for breaking the peace of his lord and attacking an knight – would also minimize the possibility of be a useful (which mean profitable) part of the society. Given the fact that both crimes happened during a critical time, when disturbing social peace could reduce the income of his lord in a significant way (during an important market-day), Ash was condemned to death by the sword. It was Paedrig’s duty (or privilege) to fulfil the Lord’s sentence with Gard’s battle-proofed two-handed sword, some days after the market in a public ceremony, which he did in a perfect way with a single clean strike. Ash did swear and fight to his last moment. Social peace was restored and the law was fulfilled (and some entertainment shown).
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:38 am

___________
Duties and Honours – part II
___________

Some day later news arrives that the King’s party including the new “hand” and the future daughter-in-law of the king would soon pass the Kingsroad which is located not far away from Dragonport. Of course it was the duty of the local houses under house Aran to arrange housing, food, drink and entertainment for these high guests, even if they not visit any of the castles. House Dragonport as local centre did bear a great part of the logistic burden (and had to spend several dragons, additional some for presents for the guests). Eric was able to master his part of these problem well, even rescuing some money, and Paedrig gathered around ten men from the cavalry as honour-guards. The lord prepared a welcome-speech (of course he would speak after Lord Aran) and his uncle and wife take care that the words were put in the right way. While Gard was quiet loyal to Robert, he was not so happy with the new “hand” for the kingdom – a man far from the north with another religion. Gard thought that a man from the south – even Tywin Lannister, Doran Martell or Stannis Baratheon – might perhaps be a better choice, and that it might be better if Joffrey would be wed to the Martell-girl to bind Dorne to the other parts of Westeros, not becoming the groom of the daughter of a man who was loyal anyway. Of course he would never articulate his thoughts open, but he had them in mind – and his relatives were able to help him to conceal this thinking. Gard and his lady join the journey to swear loyalty to the king and to greet him. Of course members from most of the local houses were at the place were the King’s party should camp – the liege-lord, Lord Aran, but also members of house Dannett, house Falkirk, house Weymouth and the Septrie Eaglewood.

When the visitors arrived, they were welcomed warmly. A man with sharp senses could notice that king and queen were both a little bit annoyed of the endless stream of lower nobles which try to impress them. But Lord Aran and later Gard were able to find the right words for the king (perhaps less for the queen or lord Stark). The meal and entertainment was well organized and went well, beside some minor events.
At one point Paedrig and (very late) Erick mentioned that among the children which play on the “down” part of the table also a huge…dog?...was present, which was on his way to snatching some food from the people. Erick hastily retreated while Paedrig stay, only to learn that the young girl next to the dog was lady Arya Stark with her direwolf Nymeria. He was quiet surprised by the appearance of the lady (at first thinking she was only a lowborn girl from the tross), although he had heard some strange whispers about the “wolf-pack” which was with the Stark-children.
Both he and Erick (which made his round under the lower nobles to collect some gossip and heard about the tragic fate of Bran Stark, about some conflicts between the queen and the king concerning the question who should be the next “hand”, about Stannis Baratheon being deeply insulted for not being chosen for the job and about the question when the children of Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark would wed) could later see from a distance that Sansa Stark, which stayed at the upper end of the table, was also accompanied by a direwolf, a wonderful “cultivated” animal called Lady with much better manners than Nymeria.

This was not the last (in)famous person Paedrig meet – he was suddenly slapped in the neck and when he turned around he look into the face of a slightly drunken Sandor Clegane, searching after the “Bastard of Dragonport”. It comes to light that Ser Naton Lugus, which was maimed by Paedrig at King’s Landing in duel, was a relative of Sandor (Naton’s mother was a cousin of Sandor’s father). Paedrig had to follow the older fighter, cursing secretly that he was unarmed, and face Sandor away from the feast. Sandor did his best to intimidate him – with some success – by his menacing presence. But in the end it becomes clear that Sandor had indeed no real wish for revenge – only a dark sense of humour, in which he want frightened the young knight and learn more about a man who maimed a good fighter like Ser Naton Lugus. Given the fact that Clegane didnot to like his relatives (neither the Lugus nor other), he did not bear real anger against Paedrig. He showed little respect (in fact voiced disrespect) for Paedrigs knighthood, claiming that knights smell and die as any other men, and that only a fool tries to be something “better” than he was. He also warned Paedrig that insulting people with Lugus AND Clegane-blood meant that he must live carefully, or might become a lot less attractive than Sandor himself. Paedrig take these words serious and informed his lord about the warning. He was also able to calm an escalating conflict between his lord and the freshly knighted Torrhen Falkirk, which was clearly jealous to see Gard happy with his wife (and even more seeing her smiling towards her husband).
On the next morning the king and his followers leave, and the local lords travel home. They may not have made a huge impression, but did master their burden well.

All time during the last events, there were some incoming news which did for now not harm Dragonport directly but could do so in the future. Gard has ordered Erick and Paedrig to search after further information about the pirates in the Bite, and he himself was also looking after news (as Alyanna did in secret with help of her spies, reporting to Erick).
Through this different channels a dark picture began to emerge, and become even clearer when Gard, Erick and Paedrig shared information and used their warfare-abilities (if they had some – Erick was more merchantman than fighter or officer) to come to the right conclusions. Erick remembered that the chief of his bodyguards had served several times onboard of merchant-vessels as part or commander of escort-soldiers. So Ser Robert Brecon of Stonegate joined the small round. Together they could put the details in a better frame.

It seems clear that there were several pirate-vessels operating in the Bite (between two and four altogether). All were from the same size – small galleys with a flat deck, between 12 and 18 pairs of oars, a scorpion in the front and a single “Latin” sail (as it is mainly used in the free cities), onboard a fighting force of 60 to 80 men. The crews were – in so far anybody of the attacked crews survived and could tell any details – much better armed than “normal” raiders. They wear light metal armour and great two-handed battle axes. The result of their attacks was devastating. Up to four ships went missing in the last weeks, much more than normal; several others were found drifting, the crew slain or taken hostage, with few survivors/ escaped crewmen if any. The pirates attacked even small fishing-vessels as they hunted merchant-ships. There was no logical reason for the great amount of bloodshed; someone could believe the pirates were only interested in pure terror, butchering the “sheep” instead of only shear it. Gard thought that perhaps some local lord might behind this cruelty but with which intention or plan he could not say. Three ships were able to sail away when they were attacked and one – on which by chance a number of sellswords and hedge-knights was travelling – drove of the attackers away with bloodied noses.

For now the attacks did not harm the trade with Dragonport much, but this might come in the future. Given the fact that the coasts of the bite were several hundred leagues long and there exist few naval powers (with not much will to cooperation), it seemed hard to put an end to this threat. Dragonport had no warships at least for now, even Gard ordered Erick to calculate what a hand full of ships and their crews would cost (a duty that did not make Erick very happy, since he try to avoid costly projects and was sceptical that Gard would get the promised status reward from Lord Aran).
But these were only plans for the future and even if Dragonport would “lend” or hire some ships in the meantime there was no guarantee that they could find the raiders in time. Erick and Paedrig suggest that ships could be ordered to form convoys to protect each other, and Gard agreed, but he feared that he could do little to enforce this policy abroad (for example for ships which want to sail TO Dragonport), even if he wrote to other lords like the Manderly’s. He mentioned also that it might be a good idea to follow Ablar Townsman’s inspiration – sending a “trap-ship” which looked like a good booty but was reinforced and manned secretly. As Townsman he believed that the pirates sure did have at least one spy at Dragonport (one of the few local ports). Important would be to fool the spy.

The Lord ordered Erick and Paedrig to execute the idea, realizing that with the potential threat from house Lugus, Falkirk and the mountain clans it would be better if he stay at Dragonport. But he promised the money and support which was necessary.
Erick bargained (this time successfully) with Townsman about lending one of his ships, the “Amber Crown”, a full size cog under the command of Valgar Pyke, son of an exiled Iron Isles women who was wed to a local captain (his stepbrother was captain of Townsman second ship “Golden Wave”). Secretly weapons for the crew were brought on board, oil, small mantlets for archers and “boarding claws” - even a scorpion was obtained and boarded secretly. The preparations did cost quite a number of gold dragons, together with the money for the ship and crew. Only some officers and the owner of the ship were told the truth, and even the captain did not get clear orders before leaving the port. Official it was claimed (and rumours were spread in the harbour) that the ship should bring Erick and a small group of soldiers and bodyguards to White Harbour where he want to invest highly in fur-trade (it was planed to bring great chests onboard in which metal or weapons should be stored so that it sound like coins). A force around 60 soldiers (archers including Loren as scout and personal guards) would leave Dragonport several days before, supposedly directed for the wilderness but secretly changing course to come on board in a distance. For now it seemed that no details leaked out beside of what SHOULD leak. Roger Brecon would lead the whole operation, while Paedrig was his second in command (Erick decided to left the ship and stay on the shore when the reinforcements would arrived – he had no hunger for adventures although he know very well that his nephew would expect from him that he lead the men into battle… Of course this also did not increase Paedrigs opinion about the uncle of his lord).

The Amber Crown set sails as planned, and after leaving the port Erick informed the captain about the real plan. The young man was not very happy with being used as a trap without his knowledge, but with arguments and some gold as reward and the promise of additional gold for good fighting (some silver for every killed enemy and some dragon for any captured officer or captain) Erick clamed his anger. The scorpion was installed, weapons given to the crew, and Erick gave Roger instructions for a speech he should hold after the reinforcements would arrived (he foresee the potential problems which his absence could caused – not because he was so much loved and respected by the men, but because leaving the ship means distrust in their abilities). Roger mocked his lord, but accepted his task. Main danger was now that the pirates could strike early, before the Amber Crown meet the soldiers some 15 or 20 miles north of Dragonport, but they had luck and were not attacked.

In the meantime, Paedrig with the support of Loren lead his force to a bay were they should board the ship. He motivated his man in a fiery speech, winning their support and improving their fighting-will, which surely reduce hidden fears about fighting on unknown ground (only some of the men had already fought on board of a ship). After the arrival of the Amber Crown, Erick left the ship with four of his bodyguards, and the others sailed on. Roger did his best to motivate his men, but even with the advices Erick had given him before he was not as brilliant as Paedrig. The ships sailed slowly northward, staying more or less near to the shore on the typical course of merchant-ships. Everything on board was prepared for the fight, now they could only wait and pray.

On the second day of the journey it seems as if the preparations had worked in the right way. A small galley was sighted by Loren, quickly closing the distance to the Amber Crown and showing the already known flag: a skeleton with a battleaxe. As ordered, the Amber Crown did try to sail away (it should locked believable, not as obvious trap), and for a while the greater ship managed to hold the distance. Than the pirates opened fire with her scorpion and some crossbows and bows, laying an effective suppressing-fire on their would-to-be-pray. Roger ordered the crew taking cover as if the fire had frighten them, while the secret reinforcement waited under deck or under the back or forward “castle” of the cog. When the enemy close in, he ordered them on their post – archers on the “castles”, crew and personal guards on the deck. Boarding claws grab the Amber Crown and the pirates made a fierce attack. They meet deadly resistance from the personal guard under the command of Roger Brecon, which smash trough the ranks of the charging raiders. In reprisal the raiders also inflicted heavy losses with their initial charge. But after some fierce fighting it becomes clear that the personal guard, supported by the sailors under the command of Paedrig, could win the upper hand. The men from Dragonport narrowly avoided disorganization, partly because of sheer luck when the enemy commander failed in lead his men in the right way through the chaos of battle, but half of the enemy forces were routed. In the meanwhile, Loren who had stayed with the archers was able to wound or kill many of the people which manned the hostile scorpion so that the enemies stopped their suppressing-fire, which had been very effective until now. Already the scorpion of the Amber Crown together with the archers laid suppressing-fire on the enemy, making it difficult for the pirates to fight or flee. They try to retreat and to organize their ranks, but loosing the momentum resulted in being boarded themselves when the archers throw the prepared boarding-claws. The second half of the pirates were disorganized in bloody fight on their own ship – at that point the first men began to surrender, while some die-hards still fighting on. Paedrig and Loren had joined the boarding troops, searching for enemy leaders. Loren was able to defeat an officer, and Paedrig faced the captain of the pirate-ship in single combat – a huge man with long black-grey hairs in a plait, decorated with bells, wearing silver-plated armour and a deadly fine balanced arakh. The fight was hard and both combatants suffered severe injuries, but in the end the captain was defeated, going down bleeding. The battle was over, with around half a dozen soldiers and sailors killed and up to 30 pirates were killed in combat, slain when their unit routed or killed after giving up. The same number was captured.

Ser Roger was able to hold his men under control, so that the looting concentrated on the prisoners, and that they were kept under surveillance. This proofed necessary (and lucrative) when it become clear, that onboard of the captured ship a significant number of money and fright from the North were secured, obviously looted short before. A number of prisoners – taken maybe for ransom – were freed, including the merchants Robbyn and Eliza Dale, brother and sister from Gulltown. After the situation had calmed down, they offered a good price for getting her fright (now legitimate booty of the Amber Crown) back, and as reward for freeing them. The Amber Crown and the captured ship – the “Bloodrider” – set sail homewards. Lord Erick was taken onboard. First interrogation of the normal pirates showed, that they were mainly from abroad – the Free Cities, the Slavery Bay and above, the captain himself was quite unique, a Dothraki named Khalo. The prisoners seemed not fearing much, believing in the strength of their free comrades. This changed sharply after Roger and Erick hanged five of them to scarring the others. Paedrig protested weakly because he thought that executions were a thing Lord Gard had to decide, but Erick claimed at this moment he was the lord. Paedrigs meaning of him decreased even further, given the fact that Erick now “did play the lord” while staying away from all the danger.
Anyway after that the prisoners were much easier to interrogate. This and later interrogates painted a grim picture. It becomes clear that the Bloodrider were part of a fleet of five ships, four smaller galleys and a real war-galley called “Spotted whale” with 80 oars. This ship and the command of the entire fleet were in the hand of “Lord” Nardis, “Nardis the Golden”, the “Lord of the hundred ships”, the “Whip of the Sea” and so fort. He was a pirate-prince which had plagued the area of the Free Cities and the Stepstones as pirate, mercenary and so on. Once he commandeered two dozen ships and “thousands” of men, lived in a palace – but than two of his sons and several rivals joined forces and he had to flee with only five ships and some hundred men. It seems as if he thought the Bite – far away from the Westerosi fleets at Dragonstone, the Reach, the Iron Isles and Lannisport – was a good place for operation, at least temporary. That the foes were so strong and organized clearly worried the men from Dragonport, but for now they could not do much. Later interrogations revealed that the pirates’ base seems to be on the southern shore of the Bite, but because the captured captain was still not in the condition for a “robust” interrogation, the exact position stays unclear for now.

When the two ships reached Dragonport, the excitement was huge. So many prisoners were uncommon in the area during the mostly peaceful last decade. While the ordinary pirates stayed in the town’s garrison, the officers were brought to the castle. Lord Gard was clearly impressed by the result, and the officers and men were rewarded generously. The Dales could buy her fright back, a possibility for Erick to create some contacts to the Vale.
Gard decided to rearm the captured ship as part of his future fleet because he feared that the pirates maybe become a major threat for his houses wealth and security, and ordered Erick to began with calculation how much more ships would cost. The older men did fulfil this task with as much effectiveness as ever, calculating for several options of different ships (small galleys like the Bloodrider or armed cogs), coming to an agreement with the head of the local timber-industry and started to reach out to White Harbour and the Vale to look for ships, men and officers for hire (he also asked if not some of the prisoners might changed sides). He even mentioned that they should perhaps even look at Kings Landing. It seem clear that a fleet would be expensive in creation, but possible – even more if house Blyth could get some support. Lord Gard informed his liege-lord and asked for additional money and other help.

Some days later news came which made clear what the intention of Nardis were and which maybe explained why the pirates did have struck so brutal in the beginning. Several fishermen which were abducted before were released to communities in several parts of the Bite. Nardis demanded a “ransom” from the local lords for securing their coastal villages, fishers and trade – 20 dragon per month from every coastal lord, 100 from every port, and 200 extra from Dragonport (including the release of his captured men) as compensation for his slain men and captured ship. If anyone did not pay, he promised to harm trade and people as much as he can. The last sentence of his message could be interpreted that in the future there might be the possibility that he would work FOR some of the local lords (against their enemies) for pay. Maybe the first brutal attacks of the pirates should frighten the local nobles and “soften them up” for this offer, also demonstrating what a brutal effective ally he could be.

Gard discussed the new challenge with the people he trusted. Erick asked if it would not be possible to pay the pirates off or use them against enemies. This was NOT what Gard had in mind or want to hear – and while he still had great respect towards his uncle’s cleverness and abilities, he had some doubts about his honour and personal courage given his speeches now and his behaviour during the pirates-hunt. Meera come up with the possibility of promising a bounty on Nardis’ head and a pardon for men of him which leave his ranks. This might not only weak him, but after the last betrayal even the possibility of traitors might create paranoia and mistrust, which could harm the pirates’ morale. Gard welcomed this idea, while he opted to wait what Lord Aran would mean about an amnesty (because such a move could anger lords who had lost men by the hands of the freebooters, and because an amnesty behind which a local liege-lord stand would perhaps sound more believable). He also ordered his troops to stay on high alert, fearing a possible revenge-attack from the pirates or an attempt to rescue the prisoners.
So it ended for now. House Blyth had shown it capability of organizing major events and began to flexing its mussels to face a new threat. It is not sure if swords and oars or daggers and intrigues will decide the conflict with Nardis, but on both fields of battle the forces preparing for the fight…
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Eisen » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:31 am

Troubling times indeed, but the meeting with the king's party sounded fun and awesome! Dealing with a scruffy little direwolf pup stealing food sounds like a riot :)

I didn't think Gard would have a problem with the new Hand of the King. Was it just because Lord Stark follows the Old Gods or does Gard have something else against the North? >.>

That pirate of yours sounds pretty brutal! But if it were my call I'd just let the leige lord deal with it, considering House Blyth has no coastline. Let someone else pay the butchers bill! (and the normal bill too :P )

Eric is becoming a bit of a weasel in this one, totally loving where he's going with the character. But in the end I think that Meera has the right idea. Turrning the cuthroats against each other is likely to produce better results.
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:06 am

Thanks for the comments.
Allthough i must correct you - the problem is, house Blyth (of Dragonport) HAS a coastline, while the liege lord (house Aran) did not. So we must deal with the problem and could be happy, if Lord Aran assist with some money/troops...
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:53 pm

Well with Gard's opinion towards Lord Stark... the religion is one part of his little scepticism, seperating the North from most people of Westeros (although this partition seem not to be very violent in the last centuries - just only a litte dustance towards the others). Although house Blyth has connections to the North and share some traditions and even over the century surely some intermarriage, the North is still something a little bit strange to the southerners. He is sceptic that a man who had ruled about people and lands who are so different is the right man to rule from King’s Landing over the heart of Westeros. Lord Lannister or Stannis did not have this disadvantage.
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby SvenS » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:43 pm

Thx for posting this! I find it both inspirational and fun to read! =)
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Hr_Lumsk » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:28 am

Really nice log and seems to be a really rewarding campaign you got going. Makes me wanna start a campaign :)

A couple of questions for you guys:

- How many people are you on this campaign, how many char. do every person play, who narrates etc.?
- How did you essentially start the campaign, did every player have a saying in the house and neighborhouse etc. creation?
- Do you play with "open" cards, so there is no secrets between players, only between characters, or how do you do it?
- And how familiar are the players in the GRRM setting before this campaign started?

And thanks again for the lovely tale, keep em coming :)
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:05 am

Glad to hear that You find it interesting... :D

Most of the time of the chronic we were three people. We started with three, later another player joined the round, but some months after that one of the "original" players did not have the time to continue. Two of the present people manage two chars (often only one take part in the adventure), the last has one. For short periods of time other players join the round, but had either not the time to stay or prefer other systems.
The job of narrator is separated between my brother and me more or less in equal parts. Of course during the job as narrator the own pc(‘s) are treated more or less passive. The houses were mainly created by the two narrators (of course it is also the question if you want to invest time into that), but in the beginning we discussed the issue with the third player if he had own wishes or ideas.
There are secrets between the chars, but not really between the players. The level of intrigues against each other is more convincing and bargaining than intimidate or betrayal.
My brother and I had read the first four books several times, the other players either once or started reading during play.
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:14 am

This time not much action, but many secret discussion and intrigues. Not deadly for now, but in the future...who knows... :lol:

New hope, old feud

In the following weeks the troops stayed in high alert. It was possible to slightly improve the abilities of the archers, which could used the combat-experience of some of their men during the capturing of the “Bloodrider” and the training they get on land before and after the combat.
Foreign sailors were kept under surveillance to search for possible infiltrators. Secretly Gard prepared a declaration of an amnesty: Any man of Nardis which leave his chief would be welcomed and his life spared. If he brought Nardis alive or believable witnesses/ proofs of his death, he would reward with 100 dragons, and 50 for the death of one of his captains. A pirate ship which changed sides would rewarded with up to 200 dragons for captain and crew, a smaller vessel with the half or a quarter, depending of size etc. But any attempt to foul him would be punished severely, he warned, and he was determined to handle new recruits and possible defectors with care to avoid that possible traitors could sneak in.
Gard did not publish the declaration yet, waiting for a chance to win Lord Aran as support (he wrote to him, also praising Lord Aran’s daughter for her wisdom, because several of the ideas were her) to give the declaration more convincing-power. Most members of his household support the idea, with exception of his mother (who opposed because Meera was supporting it).
The Bloodrider was prepared for further duty as convoy-ship but it needs time to find men as sailors and officers. Also it seem clear that it would not easy to build even a small fleet or to hire armed freighters. Gard tend more and more towards the idea to create a mixed unit – perhaps two additional small galleys like the captured ship, fast and able to operate in shallow waters, and two greater ships, for example armed cogs or holks, able to give support because they clearly may be a better platform for archers, scorpions etc. This would also reduce the time for creation, because it would be much easier to buy two freighters and to build three galleys than to form a unit of five more or less identical ships.
But the pirates weren’t the only problem. Rumours spread about the ability (and willingness) of house Blyth to pay its bills, about the danger of ruin and poverty. Nothing of that was true, in fact the house had several hundred dragons as safety, but the rumours did harm the trade in some way. Since it was not absolutely clear from where these lies come, Gard – and not only he – thought the source might be house Lugus, who, as the Blyths learned later, had a new heir which in the meantime had visited the Twins to find support (but not with much success it seems).
Paedrig did not very much during this time – the wounds he suffered during the capture of the Bloodrider immobilize him for almost two weeks.
Eric on the other hand was busy with his task to managing the preparations for the fleet and the recruitment of the men which would be needed, and he had also to manage his own business. The commander of his small personal guard was also involved in the recruiting, since he was one of the few people at Dragonport with experience in real naval warfare. Gard tried to reduce this problem by searching in the archives after information about earlier pirates and sea-battles. He found something, but not much. But he wasn’t absolutely preoccupied with that problem – in addition he started two more or less secret “operations”.

First, he made contact with his aunt Lady Visennya Buckwell in King’s landing. Since Gard’s Bastard-nephew who was hidden with his mother at Eaglewood was growing and in perhaps two months would reach the age of half a year, the Lord decided that soon he would be healthy enough to send him away into the south together with his mother. There he could grow without any chance to be instrumented as “heir” or propaganda-tool against house Blyth by angering the Dannetts (the father of the bastard, Gard’s brother Viserion, was married to a Dannett-girl which died during her own pregnancy, creating some rumours about the behaviour of her husband) and discrediting the deceased Lord Viserion. Gard reserved 20 dragons for the transport, to “silencing” Septa Jonelle and to guaranty mother and child a living under Visenyas surveillance. He was for now not sure what later should be done with his “nephew” – this would be a problem for the future.
Second he sends a letter to the Wall, together with a generous gift of 30 dragons. In fact he see the Nightwatch more as a protection against the wildlings (less against Others, snarks or grumkins), and he was aware that the black brothers had fought small-scale-warfare for thousands of years. He asked if they may send a brother to train the scouts of the border watch in which he was involved in and if not (given the fact they had swear not to intervene) at least sent scripts from their written memories of centuries of counter-guerrilla against foes which have much in common with the clansmen of the Mountains of Moon. Of course it would need time to get answer to this letter…

Alyanna was also busy, mostly in secret as it was her nature. She went on with her researches about magical phenomenons, spending quite a lot of her money for that and other operations. She learned something about old ritual places, today nothing more than stones with withered runes, carvings and faded pictures nobody of the civilized people could understand, and about a remaining Weirwood and some tales about the children of the forest who used the trees to look through their eyes. There were also some more frightening stories about a specific clan in the mountains, called Shadowcats. Some tales report they were the remnants of people who flee the North during the Long Night, or come to the south as allies or soldiers of the Others. There were also rumours they still were preparing for a coming war either against or in support of the ‘old enemy’, or that they had to watch over some ancient dark secrets. She discussed that with Elen, but got no further information.
About Maester Roderick, which had searched after information about magic in the late Targaryan-years she learned little new. It seems that his report never reached Oldtown, but that he left for King’s Landing. Perhaps this might be a trace to follow…
The young lady also spend money to spread (with growing success) poisoned rumours about the Lugus, about their intrigues and acts of brutality against their own kind in past and present, to reducing their chances to ally or intermarry with any of the local families.
Alyanna also cared for her own future. Realizing that she someday would have to marry she started collecting information and secrets of potential grooms. She hoped, that in that way she could prevent an unwanted marriage and to decide, which would be the best candidate for her. She also won a secret ally in her sister in law – for the promise to support Meera in securing her position as “first lady” in Dragonport, with even more influence than Gard’s mother. Alyanna used the chance also to influence Meera’s opinion about Gard in a positive way (other than her easily influenced and seduced brother she did stay a little sceptical towards her sister in law’s loyalty and feelings towards Gard).

In the meantime news arrive that Tygor Wyl and Iris Dannett would marry soon. Since the celebration should be with some entertainment including a “fighting hunt” – a hunt in a controlled area were dogs and dangerous animals would set free and would be challenged by the hunters.
It seems that most of the local houses get only information, no invitation (perhaps because of the…colourful…past of the bride), but house Blyth of Dragonport was invited. Following Gard’s order, Eric and Paedrig dealt very well with one part of the present for the couple – collecting some animals for the hunt. Two strong bulls were bought by Eric for a good amount of money, and Paedrig with the help of Loren and Wulf – the two huntsmen of the castle – organized a smaller hunt in which three ferocious boars/ sows were captured. Meera and Alyanna collected some jewellery and clothing for the bride. House Blyth would send a greater delegation – Lord Gard, his wife and sister, his uncle, some guards and so on. The old Lady stayed at home to keep an eye on the situation in Dragonport (and secretly because she wants not to be under pressure to show harmony with her daughter in law). Gard ordered the troops being carefully during his (short) absence. The travel was without mayor events, even the animals were transported without problems. After arrival these presents were kept under surveillance by the Dannetts in cages in an old barn.
Dannett Hall was a smaller fortress than Starbone or Dragonport, defended only by palisade and wall, with an old, dark, strong and perhaps a little bit shabby stone keep. While the event was a lucky one, Adham Dannett still seem not really happy (surely because of his health), and also his sister stays calm.
Other guests were the Arans – Lord Vickon Aran with his granddaughter Elyssa – and the Faith represented by septa Jonelle from Eaglewood. Eric used this opportunity to renew his contact with the septa which was an important trading-partner of him. Meera had her own agenda towards the faith and used the coming days to win the septa as an ally in her secred plans to remove Lady Fiana Blyth permanently from power and any influence towards Gard. Although she soon had to realize that Jonelle was a formidable foe, she won some support for the promise to influence Gard in the way Jonelle wishes.
Also house Falkirk was present at the feast, because they were a long-time ally of the Dannetts – a friendship that has cooled down a little bit since the relations between Dannett and Blyth improved in the last months. The head of house Falkirk, Lord Edwyn did show swiftly how much he dislikes the Blyth’s by insulting Eric without real reason. His sister Rhaenyra, a silent young girl, did have better manners, but avoided contact with the party (mainly with Alyanna, which was of course present in the circle of the younger noblewomen).

Gard used the time after arrival to discuss with Lord Aran some matters. While he get some support for his planes of an amnesty for pirate defectors, he was also somehow driven in the corner by Lord Aran and convinced to try to end the old feud with the Falkirks, perhaps – this was Lord Aran’s idea – by an marriage between Alyanna and Edwyn or Torrhen. Gard agreed that he would discuss calming the waves and trying to find an agreement, but was not willing to press things forward for a marriage. After all he suspected the Falkirk’s of having something to do with earlier raids against the lands of the Blyth and the death of his brother – and before he honestly thought about a man as potential groom for his sister he need to trust him in some way. But he surely wanted to find an agreement with the Falkirk’s in the defence against the pirates. Gard also agreed in supporting Lord Arans plan in wedding Elyssa to Adham, although he mentioned potential problems given the fact that he thought the girl was still young and secretly in love with Torrhen Falkirk. He later discussed the matter with his wife, asking for her opinion (after all she was the aunt of Elyssa and daughter of Lord Aran, and he was interested in her advice). Meera was not sure and mentioned, that Adhan would perhaps be also a good groom for Alyanna, a marriage which could improve the relations between both houses and lead to Alyanna being lady of house Dannet in a not to distant future, even if that would mean to disturb the plans of house Aran.
Alyanna in the meantime had mainly conversations with Elyssa, which she knows well from the time of the marriage of her brother. She had not difficulties to find out that Elyssa was a bit afraid of being “on the market” – to be married soon to the Falkirks or Dannetts. Alyanna agrees secretly with that fears (knowing, that she was in a similar situation, but trusting her abilities to manipulate the situation). She for herself had for now no clear “favourite” potential groom…

The local nobles were not the only guests worth of notice. A visitor from the Twins was awaited, but he arrived late – Lord Edwyn Frey, a pale, unhappy man with no charisma, who was of course welcomed with respect by all. With him and his men a hedge-knight arrives Dannett Hall, named Orwin Kettleblack. Alyanna and Eric noticed that something on this guy worried the bride. Both did know not much about the Kettleblack’s, only that some of them live around King’s Landing and that the family was unimportant. Alyanna who thought he may know Iris from her time as prostitute at King’s Landing had some suspicions. It would be very strange that such a man by “accident” arrives at just this time. She suspected him of being perhaps instrumented/ sent by the Lugus to piss in the celebration-wine, so to speak. So she sent her lady-in-waiting to spy after him, and hired a stable boy to do the same. That brought not much information, but clearly Kettleblack was very interested in learning more about the castle – examining the stables and the palace but also the wall and the gate. This strengthens Alyanna’s worries. She decided to inform her uncle about what she found out, and he had the idea to perhaps drink something with the hedge-knight to search for further information. Both agreed also that Alyanna should talk with Iris to warn her (not only with altruistic reasons, but if the Lugus were behind that all, they were enemies of the Blyth too).

Before any further could happen, the situation took a dramatic twist. Suddenly there was yelling and screams outside the castle. Both Gard and Eric (who noticed this first) rushed to the wall. On that way Eric had some worries that it might be an attack by the Lugus or something like this, while Gard cursed himself that he had not speak with the Dannett’s to keep a watchful eye on the cages of the animals – he thought they might be a easy target for any saboteur. When they reached the wall his worries proofed all to true. A huge brown bear hat broken out, peoples flew while the predator seems uncertain to follow them or to feed on a human body which lay on the ground. Gard asked Eric to send half of the Blyth-soldiers outside for help while the other half and his personal guard should protect Eric and the ladies. Than he jumped down from the wall, shouting to distract the bear from possible other prey. This worked all too well and both opponents meet each other. While Gard suffered some serious injuries, he was able to slay the animal with his sword. After the corps was brought away and the situation calmed down a little it became clear that some children from the village had angered the bear by picking him with sticks and throwing stones into his cage, and finally he broke out, killing one boy. While Gard still believed in sabotage and warned about this (and further acts like this), Eric and the Dannetts believe more in an accident.

Gard was treated by the master of the Dannetts and praised by some men and women, but others like his uncle and wife (which seemed worried) mentioned it would be better if he had send his men ant not – as often – joined the fight as first man. He agreed to some degree to that critic.
Meanwhile Alyanna joined the young ladies again. She was able to speak secretly with Iris, wanting to warn her about Kettleblack. Iris revealed that she did know Orwin and some of his brothers from her time in the Jade Spring brothel in King’s Landing and had a bad opinion of him. She was worried he might want to blackmail her but did not want to involve her family or groom in that matter. Alyanna asked if she could help and Iris asked for help to bribe Orwin to leave before the marriage and any possible scandal. But she warned it would be too dangerous for a young woman to speak with him alone. She gave Alyanna money and jewellery worth more than 20 dragons. The young Blyth lady decided to ask her uncle for help, giving him a greater sum of money (she decided not to give away the jewellery to have something to charm Iris or remember her how much she owes her). Eric thought he would have time during the feast in the evening and want to make sure that Kettleblack would not return for a second blackmail – so he must persuade or intimidate a reckless warrior…

The feast was well organized. Erick sent the leader of his personal guard to made first contact with Orwin, lying that he was thinking about hiring him. He was also busy in another way, helping his nephew who was – still injured but present – under pressure from Edwyn Frey. The older man wanted more information about the feud between Blyth and Lugus (who did have some land near the twins) and seemed a little bit concerned about the ambitions of house Aran. Edwyn Frey was also seeking help for a possible marriage between house Frey and house Dannett, offering some financial support for house Blyths naval project if an agreement could be found. Gard was not very happy with the situation – he had promised lord Aran already some support or thought about a marriage between house Blyth and Dannett, and he did know enough about the possible brides Edwyn Frey mentioned ( Zia, daughter of Tytos Frey, a maid of around thirteen, Amerei Frey called Gatehouse Ami for her freeness in giving her virtues or Tyta Frey called “the maid” because she was still unwed with 28 years) to consider most of them as not very optimal for Adham. He did not say this open (Eric did, what lead to some trouble and a serious warning by Edwyn that Lord Frey would not humour such sayings), but refused to give a positive signal to the Frey. Secretly he thought about revealing all this to lord Aran – after all his liege-lord and father of his wife.
Alyanna meanwhile was not SO busy, showing perfect manners, keeping an eye on the guests but kept herself a little bit in the background, secretly supporting the appearance of Meera and Elyssa.

After Edwyn Frey had left, Eric changed his attention towards Orwin Kettleblack, but was unable to manoeuvre him into drunkenness (instead he himself and his personal guard get slightly drunken). But he get far enough to leave the feast for a more secret talk with Kettleblack on the castle wall, although he did know that this was not without danger. But he was confident of his abilities and the alertness of the Dannett watchmen.
The conversation was not easy given the fact that both men were unwilling to take the first step and speaking clear (and Eric was slightly drunken), but in the end he was able to bribe Orwin to leave Dannett Hall immediately and he got also the name of the man – a merchantman in King’s Landing with connections to the Westlands – who tipped Orwin about the possibility to blackmail Iris. It seems that the suspicion that the Lugus are behind Orwins travel seem right. Sadly on the next morning Eric, who had gone on with drinking after the conversation, could not remember the name of the merchantmen (The player forget the name and also failed in an inPlay knowledge test to remember). Orwin had left during the night, so that this possible problem was gone, perhaps forever.
Alyanna used the evening to made first carefully contacts with the Falkirks (after all Edwyn Falkirk was one of her potential grooms), but also she was treated with some resentments.

On the next morning, the fighting hunt started. The main attraction – the bear – was already killed on the day before but there were still some wild boars, dogs, bulls and wolves which fight in several rounds against each other or were killed by hunters. While there were some injuries, no hunter were hurt seriously. Adham Dannett took part in the fights against the will of his father – what lead to some arguments between lord and heir. Gard – still handicapped by the injuries from the day before – did not take part in the fight, but ordered his men to stay alert if someone tries to sabotages the event, but nothing happened.
After the fighting there was again the possibility of conversation. Gard secretly informed Lord Aran about the plans of the Frey’s and about their suspicions against house Aran. He for himself made clear that he saw his loyalty at first smitten towards his immediate liege-lord and father of his wife. Alyanna did continue in her subtle work to improve the opinion of lord Falkirk towards her – but this project clearly needs more time. Gard and Eric had also some contact with lord Falkirk but he seems to be unwilling to compromise. He had no good opinion about the naval project of Dragonport, about the border guard which was created with the help of house Blyth and was not ready to forget the old feuds. On the other hand Gard was still not trust the Falkirks that they had nothing to do with the raids on his land in the past. Even to mention a common enemy – “Pirron Strife” alias Joren Ripon of Twinwood – did not help, because lord Falkirk began to realize that house Blyth of Dragonport may have very personal reasons to hunt Joren/ Pirron (also he did not find out which).

In the hours after the hunt Gard and Eric finally meet Lord Edwyn Frey. The emissary of the Twins did his best to incite them against lord Aran. They planed to tell him in a polite way that they do not want to support house Frey’s wedding-plans with house Dannett, but want to convince him that it would be also in the interest of the Twins to charge the pirates in the Bite. They had soon to realize that Edwyn was a superior negotiator. Gard decided that they had to cancel the discussion, since he was not willing to take a position against his liege-lord and father of his wife. That left house Dannett in a difficult position. Surely the Frey’s will not support the naval plans with money and they had realized that house Blyth of Dragonport stands loyal to house Aran – if the suspicions against Lord Aran ever result in open or covered conflict, it is very likely that house Blyth will be involved on the weaker side…

The wedding continued, undisturbed from all this secret whispering and elbow-rubbing. It seems clear, that bride and groom were quiet happy with each other. The wedding itself was a rare moment in which politic and hostility was absent, at least on the surface, and all joined voices to congratulate the couple and drink, dance and eat.

On the next day the guests broke apart. There was still some trouble inside house Dannett since it becomes clear that Adham planed accompany his sister and brother-in-law (at least for a part of the journey) when they travel to Dorne to claim Tygor Wyl’s birthright by force (with the support of Dannett-soldiers). So any wedding-plan had to come to a halt (it seems so that the old lord Dannett was much more attracted to wed his son with the Twins than the potential groom, but he could not go on with his plans, similar as lord Aran).
House Aran and Blyth travel home together. Lord Aran was worried about the mistrust and plans of the Twins, but while he was not absolutely satisfied with the support he get from the Blyths he surely trust their loyalty towards him. Both houses said each other farewell in best relations, knowing that they soon will have to discuss important matters in their campaign against the pirates.
When the Blyth reached their castle, a mysterious “gift” awaited them – a precious dagger, exactly the same type as Eric had got in King’s Landing during his last visit. The weapon was found inside the castle one day before Lord Gard came back. Instead of the glass-flacon with poison the dagger had an anonymous letter inside. It said that instead of the spreading of evil rumours and covered intrigues it might be better to seek peace and harmony. Further hostility would lead only to more suffering on both sides etc…an offering of ceasefire from the Lugus, so much seem clear – but how will house Blyth decide, and how far could the offer be trusted?
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Canarr » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:25 am

Hey there - new on these boards. Just wanted to weigh in and give my appreciation on your Campaign Log - a great read, well written and telling a good story. Very cool :D
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:26 am

Thanks! And if the one or other idea could be used for your own game, this would be fine...
It could take a while to continue the log, since it depends how often we could meet and how fast the game went on...
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Canarr » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:35 am

Will do, thank you. Actually, I've already planned to steal the idea of the bandits breaking their leader out of Night Watch custody. That should be right down my players' alley.

You're Germans, right? I seem to remember reading that somewhere.
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:49 am

Yes, that's right. Understanding English quiet enough to use the rule-books etc., but not too good of course... Anyway, some kind of practice... :wink:
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:40 am

About true and false kings – Part I

The first issue with which house Blyth has do deal after the return from Dannett-hall was the informal “offer” from house Lugus. There were some disagreements how the offer/threat to stop the unconventional warfare against each other should be handled. Gard (who did not trust the Lugus but was not interested in continuing a fight while even house Frey had mentioned their desire for peace in this matter) tended to accept the offer but was uncertain if an answer should be sent (perhaps also “anonymous”). However Gards wife Meera (who also did not trust the Lugus and recommended to stay alert) argued that it would be enough to stop any offensive measures for the moment and wait what will happen. Gards uncle Eric mentioned that it might be a good idea to increase the pressure on the Lugus and continue/intensify the attacks, but could not convince the Lord who did have enough trouble at the gates (the pirates, the Mountain Clans, Joren Rippon…).
But Gard was very unhappy with the fact that the “message” could be placed so easily inside the castle, and so he reorganized the watch routine of the castle guards to made similar “surprise visits” more difficult in the future. This included the use of trained dogs, patrols with changing intervals etc. He also ordered Elen to organized preparations for the treatment of greater numbers of wounded, and together with Eric he let the people of Dragonport train to fight fires (if the pirates or the Lugus start one), mollifying the anger about the extra-work with free meat and alcohol (an idea of Eric). In the same time the ranks of the soldiers were reorganized. The head of the personal guard became “commander in chief” in the lord’s absence; the leader of the cavalry should act as second in command in such a situation. Both officers had to train replacements for them if they got wounded or killed. On the “civilian” level Gard decided that Meera would rule if he was not present, supported by his mother and uncle – for important issues Ablar Townsman and the head of the town garrison also should be heard.

***

Meanwhile the captured pirate captain was healthy enough to be interrogated. He was no man who betrayed his “king” lightly, so the interrogation became a nasty and bloody thing. The Lord of Krayenhorn himself did most of the questioning, assisted by some of his guards for the more…physical aspects. Paedrig and Eric also participated – Eric with his rhetoric skills and his cool mind, stopping things before they get out of hand, while Paedrig had a more…active part. None of the three liked what they had to do (or witness) but it must be done.
After some days of interrogation/torture Gard had his answers – the position of Nardis hideout, information about his ships and captains and knowledge of the fact, that the pirate-lord had reached an agreement with a tribe of the “seals people”, one of the clans which controlled parts of the coastline north of the Vale. Nardis had even married a daughter of a clan chief. However the hideout was at least 100 miles away from Dragonport at the contested southern coast of the Bite. It would cost more than a week to send troops through the wilderness to this position. And a landing operation would also be dangerous – the preparation for such an operation could not kept secret and house Blyth did have only one small (still damaged and undermanned) warship at the moment, while the enemy did have three and a real war galley…
It was also unclear if the enemy did not have relocated their camp after the loss of one of their ships.

***

Beside this hard duties and strategic calculations there was also time for joyful news – Lady Meera surprised his husband with the message that she was pregnant. Of course the Lord was enthusiastic, but also a little bit nervous because he knew that pregnancy and birth was always a dangerous time for a woman. He did not have forgotten the death of his brother’s wife in childbed. However with an able healer like Elen Fairyeyes he was optimistic. He informed his family and the Arans, spending some money to the Seven, and the quick spreading rumours were welcomed by most of the ordinary people, since Meera was quiet popular after the celebration of her marriage.


Anyway there were also many other things to organize – the captured galley (now named the “Golden Dragon” after the arms of the Blyth) must be repaired; it needed a crew and a captain. For this important duty, Lord Gard hired Valgar Pyke, the captain of one of Ablar Twonsman’s ships which had commanded the “Q-Ship” that captured the pirate vessel. Gard also ordered Paedrig and Eric to recruit some of the captured pirates for the crew if possible (but also interrogate and evaluate the potential defectors if they are trustworthy). In the end a dozen of prisoners changed sides (and was accepted as crewmembers), leaving the same number of men for the justice of the Lord.
Gard wanted to show once and for all that he was not weak and did not fear Nardis – and so the punishment for the remaining prisoners was severe. Three younger pirates were pardoned as recruits for the Night Watch (this was also an act of lenience as celebration of the pregnancy of Lady Meera), the remaining nine pirates and two officers were sentenced to death. The crewmen were hanged, with the participation of the defectors who must in this way proof that they were ready to spill the blood of their former comrades. Both officers were beheaded by the Lord himself. It was the biggest mass execution in Dragonport in decades, a fact which bother Gard. The heads of the two beheaded pirates were dipped into tar and exposed on stakes at the harbour as a warning and to calm the fears of traders, which now had to travel in convoys.
To further increase the fleet of Dragonport, Gard bought a cog (giving her the name “Mastiff” after the dog on the Aran-arms) and ordered that the ship should be armed and manned. More ships should follow, but recruiting men (and finding officers) did cost some time…

Meanwhile Lady Meera had a little talk with her husband and sister in law Alyanna, urging them that they should help her to influence her parents to arrange a marriage between her niece Elyssa and Torrhen Falkirk. She had several motives for this – she did know that Elyssa was deep in love with Torrhen (although this feeling was not mutual). This would be also an opportunity to calm the anger of house Fallkirk which felt neglected by house Aran and was alarmed by the increasing power of house Blyth of Dragonport. And finally she mentioned that in such a case Elyssa certainly could not marry Adham Dannet (a project of Meeras father), giving her sister in law Alyanna an opportunity she should not miss – given the fact that Adham was handsome and heir of house Dannett…
Gard agreed mostly and also decided to offer the Falkirks moment some smaller benefits for their traders on the market of Dragonport in the right, looking forward to ending the conflict between the two houses.

Also other houses had their own intentions to get their stand in the game of power. Iris Dannett and Tygor Wyl (together with Adham Dannett) left the area – the young couple lead more than 100 men southwards to reclaim Tygor’s birthright, and Adham decided to travel with his sister for a while (perhaps also to evade the urgings of his father and other lords to marry quickly).

The maester of house Weymouth made a short visit, supposedly as an answer to Lady Alyannas question about magic phenomena in the area, about which he told something. In reality he wanted to contact Lord Gard secretly concerning the attempt of house Aran to wed Lord Arans youngest son to Rhaenyra, the heiress of house Weymouth – a plan Gard did support. House Weymouth was not against this proposal. However, while there were numerous potential grooms for the Weuymouth girl her parents want good conditions for the marriage. They did know that Gard had good connections to the Arans and also wanted the support of other houses for his new fleet.
The maester’s offer was simple – Lord Gard should support house Weymouth in their marriage bargain with house Aran (f. e. help to ensure that only the children of Rhaenyra Weymouth could inherit the Weymouth land) and should swear to support house Wymouth if any problems should arose because of the new alliance between Aran and Weymouth. Weymouth would therefore support Gards fleet program with some money…
Gard was willing to accept this offer.

To boost his income, keeping in mind how much a fleet would cost, Gard (after an offer of Ser Gawan of Krayenhorn) also decided to invest some money into the horse breeding of Krayenhorn. He lent his courser and Paedrigs sand steed mare to Krayenhorn and some money to the family of Paedrigs mother so that they could by some additional dornish mares and sent them to Krayenhorn to improve their breed – a project which might or might not bring benefit in the future.
This, Paedrig’s role as courier and his participation in the increased border patrol operation of Krayenhorn/Dragonport-troops gave the young bastard-knight the opportunity to visit Krayenhorn more often. However he noticed that his aunt Anya, Lady of Krayenhorn, more and more tend to evade him during these visits. The young knight got the impression that she had not suddenly started to dislike him, but realized his affection for her and feared that she began to like her two year younger bastard-nephew a little to much…
However Paedrig was not willing to give up so easily, although his possibilities to meet and impress his secret love were limited for the moment (the GM is not completely certain how he should handle this subplot at the moment, so he delayed the whole thing a little bit. It is a pity…).

The prepared amnesty for possible traitors and defectors in the rank of the pirates were now published with the support of Lord Aran not only in Dragonport but also far beyond. Secretly, Alyanna and her uncle also spread rumours about already ongoing talks between some of the pirates and Dragonport, rumours which should slowly targeting one certain captain, Sandro Amero, leader of the galley “Seagull”. He was the youngest of the captains, promoted after both the captain and first officer of the Seagull died during the rebellion which exiled Nardis. He seemed the easiest target for Nardis suspicions about new betrayal, possible weaken his strength. Of course such things need time and money, until the poisoned song of Alyannas little birds might travel to Nardis’ ears… The young lady also stopped her active work against the Lugus (her own decision against the words of her uncle, but she wanted not to overstretch the capabilities of her network). However she kept an passive eye on the Lugus – and on all smugglers and traders which might help the pirates…

***

Shortly after the mass execution, Gard accepted Paedrigs idea to send a reconnaissance squad to the supposed hideout of ‘king’ Nardis. The small unit (three soldiers, one of the defected pirates, and Loren, one of the castle hunters, as scout) under Paedrigs command should go ashore some 30 miles away from the supposed position of the pirate harbour. They had order to infiltrate the area of the enemy camp and detect if the pirates were still there and what might be the best way to launch an attack. The scouts went onboard of one of Ablar Townsmans small merchant ships which traded with some of the small (often contested or not very secure) settlements at the northern coast of the Vale. After a half day they arrived their destination and were left behind with the promise to be taken onboard again in seven days.

While the terrain was rough and the squad marched as stealthy as possible, they needed two days to reach a position nearby the supposed pirate camp. It was clear that sending a larger unit along the coast would be complicated and cost too much time. The best way to attack any position at this rough coast might be landing the troops at (or nearby) the target. But of course with only one real warship at the moment this would be very dangerous if the warships of the pirates intercepted the invasion force.
During the night, Paedrig, Loren and the defected pirate started the reconnaissance of the camp while the other men stayed behind. It was not an easy task to get closer, because some half tamed dogs were on their way around the settlement. While Paedrig and the ex-pirate returned to the camp of the scout squad, Loren started a close distance reconnaissance and stayed in hiding nearby the ‘harbour’ for the day.

It became obvious that the pirates had mostly abandoned their camp, leaving behind only remnants of their huts, two abandoned firing positions for scorpions (of course the siege weapons were not longer there), a wrecked cog and a dozen of bodies bound on stakes in the tide-line – perhaps as a ‘welcome’ if Dragonport (or anyone other) did in fact sent any troops.
The nearby wildling-camp of the so-called ‘seals people’ was not completely abandoned and the clan warriors (male and female) stayed on high alert. They had put big rocks into the water of the natural harbour, making a landing operation pretty tricky – clearly they did await some sort of attack. It was not clear why they did not also left the camp when their civilians were evacuated, but perhaps they and some younger warriors from other villages hoped to gave the hated flatlanders/ ironlords some nasty surprises. During the day a small ship arrived, welcomed by the wildlings and a few pirates who also stayed behind. It was no pirate ship but obvious captain Hendrik (most probably a smuggler or half-legal trader) did have good connections with the pirates. But Loren could not hear much of the conversation. During the night he returned to the camp of his comrades.
Paedrig decided to retreat with the gathered information, deciding that an attempt to kidnap one of the wildlings or pirates would be too dangerous. The way back to their boarding destination was not easy but they get away without any further trouble. A few days later Hakon Traders ship returned just in time and took the scouts back to Dragonport.
Gard stated that they did their duty well, although he did not see any chance to use the new information for an immediate reprisal action against the pirates. Attacking the wildling camp would need a major military operation without getting much booty and only meagre changes to get the actual position of Nardis.
However, since the pirates seem to have connections to smugglers or other semi-illegal groups, this was considered as a possibility to look for new traces of Nardis and his new hideout.


***

Only a little time later news about a new potential danger arrived via one of Erics merchant contacts, and shortly after were confirmed by Alyannas spies – forged money (looking like normal coins but with much lesser silver or gold than normal stags/dragons) was poured into the financial system of several cities in the Riverlands and the Vale (mostly sea cities). Of course many merchants (and their lords) were nervous because they did fear for their profits, and there was the risk of increasing prices, suspicion and even unrest or conflicts between lords which distrust their neighbours. As a trading-port, Dragonport was in danger, too.
Although Erics contact had asked him to remain silent, he informed his other trading partners and Lord Gard who ordered him and Paedrig to take measures to protect Dragonport against this threat. Together with the commander of the city garrison they tried to sharpen the vigilance of the tax collectors at the gates and in the harbour so that any suspicious money would be reported immediately. Therefore Eric also gathered some examples of the forged money for further investigation and (with the help of Alyannas ‘little birds’) he got more information about a potential suspect for the distribution of the forged coins. However the description of the suspect was a little bit vague – he (if it was only one man) seems to be good in disguising…

Some of the forged coins were sent to Maester Ornim of Krayenhorn and the old man was able to find out, that money was ‘new-stamped’ so to speak – old coins with lesser gold or silver in it, which get a ‘new face’. Ornim was even able to detect that the criminals did in fact use old coins of the late First Men or early Andals time – leaving the question where they did get such old money. Perhaps someone did have found a hidden treasure, a grave or something like that.
Together with his expertise Maester Ornim did also sent a rather…strange letter, warning Lord Gard that the next winter might be near and it would be a harsh one. He claimed that he did know this because his astronomy observation of the ‘revolution of the planets’ and the ‘dark spots of the sun’. Gard (and all who did also read this letter) simply did not know the meaning of this explanation, but the lord respected the old man and did not tread the warning lightly.
Alyanna ordered her ‘little birds’ to be vigilant if they did hear any rumours of a discovery or the appearance of old artefacts on the market, to learning more about the source of the false money, but had little success. Paedrig and Eric decided to take a closer look at the money gathered by the tax collectors of Dragonport whenever possible. Eric also decided that it would be wise to not take immediate action if some forge coins where found; instead suspects should be only observed as long as they stay in Dragonport.

In the end it was the vigilance of the tax collectors which brought a breakthrough – a significant increase of forged coins was reported, while shortly after Ablar Townsman (the most prominent of the city elders) alarmed Lord Eric that someone had dubbed Ablar with forged coins. He wanted the crime punished (giving a good – and very familiar – description of the scoundrel who had dubbed him) – and he wanted some sort of compensation.
Eric was not very diplomatic, giving no promises and stating out that the loss was Ablars own fault. If Ablar wanted a business without personal danger he should work as some kind of merchant commissioner for house Blyth…
The merchant fired back that he did pay significant amount of taxes to be protected by the lord Gard.

Anyway, while the suspect (who was accompanied by some servants and armed men) had already left Dragonport with Ablars goods, it was time to take action. Paedrig was sent after them, taking three men of the cavalry unit and his half brother Wulf with him.
In the early evening the suspects came into view – three armed men, the ‘merchantman’ who had dubbed Ablar, and two horse servants.
Planning to get the suspects alive, Paedrigs unit passed the other group, than suddenly regrouped into a line and Paedrig commanded the suspects to lay down their weapon.
The reaction was not as desired – the ‘merchantmen’ galloped away, while the other men – even the lightly armed servicemen – get ready to fight (after one of them tried to shoot the fleeing ‘merchantmen’). Wanting the main suspect alive, Paedrig ordered Wulf to shoot only the horse and than lead his men into fight with the enemy ‘guards’. The fight was short, but their opponent did not have any real chance against well armed and armored fighters – three enemies were killed (Paedrig killing their commander), while the two remaining lost their courage and run away – just like the five horses with Ablars goods…

Paedrig must capture the fleeing ‘merchantman’, night was already falling – in the end he could bring back only three of the five pack horses, his prisoner and three bodies (but also several amounts of forged money).
However Lord Gard was quiet pleased. He rewarded the men who captured the criminals and detected the false coins and decided that Ablar would get the captured goods back and could change his forged coins for an appropriated (slightly lesser) sum of real gold and silver coins.

In the following days the sole survivor was interrogated. This time the questioning went different. The prisoner, a middle aged man named Kevan Masters, had begun to speak immediately after his capture, and he nearly did not stop for the following days. It was easy for Eric, who takes the greatest part in the interrogation, to convince Kevan that only cooperation could safe his life.
Soon it becomes clear, that Kevan was not the criminal mastermind behind the plot, as Paedrig and Eric first thought. He was a receiver, gambler and pimp who lived in Whitesand, a small community near the wild shore of the Bite northwards of the Mountain of Moon, perhaps 50 miles or so to west from Dragonport. Whitesand was populated with some hundred people, mostly hunters, loggers and diggers which searched after gold and amber – half civilised people who did not follow any official lord. A few months ago, one of Kevan’s girls told him about some strange artefacts one of her clients had found on the shore. Different to nearly all people around him he knows what that was, artefacts from an old Andal or even older grave (perhaps it was not the first tomb he raided…). He searched after the place and discovered a hole in a cliff which leads him into the tomb of an old lord, where he found hundreds of coins. Kevan did not stay there long, because the grave frightens him, but he remembered some arms in the walls which the interrogators could identify. It seems so as if he had found the grave of Harold Strongoak. That was an important local chief either in the last days of the rule of the First Men in the Riverlands or during the early Andal-times. Some rumours say he betrayed Tristifer V after serving his father, the legendary Hammer of Justice, well. Some tales call him brutal, and from foreign blood, but several noble houses claim to be related to him. During his time he controlled a large part of land around, including the southern coast of the bite, and was a strong warden against rival kings in the North.
Kevan never had the idea of using the money he found for a greater crime. But he was not carefully enough and was caught by the ruling “Big Man” of Whitesand, Burt Snow, who runs in protection racket, prostitution and trade. Snow had the idea of the fraud and forced Kevan to help him. He sent him (with several “guards” who threatened to kill him) to several towns to buy goods, change the false money in real one etc. Dragonport which was close to Whitesand should be not targeted to early, since if any reaction could occur, than from such a “neighbour”. What Snow actually planed with the money was unclear, but until now he had collected several hundred dragons. He even started to thinking about using the gold he “collected” from the local diggers to fuel his criminal business. Kevan was more than happy to be freed, but feared now justice and blamed Snow for everything.

Eric was very interested in that news. While his nephew was more thinking about punishing Burt and stop the flow of false money, the older man thought about raiding the tomb by himself (or better, send someone who could do that, since it sound dangerous). Burt had tried to do the same, but after loosing two comrades his men were to afraid to work on, and Kevan (who seem to have not give up the hope for a lucky escape and some extra money) convinced him that the tomb was already empty. Because Gard did see the First Men as infidels (although he did not hate people who follow the Old Gods) he was not adamant, but he did not like the idea of tomb-raiding.
To punish Snow seems not easy – “his” village was located in disputed area, and he had several dozen men who follow him, and also enough money to hire more. Of course the army of Dragonport could easily crush him, but it seems dangerous to send to many men abroad while pirates and perhaps also other enemies might look for a chance. Eric and Peadrig asked Kevan for local rival of Burt – men like he were rarely uncontested, and such rivals might help them – and indeed “Lord Snow” had a long feud with the Sunstones, a family which claimed Whitesand for themselves, but were – since the days of Harren the Black – no longer official part of Westeros’ nobility. That seems the chance to find allies for now and perhaps for the future. So Gard decided to organize an expedition-force of around fifty men under Eric and Paedrig. If the could combine their forces with the Sunstones, they might be able to bring Burt to Justice, stopping the production of forged money – and also increase the influence of Dragonport in the contested area.
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Eisen » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:16 pm

Very long post but still always good to keep up with House Blyth.

Gard had better be carefull though. That baby don't belong to you!! :P
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Kajani » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:43 am

Well, that may be, but he think it is his. Do not forget that Meera had to drink Moontea after the marriage, and aborted the baby of her and Pirron/ Joren. So if she had not meet the outlaw (or anyone other) later, Gard is indeed the father...

By the way, we do not know how soon we could complete the chronic-chapter, since for now the third man in ouy group has not much time...
I hope, something of the chronic might inspire perhaps one or another GM (for example to use the forgery-plot or something other for himself).
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:18 am

Eisen

If the post was a little bit too long for easy reading i must appologize. I will try to give further chapters in more...handy parts.

And as the GM for this part i can ashure you, that the baby most certainly is from Gard. After feeling betrayed by her former lover, Meera is mostly interested in establishing her new position as Lady of house Blyth. And she would most certainly not risk this (especially while she is still watched with distrust by her mother and uncle in law) for a few moments of lust or the silent pleasure to betray her husband (who she might not love, but at least accept as carring - and cherrish as easy to handle and influence >:) )
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Cap_T » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:16 am

Kajani wrote:By the way, we do not know how soon we could complete the chronic-chapter, since for now the third man in ouy group has not much time...
I hope, something of the chronic might inspire perhaps one or another GM (for example to use the forgery-plot or something other for himself).


It definitely does inspire. I always look forward to read your chronicle, and I have gotten quite a few ideas for my campaign. (When it eventually starts)
Hopfully you guys can keep the updates comming.
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:39 am

Wardens of the Shores – Wardens of the Wilderness


During the preparations for the reprisal-expedition, news arrived Dragonport that Lord Arran planed a meeting of the local lords which own land at the coast at his castle. The meeting should discuss counter-measures against the pirates, Gard should get a chance to win support for his plans for a local fleet (and it seems that Lord Aran also want to discuss his plans for the marriage of his son Vickon with Lord Weymouth’s only child Rhaenyra). The meeting should be played down a little bit, so Gard decided to travel only with a few soldiers. He prepared a thorough and convincing statement about the pirate threat and the right measures to deal with (including a strong fleet).
Lord Gard decided to travel together his wife. On the one hand the couple want to use the opportunity for a meeting between Meera and her family; on the other hand the Lady of Krayenhorn had her own plans. She wanted to convince her family to wed her niece Elyssa to Torrhen Falkirk. This would calm the frictions between house Aran and Falkirk, and Elyssa would be “of the market” by marrying the man she secretly loves – and the way might be free for Alyanna Blyth to wed Adham Dannett, another potential groom for Elyssa. And by supporting her husband she would make herself necessary, underlining her role as a lady which could deal with problems very well.
Following Lady Meeras urging the pair travelled a day earlier to get more time for convincing Lord and Lady Aran in house Blyth interest.

***

Lord and Lady Blyth were welcomed warmly at Castle Starbone although the atmosphere was still a little bit uncertain between Meera, her parents and her niece Elyssa because of the rather…complicated circumstances of Meera’s marriage.
While Meera was busy with her mother and two year younger niece, Lord Aran and Lord Blyth were dealing with more political themes. Lord Aran mentioned his distrust against Edwyn Frey, who arrived in the area a few weeks ago. Lord Aran did have got the impression that the man was a little bit too busy in elbow rubbing with other lords and feared that Lord Frey did have some doubts about the ambitions of Lord Aran, an opinion which was supported by Gard, who also distrusted the Frey.
There were also rumours about conspicuous activities of house Fallkirk in the Borderlands – something was going on with the clans, but it was not clear what it might be.
Like Gard, Lord Aran has gotten a warning by Maester Ornim that a harsh winter was near – but the older Lord was sceptic about thus ‘nonsense of planet revolution and solar spots’ etc. He joked a little bit about Gard, which had begun with preparations because of that warning and some ominous prophecies. The hunt of both house Blyth of Dragonport and Aran (and probably house Fallkirk too) after Joren Falkirk remained fruitless, but the lords were not willing to bury their hostility against the outlaw.
Until the other lords arrived, Meera was able to win the support of her mother and the septa of Starbone for her plans, and Gard tried to influence Lord Aran. He was – even with the support of his wife – not as successful as she. While Lord Aran seemed to agree that an Aran-Falkirk-marriage would have benefits, the older lord was very successful in minimizing his share of burden for the creation of the planed naval unit.

Soon after the lords of Weymouth and Falkirk arrived, the main talks started. House Aran did his best to give all guests a good welcome and the rooms and food were good, so that no one could be insulted. The main discussions were hold in a more private atmosphere between the lords and very few trusted advisors. Of course outside the official meeting talks also went on – Gard influenced the lords of Weymouth and Aran broker a marriage-deal between both houses in good terms for both (which would bring Gard financial support from house Weymouth), but he had much lesser success in calming lord Falkirks old anger and new envy. The other young lord felt still insulted by the better position house Blyth of Dragonport had reached in the past moths, and he still distrusted the Blyth – as they did not trust him. Edwyn Falkirk used a training fight to let of some of his steam by defeating (and lightly wounding) Gard. But while a real peace between both houses seems impossible, an open confrontation could be avoided. At least he was not a bad winner (and Gard not a bad looser).

Gard was able to present his arguments for the fleet in front of the other lords very convincing. It was decided, that he should got the title “Warden of the Shores” – a significant increase in his glory and reputation, if he could fulfil this role – and should raise a fleet with the support of the other lords, a fleet he leads but which had the duty to support also the other lords. And while some rights should be protected and should be defined later (the other lords, mainly lord Falkirk, did not want that the fleet could judge their people and hunt for smugglers or recruit men and confiscate goods freely), the ships would very likely have a lot of operational freedom in the local waters. All the coastal-lords promised also (following an idea of Lord Fallkirk) to strengthen the vigilance at the shores, f. e. by using local fisherman etc., and create a linebof alarm fires and riding messengers which could spread news of hostile raids in short time. These measures were at least at Blyth-land imposed after the return of lord Gard.
On the other hand, lord Edwyn Falkirk should become “Warden of the Wilderness”, some kind of coordinator for the defence on the border with the mountain-clans (the boarder guards were build by units from house Aran, Falkirk and Blyth of Krayenhorn). That calmed the injured pride of Lord Falkirk, and he was ready to support the fleet-program. In the end, house Blyth of Dragonport could gathered promises of up to 800 dragons in money and goods for the fleet-program, one half from house Aran, and a quarter from every of the other two houses. Gard was certain he could not await any help from house Frey, but he planed starting to search for other “investors” like the Septrie of Eaglewood. In the end, the meeting was a small but not unimportant success. However he was not certain if you could trust the new “Warden of the Wilderness” but did not articulate his distrust.

The next morning before the lords travelled home, news arrived castle Starbone, that there were some new incidents in the borderlands. A tradesman and his men were attacked by perhaps between up to a dozen raiders, which killed some of the men and escaped with the booty. Gard thought about interfering, but since both lord Aran and Falkirk seemed not very ambitious to act, he thought it would not be very important. After all, even if he could get some men he had to ride almost a day to reach the area of the attack and very likely the raiders would already be gone. He also was at the moment more concerned about the possibilities of new conflicts with the pirates, his duties as warden of coast etc.

The Farewell at the castle was more (between Arans and Blyth/ Weymouth) or less warm (Blyth and Falkirk), and Meera and Gard travelled home together with lord Weymouth, who was invited to stay at night at Dragonport. On the way back, the youngest son of lord Aran, now promised to lord Weymouth’s daughter, joined the party. He wanted to honour his future father-in-law and visit his future bride. Of course both guests where treated very well and warmly. Lord Weymouth was interested in seeing the defence of Dragonport and the first two ships of the naval unit of lord Blyth. He was impressed but also warned to be vigilant. Vickon Aran used his time in Dragonport to buy a present for his bride (and than visit the “Mearmaids Pool” – as long as he yet was not married…).

***

In the end, the decision not to react to the incident in the borderlands proofed wrong, since news arrived, that the robbed trader was only one part of a spade of small-scale raids, in which for example Sevenhills, a community in the borderlands which was independent, lost two or three women and some cattle. To make things even worse, some stupid young men vanished while trying to rescue the kidnapped women. If Gard had decided to push lord Aran and Falkirk to action (or one of them would be more willing to show initiative), it might have been possible to prevent some of the attacks, capture the raiders or reclaim some of the booty. Now it was too late. All what could be done was higher alert for the border-guards, because after realizing the scale of the raids, Gard silently feared that this might be some sort of “exercise/test” for the clan warriors or an attempt to win confidence and strengthen their (after several defeats) weakened morale. It was of course also not a good thing if Gard (or one of the other Lords) want to control the contested areas between the ‘civilized land’ and the mountains by winning the local population. Therefore Gard began some planning for a coordinated operation of Falkirk, Aran and both Blyth-houses to teach the clansmen a lesson, so that they do not start to raid more civilized areas again. So the land borders stayed a perhaps not infected but still not cauterized or healed wound, and perhaps severe “operations” or treatment must still be done, before this danger is banned…
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:10 am

Red waves

(Note: Since the third player of our group had not much time in the last weeks and months, we decided to play some smaller events which happened during the expedition to Whitesand. We played together with the player of Lord Igen Horn, who had meet Gard some years ago during the Greyjoy-Rebellion).


A long time had passed since Lord Igen Horn (which house was located some miles inland from the Ironman’s Bay) and Gard Blyth of Dragonport (at this time only a young squire) had meet for the first time during the Greyjoy-Rebellion. Both nobles stayed in loose contact, f. e. if they visited the same important event in the Riverlands, sometimes the houses exchanged messages, but these were rare occasions.
Since the time of the Ironmen Rebellion, Lord Igen had separated his new house more and more from house Isenband, into which he was born, and had sworn loyalty to the mighty House Mallister, which owns castle Seaguard. It was because of his ties with house Mallister, why Lord Igen had to visit the Twins. House Mallister was once again in discussion about the taxes for goods which pass the Crossroad, and as a gifted diplomat Lord Igen was called to support their claim. It soon becomes clear, that the “late Lord Frey”, which was short before marrying and fifteen year old maid, had decided to let his “guests” wait, before he tries to talk the last penny out of them. The situation at the Twins was not very inspiring. People with eyes to see noticed soon that the peace in the Frey-ranks was fragile at best, and might be broken soon and bloody if Lord Frey would ever die. Ser Patrek Mallister, son and heir of Lord Mallister and leader of the Mallister-delegation in the bargaining with the Frey’s, did his best to amuse himself as good as he could, but loosing more and more patience. They heard news about rising problems with pirates on the Bite, and that some local lords planed to raise a fleet to counter this threat, but the Frey’s seemed not worried at all, nor did they plan to help these lords.

During that time of growing frustration, Walder Frey (called Black Walder, the much feared second son of Ryman Frey, the oldest son of Ser Stevron Frey, who himself was the oldest son of Lord Walder Frey) contacted Lord Igen. He asked him to do him a favour – and promised he might help bring the case of the Mallister’s forward as reward. Although Lord Igen was sceptic how much substance the promise might have, he realized, that given the poor health/aging of Walder’s father, grandfather and grand-grandfather, Black Walder might be perhaps in the soon future nearer to the high seat of house Frey than it appears at the first look. Walder wanted Lord Igen to act as his messenger and emissary on a mission which would send him to the coast of the Bite. He should bring a letter and a gift to one of the local Lord’s, a man Lord Igen knows from the past – Lord Gard Blyth of Dragonport.
Walder made it clear that the mission was more or less directed against his older brother Edwyn, who he seems to hate from the bottom of his heart and which he suspected of scheming and plotting.
After speaking with Ser Patrek Mallister, Lord Igen agreed to do as Walder wanted. He travelled with some men of his personal elite-squad.

The travel to Dragonport was without problems and after a week of riding, Lord Igen reached Dragonport, where be got a warm welcome. The two nobles had not met each other for more than a year. The message of the Black Walder was more or less intended to feed suspicions against his older brother Edwyn, who – so Black Walder claimed – may have initiated some of the pirate-attacks, to create a modest threat for the trade (and in that way for the wealth of house Frey) so that he could push his fame if he “solved” the problem. Black Walder also claimed that Edwyn might plot against the Arans and perhaps did use the pirates to sabotage Arans politics. Walder warned that Gard and his liege-lord Aran should be careful in choosing their opponents and allies at the Twins, because nobody could know how the things would go in the future. He also sent Dragonport 50 gold dragons as help for their fleet and asked them to show their preparations to Lord Igen. It was very clear that he tried to find future allies in a power struggle for the leadership of house Frey.

Gard was sceptic how much he could trust Black Walder (although he said that not in open) but he treated Lord Igen with perfect hospitality. He also sent a message to his father in law to coordinate the reaction towards Walder’s offer. In the meantime Gard showed Lord Igen Dragonport, informed him about the pirates and the counter-measures he had taken and show him one ship of his new fleet (the other was not at home, because id had to bring soldiers towards Whitesand).
Both men had their own agenda – Gard want to use the opportunity to win Lord Igen as an ally which could perhaps help him to hire some trained sea-officers or captains (since house Horn’s liege-lords Mallister had a own fleet). Lord Igen was interested in learning more about the Frey-plotting and the sealed message he had brought. Both got what they want in the end, after Lord Igen convinced Gard, that he could be trusted.

On the third day of the visit, both Lords joined a short trainings- and demonstration-journey of the “Mastiff”, the newest ship of Dragonports small but growing fleet. Crew and officers were still incomplete, but there was enough manpower to bring the cog out of the harbour. It’s seemed as if the work was well-done until now. All things onboard looked right; the ship was already armed with scorpions.

In some distance from Dragonport, a small vessel was sighted. It appeared to be a fishing-boat in trouble, drifting without a clear direction, the only man on board lay on the ground without motion. Gard feared it might be the victim of a pirate-attack – the raiders had struck such prey occasionally – and ordered that the boat should be boarded. There were no signs of a fight, and the sole sailor was unharmed, but nearly catatonic. He was brought on board and the boat was bound to the Mastiff to carry it home. The survivor, a 14 year old boy named Lares (like the boat and the missing rest of the crew he come from the lands of Dragonport) – was brought under deck to get fresh clothes and some wine in the hope that he might be able to tell more if he recovers a bit. But that proofed to be difficult, because he become nearly hysterical when one of the sailors by accident spilled some wine on him, crying something about blood. Gard and Lord Igen calmed him down, and could get the whole story out of him, although that brought more questions than answers.

Lares had sailed with three other men to the Isle of Seals, a small island of around two square miles, perhaps a day away from the port. The island was used for seal-hunting in the past, but today the numbers of seals were too small for regular hunting. Some fishermen still visited the island, since it had good fishing-grounds around and a wide bay which fell dry partly during low water, so that fishes which swam in during the tide could be caught easily. While he stayed at the camp, Lares’ comrades had started to do so when suddenly someone or SOMETHING attacked the men in the water. From that point the story became unclear, because Lares stammered something about “red waves” and was unable to say more.

Not even the sailors had an idea what could have attacked the fishermen. Some thought it might be a shark, a giant sea-turtle, even a poisonous jellyfish, or some human attackers which had hidden in the water. Lares as witness was not very reliable, and deeply traumatized. He told he had fled after the attack began and later used the boat to escape. Gard decided to act immediately, because one of the men might have survived, fleeing on safer ground and was now stranded, surely wounded. He also wanted to know what had killed his subjects. He did not believe that the pirates were behind the events, because until now they had never worked so…subtle.

When the Isles of Seals was reached, nothing could be sighted from distance, beside some smoke on the other side of the isle. Lord Igen and Gard went on land with some men, searching for traces, but there were no sign of the fishermen beside their abandoned camp. They found a body of a seal, drifting in the water, but the dead animal was mutilated in a way no one of them had ever seen before – and since it seemed clear that human involvement was unlikely, no one had an idea which animal could do this. Since the day was almost over they decided to search the rest of the island the next day. Nobody wanted to search the deeper waters of the bay light-hearted, not before all other possibilities were checked. It was not a very peaceful night (both lords take part as watchmen), since in the morning Lord Igen sighted some…lights…in the bay, on or even IN the water. This frightened the sailors even more, and also the lords were uncertain what that could be.

The next day they began to search the rest of the island. The Isles of Seals had not much vegetation – meagre grass, bushes, small needle-trees etc. From the hillside which divided the island they could see the source of the smoke they discovered yesterday. Around a dozen people whit two flat boats had landed and were skinning and cutting up some seals.
It soon becomes clear that this was a small hunting party of the Seals People, a coastal clan – perhaps half a dozen men in fighting age, the rest women and children. They were carefully and did not trust the “kneeing men” (who in vice versa did not trust them), but none of both sides was open hostile. The clansmen leader, Avat son of Raka, was even willing to help Lord Gard to find out what have killed his men – for a reward in wine and cloth, and he wanted a “guest”/hostage as long as he was with the foreigners. Gard was not happy that the Seals People demanded his guest as hostage, and he did not try to convince Lord Igen to do so, but the older Lord take that part voluntarily. After all he felt not really threatened by the clansmen (partly because he nether before had to deal with them) and was very interested in finding out what strange creature was behind the attack.

On the way to the bay Gard tried to get some information out of the clansman about their probable contacts with Nardis pirates – but Avat claimed that his tribe did not have such contacts and was not very impressed by Lord Gards warnings about the potential negative effects of the collaboration of other seals peoples with the pirates. Avats people had lived at the coast for thousands of years, had fight, traded and allied with local pirates, smugglers and small lords.
Avat examined the killed seal and interrogated Lares – than he could tell the lord that the attacker seem to be a “sea daemon” – a giant squid, a creature which could be between five and 15 yards long (or even bigger), with ten tentacles and a deadly beak. Probably a high or storm-tide had washed the squid into the bay, where he now was trapped.
Meanwhile Igen as the “guest” of the Seals People was treated with caution, but was neither disarmed nor bound. He tried to lighten up the atmosphere, but most of the clan people ignored him (but had their weapons at hand). Only Timar, one of the young men, talked a little bit more with Igen. He mocked Igen, wanted a wrestling contest with Igens sword as price (and later jokingly offered his sister in exchange for the blade), but seemed to be certainly more fascinated than hostile. So when Gard returned he found his guest well, but a little bit pale (after Timar had offered Igen some raw seal liver).

Now it was up to reunited Lords to decide what to do next. It was possible to let the kraken in the bay or return to Dragonport to come back with reinforcements for the hunt. But that would cost time, and if the squid escaped the presence of such a monster could harm the fishing and even frighten the sailors. Gard felt devoted to his duty to protect or avenge his smallfolk (as they work and paid for him), Lord Igen on the other hand was mostly motivated by the glory such a prey would bring – that could be a story he could tell his grandchildren…

The lords decided to face the problem immediately. They armed some of the sailors with harpoons they bought from the Seals People, hired Timar as support (who also wanted to proof himself in front of his fellow clansmen and -women) and organized the transport of one of the scorpions from the ship to the shore of the bay. That cost the rest of the day.

The next morning they used a living seal, captured by the clansmen, to provoke an attack from the giant squid. When the beast surfaced the hunters were ready. Perhaps it was good that they had not much time to think twice after sighting the squid – a giant of more than 7 yards length and some hundred pounds of weight. Gard hit him with a scorpion-bolt, while some of the sailors and Timar throw harpoons so that the squid could not escape into deeper waters of the bay. Lord Igen – shortly after joined by Gard and Timar – attacked the huge predator in direct combat, the older lord and the young clansman with a harpoon while Gard used sword and hand axe. It was a short but bitter fight. At least once Gard was entangled by the tentacles of the squid but could free himself, and in the end the giant was defeated. It was a moment of shared jubilation even for people so distant to each other as the “kneeing” lords and the free warriors of the Seals People.
Both sides departed peacefully, and Gard used the opportunity to prepare future contacts with the clansmen – perhaps he could hire some of them as mercenaries. It was of course impossibly to win much out of the prey – the flesh was not of great use, and the squid did have not much solid parts which could be rescued from decay. The beak was taken; as was one of the longest arms which might be “survive” in salt, but of course the main win was the death of a predator which had killed several men.

The voyage home went well, although at Dragonport many were – not very surprisingly – worried that the short training voyage has lasted for more than three days. The news and the prey got the men a good piece of fame, although the news for the families of the fishermen was bitter. And the two lords had restarted their connection by fighting side by side, what might be important in the future.
Gard gave the squid beak to Lord Igen, a gift which was accepted with many thanks. Lord Igen promised also to ask around if the Mallisters could help Dragonport with some men for their fleet. The farewell went not out without some ominous warnings. When Gard joked, he hoped to see Lord Igen again, but not in war like the first time (during the Greyjoy-Rebellion), Elen Fairyeyes, the healer of Dragonport, which was also present, warned that they both WILL fight one day, but that it was unclear if side by side or against each other, and that Lord Igen might take the squid as a warning for things to come…
Both men stayed uncertain how serious they should take those words.

The answer Lord Igen could bring to Twins was a diplomatic but indecisive one – both Gard and his liege-lord were not willing to place themselves in the middle of a Frey family vendetta, even more since the outcome was so unclear. The Black Walder did not take this very good. He was, after all, no man of diplomacy – or, with his words, if he paid a whore, than he had the dammed right to…

Meanwhile Gard earned not only good words. In rare unity both his mother and his wife were not very happy with his tendency of bringing himself into danger and taking risks a lord maybe should avoid. Gard did not argue much against that (because he in some aspects agree, and he could never forget that his brother was first wounded and later murdered), but stated that he had still his duties and must act when it was needed, even more if there was not enough time for preparations or more sophisticated reactions. But he promised to take some trained guards with him in the future, so that he must not face dangers with so few help (after all, the help from the sailors was…limited because they were simply too afraid).

As it emerges some days later it seems so as if Black Walder (or someone else) had secretly already prepared actions – an assassination-attempt against Eddwyn Frey failed while the noble was on Aran-land. That raised some suspicions against Lord Igen Horn at the Twins (where some people noticed that he had visited the area of the assault shortly before) and even more against Lord Aran and his son in law. Gard and Meera discussed the problem under four eyes and decided to suggest Meeras father, he might inform Eddwyn Frey about the actions of Black Walder, putting the blame on him. Gard still had the letter from Walder with his very negative words about the other Frey…in the end, so it was done.
That might spare the Aran’s and Blyth hostility from Eddwyn (if he did believe them), but on the other hand they had somehow put themselves more on his side in the coming family-struggle, what might be a wise decision – or a fatal one…
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Paedrig » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:47 am

Red waves II

Given the increasing pressure from all sides and Elens ominous prophecy about a coming war Gard decided to step up also his personal weaponry, ordering a castle forged greatsword and splint armour for himself and scale armour for his horse (together almost 30 gold dragons, but as a lord…). While it takes time to get such sophisticated pieces of craftsmanship, the following events proofed that Gard acted not without reason…

The first news shortly after Lord Igen left was good. One of the three fishermen which were thought to be killed by the giant squid at Seals Island had actually survived – Gard’s men did not find him because he was taken hostage by some of the Seals People before the arrival of the rescue-team. Later the “Seals” with which the lords had met “bought” the fishermen and sent him back – awaiting some reward of course. Gard’s honoured their wish and sent them some spears, two axes, wine and spirit, happy, that the first vague (non hostile) contacts with some of the Seals People seem to bear fruits. Lady Meera used the time for a travel towards the Septrie of Eaglewood. She tried to convince Septa Jonelle of supporting Dragonports naval project, but this time she meets an equal or even superior “opponent” in the arts of words. Septa Jonelle was the far better negotiator and in the end Dragonport get not more than (very convincing sounding) promises which must be compensated in a way that the gain for the Blyth’s would be in fact zero – but they felt in dept towards the Septrie…

Things get worse after that swiftly. Some days had passed since the last events and Dragonport was back to ordinary life. Ships arrived and left, controlled by men of the town-garrison who also collected the taxes. But on one of those ships, a small coastal-freighter, Ganer and Haren, two of the soldiers, noticed that something strange was going one. They remembered that they had seen this ship short before, but that the appearance of the ship had changed – as had the crew. Since the garrison was on alert because of the pirates, they decided to alarm their vintenar. But the ship crew noticed their suspicions, and swiftly blades were drawn, and both men escaped only narrowly by jumping into the harbour, crying alarm!
Chaos break out as the “sailors” started to throw torches and incendiary “bombs” towards all inflammable things in reach. Surely they had originally planed to left their ship in secret and trying to start fire on much more dangerous places simultaneously, probably including onboard of the new ships of Gards navy. Now they had to hurry, since a reaction seems imminent.
Gard, which noted the alarm in the harbour, collected any available soldier at the castle and rushed towards the town. When he reached, the attackers were already on retreat, and some small fires had broken out. He ordered the citizens and soldiers to fight the flames, and gathered some men to fight against the enemies – pirates, he guessed. The soldiers under his command hit the enemy with one of the scorpions onboard of the “Mastiff” (the “Golden Dragon” was still at Whitesand) but that was not enough to prevent the escape of the attackers, also they were damaged. The young lord organized a coastal ship and men to chase his foes (the Mastiff, herself a great cog, would need to much time to left harbour since the crew was already incomplete), but while they got very close to the fleeing vessel, the attackers were much more skilled sailors, and neither Gard nor his men had much experience in boarding. They gave up the hunt, also because they could not know if another hostile vessel was waiting nearby, and sailed back.

At Dragonport, Denys Lumber, the centenary/ captain of the garrison, had mastered his task to coordinate the “fire-brigade” build from both soldiers and civilians with great success. Damages were minor, injuries few. Gard praised and rewarded both him and the two watchmen who had more or less prevented the planed attack by crying alarm, but also decided that the fire-prevention must be improved further. He ordered that buckets, flame-blankets and other tools should be stored on several locations, and also sand and water, so that future fires could be defeated more quickly. What – so he thought – if the pirates or another attacker would try to start fire with more sophisticated methods or would not be noticed so early? To calm the fears of his subjects he ordered twenty soldiers from the castle to stay at the town, leaving the castle with only a rump-garrison (parts of Dragonports soldiers were often patrolling the countryside, helping the border-patrols in the wilderness or secured the roads). On the other hand, given the high walls and excellent fire positions of the castle, a successful attack was very unlikely. Gard and Lumber discussed that maybe in future, when the fleet of Dragonport would be complete, one ship should stay at home as often as possible – if the Golden Dragon would stayed there, the already manned small galley would had surely better chances to catch or sink the enemies...

But it takes only hours to make it clear that the pirates weren’t finished with their attacks. Short after sunset one of the newly installed signal-fires was set alight some miles away, very likely at one of the small hamlets on the coast which were governed by Dragonport. A second time on the same day Gard rallied his men. Given the distance and the lack of time he decided to march with the present ten men of the cavalry. He ordered the forces of Dragonport – both at the castle and in the town – to stay on highest possible alert, if that attack was only a trick.

He and his men did not carry torches or lanterns, so that the attackers could not see them coming. This slowed their march a bit, but if that decision was right or not, no one could ever say. The riders were not detected by the enemies until they had nearly reached their target.
Obviously a small pirate-galley had indeed attacked a hamlet. Some houses were set alight, and the attackers, a group of around 50 men with medium armour and long battle-axes, were on the way back, carrying prisoners – mainly women – with them. Gard decided against a charge, because he want not slay or trample to death his subjects and pirates alike, instead leading his men so that they cut off the pirates from the water. That gave the pirates time to regroup. On the other hand most of the prisoners escaped, when their captors regrouped to defend themselves.
Because they noticed the riders far too late, the galley could not fire and support the raiders with bows, crossbows or even the light scorpion it has. It was a fight between the landing force and Gard’s men, but that wasn’t a fair fight. Gard proofed far superior in leading his men than his enemy, and he could once again demonstrate the weakness of all raiders against organized heavy cavalry. His riders enveloped their foes and smashed them in short time. Their heavy armours were never breached, and under their lances and hooves their enemies had fallen in short time. Few made it into safety. Then the riders searched for cover, when the galley opened fire, but there were no serious casualties. The pirate galley could do nothing but retreat before reinforcements or even a warship might arrive.

In the end, victory was achieved, but a bitter one. Several people were slain, some women and girls raped, the houses burned and cattle slaughtered. However no one of the people was taken hostage – no one suffered the hard fate of being sold to a slave-trader, to the clans or misused as camp-whore or forced servant for the pirates themselves.
And the perpetrators had also paid a high price. Up to 30 raiders had been killed in combat, but no one was captured alive. How much drowned during their retreat, died later because of their wounds or were crippled was unknown. The pirate galley had lost more than half of its crew, perhaps some of the officers, but most probably not the captain (no one of the bodies fits with the description of the known pirate captains).
Gard ordered that the “captured” armour and weapons (what his men found and looted on their own they must of course not give away) should be separated in three equal parts. One should be sold as reward for the soldiers, one as compensation for the hamlet (which he also supported with some money) the rest would be used for creating of the fleet.

The rumours about these incidents spread fast, but vague. Some people talked about a victory of house Blyth, others whispered about the destruction of a village and several ships and a victory of the pirates. Gard however had in some aspect proof himself as “warden of shores” and earned some glory. He informed the lords of Weymouth and Falkirk to be carefully if the pirates may strike also against them…
Perhaps if the truth spreads, some unemployed sailors and young fishermen would rather decide to join the navy of Dragonport instead of filling the ranks of the pirates. The freebooter however had caused damage, pain and death, but had also suffered a heavy blow. They had lost up to 100 men against Dragonport in about two months (of course also because they could never send their whole force against the town and were caught by surprise). Nardis could perhaps fill his ranks with shore-scum and young clansmen, but had lost some trained men he could not easily replace…

Gard on the other hand had learned that even the best preparations were not good enough in any case, and that he and his men had much to learn about sea-warfare. He decided to improve his abilities over the time, even if that would reduce his possibility for managing the daily management. He also prepared to gave some of his men more mobility to react to imminent and sudden threats, by starting to searching for the possibility to get his archers “on horse” (not as cavalry, but as mobile infantry which marches on mount and dismounted before combat).
Slowly and secretly, another development took place in the meantime. Meera had only played the loyal and lovely wife. However over the past months her intention towards Gard really changed, partly because she was “softened up” by her sister in law Alyanna and because Gard treated her with love and respect. This finally bears results, and Meera began to see Gard in the way as she was playing before (in game terms Gard finally did win a charming intrigue).
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Re: Loyal but Untamed (Campaign Log)

Postby Eisen » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:25 am

Seems like things are looking up for our heroes. Things will likely be settled with the priate skum sooner rather then later. Though I must take issue with Guards armor choice. Splint armor and Scale barding? These are ugly looking suits of patchwork made for the common solidery. A great lord needs to dress to impress. Nothing saies 'Boss' like a suit of shiny full plate! :)
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