Wildling Raids

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Wildling Raids

Postby Flagg » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:32 am

There's a lot of talk about wildling raids in the North. I can understand where wildlings might slip around the ends of the wall to the east and west, but what about closer inland? Scaling the wall seems like something only a fool would attempt, breaching the gates is too big a task for anything less than an army, and the tunnels used by Gendel and Gorne have been lost for millenia. Combine that with the fact that the Gift is 150 miles, north to south, which seems like a hell of a long way to go to raid some villages. I don't see how wildlings could be any particular threat for most of the Gift and the uppermost stretches of the North.

So, where are these wildlings, and how are they getting past the Wall?
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Zorbeltuss » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:56 am

There's enough talk about wildlings scaling the wall that we know it happens, but likely not often.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby uncleho » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:58 am

Scaling the Wall is more common than you think. There are plenty of examples in the books of this happening since the Watch doesn't have the manpower to properly patrol the Wall. It is very dangerous and deadly to the Wildlings but it does happen. They also may have stopped this practice for a while once they started to gather with Mance Rayder.

I also don't know that the Gift is totally empty, even though it belongs to the Wall, I am sure there could be villages and hamlets sprinkled throughout.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Flagg » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:03 am

So we can assume that any wildlings found inland in the Gift are either master climbers, or walked for hundreds of miles (over mountains, in the case of those coming from the west)?
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Kajani » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:28 am

In some cases perhaps "wildlings" is a term which is in general used for "savages" - like the men from Skagos. Ich could also imagine that some smaller groups make a living in the deep woods of the North, already living there since some years, perhaps mixed with renegats and criminals. I am also not sure how clos the watch of the black brothers is in the Gorge and if there small parties could pass. Others may use small ships, pass some leagues south to the wall, than marching into the inland. But honestly I am not sure if you speak about REAL raids with significant forces...
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby superbat_99 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:40 am

I believe squirrel comments that she has climbed the wall several times. I would assume that they go over rather often in small groups to steal things they have a hard time getting north of the wall like iron, weapons, and armor. They are also going to be limited by what they can bring back. I would also guess that when they climb the wall they set up a way to get back over and move quickly when they are across. Mance also states that he has spent a lot of time on both sides of the wall.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Kajani » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:52 am

Hm, I just have problems to image how anyone could bring any amout of goods over a wall of six hundred feet of ice which change shape and "ways" to climb over just in the few days you need to find booty in the "south". No one coould bring with them a rope of 600 feet and let in hanging there, or let some men on the top of the wall - it is very well possible that black brothers come around, because I think most raids need at least more than a week before they have enough things stolen...
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Zorbeltuss » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:36 am

remember that there are stairs up to the top of the wall from abandonded forts, so the trick is to climb over on the way south, easier to carry stuff northwards.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Legate » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:55 am

Zorbeltuss wrote:remember that there are stairs up to the top of the wall from abandonded forts, so the trick is to climb over on the way south, easier to carry stuff northwards.


This is my way of thinking Wildlings are getting into Westros past the wall. They are using either the above mention stairs, or the tunnels at one of the abandoned Night Watch castles (this would allow the passage of both people and goods as well.) If you look at what is written on the subject in the even the first book, the imperviousness of The Wall is srictly a myth in the time of the novels. There are only tree forts to guard over what was it 150 km (or was it 300 km?)of wall, and they barely have enough Brothers to man each fort properly...in most cases they don't even have that. To be honest I am surprised that there aren't more Wildling incursions then there is.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Zorbeltuss » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:18 am

climbing 600 feet of wall isn't something everyone can do.

The tunnels are sealed up tight where the watch isn't guarding though, toss in ice and gravel and water and there's no going through.

Although one idea might be for the wildlings to wait until deep winter, and dig a tunnel under the snow from the woods, and carve out a tunnel through the wall.

Problem being: Deep Winter.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Flagg » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:51 am

As a related question: When Castle Black sends patrols out to the other castles every few days, do the rangers travel on the south side of the wall, the north side of the wall, or on top of it?
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Zorbeltuss » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:12 pm

2/3 on top 1/3 at the bottom to check on it's status, on the north side presumably.

Or so I recall from the books.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Flagg » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:20 pm

Here it is:

http://towerofthehand.com/books/103/027/index.html wrote:Styr asks for information about Night's Watch patrols, and Jon explains that they consist of two rangers and two builders who look for damage along the walk as well as for foes. Most patrols ride atop the Wall on mules, but one in four walks along the base to look for tunneling.


Qorgyle used to send a patrol out to the Shadow Tower every 2 days. That means every 8 days there was a patrol out looking for tunnels along the ground. That seems really excessive. It would probably take weeks, if not months/years, to tunnel through. Perhaps this is the new arrangement under Mormont, with random patrols, and Qorgyle had a different system.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Flagg » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:50 pm

Doing a little research, the Devil's Tower in Wyoming is approximate in height to the Wall, and it's apparently climbed by hundreds of people a year. I found a climbing website that rates it as a "half day" climb, which I interpret as perhaps 4-5 hours. I honestly don't know if ice climbing is harder or easier than vertical rock climbing, but I guess the feat isn't as impressive as I first thought.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Legate » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:59 pm

"The tunnels are sealed up tight where the watch isn't guarding though..."

And how often are these checked to make sure they are still sealed?

"...the Devil's Tower in Wyoming is approximate in height to the Wall, and it's apparently climbed by hundreds of people a year..."

To play Advocate for the other side of the discussion. These people would be using modern climbing kit (does it mention anything about how many free climb The Tower? It would be difficult, tosay the least for a Wildling to climb The Wall, but it can (and is done), but I still think the most likely is that they have either found new tunnels or have cleared the ones the Watch sealed around the abandoned castles along the wall.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Flagg » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:56 pm

If you look at my post above, the Wall is inspected by a patrol on foot, looking for tunnels, every 8 days or so (or 12 days to the east of Castle Black) according to canon.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Flagg » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:04 pm

The Devil's Tower was first climbed in the late 1800s. I'm not a climbing expert, but I can't imagine climbing technology was particularly advanced back then.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Legate » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:33 pm

Fair enough.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby AGlumSon » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:43 am

The North and the area of the Wall is large and there could be hundreds of ways in which a raid could be undertaken with profit.

Still, there are two things that explain the irrational Wildling raids on the north for me best. The key aspect is that Wildling society is not one that is based on a economy of goods, services and profit, so market economic rationalizations might not work. Rather, there are two social mechanisms that seem to be central in Wildling society: one is wife-stealing and the other is personal prestige. Both will be very strong motivators for groups of raiders crossing the Wall.

BTW: I really recommend the new Night's Watch SIFRP book to all of you (if you haven't already pre-ordered it), especially if you are more interested in the game mechanics of crossing the wall and the layout of the Gift!
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Gurkhal » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:06 am

AGlumSon wrote:The North and the area of the Wall is large and there could be hundreds of ways in which a raid could be undertaken with profit.

Still, there are two things that explain the irrational Wildling raids on the north for me best. The key aspect is that Wildling society is not one that is based on a economy of goods, services and profit, so market economic rationalizations might not work. Rather, there are two social mechanisms that seem to be central in Wildling society: one is wife-stealing and the other is personal prestige. Both will be very strong motivators for groups of raiders crossing the Wall.

BTW: I really recommend the new Night's Watch SIFRP book to all of you (if you haven't already pre-ordered it), especially if you are more interested in the game mechanics of crossing the wall and the layout of the Gift!


I agree pretty much with this.

Also even from a market perspective stuff stolen from the south of the Wall is probably worth alot north of it, most thinking about iron weapons and tools and thus it may well be worth the risk. Think of it as "no risk, no gain".
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby ceranko » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:40 pm

They can also raid south in ships. The Wildlings are a bronze age culture and they have some knowledge of boats. The gift does have settlements just not that many people, there are farmers and craftsman that work in small villages and hunters that trade with the Nights Watch, not to mention the mountain tribes like Liddle, norrey and wull. The North is pretty vast, imagine North Canada, full of woods and mountains and glacial lakes.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby ceranko » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:49 pm

Martin even jokes about how huge the wall is. He went and saw some mountains in Scotland that were close to seven hundred feet tall and then it dawned on him how HUGE that really is. Most skyscrapers here in Houston are around 700-900 ft they have 65 floors, can you say MAGIC? Think how thick the base of that wall of ice has to be to keep all that weight up. George said he probably shouldnt have made it so high.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Paedrig » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:57 am

I must confess that we made the wall a little bit smaller than it is. F. e. halfed down it is still a astonishing monument and very hard to climb - but with this it is at least more imaginable.
Plus the storie of the Jons Battle at the wall sounds more logic. Remember some of the real (and the fake) brothers on the wall were hit by arrows - but i honestly could not imagine any bowman who can shot 600 feet vertical...
300 feet are still a almost impossible thing...
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby Gurkhal » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:17 am

Paedrig wrote:I must confess that we made the wall a little bit smaller than it is. F. e. halfed down it is still a astonishing monument and very hard to climb - but with this it is at least more imaginable.
Plus the storie of the Jons Battle at the wall sounds more logic. Remember some of the real (and the fake) brothers on the wall were hit by arrows - but i honestly could not imagine any bowman who can shot 600 feet vertical...
300 feet are still a almost impossible thing...


I agree with you 100%. 700 feet is way to high for the wall and 350 feet should be more than enough of an obstacle.
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Re: Wildling Raids

Postby superbat_99 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:20 am

You should remember though that long range weapons are in yards so 600 feet is only going to be 200 yards. So at most archers are going to be taking a -2D on any attacks. Which means a really good archer will be able to reach the top and hit something while most of the rabble probably will not.
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