Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

On the road, Ser Darron gives a rousing speech, to which Jardon promptly responds to by vomiting. Out of respect for the old Knight, I raise my stiletto and shout "For Snownook!!". It is not a few steps later that a massive geyser erupts, as if in celebration of our courageous voyage.

After a few miles, we come across a woman on a hill, who is armed, but Jardon approaches without hesitation. While I continue to search the horizon for the woman's friends [that I am certain are waiting for us just over the crest], Darron trots over as well. The woman, who identifies herself as Laena, speaks only Valyrian, but confirms that we are, in fact, in Valyria. When the rest of the group eventually catches up, Laena emphasizes repeatedly that to the west is only danger. Through Tito's translation, we understand that she suggests we stick close to the water. We ask if she would be our guide, but she emphatically declines. Despite her warnings, our party heads due west. After a few hours of further travel, and Dolins finding a lonely shield in some rocks, we make camp and sleep through the night with no disturbances.

The next morning, a few miles from camp, House Jasper comes across a small building that Jardon, Darron and Dolins bully their way into. While the rest of our party waits for them to explore the structure, I trot around the perimeter, finding nothing unusual, and return to the front, where Darron is suggesting we come along to follow an underground series of tunnels within the house. We descend into the earth, one level at a time, until we come to a rock pile that only Teddy, Darron and I can squeeze through. I lob a rock down the next staircase, and amidst the echoes of the rock bouncing off the cavern also hear a soft scuffling below. The moment we start down the stairs they being shuddering, and we scramble to get off before they collapse. 

Darron, desperate to continue exploring, pleads for a partner to continue descending with. Knowing Teddy will be no match for a long climb back up Darron's rope, I agree to pursue the gold and glory Darron has in his eyes. I allow my curiosity and imagination to get the best of me, and climb down after him.

We come to a ladder down to yet another level, and I toss a few more rocks below. Sounds of scurrying erupt below, and I can make out a furry figure below. "Teddy!" I shout above, "Retrieve a bow and arrows from the party above and throw them down to us!" Our companions follow our instructions, and on his first shot, Darron nails the furry creature which screams and burrows furiously into a hole. "I'll nock another arrow and aim at the animal. You go down below and check out what's on that wall." My disbelief at such an absurd suggestion initially overwhelms me, but after a moment's consideration, I wonder if whatever I retrieve will finally win me the respect I deserve from my traveling partners, and convince them I am able to calculate risk in an effective and thoughtful manner. They need to know that my shutting down their ridiculous ideas is not out of fear, but earned wisdom, and that I can be brave when the right moment calls for it. So, putting my life in the knight's hands, I jump alone into the dark off the ladder, snatch what appears to be a map of Valyria off the wall, and sprint back up before the animal can even leave it's hole. Back on Darron's level, he offers a hearty congratulations and a bone-shattering celebratory hand gesture, and we see that the map will offer a more direct and clear route in and out of the city through the mountains. Despite Darron's enthusiasm, no one above seems particularly impressed or grateful that I, a former handmaid (a former street rat for that matter!), have successfully retrieved a critical tool for their mission.  Regardless, I'm happy to have the tool myself, if only for the wish that it might make our journey shorter and safer.

That hope does not last very long, as just a few miles beyond the house of tunnels, we narrowly escape a landslide. This is going to be quite the road.


daniel_burns_jr azamelis