Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Return to the Rambis

We return to Castle Snownook only for a brief time, with a quick turnaround before needing to head back out to sea. While in the stables, I’m visited by my father Edric, who communicates concerns of my “unladylike” adventuring on behalf of my mother. I stiffen at the implication that my exploring beyond Felliston should cease, and defend my departure by expressing my belief that House Jasper finds my services useful. In an unexpected moment of softness, Father affirms this, and compliments my animal handling. He tries to warn me of some of the less talented members of the house (namely the Lordling and Ser Carsen, who he describes as a dolt and money grubber, respectively), but says he thinks I can handle myself. Father has never been this generous of spirit with me before, and I’m taken aback by his kind words. Before leaving, he pats my back with a small sniff and turns to walk away. I run to him and wrap him in a big hug, which he returns, and relish this rare moment for a long while.

On the seas, I spend most of my time below deck tending to the horses, always with August by my side. I take great pleasure in my time on the Rambis, and when no one is around, I pretend I’m a pirate on my way to pillage a faraway city! My imagination quickly turns to reality however, when we hear the distressed call from Ser Darron from the top deck, and a ship-shaking THUD that tells me we’ve been hit. I position my body in a hidden corner in a horse stall and warg into August and sprint towards the others. When I reach the deck, the spray of the rough water and smell of blood hit my nose, and I set my sight on a strange looking man…

Thoughts from a Lordling in a Wedding

From Teddy’s position at the front of the hall he sees a room full of people from all over the Vail. Jon Lynderly walks his sister, Jana, down the aisle.

…Thoughts going through Teddy’s head as Jana walks down the aisle…
I feel a little sick. It’s not that I am trying to impress her – I’m sure she doesn’t want to be doing this any more than I do – but there could be a Lynderly trap at any moment! Wait, I was poisoned earlier today, that must be what I’m feeling. Let’s get this over with. Jana and I are going to be stuck together the rest of our lives – I hope we can garner some type of palatable relationship – it will be exhausting if we can’t get along. Oh she’s cute! Jon is an ass. Snakewood will belong to House Jasper soon enough – Carsen will help to make sure of that… muahaha!

Jon Lynderly removes the cloak from Jana’s shoulders

That’s right Jon, your sister isn’t a Lynderly anymore, get that horrid cloak off her. No murder attempts yet, this is a good sign. Jana looks good in that dress.

Teddy removes his cloak and places it around Jana’s shoulders

Another win for House Jasper, claiming what is ours! Nice shoulders, Jana.

Teddy and Jana lean in for the ceremonial kiss when BAM!!! The door to the chamber slams open!

OH SEVEN HELLS ITS HAPPENING I KNEW IT I’M GOING TO DIE!!!! Wait… Is that… Ser Darron? He doesn’t look well. Where has he been? I forgot he never returned with us from Gulltown. What was that, four months ago? A curt nod. He breaks into the hall in the middle of the ceremony just to give me a nod. And he’s sitting down, like nothing happened.

The septon reminds Teddy and Jana they need to kiss

Oh right, I was just being forced to kiss this person. I’ll meet her half way, but no further. Wait for it…. There it is. Okay, ceremony is in the books. Just need to seal the deal.

Teddy and Jana cut the pie

They gave me a sword, Jon Lynderly trusts me with this? I could cut Jana down right here and no one could stop me! Is that a smile I see on her face? That’s an actual, warm smile. She’s really quite pretty. Okay let’s cut this pie… Crows??? I’m confused. Why are crows coming out of this pie? Is Jana in on this? No one has been murdered yet, so it could be worse. I can’t let the wrong birds bother me tonight, there’s more pressing issues to attend to!

Teddy and Jana seal the deal


A Feast for Crows

After some strategizing, we decide that I shall attend the wedding as August by Maester Thaddeus’ side. We face a bit of trouble at the entrance of the ceremony but the wise Maester convinces the guard to let us in. The ceremony appears to go smoothly (aside from an abrupt but joyous entrance from Ser Darron-huzzah!), and following the exchanging of the vows, there is a tremendous feast.
Still a bit nervous about our circumstances, I indicate to Thaddeus to let me smell his plate of food, but nothing seems out of place, and when I sit down with a huff of relief, he sneaks me a nibble under the table.
At the end of the night, the bride and groom take part in a pie cutting tradition, but when they slice in, the guests look on with horror. Instead of doves and blue birds escaping from the dessert, crows flap about, cawing forebodingly. Teddy looks around nervously, but shrugs before the bedding ceremony whisks him away.

A Dolorous Friend

Having never been to a wedding before, let alone a noble wedding, I’m excited to explore the celebration. Sadly, the atmosphere of the parties at the encampment is one of tension. Feeling out of my element, but still wanting to experience the encampments, I head towards where the horses are tied up. I spy an impressive gray coursier and August happily follows me over to the beast to admire and pet him, until I overhear a young man and an older gentleman.
“Come now Eddison, we’re at a wedding! If you look so glum, our hosts may take it as an affront!” The boy mumbles in response and is reprimanded swiftly, “Speak clearly when you’re speaking to a lord! You’ll be known for melancholy if you don’t change soon.” The lord walks away exasperated, and not wanting to be accused of eavesdropping, I busy myself with the horse.
My strategy is to no avail, and the young man approaches me. “What are you doing to that horse?” I spin around quickly and explain that I’m not doing anything, just admiring and giving some pats. When it becomes obvious that there’s no way I could’ve missed his conversation with the man, I ask if he’s okay. He shrugs, seemingly unconcerned, and we make introductions. He explains that he’s the squire for his uncle, Uthor Tollett, but seems to hate it! I share my envy for his opportunity for such adventure. “Ugh, the adventure, that’s the problem! Sharpen this sword, clean this mail…I think even if I were killed the work would follow me into the after life.”
It’s such an absurd sentiment I can’t help but to giggle. Eddison continues to complain about all sorts of things I didn’t even know one could complain about-too hot fires, horses, even this very wedding-and his bizarre perspective puts me into fits of laughter. “I like talking to you, Eddison!” He smiles a bit at this, and appears to warm up a bit.
After a bit more complaining, he vaguely shows me his horse, a brown rounsey, not quite as impressive as the coursier, but a lovely, well cared for horse nonetheless. I share with him my role within the House Jasper ranks, and my enthusiasm for animals, admitting that I sometimes think I like them much more than people. Eddison chuckles and we agree to go for a ride together sometime, should his workload allow him.

The Calm Before the Wedding

It is the day of the wedding and we’re on the way to Snakewood.

Sir Bennet of the Snakewood, who I have never heard of, meets us at the gate. He doesn’t seem very excited for the wedding, I was expecting a congratulations! How rude! Typical Lynderly behavior. He offers to take our gold for us. I don’t know who he is, so I insist to take it to the castle.

After we’re through the gate, I ask Ser Carsen if he would like me to join him in introducing his son to Lord Lynderly. He tells me his son has run away and “couldn’t be found”. Ugh, I don’t want any part of this. I’m holding up my end of the deal with this wedding, I am not taking a fall for this.

I lead our caravan to the castle. While the reparations payment is being unloaded, Nestrr Royce introduces himself. He indicates there are over 1,000 soldiers from multiple houses in the city to keep the peace and maintain order, which gives me some feeling of security. He also asks to see the boy who is to ward with the Lynderlys… This is Carsen’s sword to fall on, so I tell Lord Royce that Ser Carsen is here in the city and can meet with him.

Best of luck to you, Ser Carsen.

Watch before the Wedding

Upon arrival at the perimeter of the Snakewood forest, accompanied by Ser Dolins for protection, I warg into a raven and swoop into the Lynderly walls. I settle on the arch of the gate house, and observe a wide array of sigils, including the blue and white bird of House Arryn, black and green snakes of House Lynderly, and many others. Noticeably absent is the purple sigil of the Protectors. A man who looks to be of some importance is giving orders at the gate and I listen closely to the comings and goings, and the man’s grumpy grumbles…“my cousin doesn’t want to let the Eleshams near the Coldwaters …”, “…no, Jon Arryn isn’t here, the Arryn men came down with Royce!”, “Ser Hunter has just arrived…”. Piles of rubble are still scattered within the walls from the Storming of Snakewood, though the Lynderly keep still stands. I see no signs of aggression or war, nor signs of friendship, and flit towards the Keep.
Standing watch for some time, I keep a close eye on the door for anyone entering or exiting that looks to be of important status. As the sun crosses the sky, I watch two men, one in bronze armor, the other bearing a purple and white crescent moon sigil, leave the keep and decide to follow them and listen to their conversation.“…do you think we brought enough men?” , “…of course. The Lynderly army was decimated just months ago and the Jaspers couldn’t have more than 500 men…between your soldiers, the Arryns, the Tollets and the Hunters I’m confident we’ll be able to keep the peace…”, “…you’re not worried about the Coldwaters? The wife is a Lynderly, you know…” “…Not a chance, it’s a wedding. The gods would frown on anyone who committed such an atrocity…”, “…as you say, Cousin…”
Feeling more relaxed about the commitment of the attendees to keeping the peace, I soar through Snakewood, and see disassembled catapaults before returning the Dolins in the woods, where I share my observations.
Back at Snownook, Maester Thad responds to my reports with confidence that one of the two men I followed was Nestor Royce. I swell with pride to be able to put House Jasper’s minds at ease as they depart for the wedding, and feel my cheeks grow warm when noble Ser Dolins praises my service to the house.

The entire house arrives safely at Snakewood, and disperse to prepare for the wedding…

Jon Lynderly had a Great Fall

A very injured Lord Jon Lynderly departs from the Great Hall, and as the discussions between House Jasper and Lord Grafton continue my eyes settle on poor, kind, courageous Ser Dolins. He risked everything to defend the honor of this great house against this rotten man, and his bravery shall not be for naught. Inspired by his bold action, I slip out of the room and head towards the stables.

I successfully make my way into a horse stall without notice and busy myself tending to the horse inside. An hour later, the Lynderly men enter and prepare their mounts for departure. It isn’t long before their voices hush and mumbles of “…my lord…” can be heard from my work spot. I grab a horse pick and the horse’s back leg, facing the wall but listening closely. The men ride past, and when they approach the stable exit, I warg into Jon Lynderly’s horse, and rear back violently, slamming his head into the stone arch. The moment I hear the terrible crack, I return to my own form, and continue to busy myself with cleaning out the hoof in my lap. Moans and groans trickle out from the lord, and his men rush to him. “My lord!” “My lord!” “I’ve never seen his horse do that before!” I overhear. The smell of blood wafts through the stables, so I keep my head down, working on typical stable duties for just your typical stable hand until the men leave, and I can quietly leave.

Lord Theodore, Ser Dolins, Maester Thad and I gather at the Winter’s Reprieve as evening settles in. They express their grievances and regrets about the day, lamenting about the large sum of money that will be owed to House Lynderly. I stare into my stein of ale and say softly “Maybe House Jasper won’t have to pay it after all…I heard a rumor that Lord Jon Lynderly was thrown from his horse as he was departing the Grafton grounds and may be gravely injured.” The other look at me skeptically and question me about this “rumor” a bit before returning to their conversation about financial concerns. “Lord Teddy-may I suggest you return to House Grafton tomorrow to ‘send a letter’? Perhaps the Lord of the House will divulge some more information about the events of today and their consequences. We need not plan for our deal with House Lynderly if Jon is dead and he has no heir.” He ponders this with a small smile, mulling over the possibility of a dead Jon Lynderly, and agrees to gather more information.

Sadly, Lord Teddy shares at breakfast the next morning that Jon Lynderly survived the fall and secured a wheelhouse to return to Snakewood at once. Silently disappointed at this news, we board ‘The Jardon’ home to Castle Snakewood.

The room where it happened
did not have me in it...

Carsen and I decide to spend the day at the Winter’s Reprieve bar. I consider trying to buy the establishment from Jamie, I think it would be a great addition to the Buffoon’s family, Buffoons IV! Carsen suggests naming it Winter’s Reprieve II.

As we’re considering the best name for our potential establishment, Gregoriy comes in an tells us the Maester is meeting with Lords Lynderly and Grafton…. Seven Hells! Carsen and I have the most at stake in this! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised based on that group. They go looking for a bird and find the most important audience of the month…

When we arrive, we find Ser Dolins preparing for a trial by combat against Jon Lynderly. What in the name of the Father has happened??? Carsen and I only had one ale!

As the combat begins, the least I can do is heckle Jon Lynderly. After all, we’re soon to be related and I know how much he loves that. They seem to be evenly matched. Just as I’m about to remind Jon how bad he is at defending castles, Lord Grafton suggest I hold my tongue, lest I be tagged as ignoble. I concede. I certainly don’t want to be remembered in the same vein as Jardon Pyke, the one eyed, legless ignoble.

For some reason Summer is looking out the window franticly. She’s an odd duck.

Before I know it, Dolins is on the ground and Maester Thad is rushing over to give aid. Jon Lynderly is obviously jacked up on the high of victory. In a very intimidating voice he asks me when the wedding will be. I didn’t know I got to choose! I assume he has to stay in this castle until the wedding so I’ll pick as late as I can. December!

Hmm. Apparently he can leave the castle now… Well I suppose December 2nd is fine.

Soured Diplomacy

The next morning, Gregoriy and Carsen join the rest of us to break fast at the Winter’s Reprieve, and I urge the Maester to make a plan to find a raven to send a message to the Bloody Gate as quickly as possible. I fear that Ser Bryndon Tully may be in terrible danger if he is muscled into hosting the Protectors and Bronn!

Upon our arrival to the Grafton’s keep, two guards insist on escorting us to Lord Grafton and his guest, Jon Lynderly. Lord Grafton, a jolly man who seems to be missing the seriousness of the meeting, greets us heartily and welcomes House Jasper. After a quick introduction, he can’t hide his surprise at my presence, but the kind maester boosts my confidence by sharing about the value I add to the house and the potential they see in me. I’m heartened and take my place along the wall to observe diplomacy unfold.

Unfortunately, there are no lessons in politics today, as talks with Jon Lynderly quickly dissolve. The maester agrees to the terms with little debate, and Jon insists there be additional reparations for the attack, and insults house Jasper and Dolins. Dolins responds by demanding trial by combat! If only wise Lord Theodore were here…

Gregoriy runs to get Ser Carsen and Lord Teddy, and by the time they arrive Jon is already in his armor and is squaring up against Ser Dolins. The combat is excruciating, and August, sensing my fear, growls and barks wildly at our brave but perhaps foolish knight’s opponent. Desperate to find a distraction to assist Dolins, I search the skies outside for a bird to warg into, but my view is empty. A grueling few swings later, and Jon stands victorious. His smug cruelty surrounds every word that follows the fight, and my disdain for this unworthy Lord grows.

I am crushed to see Ser Dolins defeated and in so much pain, but not so much so that I forget out original mission which brought us to House Grafton. Before we leave, Maester Thad writes to Ser Bryndon Tully with grave warnings about his soon arriving guests. I leave

Ser Darron's Journal 20

Drinking song overheard at the tavern:

Oh… I’ve been to Sunspear, been to Pyke / The wine was weak. I took a hike
In King’s Landing the taverns were dead / I asked Rob why? I lost my head
East to Braavos, South to Myr / But they couldn’t brew a hearty beer
Oh where is there a bar for me?
Down in Gulltown at Buffoon’s III!

So grab your swords and grab your forks / Tap the casks and pop the corks
Fill the flagons, drink ‘em dry / Poke a Shett man in the eye
The women fierce, the ale strong / The bards will sing a thousand songs
Ho Ho I’ve found the bar for me
Down in Gulltown it’s Buffoon’s III!