Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Thad's back!!

I’ve been waiting for a bit for my friends to arrive. I’ve been so excited to see them all, but mostly Dolins, my dear friend. I’ve gotten the three of them some little trinkets to show how much they have been missed! I wait within the citadel, continuing my studies. Finally I get notice they have arrived! I head down to meet them in the foyer. I greet them and give them their gifts. For Teddy, a fine dagger. For sneaky Calila, a vial of Greycap, though I caution her to use it wisely. And for dear Dolins, a flute to add to his musical kit!

After a quick hello, I tell my friends to wait outside for me. I head up to see Marwyn. I thank him for his time and education and ask for a book to further my education. He thinks about it for a bit, seeing as he is very protective about his books, but he agrees based on my trustworthiness with the whole, Qyburn thing… He agrees to lend me “The Elder Children” by Arch Maester Kenneth, but he states he would like it back. I promise I will send it back as soon as I am finished with it. I thank him again and he reminds me, “Open ears, open eyes, open mind”. I promise to live by this and head back to meet my friends.

We head to the Quill and Tankard for a drink! There we do some catching up, though Calila is strolling about the tavern. Dolins and Teddy fill me in that they have had some awesome adventures in Valeria! There was one casualty but otherwise, everyone looks decent, despite missing my healing abilities. Teddy confides in me that they brought back a dragon’s egg! I almost shout in excitement. I cannot wait to see it in person! Dolins also hands me a dragon’s tooth! He has told me he wanted to have it fashioned into a weapon but he isnt sure it is going to be of much use. He asks what I know about them and I let him know that there is folklore about the properties of the dragon but from what I have read, they have all been debunked. I tell him I need to write to Marwyn when we get to Snownook and check as he would know more. Dolins gives me the tooth to hold on to.

Teddy then invites a darker complexioned man to come sit with us. He states he has lived in Oldtown for many years doing oddjobs. He states his name is Dell, but his real birthname is too difficult for most to say. He chats with Dolins about his barding and offers to let him perform, but Dolins declines.

Teddy then asks if Dell knows of a woman named Terry, a missing servant from our house. Dell states he doesn’t know and that we would have a hard time finding Terry and her daughter in such a large city. Teddy states their connection to Rusty, aka The Duke, and Dell is familiar with him, though he states he has moved north to Lannisport. He is not sure what he is doing up there but he moved north about a year and a half ago.

He asks if we would do him a favor and deliver a package to Lannisport on our way. He and Teddy talk back and forth about this package but it ends up that he states he will just take it himself on his next trip. And after this, we have another round and chat more about adventures we have all had!

A year away was too long... And trying...
It's a long post... For a chatty maester

I arrive at the Citadel on a cold, windy night. As the weather was so poor, I quickly ducked into the entrance of the Citadel where I was met with an odd maester sitting at a desk in the large lobby. I introduce myself but he seemed very disinterested in chatting. He was very sucked into his large copy of “Runes and Such”, a rather odd sounding book if you asked me. I am soon shown to my quarters, near the private quarters and library of Maester Marwyn. I settle in, make sure that my animals are fed and comfortable, and dive right into my studies!

I find studying with Marwyn both intimidating and thrilling. Learning about the lore and magic of our past is what I think I have been searching for. The history of the children, as well as their own source of magic, is something I plan to gain expertise in. To be able to conjure spirits to aid in healing and knowledge throughout our group’s adventures would be such an asset. As I study, I think of times along the way already that this skill and magic would have been of great help. I dive deeper and deeper into Marwyn’s books as well as his own personal notes he has stored away.

Late one night, after about 18 hours of study, I head to the kitchen to grab some food. I eat alone at the tables, my head in my hand. I am much more tired than I thought I was. What time is it even? I haven’t noticed sunlight in a few days. I really should get outside more.

Once I am satiated, I grab some food for my animals and put that in a deep pocket. I yawn as I grab water and start to head out the door. As I do, I start thinking again, on a more recent reading of the children of the forest. I had been reading about how they are thought to possess indigo colored blood. Now why would this be? Could it be due to their diet? As they are so similar in many ways to man, I ponder on how this could have happened. And the fact they are missing a little finger. That is again such an odd difference. Maybe it is some common ancestor? I have heard thought that we all came from some early father, the children and man. Could it be that things just changed along the way? I am still pondering this when I reach my door. I open it and, oh no. This is not my door. What have I stepped into? I see a man, balding by the looks of it, bent over a table filled with, could it be? Is it a human on the table? And is the human looking at me? I see blood dripping from the table and the eyes are still blinking with the look of shock, but no recognition that I am looking back at the poor woman. What is going on? I quietly close the door behind me, careful not to latch it. I don’t know how the man did not hear me but I quietly hurry down the hall up to my actual room. I must have missed a set of stairs! I try to find Marwyn but cannot find him anywhere. He must be out for one of his nighttime walks about the city. I do find Archmaester Ebrose and have him risen from his sleep. I have had a few lessons from Ebrose recently on perfecting my healing. I quickly tell him what I saw, and he insists on rousing the other Archmaesters. I lead them all to the door and they quickly open it. I see Maester Qyburn spin around from the now dead woman. What on earth did he do to the poor lady? She is split open but looked to be young and otherwise healthy. This is no healing arts… I listen in as the Archmaesters yell and scream. I hear terms of necromancy and secrets of death.

I keep my space in the hall and continue to watch. The yelling must have attracted Marwyn on his way back from his walk because suddenly he is next to me. I explain what has happened and he shakes his head. I ask if he has known of this and he denies it. He does explain that he has had several conversations with Qyburn about death and the “residue of souls” but that he never expected him to do something like this. He turns away in disgust and heads to his room.

I keep my head down for the next few days. I am horrified by what I have seen, and I know Qyburn saw me within the group of Maesters. Eventually Ebrose comes to me to talk. He states that the Archmaesters had a conclave and that it has been decided Qyburn is to be stripped of his chain and his title of maester removed. I ask if this has already been done and he states it has. He has been banished from the city and sent to try and make an honest living elsewhere. I state that it does not seem likely he will stop. The way the room was set up, and his disregard for this young woman’s life, this cannot have been his first time. And unfortunately, I’m sure it will not be his last. Ebrose sits with me for a while longer discussing. Before he leaves, he does mention to me that I should watch out for Qyburn. He says he is a devious man who knows I am the reason he was found out. I state that although he seemed nice and a normal maester at first, I now know his true nature. I will have to keep a watch for this man. Maybe I’ll have to buy a better weapon…

Now that Quburn is gone, I continue my studies as I had been. I do make more time for walks outside and for the training of Georgie and Gary. Guliver is cute as always and keeps us three company. I continue my reading though my mind is often elsewhere. Qyburn is always in the back of my thoughts. Sooner than I am ready for, I receive a raven from my house. My friends are coming to pick me up! Thankfully it is Calaila, Teddy and Dolins. It has been far too long since I’ve heard one of Dolins’ good ballads. And I have longed to see the young lordling I once fancied. How silly I was back then. I also wonder what mischief Calaila has gotten herself into since I last saw her. She does have a penchant for trouble.
As the date grows nearer, I make sure to have my belongings ready for their arrival. I also wonder into the market to get some small trinkets for my friends. It’s been far too long since I’ve seen them. And although I am not finished with my studies, I know that I will be able to continue as we adventure.

Reunited and it feels so good!

Following an arduous journey atop my rounsey, Dolins, Teddy and I are overjoyed and overwhelmed with gratitude to see, at long last, the tower of Old Town. The city seems to glow from within, and we happily make our way towards the citadel, and open a massive door to make our way into the grand foyer. A small thin man lacks for a welcome party, but after what feels like hours, Maester Thaddeus emerges, wearing a far more impressive chain. He surprises me with a gift of greycap, which I add to my stash.

Thad leads us to the Quill and Tankard, a bustling tavern, and following Teddy and my plan of half heartedly attempting to gather intel about the whereabouts of Terry, I listen in to exceedingly dull conversations of maesters. Neither of us are committed to the plans of the Pryors, but we must convince sweet Dolins of our sense of obligation. Even still, this feeble effort is far better than Theodore’s ludicrous plan of presenting a dead homeless woman as Terry to the Pryors. I feel confident that the Pryors will have a hard time holding a grudge against the efforts of the house having travelled across the seven kingdoms to find their son’s killer, even if we return empty handed.

The murmurs of the tavern don’t turn up any leads about Terry, so without any protest, we agree to head towards Lannisport.

The humdrum of Feliston

Following Rancis’ slaying, Jardon earns himself a wide berth from all at the event, and we disperse in silent shock. Dolins, Darron and Jardon duck away and head towards what I can only assume is the tavern for a much needed drink. I walk with Teddy and discuss the matter of the Tully and Royces’ concerns about our unprotected waters, and their desire for us to build up our navy to protect the shores of the Vale and the Fingers. He seems intrigued and agrees to discuss it with his father, and I bolster his enthusiasm by presenting this as an opportunity to demonstrate his strength and leadership as the heir to House Jasper to our allies. We also discuss the debacle with Lyn Corbray and Edric, and that we left on bad terms.

I saunter down to visit with Pavel Brogan at his soup shop and in exchange for a silver stag, I receive a curried goat stew and a few bits of local intel. I chuckle when he shares that Bronn followed my advice, and visited Stephany, who bedded him. Mouth rot and rotted morals-a pair made for each other! Pavel also whispers that a young squire visiting for the tournament was under the impression that Bethlazar had put a curse on Lyn Corbray because Edric paid her too. Considering the poor outcome of the day for Lyn, I consider that perhaps there is truth to the old woman’s powers after all! I ask him if he’s heard anything about Rancis’ return to the mainland, particularly from Slim, but he reports he knows nothing. Thanking him for his offerings, I leave to bring the bucket of stew back to Castle Snownook.

Fuck Rancis
Rancis was just going to cause trouble anyways

“He yielded, and you killed him anyways”. Yeah, of course I fucking did you ingrate, who knows if that hulk of man was going turn on you during that fight, or if he was even going to do anything. Just standing there, not having to do anything, because he’s just so big. I’ve come across men like him before, and they would rather just watch the world burn…..I did the fingers a service, who knows what this hoodlum was really going to do. I don’t care if he fucking yielded, he was basically cooked anyways. Darren took care of most of that hacking anyways…..

A Dark Decision
Jardon joins the ignoble

Upon the bridge, the Trial of the Seven seems to be turning in House Woodhull’s favor. Jardon and Philip yield and remove themselves, and it isn’t long before Cortnay himself is thrown from the bridge, limbs splayed, not breathing. The gods have spoken! Cortnay is found guilt of his crimes. Though just as the crowd gathered begins to relax, thinking justice has been served to House Elesham, commotion erupts. The mystery knight charges onto the bridge and pushes Rancis down to the ground. Ser Darron shocks us all when he removes his helmet to reveal he is the mystery knight, and I hear him shouting obscenities and threats to the outlaw. What in seven hells….this will not end well for House Jasper.

Rancis jumps up and hurls himself at Darron with undeniably impressive athleticism. As Dolins and Jardon spring into action to help the old knight, I find myself irritated with his recklessness, and the opportunity it may bring for our house’s secrets to surface. I like the old man, but not enough to risk the house’s reputation and status I’ve helped to carefully craft should Rancis prevail in a fight against the very people who agreed to send him safely to Paps to wreak havoc there. Besides, the man is a stone wall!

While considering my options, Rancis erupts, and shouts “Yeild!” followed by something mumbled under his breath. The crowd is suspended in anticipation when Darron’s body relaxes and steps away, indicated he is yielding, on what I assumed is Rancis’ suggestion. But once again, fate twists in unexpected ways, and Jardon charges Rancis, hacking off his ugly head. The sound of the man’s enormous body crumpling into the cobblestone bridge is the only thing that can be heard, and everyone is stunned in silence.

“He yielded, “ James Woodhull says quietly, “He yielded and you killed him.” A dark disgust towards Jardon befalls the crowd gathered. It is only at this moment that I realize with horror that it was Rancis who was yielding, rather than giving the option to Darron. Despite this terrible stain on Jardon, the tournament and inevitably the house, I am secretly overjoyed that our secret plot with the outlaws will follow Rancis to his grave.

One final realization strikes me as the day is wrapping up, and we are all washing the grey gloom off of ourselves. James Woodhull, the man we thought we were sending Rancis and his comrades to terrorize, seemed to grieve Rancis’ death. And Rancis was fighting for the Woodhulls. What happened on Paps that united a band of outlaws and a noble house?

Tournament at Castle Snownook

Back at the boat, Teddy and I reprimand the foolish Jardon for not fully thinking through the Buffoon’s plan, and scurry away from the increasingly repulsive Gulltown in time for the Jasper Tournament.

Back at Castle Snownook, House Royce, Corbray, Tully, Borrell, Woodhull, and Baelish assemble over a few days. On the morning of the tourney, I stumble across a very flustered Edric and Ser Lyn Corbray having words in the stables. In his typical gruff manner, Edric shouts about Lyn’s unreasonable expectations about the conditions for his horse, such as the size of the stall. “Edric, I’ve have the pleasure and honor of meeting Ser Corbray, and can’t imagine that a man as intelligent as he would suggest something as absurd as building a larger stall for his horse!” Lyn spits in disgust “Of course that’s not what I’m suggesting.” “You see, Edric? Clearly a misunderstanding!” I say to the stable master as I guide the knight away from the tense interaction.

“You mustn’t take Edric gruffness personally Ser Corbray. He’s like that with everyone, it’s far more a reflection of him than you. How can I assure a more comfortable stay for you and your horse for your remaining time at Castle Snownook?” I assure the still angry knight. “I’m past the issues with the stables” he responds, “but where I’m from, when the help speaks to guests in this way, they are punished.”

I am incredulous! Rarely do I empathize with the ever-sour Edric, but as Lyn seemed unable to articulate what his expectations were, I see why his feathers may have gotten a bit ruffled. And a grumpy stable hand does not seem worthy of the Seven Kingdom’s weight of justice…“Ser, I remain I bit confused, what is it exactly that you were asking of Edric?”

“Nevermind the horse! That man needs to be punished!”

“You mentioned space, but also agreed that building larger stalls was an unreasonable request. In that vein, I wonder if Edric was as confused as I am, and that may have led to him getting flustered? If I knew what you were asking for, I may be able to provide some help…” Edric cuts me off. “Forget the horse, that man needs to be taken care of,” and walks away.

Taken aback by this bizarre encounter, I return to Edric, closing the stable doors behind me. “What in seven hells happened?” Edric babbles about not having enough time to discuss this matter. “EDRIC! Listen to me! As a former handmaid myself, I’m genuinely understand the frustrations of having to tend to the absurd needs of those in higher stations, and I’m trying to have your back here, but I can’t do that if I don’t understand what happened!” Red faced, he shares Lyn’s seemingly ridiculous requests-different food, different tack storage, different grooming-and pushes me out so he can get back to work.

Roaming around the grounds in search of Lyonel Corbray, I have the fortune of bumping into Ser Tully and Ser Royce in deep conversation. What luck, running into the patriarchs of two powerful houses! “I’m terribly sorry to interrupt, but I wanted to see if there was anything I could do to make your stays more comfortable while you’re here at Castle Snownook?” I say sweetly.

“Lord Ronnel has ensured we’re most comfortable…perhaps a little TOO comfortable…” They share their concerns about our limited defenses on the shorelines of the Vale and the Fingers, and I offer to bend the ear of not only Lord Ronnel but also his son about bulking up our navy. After all, I share, Teddy has had his eyes on new warships for quite some time. I thank them for their wisdom and trust around such sensitive matters, and carry on towards the center of the action, hoping I’ve earned the warm thoughts of these two powerful nobles.

On the edge of the melee field, as Jardon, Maelys and Dolins fight valiantly, I ignore a whiny Thomas (hasn’t he been eaten up by a wyvern yet? Gods!), and circle around to Bronn and Leo, who I recognize from our most recent adventure at the Winter’s Reprieve. Bronn recognizes me as one who’s reward he snagged out from under us at Lord Whent’s court. I encourage him to pay me back for the information should he find himself a winner today, and when he expresses reluctance, I encourage him to pay Stefany a visit in lieu of a brothel. He deserves that shrill bag of mouth rot! In an ominous message, Leo encourages me to keep an open mind about the “protectors”, of which I know nothing about, and exhausted by this hedge knight and sell sword, I go in search of bigger fish to fry.

Close to Blows

As we approach the doorway of the Winter Reprieve, the noises of a booming tavern tumble out. Teddy buys me an ale, and flips Jamie an owed gold dragon for information regarding the Coldwater dagger from the last time we were in Gulltown. We chat of safer streets, improved business, and…Terry. With the nudge of a few more gold dragons from Teddy, Jamie shares that Terry came through here not too long ago, and is likely looking for her son in Old Town and Lannisport, common destinations for the Duke. With ales in hand, I perch myself at a quiet bench in the corner, and listen in on the chattering of the locals.

When we get up to leave Teddy pats his pockets and realizes in horror that his purse has been cut. He jumps up to speak with Jamie, and I head to the door to prevent anyone from leaving. A few moments later, a distressed looking woman heads towards the stairs. I yell to Dolins across the busy bar and motion towards her, and he skips after her. I follow and poke Teddy in the side on my way towards the staircase, and as I squeeze around this woman, I reach into her pockets to grab Teddy’s coin purse. At this point, the woman draws her dagger and points it towards me.

We face off, weapons drawn at the top of the stairway, and as commotion grows in the dining room, I order the woman to return the coin purse, if only for her own good. She hesitates but eventually relents, and tosses the purse to me with a mumble. With a nod of the head, I motion to her to head upstairs, and I hide the coins and put away my stiletto before returning to the main room.

A few men standing with Teddy ask if we got it back, but not wanting them to know how much money I have on me, I offer a vague answer and walk quickly towards the door.

When Teddy finally emerges, I urge him to head towards the Rambis right away, as many armed (and potentially greedy) men could be close behind. He agrees, and on our brisk walk in the cold evening’s air, I think about how heavily the lordling has been leaning on me lately to clean up his careless messes.

Busy First Week Back on Dry Land

As always, Calaila delivers the goods. She proposes our cover story is that Ser Perin overheard Calaila and Terry talking about Danny’s situation on the way back from Gulltown, and he thought he could return the boy to Rusty himself and receive a reward to pay off his debts. What a great plan! Totally arrowproof!

In an audience with my parents we proposed this theory. At first they seemed skeptical, but I think they believed the story we told them. They told us that we have a couple more days to find more info before we head to the seat of house Pryor to deliver Ser Parin’s body. We must also invite them to the tournament that House Jasper will be hosting in two months’ time. A delicate task that only I have the skills to execute efficiently!

Packing the Rambis back up, we sail and land at Castle Skymark flying the House Jasper colors and carrying the body of Ser Perin. We are “greeted” by 10-12 Pryor household guards. I use the term loosely. They immediately boarded our ship without asking and take Perin’s body back to the castle. There was no invitation for our party, I asked the Sargent for an audience with Lord Pryor and his response amounted to “not my problem”.

We followed the house guard to the Castle Skymark, where we are met by Lord Darryl Pryor and two older women, who we eventually learn are Gilda Pryor (sister to lord) and Lady Elaina (wife of Darryl).

We offer our condolences to their family, and Dolins and Calaila make a convincing display of charm and sympathy in the moment to increase their disposition toward us. Still, they do not plan to attend the tournament we are hosting. They proceed to ask about the killer, I suggest that we discuss the circumstances of Perin’s death in a more private setting. I dismiss Jardon and Dolins, and motion for Calaila to join. Lord Pryor dismisses his guards while the ladies remain. We disclose that Perin’s death was the result of his debts and gambling. They seem to buy it, but are upset that we did not have the assassin to turn over. I assured them that finding Perin’s assassin was House Jasper’s highest priority. Lord Pryor exclaimed “The next time I hear from House Jasper better be a raven to tell me you’ve captured the assassin, or it better be you bringing the assassin to me in person!” On that note, we promptly left the isle of Pebble.

The next stop for the Rambis was Gulltown and after much hype from Jardon, we eagerly anticipate a trip to Buffoon’s III (formerly the Falcon’s Nest) for an ale. I suggest spending the night at the Winter’s Reprieve, which unleashes a ridiculous story from our one eyed friend. Apparently he tried to burn the place down last time he was in Gulltown. He and Carson dumped oil on the outside of the building and Jardon was supposed to shoot it with a flaming arrow, but he was distracted by insulting a strangers wife. Can’t say I’m surprised. Then he reveals the source of his dislike for Ser Perin. It was a really long, dumb story, but I was able to ascertain that Perin’s “intense affection” for Samuel, the senior knight of House Jasper, was the only real reason for his dislike. I also learned that Jardon and Samuel are nasty rivals.

Oh, how the conversation flows with this oaf.

When we reach Buffoon’s, its boarded up. Jardon is far more upset than he should be about a bar being closed. Why don’t we just find another bar? He storms off with a purpose, grumbling things about Robert and the harbor master. In his haste, he catches his foot on a cobblestone and almost eats shit in the middle of the road. My heart leaps with anticipation! Alas, he catches himself and denies me the pleasure of witnessing his buffoonery.

Jardon, Darron, and Dolins knock on a random door and bicker with the person inside before entering. This doesn’t seem like something I should get involved with, so Calaila and I choose to remain in the street.

A moment later the sounds of a man screaming and shouts for the city guard flow from the building they just entered. Excellent idea to stay outside! Another moment passes and things seem to calm down, and the three of them emerge once again from the building.

Jardon starts telling a story about House Shett attacking Buffoon’s III and its bartender. He says I need to demand response from them for their injustice to House Jasper.

I’m sorry… what?

Jardon goes on to explain how he, Darron, and Carsen purchased the bar as a revenue generating asset for House Jasper. He probably should have told the Steward of the house (a.k.a. ME!) about additional revenue streams. Although, judging by the situation, perhaps I don’t want to know about this.

I tell Jardon to figure out why the bar was attacked before we make any rash moves. As he storms off, I offer to Calaila, “Can I buy you an ale at the Winter’s Reprieve?”

The Lordling went to Valyria and all he got was...
The ingredients for a large omelet

In the final hours of our expedition, as the shores of Westeros come into view, it dawns on me that I did not record any details of the journey. Probably best that way, I wouldn’t want the nature of our mission to be accidentally uncovered.

Father and Mother welcomed us home to Snownook with a private dinner for the crew, where we recounted the more exciting moments of the trip and drank a pint for our fallen friend, Tito. And the night would not be complete without an eye jape at Jardin’s expense. Never gets old!

Regarding our treasure, the three dragon eggs, it was decided to keep the eggs safe in the castle and keep them a secret for the time being. I’m going to keep my ears open for a potential buyer, someone who might spend top dollar for such a rare prize!

As the meal winds down, my father breaks the news that Ser Perin was murdered on the first night of his return to Snownook from a long errand. My stomach sinks at this news.

I am nearly certain Perin is dead because of my secret assignment for him. I sent him away to parlay with Rusty; to return Rusty’s son, Danny, to him in exchange for a cash reward. I tricked the boy’s mother, Terry, to allow him to travel with Perin. When Perin returned to the castle without the boy, Terry was certainly enraged and murdered Perin on the spot.

As soon as we leave the hall, Calaila and I question the stable master for any clues about Perin’s errand. After receiving no useful information, I pull Calaila aside and give her all the details of my plot. She isn’t be impressed, but I know she’ll help me cover this up.

I have to say I’ve grown quite fond of Calaila and her uncanny ability to get me out of trouble.

The rest of our group must not know about this. Dolins is too noble to hear this information, and the rest of the fighters… well let’s just say House Jasper is better off without them knowing.