Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Slight detour to almost KILL SOMEONE!!
Who are these reckless men I'm travelling with nowadays??

While Carsen and I were sick, Jardon and Darron went to heartshome where they didn't find any knights to recruit. They did find an older knight Cedric on the way to the inn after and they convinced him to come along with us and see if he is an honorable fellow…. Though Jardon, Darron and Carsen all seem only half honorable themselves! Carsen and I are finally feeling better and catch up to our group of now three.

Cedric yells out to us to see who goes there and Carsen responds, introducing himself as the leader. He starts going on and I interrupt by stepping in front of the boasting Carsen and clear it up that I am indeed the leader and ask where he is from. He states he has been around serving many houses and is now looking to find new service. Carsen butts in and tells me to give him the brass ring but I sense suspicion on the part of Jardon and Darron and I say no, he should come with us so we can get to know him. We all then head on our way to gulltown.

A few days along the south trail, I notice the shape of a man ducking behind rocks about 100 yards up the slope from us. Cedric and Darron seem to have seen him too. I suggest the knights go up there to check it out while I stay back and count my potions. Thomas stays back with me. The knights draw their weapons and head towards the rocks. I Darron talking with the man but can't hear what is said. Darron heads back and says that there is a peasant behind there who was hunting. Carsen seems to think it is a mountain clansman and he starts storming forward. Jardon joins in on horseback. I don't like this brash behavior so I charge my horse ahead and catch up with Carsen. I'm not sure if this man looks like a mountain clansman or not… But Carsen seems all hopped up on something and very angry at this stranger. I am standing besides the two of them. The man, who says he is named Olf, takes one of Carsen's axes and throws it downhill stating he doesnt want to fight, causing Carsen to threaten him. I lie to Carsen and say I am going to have Gary bite off his arm if he doesn't cool down. He just ignores me. Jardon then shoots and arrow at me, narrowly missing! Who are these men?? He yells at me to back off as it's not my fight. Carsen seems to have scared Olf into submission. I turn to Jardon and threaten if he shoots at me ever again, I'll poison him. He just ignores me….

Olf states he was out hunting and hid as he didn't want any trouble. Carsen asks if he is a burned man and he states he isn't anymore. Jardon draws his crossbow and tells him to "die motherfucker". Where are my classy old friends? I miss that group. These heathen knights are just uncouth.

Carsen asks how long he has been away on his own and he states 12 moons as something bad happened and he needed to leave. Carsen questions him further and he states it wasn't supposed to go like that… He states they were supposed to raid a farm and there was only supposed to be women and children there but one of the men killed a child who was trying to defend his family. He voiced concern to the Red Hand of the clan and he said he could walk away or eat his tongue for his defiance so he left the Burned Men. Carsen stated that he was going to join us and later, show him where this clan is living.

We continue on towards gulltown and finally reach the gate. A guard is yelling that he won't let us in because we have a wildling. He states it is on orders of the house. I speak up and offer staying outside the city while the other knights go in to find knights. We all agree this is a good plan but decide to camp outside and wait for the morning.

Walking the Tightrope of Crime and Crimefighting
It's a fine line.

Rhaella returns quickly after her secret mission to Gulltown, and announces to Teddy that the vessel is now anchored. We put our plan into action, with Teddy holding a banquet that evening in celebration of the garrison's hard work and commitment to House Jasper. I ride to Ralph's tavern, and tell him "tonight", with a quick nod, and leave quickly.

I wait in the cells with Dolins, and strike up a cheerful conversation with Rancis, attempting to ensure that he feels a sense of moral obligation to follow through with our efforts to help him escape. After a bit of quick banter, he says with a smirk that I am the kindest person he has met since he was captured. Trying to continue to play along, and increase my standings with this vicious criminal we're about to set loose, I continue trying to lay the charm on think, to which we responds with a disgusting threat that I can't help but run away from.

As I'm leaving the cells, I run into Ralph and 6 of his companions coming down the stairs to break Rancis out. Seeing the size of their party, I suddenly fear for dear old Dolins' life. But just as quickly as they came in, they come out with Rancis in tow. Ralph gives me a silent nod and a sly salute, and the deed is done.

I hop on my horse and chase after their trail, giving them a safe distance, and watch as they sail away into the darkness, when I hear the castle sound the alarm to notify all that Rancis "escaped". As I return to the castle, I see Dolin is safe and sound, and am happy to hear Lord Ronnel say "good riddance" as he retreats to bed.

The next morning, thinking our successful mission is leading into a formal promotion in the court of Lord Ronnel and Lady Alys, I put on my finest clothes, and enter the great hall with Teddy and Dolins, who are both in equally celebratory moods. Lord Ronnel gives us a very brief congratulations on the success of our scheme, and thanks us for our continued loyalty, however, this is quickly squandered by him turning the conversation over to Petyr. Petyr announces that he received a raven from his father, who reports a rogue knight has been terrorizing Baelish's lands, wearing the Jasper sigil. Instead of celebrating the glorious banishment of the bandits, we pack our bags, and head to the Baelishes' lands to bring this false knight to justice in the name of House Jasper.

I've got friends in low places.

I am face to face with repugnant Rancis, who lives up to his name. A foul man, inside and out. In my attempts to convince and charm him into working together to get him safe passage from the cells, I am met with quiet coolness, and incessant lip-licking, and try to hid the chills he gives me. Seeing that this conversation won't be going far with this quiet man, I bid him adieu, and meet back up with Teddy and Dolins.

Together, we travel to see Ralph back at the tavern. I share with him that my past allows me to truly empathize with the plights of the bandit, and that we can help each other get what we need-for him to leave our lands, and for him to continue to be able to safely pillage towns without consequence. Teddy shares that in efforts to win the title of Warden of the Vale, House Jasper will be bringing strong law and enforcement back to the region, and that it would be in Ralph's best interest to leave before the baliff gets here. Dolins successfully convinces Ralph to complete a staged and safe breakout to get Rancis out of the cells, and discretely board an unmarked boat to Paps Island with his comrades to plunder elsewhere.

Rhaella agrees to ride to Gulltown to arrange a chartered boat, and I give up FIVE WHOLE GOLD DRAGONS for this pursuit. This is the most I've spent in months! I hope Ronnel, Alys, Teddy and the likes sees me turning out my pockets for their cause, and that I am soon repayed in status and titles for my commitment to the house.

Can we get a second knight?
Where is Ser Darron? Drunk again?

After our success with Ser Denny's recruitment, we head out for the Lynderlys. When we arrive, Carsen and I decide to dress in disguise as a noble and a fool. The wiser, obviously not dressing as a fool. Jarden stayed back at the gate where he was hoping to run into John Lynderlys.

As we entered the gate, we see people milling about and see John walking towards us. Carsen, secure in his disguise, decides to run up to John and make a fart noise at him. Very mature. I apologize for my stupid fool and we carry on searching for Ser Gyles. We first look in the castle where the guards let us through and tell us to talk to the maester who is in the stable as I have told them I am looking to trade goods. We see the stable and Carsen continues his antics and silly walks all the way to the stable, then pretends to eat the hay. I'm starting to regret agreeing to go with this literal fool.

We see the maester and another person and I excuse my fool's behavior, stating he had a head injury when he was young so he has a penchant for hay. They question why we are there. Carson whispers to me that we shouldn't leave yet as we are headed towards the exit. I ask him if he has any better plan, and then he turns from me and bolts towards the main keep! What an idiot! I miss my Dolins.

The guards obviously take chase straight away and say to stop the fool. He yells back to stop the guards as they are chasing a fool, then he ducks into a ball on the ground. The guards are all confused and wondering what to do. He then stands up and leans towards them and make another lovely fart sound and a guard punches him in the mouth. I couldn't hold my thoughts in, so I yelled "CarDar, you deserved that". (CarDar was his agreed upon fake name) The captain of the guard states that if we want an audience with Lord Lynderlys, I should come back without the fool. I agree and then turn on my heel and leave.

On our way out, we see Jardon walking past us, into the castle with John Lynderlys. He makes an odd sort of blink at me as he passes…

I sit and wait with Gary while Carsen circles around me, taunting me like a mature adult. I tell Gary to go get him and he growls at Carsen. Carsen lunges at Gary and scares him. I am tempted, but I pull Gary back to stop him from attacking Carsen. I then yell at Carsen to stop it and he freezes mid stride. Annoyed, I turn away from him and continue to wait.

Jardon and Ser Gyles head towards the local pub and we follow in afterwards. I start discussing his leg injury as he mentioned it, and I suggested that I could help heal or help with his pain. He states that he must stay there as his lord made clear his place is here. We then gather our things and leave with the thought of coming back to see if we can convince Ser Gyles later in our trip. Maybe Darron will be of help?

We decide to head towards Heartshome of House Corbrey. We know of no knights here, but we are going to try and gather someone regardless. We decide to wait outside to see when Darron rejoins our piddly group.

Won't you be my neighbor?

Teddy exits safely, and we rush back to Castle Snownook right away to discuss his findings. It seems Ralph knew who Teddy was immediately, despite his disguise, but was open to discussions. Teddy reports that Ralph confirmed that the reason they have stayed in Felliston is because of the lawlessness of the lands, and shared that someone very valuable to him by the name of Rancis was in the cells of Snownook.

We explore our options, and deliberate where we hope to send the local bandits. Pooling out knowledge of our neighbors we gather that House Lynderly's heir is John and Yorrin is the Lord (who has a reputation as an older, oblivious oaf). Yorrin has a daughter named Janna, and has many nephews in his service. Their hamlet is walled in entirely, and we gather that they have a better sense of justice and law than House Jasper does.

House Pryor is ruled by reasonable and level headed Lord Derrin, Perrin's father. He rules from Castle Skymark, made out of slate on the island of Pebbles. They have no navy, as they have limited wood and resources. House ​​Coldwater is ruled by young Lord Royce from a strong, ancient castle to northwest of Snownook. It is a stop on the recruiting mission of Carsen, Jardon, Darron and the maester. House Baelish is a new house on smallest finger, and their keep is a small tower in a desolate land with a small population.

House Elesham is ruler from a tower called First Light on Paps, northeast of Vale and fingers. It is signaled by a constant fire burning. Their Lord is a young boy named Emmon, of only 10 years old, and until he comes of age is ruled by lady regent. House Woodhole-Also on Paps island. Keep is called Woodhall, spartan, defensible but not by mainland standards. No moat, no big walls. Lord is old and angry Sir Haster, a group of landed knights.

We decide that perhaps sending the local bandits to Paps would be the best course of action in attempts to both increase the law in our lands, and sabotage our rivals. I take on the task of braving the cells to meet Ralph's friend Ransis, and as I walk down the steps, his stench greets me first.

Lord Arryn Visits Snownook
And we make Jasper look gooooooood

Several weeks have passed since our visit to Gulltown, which means only one thing: my new longsword is finally ready! The smith has been working tirelessly to make this superior blade, all it needs now is a name! It must be cat-like, fierce, swift and silent. Sharp Tooth? Shadowcat Surprise? No… those won’t do. I’ll have to keep thinking.

My father calls a meeting of the house and we learn that Lord Arryn will be visiting Castle Snownook, but we don’t know why. Whatever the reason may be, it is incumbent upon us to make sure that he has the most enjoyable visit possible. Father has planned the day to go like this:

  1. Maester Thad will host a battle of wits
  2. I will show off my fighting skills by sparring with Sir Carson
  3. An afternoon meal will be served, serenaded by Dolins the bard
  4. Jardin will tell a tale of the Vail’s history
  5. A flag capture melee
  6. An evening meal before Lord Arryn departs

Of course, Carson asks if there will be a prize for the flag capture melee. We are told there will be an award, but it will be given out after Lord Arryn has left.

Father also makes a point to say that Calaila will be Lord Arryn’s cup bear.

When Lord Arryn arrives to the castle, he is received in the great hall. Welcomes are exchanged, and the festivities start right away with Maester Thad and his battle of wits!

Darron, Dolins, and myself face off against Calaila, Carson, and Jardin. The game is rousing, but our lot is no match for a handmaid, a knight, and a one-eyed baffoon. I blame Her Darron.

For the main event, Carson and I will spar each other, making a show of our talents on the battlefield. All of my companions are well aware of the skills I lack in this discipline, and for this reason I proactively arranged to pay Carson 10 gold dragons to put on a convincing performance and to let me win. I think the spar goes well, but apparently not well enough to convince Lord Arryn that I am a skilled fighter. He gave me some backhanded remark about knowing my strengths. This wasn’t worth 10 gold dragons… I follow up with Carson after the match and we settle on 6 dragons for his efforts. Still a damn good payment for a performance!

During the meal, Dolins puts on quite a show! In a break in the performance, Jon Arryn announces that Nestor Royce will take over management of the Vail while Jon Arryn serves as the hand of the king to King Beratheon. Further, he plans to create a new position, Warden of the Fingers and Isles, which will manage houses Coldwater, Baelish, Elesham, Pryor, Jasper, and Linderly. The lord who is chosen for this position will be responsible for protecting the peace and managing this group of houses, but ultimately the houses would still remain loyal to House Arryn. He explains he is here to visit House Jasper to consider my lord father for the Wardenship!

After the meal, I heard that Jardin’s history of the Vail was quite pleasing to Lord Arryn. I nearly knocked my goblet of wine off the table while I nodded off. Sparring is quite hard work.

In the flag capture melee, I prove to be useless. Maelys destroys me in quick order, so I spend most of the match cheering my team to victory. We win the melee, and each receive 2 gold dragons! 

Jon Arryn, before departing Castle Snownook, announces that Berta Rohan will become a ward of Snownook. She will arrive at the castle sometime within the year. There are exciting times ahead for House Jasper!

Now Perin owes Teddy a debt...

On our way over to the trial, Thad give me a large dose of milk of the poppy just in case I need to use it for something. We are escorted by a guard up to the great hall for the trial.

At this point, if I do nothing else, I can sleep easy because I went above and beyond my duties by speaking with Lord Grafton and visiting Perin in the cells.

Lord Grafton commences the trial, and a moment later James hurries into the chamber, panting. “I’m sorry I’m late, my Lord!”

James proceeds to go give a wishy-washy testimony that Perin has cheated his business out of 50 gold dragons over many years. Blah blah blah!

When Lord Grafton gives me an opportunity to speak, I thoroughly attack James’ credibility as a witness by bringing to light his attempt to offer lenience for Sir Perin, in return for my companions and I sabotaging the Falcons Nest’s gambling operation. It appears that I’m effective in sowing doubt in Lord Grafton’s mind. 

Sir Perin is given an opportunity to speak, he merely chooses to say that all of James’ statements are true. DAMNET PERIN!!!!! HELP YOURSELF!!!!

After the testimony, Lord Grafton asks for input from his maester, septon, and Maester Thad. The first two are in heavy favor of punishment for Sir Perin. Sensing the momentum shifting away from Perin, Maester Thad makes another attempt at tarnishing James’ credibility, but to no avail. He offers that House Jasper might keep Perin on their lands in perpetuity, and Lord Grafton balks at that. Finally, with my approval, Thad offers that House Jasper pay Sir Perin’s debts in exchange for his freedom. Lord Grafton agrees to these terms.

Sir Perin looks shocked, and exclaims his discomfort with the house paying his debts for him. I explain, “We are not paying the debts for you, we are paying them for House Jasper. A conviction against a knight of the house is a tarnish on the reputation of my house and my family. I am paying to keep the name Jasper in good standing.”

Did I see a tear in his eye? Perin looks like he’s going to cry out of appreciation. I dare say he better. I’ll make him earn back those dragons, one way or another.

Chaos is a Ladder
and this girl's climbing all the way to the top...

With the maester, Jardon, Carsen and Darron heading away to recruit knights, Teddy, Dolins and I are left in the Great Hall with the Lord and Lady of House Jasper. Lord Ronnel tasked us with insuring that House Jasper becomes the Vale's warden. Perhaps more importantly, he announces my promotion to a noted house advisor, and shares that a discussion regarding my new title is coming in the near future. This announcement changes everything-perhaps I have a future here after all, at least for the time being… I am genuinely honored to be recognized by a Lord for my talents and abilities, and more than ready to cast away the title of handmaid.

For this responsibility, Lord Ronnel confirms that we have the House's full resources at at our disposal. He notes that Lord Arryn is probably looking for house respected by the others in the region, has their own affairs in order, and has the strength to aid others should they be in need

No surprise, Teddy suggests sabotaging our rival houses, and noble Dolins focuses entirely on building up our own lands and reputation wihile ignore the other contenders. I suggest that we can find compromise between each strategy, and by sending some of our challenges to the other lands, can accomplish both at once. Lord Ronnel notes that the houses most liekly to be competing with his for the position would be Lynderly, Coldwater, Pryor, and Elesham. 

We decide to start by attempting to send the criminals of our lands to our Lynderly neighbors. In Feliston, Dolins and Teddy overhear information that there seems to be a kingpin by the name of Ralph wreaking havoc on the territory. the next day, they discover that Ralph spends most of his time at a quiet, off the beaten path dive, which is especially odd because it sounds like Ralph doesn't drink. Our gang manages to sneak up on his hang out, which appears to be nothing more than a cottage, and observe individuals going in and out of a crude basement stair case. no one seemed more suited for the task of lurking inside to find out more information than our very own degenerate lordling, who has quite a history of these sneaky behaviors.

As dusk falls, the bard and I wait patiently outside, hidden behind crates and trees, and watch the heir to the house climb into this den of criminals…

A Visit from Lord Arryn

Lord Ronnel gathered all the members of House Jasper one evening and shared with us that Lord Arryn would be paying us a visit the next day. I was appointed to be his cupbearer, and was filled with joy at the opportunity to be in such close proximity to the liege lord.

In the morning, we meet Lord Arryn out in the courtyard, and I, yes I, am introduced formally to him by our Lord Ronnel. We launch into a Battle of Wits , for which Carsen, Jardon and I are each awarded one gold dragon for our victory. After winning, I have the opportunity to serve Lord Arryn and Ronnel some wine and over hear that I am now not just serving the liege lord, but the Hand of the King of the Seven Kingdoms. This is truly my lucky day to make a good impression. 

Teddy and Carsen put on a vulgar display of deceit in a false joust. Lord Arryn sees right through this act, and calls Lordling Teddy out on his dishonesty.

While serving the head table, I overhear Lord Arryn sharing in disgust with Nestor Royce his observation of the rampant lawlessness, lack of lands and sworn knights to house Jasper. It's all I can do not to fall to me knees and wail in agreement, and beg him to take me with him to the Red Keep. Dolins sings the room a hearty tune, and then Lord Arryn announces his promotion, and that Lord Royce will take his place. Furthermore, he announced the development of a new post, a Warden of the the Fingers. The room is stunned in shock, and I am crestfallen. After hearing his negative impressions of House Jasper's state, and the blatant display of the house heir's incompetence at the joust, it is clear that House Jasper will not be chosen for this honorable position. 

Jardon performs a stellar story of the history of the Vale, and we all participate in a flag capture melee. During this event, I square off with Petyr Baelish, but am clearly out of practice with my stiletto, and he puts me out of the game quickly. This event serves as an excellent reminder that I've gotten too comfortable here, and need to up my training.

At the end of the day, I take the opportunity to bid Lord Arryn an intimate farewell, and he smiles warmly, sharing that he hopes my talents are not relegated to cupbearing for the rest of my life. "Lord Arryn, if there is ever any way I can serve you or the seven kingdoms, I hope you will keep me in mind," to which he agrees. I take his kind words as a resounding success for the day, and leave the goodbye with an extra skip in my step. Perhaps I will not be stuck in the Flea Bottom of the Vale forever after all…

I Think Jardon Almost Died... Again...
And We Didn't Even Succeed In Our Mission

Boy he looked grim. I thought he was dead for sure when the trebuchet shot the tower of dragonstone he was fighting on. Then again, he never should have climbed that tower. I am pretty sure those Targaryen bastards were there waiting for us. Low and behold, he somehow survived. I saw Ser Darron with about 12 cross bow bolts ticking out of him charging accross the rampart with Jardon over his shoulder. What a sight that was! Very heroic. I didn't expect that one to risk his life to save one of us. 

I knew someone had to clear a path, so I went about doing what I do best; pretending I am on the other side and barking orders at scrubs. I snuck up behind the north east tower guards and ordered them to get to the front gate. They were super startled and hustled off without complaint. One deaf crossbowmen didn't listen to me (or notice me for that matter) so I snuck up on him and gave him the ole bonky-bonky and knocked him out cold. I then dressed myself as a Targaryen crossbowman and set about finding the royal chambers. 

Well I guessed the wrong tower, or perhaps didn't listen to Stannis very well. I am not 100% sure, but it didn't matter too much. I just yelled at the other troops to get moving and they got out of my way. It was a bit of a trick to keep my shield hidden what with the baby blue and all, so eventually I pretended I killed myself and took it as a trophy. The lowly crossbowmen slaying a knight and taking his shield would be something of a legend to these simpletons me thinks. 

Eventually, we made it to the royal chambers. There were not too many guards, but I imagined there would be plenty of loot. And so, while my compadres tried to finish the mission, I set about looting! What a haul; I got 10 dragons, some wooden armor, Targaryen noble garb, and a shiny new battle axe! I did hear some commotion from the others, and I tried to go help, I swear I did, but Jardon blocked the door from me. It all worked out in the end. They fought a mighty knight without me and I made out like a bandit. I didn't take so much as a scratch the entire battle, and they both were quite bloody. Luckily, we all look like heroes.

Unfortunately, as we left the castle we came back upon our comrades whom we left on the lower level to fight off the guards. Maelys looked even more speechless than usual, and Perrin was beside himself weeping. Our dear friend Ser Samwell Stone had fallen during the battle.