Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Suspicions Continued

I return from warging to find a relaxed Darron back at Castle Snownook. He speaks for some time to Teddy, Dolins lets the rider go after some deliberation, and all seems eerily calm. I fall back on our original plan of allowing Ser Darron to say his final goodbyes to Shaymus, and he accepts, stating he would visit that night after a flagon of wine.

I warg into a mouse and hide in Shaymus’ cell and overhear their conversation form the shadows. The conversation is benign, and while Darron does pass a small package over the the prisoner, upon further inspection, it appears to be a small satchel of spiced meats for his final meal in Westeros. I notify Lady Alys and she encourages continued suspicion.

Heeding her words, that night I warg again into my mouse friend and search Ser Darron’s room. The only thing that seems truly out of place is a set of robes worn by Red Priests. I notify Ser Dolins and Lord Theodore right away.

Suspicions Within

I’m summoned to the Council of Justice to determine the fate of Shaymus following his defeat in Trial by Combat. Darron insist on joining us, despite him not having a place on the council, though he mostly observes in silence. Brock initially suggests that the traitor should be killed from his crimes, but after mustering the courage, I encourage Gregoriy to consider another option. “Perhaps we should use his guilt to try and bring the eggs home..what if we exiled him to Essos, with the promise of a safe return home if he can bring the eggs with him?” After some consideration and debate, the council is in agreement, recognizing it may be the only hope of bringing the dragon eggs to Snownook where they belong.

Darron accompanies me to notify Shaymus of this news, but the conversation takes an unexpected turn. The guilty party looks to his old friend and asks for help, and Ser Darron recommends the man accept his fate. Before we leave, the knight attempts to offer the prisoner several iron stakes. I react in shock and quickly swipe them from his hand before they can be exchanged, looking back at him in horror. I usher him out, and run to find Gregoriy and Teddy.

When I find the Beacon of Justice and Lordling, I express my concerns about Darron’s actions, attitudes and inconsistencies throughout this investigation, as well as how they are intensified by the knowledge of his history of being accused of stealing priceless jewels from the previous house he served. They share my concerns, so we hatch a plan to spy on a conversation between Shaymus and Darron.

Unfortunately, when we go to find Ser Darron…he’s gone! Gregoriy begins to search for him at a relaxed pace but my heart drops into my stomach and I instantly warg into a raven to search from the skies. It isn’t long before I see a rider with the sigil of a green field adorned by a grey face on his cloak. The man is not Darron, but I am very suspicious of this activity and return to notify House Jasper.

Ser Dolins is the first person I come across, and he agrees to ride after the man with the sigil that he recognizes as being from House Baelish. He also voices his suspicions about Ser Darron that he’d been keeping to himself, and agrees the man must be cut off. I offer him my sandsteed to catch up to the rider as swiftly as possible, and run to Lady Alys to urge her to send other riders to follow.

After seeing Maelys, Cedric and the Order of the Darkwash depart after Dolins, I take to the skies once again, this time towards Jasport, to search for Darron.

An Intruder in the Night, Pt 3

Teddy is naturally alarmed and concerned for the House’s treasures. I accompany him down to the vault, where the door has been broken into with a high quality, but now broken, lock pick. Sure enough, the dragon eggs are vanished. I search around the room, and find a long dark horse hair near where the eggs were. I have confidence that the horse hair is from a palfrey. The only members of the house who ride palfreys are Rhaella (whose horse is light in color) and there are a few others who aren’t ridden as often in the stables, so no owner immediately comes to mind. Lord Theodore curses the thieves, and wonders aloud who could’ve masterminded this plan with so few people knowing of the eggs’ existence. “Knowledge travels fast in the wrong hands, my lord.” I remind him.

After regrouping, Ser Dolins shares that Shaymus has been interrogated and is currently in a cell under suspicion of involvement. We head out from the castle, following hoof prints, eventually coming across a group of panting and nearly passed out palfreys, and one dead man. After some inspection, we see another, smaller set of hoofprints heading further out, so I warg into a crow to get a birds eye view on the scene.

Some time later, I spot 3 dark palfreys, left saddled and abandoned near the coast, with footprints ending at the water, as though they were picked up by a boat. Soaring above, I peer out over the open sea, and see a ship off in the distance! I fly out and observe those on board for as long as I can. The crew of sailors lacks any distinguishing features except for one strange looking man wearing an oddly shaped hat. It appears to be black and made of felt and pointy corners on each edge. Otherwise, no sigils can be seen on board, and the only mention in conversation I recognize is that they are headed back to Braavos.

An Intruder in the Night, Pt 2

Dolins sprints down the hallway towards the stairs, and I turn my attention to my sweet, brave August. He’s too heavy for me to lift alone, so I knock gently on the closest door, the quarters of Betty the handmaiden, who nervously agrees to help me move August into me room where he can remain safely.
After thanking Betty for her help, I grab my stiletto, shield and dagger, and run in a daze down the hallway and down the stairs to meet with the rest of the house.

An Intruder in the Night

I’m awoken in the middle of the night by Ser Dolins, who looks uneasy. “I’ve been stirred by a strange noise that I think should be investigated, but I don’t think I should go alone.” I rub my eyes, and ask what he heard. “I’m not sure, just…something’s not right.” I rouse a sleepy August, and ask Ser Dolins to keep an eye on my body as I warg into the raven and take a lap around the castle.

From above, all seems quiet. But as I swoop lower, I see a group of a dozen horses tied up between the Dark Wash encampment and the Bridge of the Andals. My blood runs cold-everything is cloaked in darkness and eerily still, but I don’t see anything else out of place.
I return at Summer and explain quickly in a hushed voice what I saw to Ser Dolins. “We have to wake the castle,” I tell him. He tells me to notify Teddy and he’ll grab Victorinox and wake everyone else. With a quick nod, August and I sprint out into the hallway. The moment I turn the corner an obliterating pain explodes in my arm and I collapse in front of a cloaked and shadowed man.
“We’re under attack!” I scream in a shaky, broken voice, and look to August. “Attack.” I whisper to him. My loyal companion launches himself at the man, but is quickly swiped down by his sword. August lets a blood curdling cry, and even in the dark I can tell he is badly hurt. I throw myself over him. “Please no! Don’t hurt him. Take my life instead,” I plead to the man. The hallway is silent for a moment.

" Don’t. Move." The man holds the point of his sword firmly, but unmoving, into my back. I nod.

With my face buried in August’s wet, bloodied fur, and I try and fail to hold in a whimper. And then… with a broad swish, the stranger collapses beside me. I look up in shock, and the brave Ser Dolins stands boldly above us, holding Victorinox in victory over our opponent.

Rhaella steps into the hallway with us, having been woken by my yell. She asks “What do you need me to do?” and we both look to Ser Dolins for commands.

Honors Bestowed

I’m approached one morning after Lord Theodore and his trusted men have departed for Gulltown by the house messenger, Rhaella, who invites me for a ride. I gladly agree and am quietly happy to show off my riding skills to someone as talented on a horse as Rhaella. Overlooking a lovely valley in House Jasper’s lands, she asks if I would be interested in assisting her with her messenger duties, as the house’s correspondence needs have grown with its responsibilities. Moved by her consideration of me, I agree enthusiastically and pepper her with questions about the role. We carry on, enjoying the day’s gift of sunshine, until we come across a gathering of young adolescents and children moving rocks around, being overseen by a pair of adult. We observe from afar for a bit until my curiosity gets the best of me, and I approach the scene with August. Under the guise of a town girl looking for her dog, I inquire about their mission, and the woman introduces herself as a septa, and informs me that they are building a sept. Upon my return to Rhaella, she narrows her eyebrows at this, and we agree she should notify Lord Ronnel.

Only a few days later, I’m approached again, this time by Gregoriy. He shares that following the miracle he performed on Lord Ronnel, that he’s been appointed the ancient position of the Beacon of Light to the house. I congratulate him on this tremendous but well deserved honor as he expands on the positions’ duties, and his intention to create a council to assist with his decision making. To my shock, he invites me to join the council! I choke on the air in my lungs, “me? Surely you do not mean me…” but he protests and thinks having a young person familiar with the customs of the area would be beneficial in considering matters of local justice. I accept on the condition that Rhaella does not think it will get in the way of the role I accepted with her, and she encourages me to move forward with it.

Unfortunately, the first matter for the council is one far above my head. Gregoriy, I, and the other council member, Brock, heads to the cells to meet with Stephanie, a toothless crude woman, who confirms Gregoriy’s inquiries about her knowingly giving pox to her “suitors”. I feel my face get hot and hands get clammy as humiliating subjects from the sheer number of her partners to “sheepskin” arise. But after some deliberation, the council civilly agrees that tattooing the woman with a warning for her future potential suitors on her upper leg may prevent the infectious disease from spreading further throughout the town.

I am relieved to have a reason to take some time away from Castle Snownook after this experience, as Lord Ronnel sends me to deliver my first message! Per his instructions, I ride Kusa to Snakewood and hand deliver a sealed message to their maester Glynn. He responds with a cryptic warning of what happens to messengers who read their delivery materials.

The Murder of a Bear

As Gregoriy and his comrades, Niall, Vesna and Kira, and I are preparing to leave, my father calls me over to him in a gruff voice. I see his arms are crossed, and he has a stern look on his face, so I hop on my sand steed and trot over to him, standing several feet over him. “I know what you’re doing!” I allow the silence to hang in the air between us for a long while. "A bear?1 Have I taught you

After warging into a raven and finding a bear from the air, I point the Order of the Darkwash in its direction. When we find it nibbling berries by a creek, quietly, Gregoriy explains the purpose of the mission-that we must kill the bear in a calm state with the eventual goal of healing Lord Ronnel’s sight. My heart sinks, and I step away and take a few deep breaths of forest air while considering his proposal. To be a part of such a vicious act towards such a majestic creature…unfathomable. But…it is for the good of the house, and for the good of Lord Ronnel. I’ve always wanted to be a part of the betterment of the house, yes? Well here’s my chance, am I going to let it go? Because of my own girlish wishes? Seven hells, it is time to grow up, Summer!

We start approaching the bear but it gets spooked quickly and starts to run off. “Wait!” I scamper after it and coo softly, “come back, friend.” The bear looks at me with curiosity and I give it a big smile back. I entice it back towards the creek and engage it in play, chasing and exploring the banks together. Each time Gregoriy approaches, the bear gets spooked, so I gently suggest from afar that he sneak attack. After some time, I see a glimpse of Gregoiy quickly followed by a flash of his axe, and the bear collapses, dead. I too, collapse, into a fit of sobs.

Gregoriy gets to work right away collecting the blood of the bear, while Vesna and the rest of the Order surround me with comforting gestures. When he’s done, I walk over to the bear and crouch beside it, apologizing and whisper “please help Lord Ronnel…please let this all be worth it…please don’t let your life be for waste…”

We all slowly and somberly make our way back to Castle Snownook, and prior to entering the castle walls, Gregoriy expresses his sadness and condolences for what he’s put me through today. I try to muster the strength to respond, but can only manage a sniffling nod.

A Thank You Note
For a wonderful visit

Honorable Lord Rowan,

I regret that we did not have the opportunity to meet during my visit to Golden Grove, you have a lovely staff in your service and a wonderful castle, which I am sure is a reflection of your leadership. In our unfortunate haste, my companions and I were not able to take our belongings with us, some of which are not easily replaced. I graciously request the return of our belongings to Snownook, seat of House Jasper in the Vail. Upon whole return of our belongings, you will be compensated for your troubles.

Theodore Jasper

The Helpful Mouse

With a little magic, Ser Dolins created a perfect lock pick for the steel door, gaining us entry to the small room. Sure enough, there Victorinox remained, wrapped tightly in a cloth, its glory concealed. I delight and tip tap my mouse feet around while Teddy, Dolins and Gregoriy devise a strategy for our departure.

At the top of the stairwell I motion for the crew to halt. Damn! Guards at each door…no way out. I scurry around and scratch my head, until I come across a store room. Perfect! I’ll create a distraction! With all my might I shove a goblet off a shelf. One guard casually pops his head in, but shrugs and carries on. I cross the hall to find a kitchen and try again. A pan clatters to the floor. “Darryl! Seven hells! Keep it down in there will ya?” The same guard from this hallway groans, but the one at the main entrance remains. Frantic, I look around. A-ha! Fire….

I gather a pile of kindling around the room-stale bits of crusty bread, textiles, bit of paper-and set it ablaze. Sure enough, the smoke drifts into the hallway, and the nearest guard yells “FIRE!”. The man from the main entrance bursts through the door and without hesitation, I motion for House Jasper to run out the unguarded door.

We hide in a nearby bush, and try to devise a plan. Gregoriy, the klutz that he is tries hiding in another bush, but attracts the attention of a nearby outer guard passing by in the most foul manner. He quickly surrenders and he and the man pass by us on their way back inside toward the cells. Faster than a flash, Ser Dolins steps out behind the guard and cuts him down in one motion with Victorinox. We stand there, flabbergasted at the power of our reclaimed Valyrian sword, as well as the one wielding it! I return to my human form and notify Ser Darron that we need his help getting out beyond the walls. “Great! I’ll be there in a few hours!” I feel my jaw hit the floor- “A few HOURS? A FEW HOURS?! Arghh!!” and return to the castle in my mouse form.

With another game of charades I let the others know that Darron will be here in 3 hours. We find another store room to hide out in and I stand watch waiting for signs of our rescue.

Sure enough, a mystery caravan pops through the gates after some time, and a young man appears to tell a dramatic tale to anyone n the courtyard who will listen. The guard tack up and depart-and Ser Dolins peeks his face out of the caravan! We all sprint towards our rescuer and leap in, with our prize in hand.

Ser Darron's Journal 24

Darron: I wish the others would return. Sure hope they’re alright.

Shaymus: I just wish we had some food, but this is no time to go looking for it. Not with those riders scouting the area.

Darron: Well, we could always eat her horse while she’s away (gestures at Summer)

Summer: (Stares glassy-eyed into space.)

Shaymus: Ho Ho! Darron, what a good joke! However it is WIDELY known that you LOVE HORSES and would be DISTRAUGHT if HARM were to befall that animal!

Darron: It is true. There’s only one thing in the Seven Kingdoms I care for more than horses and that’s…

Shaymus: Why a SQUIRE, of course. Your trait of being stern with BUT DEEP DOWN INCREDIBLY KIND TO your SQUIRES continues to this day.

Darron: Well, I was going to say A FRIEND, but YES I am INCREDIBLY HEARTBROKEN that my DEAR Thomas fell to the Ironborn. It was only my recently acquired DEEP-SEATED FEAR of the Ironborn following my own NEAR-DEATH WHILE SAVING DOLLINS that prevented me from pursuing his murderers. However, I did DONATE a SIGNIFICANT sum of GOLD to an ORPHANAGE in Oldtown in the hopes that it may ease the suffering of some other children.

Shaymus: Wow, Darron. You truly are a GREAT GUY. I know you’re telling the truth because you are an HONORABLE KNIGHT and would only ever lie in the most DIRE of CIRCUMSTANCES when it is NECESSARY to PROTECT your FRIENDS.

Darron: It is true. I lied about the sword because I see the Jasparians as FAMILY and wish to see NO more BLOODSHED in the name of that piece of metal. The TRUE PRICELESS ARTIFACTS are the RELATIONSHIPS WE’VE FORGED ALONG THE WAY.

Shaymus: You are without question the MOST NOBLE KNIGHT in the Seven Kingdoms and I would be honored to buy you SIX PINTS of Bandallon Ale next time we happen across a tavern.

Summer: (Still warging, but most likely agrees.)