Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Bold Ideas from Bold Lordlings

Days after the nuptials of Robert Baratheon and Cersei Lannister, I find myself in a tavern in the company of the our house's warriors, as well as the bard and lordling. We swap stories over ale, the celebratory spirit still in the air. Dolins ends our storytelling with a tale of rumors of dragon eggs in Old Valyria, which causes the ears of my mates to perk up. Teddy, in particular, pursues this topic heavily, and suggests we leave for the abandoned city to get an egg for ourselves. I protest this proposal, noting that no one who's traveled there has returned, including a Lannister lad, and that the civilization there was overtaken by The Doom. No one in my party seems to register or care about my concerns, and they carry on their mad idea with visions of gold dragons dancing in their eyes.

When I grow sick of listening to their arrogant brainstorming, I leave and find Ser Denys enjoying an ale himself in another room. He tells me of his difficulties in the melee, but otherwise seems jolly and content to be in King's Landing. When I ask him about what he knows about Joanna Coldwater, originally from House Lynderly, he grows flustered and flushed, and tried to tell me he barely knows her. After some cajoling, my suspicions are confirmed; he confesses that he broke his knightly vows, he and Joanna shared intimate relations. I think him for his honesty, and put this whisper in my back pocket for a rainy day.

A great weekend away from the idiots......
Oh and some lady from Goldengrove we were supposed to fetch....

What a wonderful and relaxing weekend I had on the Arbor. Eddin, my elder half-brother, was able to take a couple of days off from the family business to do some fishing off the coast. Eddin had noted how Bodrin had been working long hours at night, and thought he might be meeting with some shadier people late at night. I assured him, it was probably nothing and he was just tired from working so hard. Bodrin was probably just getting some late night "tail", that's all, or more likely obsessing over the ledger. Sibling quarrells aside, it was nice to spend time with family, at least for a little while….at the very least it was nice to not have to hear another fucking "one-eye joke". 

Speaking of those idiots, I knew I had to meet up with them in Goldengrove to retrieve our other ward, but had no idea I would be stepping into shit at the gate. I arrive and am immediately greeted by a bunch of guards, who upon seeing the cat sigil on my armor, see to spitting in my presence. How rude…..if I weren't on house business and Carsen hadn't come slithering out the castle doors, I might slit both their throats. 

Carsen, as well as the Maester and the ugliest version of Darren I have yet seen, proceeds to tell me the lady we are supposed to retrieve is headed off to Uplands to be wed to some Lord Mulledroad. What a stupid name….there's no way the lady would want to marry into such a stupid sounding family. 

Better still, I think this would be a good chance to prove to Lord Ronnel that I should still be master at arms, and not baby barron. A quick aside, worst disguise ever, any brain-dead farmer from the reach would still be able to tell that it was Darren Brewlan. I would say it took a few years off his look, but at the expense of his masculinity…..bahahahahaha

Anyways, we weren't able to secure the Lady, which foiled my plan to get into the Lord's good graces. Even though we were able to steal potatoes from these blokes before, we couldn't best the guards in combat. Carsen's fault, we would've had them if he hadn't given up……

Ser Darron's Journal X

From the Southern lowlands, to the Vale’s heights.
Ser Darron beats, all other knights.
He grabs his lance, they wet their pants.
Ser Darron’s the greatest knight there is.

At Robert’s tourney, he sent men flying.
Ser Lyn Corbray, was sent home crying.
The Blackfish fought, but t’was for naught. 
‘Cause Darron’s the greatest knight there is.

Sangor Claygin, met with brutality.
Though Sangor won, it was just a technicality.
Darron would’ve won, if he had felt like it.
Ser Darron’s the greatest knight there is.

Yep. That’s the song I proposed to the bard I met in the tavern yesterday. I wouldn’t be too surprised if people start hearing that little diddy around town pretty soon. He said that for five silver he’d touch up the lyrics a bit and spread my reputation far and wide! Ho Ho!

This maester is headed on an adventure!!


Our house is back together right outside of the Vale. We head together and enter King's Landing. Lord Jasper puts us up in an inn and I hear Teddy is off to buy a shadowcat! Why haven't I thought of this?? Instead of an army of dogs, I could have had a fierce army of shadowcats… I feel so silly not having seen this great plan before!

I make my way over ot the library of the Red Keep. It is huge, filled with more books than I've seen in a while and seems to be very well kept. Not a dust bunny in sight! I begin reading an interesting book called the <u>Book of Lost Books</u> when a gray old man startles me by asking what I think of the book. I turn around and see he is dressed as an archmaester. I feel I recognize him but am still a bit startled and cannot quite place him yet. I introduce myself and wait for him to return the courtesy but he does not. He rather asks me again what I think of the book. I tell him I have not gotten far yet but am so far intrigued. He states that he thinks the maesters in the citadel are old and stuck in their ways. I ask what he thinks should be changed and he says that we should all focus more on the things we cannot pick up or touch and should focus on the knowledge he has seen in Esos. I express interest in such things and he asks me to join in the conclave at noon in the Maidenvault. I let him know I will be there!

A bit after noon, I am seated in the back. I can see the archmaesters arranged in a circle in the middle of the room. I recognize him now! He is Marwyn the Mage! How silly I was before to have not recognized him. I know that he has been given this title either in honor or jest, depending on who uses it. He is arguing about the children above the wall and states he has seen things in his travels to Esos that would leave everyone questioning. He states there are things beyond our comprehension and we shouldn't stop questioning. The other maesters argue back that he is alone in this and seem put off by his discussion.

He calls out to me within the chamber. I try to hide in the back for a moment but see he could use my help. I stand up and walk to the front and address both he and Grandmaester Pycell. I state that I agree that there may be knowledge in the old ways that we can draw from. Marwyn asks that if I could go back to the citadel and study, what would I like to study? I stumble a bit over my words in my answer but state I would like to study under Marwyn. There is then discussion about how this topic is not worth any of their time and how this should be discussed back at the citadel. I then take my seat again.

Once the conclave has concluded, Marwyn approaches me and is aghast at how things were conducted. He invites me to the citadel to study under him and in his library and I gladly accept. This is something I have been hoping to be able to do for some time! I have done some thinking on this and although I will miss my companions, especially Dolins, I believe increasing my knowledge of the magical arts could really only benefit both myself and House Jasper. I will miss my adventures but hopefully, under the wise teaching of Marwyn, this education will not take that long. After this wedding celebration, I will be off to study! And learn me some magic!

The idiots head off on a chase


As we are leaving Goldengrove, we catch up with Jardon who has finally made it back to our group! We explain what is going on and I suggest that we all head home. Barron/Darron backs me up and agrees to get out of there fast. Carsen of course argues with us. So we settle that Darron and I will head back home, Jardon and Carsen can gallivant off like idiots to try and capture this ward.

Once we decide, the lord of Goldengrove comes out and yells to his guards to shut the gates! I make it almost all the way there on Gonzo. Barron's mule got through first and fastest surprisingly. After a few moments, we all make it through, but just barely.

Barron/Darron and I head back home after splitting with Jardon and Carsen head south to chase after the ward. On the road, we see Ser Perrin and a boy! Perrin states that Teddy sent him on this journey and I recognize the boy as Danny, the boy from the inn that we had retrieved and he was given sanctuary in Snownook. He is now going to be returned to his father, The Duke, in oldtown. We chat with them for a bit, they warn us about some farmers coming to blows on the road ahead, and then we part ways.

Welcome to Barron, the Red Priest


We are to venture out to gather our ward, Berta Rowan, but right before we head out, a raven arrives at dawn for Lord Jasper. It is from Lady Elesham, she has discovered that Ella stowed away with us and she is asking for her quick return. I read this to the group and then Carsen tries to steal it from me! He trips and falls instead and then growls at my dog to intimidate it. I really don't understand this man.

We discuss and argue but after a bit, we agree to go tell Lord Jasper. As we discuss with him, we all settle on that we should keep her if she would like to stay as she is an adult and made this choice. We tell Ella that she needs to write a letter now to her mother to explain her actions.

Darron also pulls me aside to discuss disguising him before we set out. He will be called Barron and has decided to dress as a red priest. I tell him a bit about the religion to help cover his disguise.

We then travel for several months to Goldengrove. It is a beautiful place. As we approach, a sentry yells out for us. Carson tries to tell him we are from house Thorne, as he apparently thinks he is the leader of the group. I then whip him with my chain and argues he is the leader of the party. The sentry tells us we should meet with their septa.

We ride in and our horses are handed off. We then meet with Septa Selyse. She officially welcomes us. Carsen starts his yapping again and states he is there to collect our ward. The septa states we can meet with Lady Bethanny tomorrow. I ask that she acquaint the lady with our plan to collect our ward and leave tomorrow and she states she will during evening prayers.

The next morning, we have a wonderful breakfast and wait in the solar. Septa Selyse enters followed by Lady Bethanny. We argue that we need to take our ward now and this argument devolves. The septa and lady then run out of the room. The doors open again and the lord enters followed by 10 guards. He seems to recognize Barron, but then calls him Jeremy? That was a close call!!

The lord states that the obstruction and delay was part of his plan to gain another day. His daughter is on the road to be wed! She is on the way to the Uplands to marry the heir of house Mullendore. Barron states that the hand of the king will be greatly displeased. Carsen threatens that he will be back to get him, spits on the floor, then walks away. Barron follows this with stating the fire god will put a hex on the house, he adds to Carsen's spit on the floor, then stalks off. I shrug, throw my hands up and walk away as well. Outside Barron/Darron states we should just take another random child and I argue we should go home. 

Mistress to the Rescue

We return to King's Landing as a house, and I spend a few days wandering my old city. The day of the wedding, I am exploring the Red Keep, when I overhear a conflict in a store room.

"P-please, sir! I…I don't want to!", a young girl begs out of sight.

I rush over to the door to find a Baratheon servant harassing a Tully handmaiden, and encourage him to leave successfully. He spits at my boots, and mutters something about me ruining his good time, and I chuckle to myself-I have survived  many and more severe insults. The grateful girl introduces herself as Lily, and shares that she grew up at Riverrun, and has worked for Tullys her whole life. She's in town with Lord Hoster for the wedding celebration., and noted that she gets along quite well with his son, Lord Edmure. Lily ruminates on her thanks for my saving her from the Baratheon brute, and I think to myself that I should be thanking that vile gentleman for presenting me with such a perfect opportunity.

I tell Lily my tale-that I, too, was once a handmaid, but with years of loyalty and hard work, I've since been promoted to Mistress of Whispers, and am developing a network of handmaids across the Seven Kingdoms. I share that the purpose of this network is to pass notable information to one another, and to protect one another when needed, as I just demonstrated. She eagerly agrees to take part, and even agrees to send other handmaids my way should the opportunity arise. I encourage her to stick nearby me for the rest of our time here, and think to myself that I'll certainly want to circle back with her before we set sail again. 

I escort Lily to the Center Square to enjoy the music and festivities. We just miss Dolins' performance, and as I notice the bard is exiting the stage and heading towards me, I also see Tontos Cavalero. I may have taken care of Olivia, but her uncle simply refuses to die. I turn on my heels, pull my hood farther around my head. I blend in to the crowd, get away, and meet up with Dolins on the outskirts of the square. He kindly assures me that my past does not define me, and encourages me to continue looking forward, but I can't help but feel a twinge of guilt that my past continually puts of comrades in danger.

We later learn that Lord Teddy is called to the the Tower of the Hand of the King, and John Arryn announces in front of all the nobles of the region that House Jasper has been named Marshall of Fingers and the Isles. Hoorah!

A Deal Well Struck

We depart from a chaotic Gulltown in our warship, drop off Ser Denys at House Jasper, and land safely in the fjord of Coldwater Burn. Dolins, Teddy and I are led into the Coldwater's great hall, where the house's maester, Lord Royce Coldwater and Lady Joanna sit waiting for our visit. The maester introduces Lordling Teddy, but only refers to the bard and I as his "traveling companions"; I do my best not to be visibly bristled by the dismissal of my position.

Teddy presents the Coldwater dagger to the family, as well as a request that they recognize this gesture as an act of alliance, and see fit to support House Jasper's claim to the Wardenship of the Fingers. Despite my best prediction, particularly knowing the price that was paid for the return of this artifact, Lord Royce Coldwater disagrees with Teddy's argument. He thinks that the price for their support should be much higher, and requests further action to demonstrate our worthiness. Does he not recogniz that this precious artifact would still be in the slums of Gulltown if it not for us bending over backwards to return it?! We debate for some time, and Lady Joanna suggests that in return for their support, we relinquish Ser Denys, and have him return to the Burn. Teddy's rightfully responds to this with disgust and shares that this suggestion is offensive, to which Lady Joanna storms out of the room. I can't help but wonder why she's so emotionally attached to this knight…perhaps he's not just any knight…I am very glad Ser Denys is not present for this part of the mission.

Ultimately, Teddy and Royce come to an agreement, that House Coldwater will support House Jasper's bid for Wardenship in exchange for an unnamed favor down the road. They shake on a deal well struck, though the tension of Joanna's absence rang out through the great hall for hours to come.

Teddy, Dolins and I return to Castle Snownook with a new supporter, and enthusiasm for sharing the good news with Lord Ronnel and Lady Alys. We hardly have time to review our progress on the house's goals before we have to pack our bags and head to King Landing for the royal wedding celebration.

An Explosive End to a Long-term Rivalry
All's fire in love and war

On my way out the door, with a bottle of the distillery's liquor in hand, I grab the lantern in the other. With all my might, I sprint around the building to Olivia's room, realizing the open window was the very one I considered looking into when we first arrived. At the window, Olivia turns around and looks right at me, and runs away. I slosh the liquor on the ground and yell at Dolins and Teddy to lock the doors behind them.

Goody-goody Dolins doesn't want to get his hands dirty, and refuses to be part of my plan to put an end to my nemesis, once and for all. Teddy on the other hand…

Teddy narrows his eyebrows, and a sly grin comes across his face. My lord swipes the swords off of the two dead bodies on the ground, and jams them into the doors, locking in Olivia and her violent roommates. I break and climb through a shuttered window, grab another bottle of grain liquor and stick it under my arm pit. With my other hand, I pick up a second lantern, and climb back out into the night.

I smash the first lantern into the puddle I had poured into Olivia's room, and it immediately sets ablaze. With the pain in my gut and hatred in my heart increasing, I sprint around the building to the other set of shuttered windows, break them in, and set another fueled fire at their only other exit. As the flames begin the lick the thatched roof, I turn around to see a horrified bard, a surprised knight, and a satisfied lordling. "Shall we, gentlemen?" I ask.

With the surrounding townspeople more focused on ensuring their own buildings don't catch aflame than us, we cover our injuries and wounds with our cloaks and capes, and head swiftly back to the warship in the harbor. Breathless, we board for home, with the Coldwater Dagger in hand.

Ser Darron’s Journal IX

After all I’ve done for that cunt Ronnel, now he demands this? He knew what I was fleeing in those days.. Now he orders me back to the dungeons and headsmen of the Tyrells or Mullendores or whichever damn southern lord that wants to curry favor? Too bad you can’t hit a blind man. S’pose you shouldn’t hit a lord either.

You see, I’m well-known in the reach. I’ve been to all the cities and towns and holdfasts. I’ve feasted with highborn and lowborn alike. The smallfolk especially love a tourney, and what’s a tourney without the gallant Ser Darron Brewlan!?

Ho Ho! Those were the days! The rush of tilting in front of cheering crowds. Jousting with the finest knights in the seven kingdoms to thunderous applause. No… I never did win one, but I held my own. I unseated Ser Dorrick Hawthorne to place third at Brightwater Keep! Can’t believe these northerners haven’t heard of him. He was better than half the kingsguard!

Well, I won’t go on about it. I swore my oath to Ronnel same as I made Phillip, Cedric, and Ella do yesterday. I’ll go with the rest of them, of course. What choice do I have as a true knight? Point is I’m dead if the wrong person recognizes me.

Luckily our ward-to be lies in the north of the reach. Closer to the Westerlands than Highgarden. Far from home. Far from the danger of those accusations. The wise maester has sworn to help disguise me as well. I will go without sword and under an assumed name. Trickery will by my armor. Wits my weapon.

To tell it true, I am curious to go back. To feast on the bounty of the reach and see those southern maidens again. Besides, it’s the Seven who decide when a man’s time is up and there’s nothing I could do to change that. If they decide now is my time to die, at least it’ll be under the southern sun with a belly full of Arbor gold! Ho Ho!