Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

A Knight Without Honor

A fight quickly ensues out ahead between Ser Darron and the Flowers man, and a separate chase stirs amongst Gregoriy, Ser Dolins and Flowers’ squire. “Would you like me to send August into the mix, my Lord?” I ask Teddy. “Nah,” he rebuffs, “looks like they have everything under control.”. Carsen also remains, but draws his bow. After some awful blows, and a short disappearance of Darron, the Flowers men ride away and Ser Darron returns…empty handed.

The knight spins a tall tale of feeling some bad energy from the sword he fought Matthew Flowers for, and reports he threw it in a well in order to save the house from a curse, urging us to turn around and go home. His words drip with dishonesty, and I respond, seething, “you mean to tell me….that we traveled all this way…got Thomas killed…for you to throw away a precious, priceless House Jasper heirloom?!” I should feel shame for such an emotional outburst to a higher ranking member of the house, especially in front of the honorable lordling, but the knight’s behavior is so despicable I cannot help myself!

Fortunately, Lord Theodore supports my line of questioning, and he, Ser Carsen and I approach the well. As if by a miracle, the sword sits atop the water bucket only a few feet below the lip. Enraged, I raise it above my head and formally accuse the knight of his dishonesty towards his leader. All I can think of is sweet Thomas,_ this man’s own squire_, having died for nothing if Ser Darron had gotten his way and we had headed home empty handed. All of the blood shed, all of the suffering, for nothing?

I am not the only one who sees the crime in the knight’s behavior, and Lord Theodore insists we carry on, after wondering out loud if the knight has gotten too old for his post. For a moment, Darron mumbles about parting from the group, but quickly and visibly considers the implications for disobeying an order, especially following such a blatant lie to his lord. We trot, silently and in great tension, towards Golden Grove.

Where House Jasper goes, trouble follows...

While crossing the river, Darron and Bert get tangled in a nasty fight about the location of the sword, but I’m still so angry at the knight and lost in my grief that I can’t muster the fight to assist him. Carsen and Gregoriy pig pile on, and Bert’s horse quickly takes a swift blow to the knee from the priest’s axe. I wail at the horror of the sight as Carsen pierces Bert with a masterfully placed arrow, and Dolins wraps the man in a net, reminding the group he needs to be kept alive for information. They gain intel that I dont really comprehend, about some town I’ve never heard of, and Ser Darron lets the man go like some used and emptied flagon.

I had dreamed of leaving home for adventure and intrigue, but now that I’m deep in the swashbuckling and ruthlessness, I quietly miss Castle Snownook, my mother, and simple days tending to the stables.

It doesn’t take long after crossing the river to stumble into more trouble. We approach two men by a creek, and Ser Darron commands the group to draw our weapons. Only a moment later the men see us…and take off. Darron drives his heels into his newly acquired sand steed, and the beast’s speed and strength are a wonder to behold. I barely notice Dolins and Gregoriy follow in hot pursuit, but when Lord Theodore remains at a consistent pace, August and I stay with him. It is his judgement and wisdom that must guide me through this journey, in order to eventually return home, gods willing.

Farewell, Thomas

As if by a miracle, we make our way back to the Rambis, missing Thomas. Frantically, I ask where my friend is, and Ser Darron makes a joke about not going back to the island to get the easily distracted young man. Gregoriy and Areo speak in Norvosi and notify the house that Thomas was killed in the fight. I collapse in a sob, and sweet August comes to comfort me despite the poor shape he is in. My heart is broken for my sweet friend, who was so close to freedom, and rage for the dismantling of our plan and the results of my comrades’ recklessness.

The next few days are spent silently focused on healing with what limited abilities I have. I focus my attention on Lord Theodore and August, as well as Ser Dolins. With all the distraction, between the healing tasks and being absorbed in my own thoughts, the time passes quickly, and we wake up in Old Town, where I replace my lost stiletto with a small sword, and prepare my horses for the journey in land.

Rescue Mission:Part 4

Alas, my surprise attack provides little support to my friends in battle, and the man I bite whips around and slices my hind quarter.deeply. No sooner after letting out an involuntary yelp do I see the valiant Gregoriy take the man down. I owe this brave priest my life!!

Fueled by his brilliance in battle, I whip around to see another Iron Born crawling towards his sword, and charge. My canines sink into the man’s face and I shake…hard. A quick snap, and the man is surely dead.

My courage doesn’t last much longer. I hear a thundering roar of “WHAT IS DEAD MAY NEVER DIE!!” behind me, and a crushing blow lands on my back. I’m blinded by the pain, and think perhaps I am dying when I see a flash of hot light. Gregoriy isn’t the only brave warrior tonight-our fearless leader, Lord Theodore saves us ALL by hurling his lantern at the Iron Born. He goes up in flames, and I take my opportunity to escape before I bleed out on the beach.

I am met with more disappointment. Teddy and I quickly spot that our boat has been taken by Ezzelina’s captors who are heading toward the Rambis. I return to myself aboard, and scream that the Ironborn are coming. After a moment, I see two very scared looking little girls peering back at me. Seven hells…it is up to us to protect this ship. They assure me they can shoot a bow and arrow, and I rise with a cloak of confidence, trying to hide my shaking hands.

We rush to the deck and prepare to fight.

Rescue Mission:Part 3

Ser Darron swiftly steps in and assist me with getting up the steep cliff to where the action is. And the action is not far behind. We find Thomas and Darron manages to disguise himself with the clothes of a dead Ironborn. Hearing commotion, we travel through the forest until a ramshackle building erupts with Ironborn soldiers. Fearing for Thomas, and fueled by the rage of his kidnapping, I charge at one of the men repeatedly, and after taking a sword to the leg sink my teeth into the man’s jugular, blood spurting everywhere, and the man crumples to the ground. I turn, hearing Thomas, and sprint past him, hoping to get his attention-he follows suit, but when I head towards the cliff and leap into the water, I don’t hear a splash behind me.

Nervously I pace back and forth on the beach, the silence deafening. When Thomas never comes, I slink back towards the rocks under the bridge, and sneak through to find a few of my comrades surrounded by Ironborn. All I can do is leap towards the nearest leather clad man and hope my jowels successfully find themselves around the right artery…

A Search for Treasure
Avoid Certain Death

So our lordling has decided we are to “Rescue” Dolins (dead) and Thomas (good as dead) from the Ironborn. Just great, a fight against insurmountable odds AND A trip on the open Seas. With us as good as dead I might as well make provisions for myself. This pirate base will have a season’s worth of booty, and I cannot imagine my companions making anything less than a ruckus. That should provide the perfect diversion for me to steal the treasure, and leave this forsaken island alive. I will miss these friends, but with as much wealth as the Ironborn should have… I am sure I can buy new ones.

Rescue Mission:Part 2

We make a quick plan for me as August to run ahead as scout, and I hand my stiletto over to Isabella. “I hope it serves you well..I would like it back when you return” I tell her with a soft smile and a hand on her shoulder.
We land on the island but quickly see it is less a single island and more a cluster of cliffed plateaus surrounded by beach, and the fires are well above our heads. I run ahead, and hear familiar voices of the encampment when Thomas had been held, and try to indicate to the group what direction to head. Carsen scales the wall, and I try to find a way to follow him up, but only find beach, cliff and sea. Perhaps a strong climber can assist me…

Rescue Mission:Part 1

Once we’ve set out to sea, as night falls, we approach an island with fire burning. As House Jasper debates what to do, I quickly offer to warg into the nearby raven and scope out the island before the House approaches. My offer is accepted graciously and I take wing towards the island.
Sure enough, it isn’t long before I see men in soft leather, and hear murmurings of the “iron price”. I’m confident the island has been temporarily inhabited by the Iron Born, and see a structure boarded up near the fires. After listening for some time, I hear what seems to be a delivery of food to a young boy. My heart leaps-it sounds like Thomas!! I squeeze through the board but see only darkness, and squawk into the room. “Hey, how did you get it here?” the young boy responds. Now I know it is Thomas, and I am overjoyed we’ve found my dear, brave friend. I nuzzle up to him, hoping to communicate to him that it’s me, Summer, and he is not alone.
After leaving the structure, I warg back into Summer, and tell everyone what I’ve seen. We make plans to land on the island, and rescue Thomas. I’ll be heading ashore in August, and can’t wait to see the look on Thomas’ face when he sees his furry friend.

A House Riff

With everyone back at the Rambis, we gather for a meeting. Ser Carsen immediately launches into a plan to go find the Valyrian steel sword, and I cannot hold in my shock. “Surely we’re going to find Dolins and Thomas, right?!” A tense silence hangs over the room as everyone hesitates. The maester suggests a plan involving a ransom, but I argue, perhaps foolishly, that that could take weeks. “If any of you were captured by the Iron Borne, Ser Dolins would have been the loudest and most insistent that we go and rescue any of you! I can’t believe you’re going to let him and Thomas suffer!” Ser Carsen scoffs at my idea of a rescue, and in disgust with this knight, I shove away from the table and leave the room, hearing Gregoriy following close behind.

I learn later that wise Lord Theodore made the final decision that we are, in fact, going on a rescue mission to Pyke. Thank the gods we have such a noble, generous and intelligent leader at our helm!!

Where's Thomas?

In the morning, I wake up to an eerily quiet ship. August and I head to the top deck and after a sniff around, notice that Thomas seems to be missing. “Thomas! Thomas!!” I shout into the wind, to no response.
Heading back down I find the maester, “Maester, have you seen Thomas lately?” He shakes his head no, and I hop on Kusa to follow August’s track. He brings me straight to the castle, where I’m greeted by a sheepish guard and another who runs away at the sight of me, bringing back Ser Aaron. “I imagine this is your doing?” he asks me. He sees my confusion and explains their Iron Born prisoner escaped when one of his sentries fell asleep on duty. I put two and two together and and ask August to track again. He takes off like a rocket down the shoreline, and Kusa and I run towards him, Ser Aaron’s shouting fading into the background.
We ride half a day out to the edge of the peninsula where August circles and whimpers. I look to the sky and find a raven, and warg in to it, circle a bit until I see a row boat. I approach and see a very sad and scared Thomas and the Iron Born rowing out at sea. I dive bomb his eyes, but barely make a scratch, and hope that Thomas knows it’s me and that I’ve seen him.
I zoom back to the ship and tell the maester everything. He thinks out loud how unlike him it would be of Thomas to sneak into the castle, but I think to myself that that sounds exactly like Thomas. I bet he heard how frustrated we were with how poorly the interrogation went and wanted to save the day! Maester Thad suggests I try to find them again and see where they’re going.
After a night a day and another night, I come up empty handed. Ashamed I return to the ship with nothing to show for my efforts, except a heart full of fear for my poor friend.