Campaign of the Month: December 2020
Carsen of House Thorne
6’ tall and approximately 13.5 stones, Carsen has brown hair and steel grey eyes. At 42, middle age has been kind to him as beyond two old scars (right shin, left shoulder) he is in good shape with a lean muscular build that working a farm will give a man. With brown hair kept short that is increasingly being encroached by grey, Carsen keeps a practical style. Typically clean shaven, his facial hair has a smidge of the Redbeard mixed with his natural brown but as with his normal hair; grey is creeping in. While he is a farmer, when work is not being done on his land he prefers to wear travelers garb in darker earthy greens and browns.
Of the storied house Thorne, Carsen grew up in the crown lands. Some may know of his cousin Alliser, the lordling of house Thorne. Carsen is on a different branch of the family tree, while still noble by blood, the Thornes of Duskendale are barely more than commoners. Mildly successful merchants in a small harbor town, with noble blood, and everyday “commoner” problems.
This part of House Thorne has not been relevant in politics of Westeros since their ancestor Rickard Thorne renounced his titles and joined the Kings Guard leaving the seat of House Thorne to his younger brother Winston. Rickard’s family was well taken care of during his life time (As was promised), but as the generations went by, the House of Thorne became the house of Winston’s descendants. Rickard’s lineage was left with noble blood, but no lands, or power to speak of. Some houses are large enough to keep all children landed and castled, Thorne is not one of them.
The Thornes of Duskendale are merchants specializing in the trade of dyes. Mostly notably and routinely the famous deep purple dye of Braavos. Carsen was the youngest of 5 and was generally bored with the merchant life. While he had a knack for bartering, he became a nuisance in the family store when he learned he could persuade folks better than most. Instead of making an honest living selling the dyes, he would also make a berry salt water mix and sell it as the expensive purple dye to customers, making himself a pretty penny, but tarnishing the shops reputation. As of course people would come back angry after the dye washed out.
His parents gave him 2 choices at 15, work on the docks or join the army; his time with the family business was over. Carsen chose a third option, he talked his way onto a ship by posing as a wealthy Braavosi merchants son, promising a small fortune for his travel back “home”. Upon arriving at the docks in Braavos he slipped away leaving a confused captain looking for a non-existent merchant family.
The next 13 years were spent mostly in Braavos, but also the other free cities. Carsen honed his skills as a con man and made a few small fortunes, but also many enemies. His ability to disguise himself or talk his way out of problems typically worked. His favorite con was always the fake dye to a merchant ship new to Braavos. It was good money, and easy pickings. Unfortunately for Carsen, the Sealord’s of Braavos did not like the city’s reputation suffering. He was found by hired armsmen, stabbed (shoulder scar), roughed up some more, and given a choice; all of his money, and leave Braavos forever or death.
Carsen chose life.
He was forcibly placed on a ship back to Westeros with a stern warning that returning would result in his death. (punctuated with a punch to the gut) The ship was headed to Kings landing. Not wanting to be in that situation again, Carsen decided to retreat to a backwater. Not of course until after he got a little more jingle in his pocket. He engaged in one last con, selling some of the ship’s cargo back to the captain as it was unloaded. He took his money and paid for passage on another boat to the fingers of the vale, specifically, House Jasper’s seat Castle Snow Nook. He used his money to buy a tract of land within House Jaspers lands and met his wife Olira (36). They had 4 children together Deston (13), Reina (11), Clair (8), and Zane (5). They have spent the past 14 years working hard, and living a normal life.
What started as a way to stay safe and out of trouble grew to be a wonderful life. It is amazing what love can do. Olira was sweet and hardworking. (A daughter of a local farmer who was tied to the land, she had taken a big step up in the world) They had lovely kids who were largely kind, hardworking and content. Carsen does have a strong bond with his daughter Reina, who had inherited his skills, and temperament. A little too mischievous and clever she has started to engage in her father’s trickery around the farm to her siblings and neighbors. Carsen noticed and has started to take her to the road butting up to his property with him to pull pranks with and con the passerby’s.
In 282 AC Carsen was knighted by Ser Darron on the fingers in preparation for negotiating with a sellsword captain. In doing so House Thorne was founded.