Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

A Most Generous Gift

While August is being healed I tend to the left behind horses. One morning I walk down to the stalls to find Thomas flanked by two girls about his age. He introduces his new friend as Arianne and Silva, and they giggle when I ask them where they’re from. “Why, here, of course!!”. Silva says she lives in the castle but expresses envy of Arianne who lives at someplace called the water gardens. I can’t stop from staring as I realize I am in the company of Dornish nobility!! I curtsy deeply, and tell them House Jasper is honored to have them on board the Rambis.

We chat a little longer, when Silva mentions her family’s sand steeds. She senses my curiosity, and agrees to take me to the stables. The four of us walk to the castle, and I’m overwhelmed when I see the magnificent creatures held in the stalls Silva spoke of. They are like no horse I’ve ever seen and I go to reach towards one when a man bolts up when he sees me. “Who are you!! What are you doing here?!” he demands. I look to Silva, who greets the man pleasantly, and I see him relax. He allows me to pet the sand steeds and tells me all about their unique nature. I can’t help but nuzzle and admire them, they are the most beautiful horses I’ve ever seen.

The stable master shares that he heard a rumor of one of our horses passing away, and I nod solemnly. At this, he mentions that he’s spoken to others at the castle about their surplus of stallions, and offers to sell me one. My heart leaps-a sand steed of my own?! But it quickly sinks when he says that he would have to sell them for 8 gold dragons. He reassures me in my disappointment, and encourages me to discuss the sale with one of Jasper representatives, but I can’t imagine why, with all House Jasper has going on, they would ever spend 8 whole gold dragons on their stable hand.

I return to the Rambis kicking rocks, but am startled to run into the maester who kindly asks me what’s wrong. I burst open, spilling my emotions and frustrations about being a peasant and missing out on such a wonderful opportunity to bring a precious sand steed back to the Fingers. My hands clasp over my mouth as I realize what I’ve said to a man of such respect and high position, and quickly apologize for burdening him with my troubles, but Maester Thad smiles. He asks me about the possibilty of using the stallion for animal husbandry and improving our stables stock, and asks if in exchange for the 8 gold dragons I would provide assistance to him in his work. I fall to his feet in gratitude and praise, and he makes me promise to give the horse a good name. When he places the 8 gold dragons in my hands, I run as fast as I can to the stables without stopping for anything other than to trip over my own too-excited feet.

Upon arrival, the master training chuckles at my enthusiasm and gives me the pick of 3 different stallions. The one I had been petting previously, the color of the midnight sky, is available, and I do a little dance when I hand over the 8 gold dragons from the generous maester for my new prize. I fly back to the Rambis on him, hands outstretched, drinking in the salty sea air as we gallop over the sand.

Lessons in Warging

Following the departure of the Plankytown group, the maester beckons me to leave my post next to a very injured August to assist him with builing a funeral pyre. Out of respect for the maester, as well as House Jasper’s fallen friends, I agree to help, though I fear my cluttered mind full of distracted thoughts about poor August keep me from being very useful.

The next morning, I receive a knock on my door and am happy to see sweet Thomas present for a visit. I invite him in and gives August some loving head pats in exchange for hearty tail wags. He compliments us on our role in the battle with the Ironborns, and asks if I could teach him how to warg. Puzzled, I think about the process and shrug-“I’m not sure if it’s something that can be taught, but we sure can try!”. I suggest he squeeze his eye shuts and think of August really, really hard. He follows my instructions enthusiastically, and I have to admit he looks quite silly doing so, but when he opens his eyes and asks if it worked, I ask if he felt anything unusual. “Hmm, well, I do feel hungry…is August hungry?” I quickly warg in an out of the hound, and reply, “No, not particularly…” He tries to hide his disappointment, and shares that while he’s excited to become a knight, he’s never seen anyone do what I can do and wishes it were a skill he could acquire. I share that he’s welcome to spend as much time with August and I as he likes, and while I may not know how to teach warging, I can certainly help him improve upon his equestrian skills. He happily accepts, and departs to find his next meal.

Ser Darron’s Journal 22

Ideas to get a horse off a ship:

Teddy’s big plank (doesn’t exist)
Tip Rambis (“bad idea”)
Tie rope around horse and lower down (RIP Lucky)
Yardarms? (too hard)
Pile sand next to the ship to use as a ramp (lots of work)
Use the Maester?
Build a gangway using large tree (no large trees)
Stand below to catch horses (dangerous?)
Catch horse with blanket?
Tell Carsen that someone on shore is looking to buy horses?
Beach a second shorter ship beside the Rambis
Can Summer turn horse into a dog?
Sail Rambis back to sea. Float horses off as she sinks (clever)
Wait for foals. (too much time)
Teddy can command horse to leave?
Cut hole in the ship (worked!)

Ser Darron’s Journal 21
A day late and a Dolins short

Leave no man behind! That’s part of the knight’s code you know!
Have I ever broken the knight’s code? Sure! A time or two! Who hasn’t?
Have I ever left a man behind though? No, Never!
Well, perhaps it’s happened once or twice. But I’ve never abandoned a fellow knight!.. Certainly not recently!

Ol’ Dolins is probably the only one of us that everyone likes so I can only assume my friends just don’t realize the danger he’s in. Personally, I know a lot about those Ironborn. Sick bunch. They’re probably going to eat him.

It was hard to watch that longship escape while Thaddeus steered towards the coast. I swear I shall not sleep until his bones have been laid to rest next to his wife, Mrs… hmmm… That’s strange. I don’t think he ever told me his last name… I thought we were friends.

Do the others know his last name?

I’m going to be upset if Gregoriy does and I don’t.

Surrounded by Bad News and Water

Panting, another set of loud thuds hit behind me. I spin to see two more strange men land on the deck, and lunge after one of them, drawing blood on my initial attack. The man tries to grab me, and I squirm away, snapping at him again. I feel exhaustion taking over, and my attacks just aren’t having the same effect as when the battle started. My second and third bites result in the same trickles of blood, and the stranger’s annoyance with my pestering results in a swift and severe blow to my side. I wince and desperately try to bite the man for a forth time as Thomas approaches with a swing that bounces off the man’s armor when an arrow from above drives into the man’s wet and salty face. I look up to see brave Ser Darron wielding his bow and arrow expertly, and know that he surely saved my life today.

As the battle winds down I look around to see pure carnage aboard the Rambis. Member’s of the Order of the Darkwash appear to have lost limbs and lives, and Ser Carsen has a horrifying gash across his face, and poor, sweet Ser Dolins was kidnapped by House Greyjoy and carried away. I can’t bear the sight and return to my own human form, and am met with equally terrible news, as I find myself sitting in a pool of water. The ship has sprung a mighty leak, and now we must find safety.

In for the Kill

In August’s small body, I hurl myself at the closest armed stranger I see. My teeth sink into his neck and blood fills my mouth before the ship lurches to the starboard side. The man comes back at me and I see a flash of steel before I feel a searing pain in my leg. Boiling with adrenaline, I snap at the man again and rip his throat out, spraying the deck red. I spy another man hulking towards the young squire Thomas and the lordling, who has been knocked down, on the other side of the ship, and lunge at the stranger’s turned back. It does not take long until his insides have spilled into the sea water sloshing across the deck as well. Several loud thuds ring out above my head, and I see that a host of new enemies have boarded the Rambis. Tired and panting heavily as the efforts of my kills weigh me down, I head towards the man closest to Teddy and Thomas, but my efforts barely break through the fray.

Return to the Rambis

We return to Castle Snownook only for a brief time, with a quick turnaround before needing to head back out to sea. While in the stables, I’m visited by my father Edric, who communicates concerns of my “unladylike” adventuring on behalf of my mother. I stiffen at the implication that my exploring beyond Felliston should cease, and defend my departure by expressing my belief that House Jasper finds my services useful. In an unexpected moment of softness, Father affirms this, and compliments my animal handling. He tries to warn me of some of the less talented members of the house (namely the Lordling and Ser Carsen, who he describes as a dolt and money grubber, respectively), but says he thinks I can handle myself. Father has never been this generous of spirit with me before, and I’m taken aback by his kind words. Before leaving, he pats my back with a small sniff and turns to walk away. I run to him and wrap him in a big hug, which he returns, and relish this rare moment for a long while.

On the seas, I spend most of my time below deck tending to the horses, always with August by my side. I take great pleasure in my time on the Rambis, and when no one is around, I pretend I’m a pirate on my way to pillage a faraway city! My imagination quickly turns to reality however, when we hear the distressed call from Ser Darron from the top deck, and a ship-shaking THUD that tells me we’ve been hit. I position my body in a hidden corner in a horse stall and warg into August and sprint towards the others. When I reach the deck, the spray of the rough water and smell of blood hit my nose, and I set my sight on a strange looking man…

Thoughts from a Lordling in a Wedding

From Teddy’s position at the front of the hall he sees a room full of people from all over the Vail. Jon Lynderly walks his sister, Jana, down the aisle.

…Thoughts going through Teddy’s head as Jana walks down the aisle…
I feel a little sick. It’s not that I am trying to impress her – I’m sure she doesn’t want to be doing this any more than I do – but there could be a Lynderly trap at any moment! Wait, I was poisoned earlier today, that must be what I’m feeling. Let’s get this over with. Jana and I are going to be stuck together the rest of our lives – I hope we can garner some type of palatable relationship – it will be exhausting if we can’t get along. Oh she’s cute! Jon is an ass. Snakewood will belong to House Jasper soon enough – Carsen will help to make sure of that… muahaha!

Jon Lynderly removes the cloak from Jana’s shoulders

That’s right Jon, your sister isn’t a Lynderly anymore, get that horrid cloak off her. No murder attempts yet, this is a good sign. Jana looks good in that dress.

Teddy removes his cloak and places it around Jana’s shoulders

Another win for House Jasper, claiming what is ours! Nice shoulders, Jana.

Teddy and Jana lean in for the ceremonial kiss when BAM!!! The door to the chamber slams open!

OH SEVEN HELLS ITS HAPPENING I KNEW IT I’M GOING TO DIE!!!! Wait… Is that… Ser Darron? He doesn’t look well. Where has he been? I forgot he never returned with us from Gulltown. What was that, four months ago? A curt nod. He breaks into the hall in the middle of the ceremony just to give me a nod. And he’s sitting down, like nothing happened.

The septon reminds Teddy and Jana they need to kiss

Oh right, I was just being forced to kiss this person. I’ll meet her half way, but no further. Wait for it…. There it is. Okay, ceremony is in the books. Just need to seal the deal.

Teddy and Jana cut the pie

They gave me a sword, Jon Lynderly trusts me with this? I could cut Jana down right here and no one could stop me! Is that a smile I see on her face? That’s an actual, warm smile. She’s really quite pretty. Okay let’s cut this pie… Crows??? I’m confused. Why are crows coming out of this pie? Is Jana in on this? No one has been murdered yet, so it could be worse. I can’t let the wrong birds bother me tonight, there’s more pressing issues to attend to!

Teddy and Jana seal the deal


A Feast for Crows

After some strategizing, we decide that I shall attend the wedding as August by Maester Thaddeus’ side. We face a bit of trouble at the entrance of the ceremony but the wise Maester convinces the guard to let us in. The ceremony appears to go smoothly (aside from an abrupt but joyous entrance from Ser Darron-huzzah!), and following the exchanging of the vows, there is a tremendous feast.
Still a bit nervous about our circumstances, I indicate to Thaddeus to let me smell his plate of food, but nothing seems out of place, and when I sit down with a huff of relief, he sneaks me a nibble under the table.
At the end of the night, the bride and groom take part in a pie cutting tradition, but when they slice in, the guests look on with horror. Instead of doves and blue birds escaping from the dessert, crows flap about, cawing forebodingly. Teddy looks around nervously, but shrugs before the bedding ceremony whisks him away.

A Dolorous Friend

Having never been to a wedding before, let alone a noble wedding, I’m excited to explore the celebration. Sadly, the atmosphere of the parties at the encampment is one of tension. Feeling out of my element, but still wanting to experience the encampments, I head towards where the horses are tied up. I spy an impressive gray coursier and August happily follows me over to the beast to admire and pet him, until I overhear a young man and an older gentleman.
“Come now Eddison, we’re at a wedding! If you look so glum, our hosts may take it as an affront!” The boy mumbles in response and is reprimanded swiftly, “Speak clearly when you’re speaking to a lord! You’ll be known for melancholy if you don’t change soon.” The lord walks away exasperated, and not wanting to be accused of eavesdropping, I busy myself with the horse.
My strategy is to no avail, and the young man approaches me. “What are you doing to that horse?” I spin around quickly and explain that I’m not doing anything, just admiring and giving some pats. When it becomes obvious that there’s no way I could’ve missed his conversation with the man, I ask if he’s okay. He shrugs, seemingly unconcerned, and we make introductions. He explains that he’s the squire for his uncle, Uthor Tollett, but seems to hate it! I share my envy for his opportunity for such adventure. “Ugh, the adventure, that’s the problem! Sharpen this sword, clean this mail…I think even if I were killed the work would follow me into the after life.”
It’s such an absurd sentiment I can’t help but to giggle. Eddison continues to complain about all sorts of things I didn’t even know one could complain about-too hot fires, horses, even this very wedding-and his bizarre perspective puts me into fits of laughter. “I like talking to you, Eddison!” He smiles a bit at this, and appears to warm up a bit.
After a bit more complaining, he vaguely shows me his horse, a brown rounsey, not quite as impressive as the coursier, but a lovely, well cared for horse nonetheless. I share with him my role within the House Jasper ranks, and my enthusiasm for animals, admitting that I sometimes think I like them much more than people. Eddison chuckles and we agree to go for a ride together sometime, should his workload allow him.