Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Helplessly hoping ...
her household hovers nearby

As my attacker flees the scene, I barely make out Dolins poking his head into my tent. "Get the maester!" He looks at me with horror and steps outside to call for the maester…and for guards. With what little breath I have, I plead with him in desperation not to call guards. I don't need an full royal investigation blowing my cover. The maester begins to  treat my wounds, but both he and Dolins eye me suspiciously when I explain that the efforts of the guards would be wasted on a lowly handmaid. Teddy arrives and I begin to panic-this is far more attention than I have ever wanted. "We live in contested times in dangerous lands, it could've been anyone!"

Dolins, Maester Thad and Teddy agree that it is in the best interest of the house that they search for my attacker. Carsen, on the other hand, offers to aid the search for a price. Despite my searing pain, I do my best to remember not to find loyalty in this bannerman. I am transferred gingerly to Lady Alys's tent where Maelys can stand watch.

After the slowest sunrise I have ever witnessed, I am near delirious in my pain, exhaustion and terror. When Lady Alys, Teddy, Carsen and Thad begin interrogating me, I fold helplessly and shamefully, and share that I believe my attacker may have been someone from my past-a one armed septa named Olivia. Carsen perks up at this information, and surprises us all when he states that he met Olivia, and that she serves House Corbray. Our gracious Lady requests a meeting with Lord Corbray to find justice and return safety to the land. I struggle to read her reaction to the news I deliver; that before House Jasper, I led a complicated life that has brought chaos to her presence.

In our meeting with the Corbray's, they jump immediately to Olivia's defense-that she was intelligent, pious and loyal, and I must be seeking attention with such outlandish accusations. I hesitantly ask but one more favor of my Lady-that she vouch for my years of discretion and silent service. She does, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude that she has not lost all faith in me, yet. I reassert that all I want is for my house to be safe from any follow up plans Olivia may have as Lyn goes to seek Olivia for her response.

He returns…alone. "She's packed her things and seems to have disappeared". I do not know what this news will mean for me. How long will I have to look over my shoulder, knowing that my nemesis seeks the ultimate revenge? Will my house abandon me to the streets if they see that I bring threats of danger to their doorstep? I must heal, and then end this, once and for all.

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House Jasper's Future is so Bright...
I'll need something to cover my eyes

It is the wedding of 4 important people in our land! My Liege Lord Jon Arryn to Lysa Tully of River Run, and Eddard Stark to Catelyn Tully. A double wedding! Unfortunately, I didn't get to hear any of it because I was at the way back of the room with all the other members of lowly houses. 

The feast provided more interesting developments for House Jasper. A man named Baelish introduced himself to me. He is the lord of his young house, which is located on the Fingers. Not far from Castle Snownook! He proposed that House Jasper host his son, Petyr Baelish, as a steward. I told him I would consult with my Lord father on this matter.

Later on, Lord Royce pulled me aside to give me an interesting perspective. House Jasper has developed a strong reputation with our recent contributions to the rebellion. There is a chance we could be in a position to benefit if the rebellion is successful, but also cautioned that we must tread with care, particularly with our fellow houses of the vale. These houses may be prickly, but they all have deep connections with one another and angering one could mean angering them all. 

Our future is so bright, I have to wear a big hat to cover my eyes!

At the end of the night, I make my way to the tent. I have been cheap and I do not have my own tent, so I have to share with my mother. Where's Calaila?  She will need to remind me to purchase a tent next time we enter a town! I guess I'll find her in the morning.

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Party bard in the house tonight
Everybody just gonna have a good time

Damn my old age! I haven’t needed to take so many naps since I was a toddler. I can’t believe that I fell asleep and missed the battle. I could have helped. Maybe I could have spared brave, loyal Maelys some injury. Perhaps even friendly Shaymus could have been saved. I’ll have to make sure I’m better rested so as to not to miss any other encounters. Alas, I can not dwell on the past and what can not be changed. I’ve done enough of that already in my life. I’d better focus all my energy on the upcoming double wedding! Events as grand as this are rare and growing more so during these troubling times. Surely attendees will be talking about this for generations. What a great opportunity to have them say how they’ve never had more fun than while reveling to the music and stories of the great bard Dolins. My friend Thad asked if I would go with him around the encampment. Any other time I would have loved to walk with him and his cute cat, but I could not pass up performing for such a crowd. On my way to the stage, I passed a man that seemed to not be enjoying himself as much as the other guests. Not wanting anyone to have a bad time, I invited him to bring his drink and enjoy some of my music. My songs were hits! The people seem to like these parodies of other bard’s songs. Maybe someday a young bard will make a parody of one of my songs. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. How wonderful it is to see my music bringing people together… From the stage I watched Ser Darron, Jardon, Ser Carsen, and John Lynderly playing a game together and drinking…. drinking a lot! Boy, Darron can really put away some ale! I also saw Calaila speaking with a young woman with only one arm. I guess I won’t take offense if I don’t get a round of applause from whoever she is talking to. After taking my bows, I collected my earnIngs. It was my most lucrative performance yet. I split part of the gold with the Maester who helped me write one of the songs. Pleased with the success of the evening, I retired to my tent and fell asleep. A feint noise roused me from my slumber and quickly gathered my weapons and shield to see what dared wake me from dreaming of my wife and son. It seems to come from where Calaila had pitched her tent. A shadowy figure, was running off suspiciously…!?!?

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I AINT BROKE NO MORE!
Thanks to by BFF Dolins!

We have been traveling for months when we finally arrive at River Run for the double wedding! Twice the wedded bliss, twice the drama, am I right? I am chilling with my main man Dolins while he scopes out a good performance area. I sit and listen to his excellent songs. We meet a man who is the uncle of one of the brides and seems to be quite angry. But we pay him no mind! Dolins is so kind he splits his earnings with me and even sings a beautiful song about Guliver!

After his performance, I am approached by some men stating they need help. They are of the Bracken and Blackwood houses and they state their cousins got into a fight. I walk over to help them and they are both hurt. I tend to the more injured Blackwood first which really angers the Bracken group. They state that this is a slight and even more reason our house will end. Just then, some Tully guards come over and disperse the angry men. The Blackwood men state that the fight was caused by general Bracken aggression when the Blackwood bumped into the Bracken man. I get away with helping one person and I am none the worse! It was a close call… I did not want to be pulled into that male drama!

The rest of the day ends rather peacefully, for me at least. There are many men drinking much more than they should. Probably trying to show how strong and manly they are while emptying their stomachs on the ground… Guliver, Dolins and I will stay to our good clean fun. As the night approaches, I am invited to stay in our Lady's fancy pavilion tent! I am exhausted and ready for a good night's sleep.

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Ser Darron's Journal IV

Seven hells

The sun is burning my eyes. My tent… it's… not here?

My hand…. blood?? There was a fight!?

My trousers? What is… fuck. Darron what have you done?

I was terribly looking forward to these festivities. I must've enjoyed them? I remember music and ale and… that Lynderly cunt? Is that who I fought??

May the stranger heal this headache. I don't suppose the other six would have me in this state.

I need to get cleaned up before Jardon sees this. I'll never hear the end of it.

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Hello darkness, my old friend
A vision softly creeping left its stabs while I was sleeping

Outside the Riverrun Castle, I've made myself quite busy blending into the festivities of the Stark and Arryn wedding by tidying up, giving myself an opportunity to listen into conversations and observe the attendees. It is at this moment that I see my old running partner, Olivia, dressed as a septa. She is despicable, dressing up as a religious woman to pillage the pockets of party-goers… a sense of dread consumes me, as the reality of my past now has the opportunity to catch up to my present. I quickly scan the area and duck into a kitchen tent, doing my best to blend in and avoid her gaze. The thought that House Jasper could find out my identity grips me with fear, and I must do all I can to avoid this fate. 

Olivia starts heading towards to castle, and my curiosity gets the best of me as to where she could be heading. I attempt to follow behind her, but the skills of my past life have not kept up with me, and I give myself away quickly. We exchange quick words and well wishes, both claiming we've changed our ways. I trust her statement as much as there is truth in mine. As she turns to face me head on, I can see that she's lost an arm, and I fear it may be the result of our time together, but she denies this, that her maiming was from a terrible equestrian accident. I must find out more about this. We bid each other farewell, and I keep an eye over my shoulder as we turn our backs to one another. House Jasper heads to our cluster of tents and retires for the evening as the party carries on.

In the early morning hours, before the sun has begun to rise, I am awoken by a shearing pain, and instinctively grab my stiletto, and stab into the dark at my attacker, piercing the air. Still half asleep, an axe slams down next to me again, scraping me and adding to my injuries. In desperation, I thrust into the night again, this time, hitting my attacker. All my instincts tell me…this is Olivia, and she has come for her revenge. Steps arrive at my tent's door, and my attacker sprints away into the  black.

 

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Just act cool
Even when things heat up

Hark!!! Bad guys!!! On the horizon!!!

I gave the lantern signal from the bell tower to say the enemy approaches by land. I then sprinted from the tower toward the Inn, where I could stay near Robert's hiding place across the street. I pass Calaila on the way and tell her soldiers have entered the town and are searching every house. 

I slow down and act cool as I walk into the into the bar. Enemy soldiers are just now making their way into the center of town, and I am able to help myself to an ale while the innskeep is distracted by the footmen entering the establishment. I take a minute to catch my breath and drink up, for there is no telling if this day is my last.

In the square to the north, a knight is holding ground as his soldiers search the nearby houses. I notice that Shaymus is being held in a cage not far from the square. I approach the knight with my best attempt at a commoner "Robert was here, but he headed down the river several days ago. I believe you have missed him!" No luck. He didn't buy it. How can I get these soldiers out of here before they find Robert?

I make my way toward the carriage where Shaymus is held. As I near, the guards shoo me away before I can exchange words with him. This situation is becoming dire. Every second that goes by, Robert's discovery edges closer to inevitable…

Wait. I can slow the soldiers down! I duck into the nearest house right next to the square. Not even looking around the room, I quickly light my lantern and smash it on the floor under some curtains. I make my exit, still acting cool, of course. The war for our kingdom is one of sacrifice, I hope the residents of that house are prepared to make one.

Minutes go by, then it becomes apparent from everywhere in town that a fire is raging in the square!!! Soldiers abandon their search and rush to put out the contemptuous conflagration! I seize the moment to break Shaymus out of his cage. We roll into a nearby house and stay hidden. Before long, the sounds of a large battle sweep over the town. I run outside toward the nearest gate in the wall to see what I was hearing. What a sight! Targaryen forces are losing ground to an army colored with the flags of Stark, Tully, Arryn, and more! 

It has been over an hour since I've seen any members of House Jasper. I hope everyone made it through this siege! If the gods are good, perhaps King Robert even managed to stay hidden!  

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'Cause we got the fire, fire, fire
I done fucked up

I am in the house with Robert. We see Teddy's sign that the armies are headed in by land. I hurry to bury Robert in the storeroom and cover him with furs, flour, brooms and the like. I then decide to sit at the table and read my newly stolen book. Maelys joins me. He is such a great listener.

I hear some rumblings on the street about marshall law and how they will keep searching until they get Robert, and it sounds like someone has Shaymus? I get up and walk out and towards the nearest home to the east. I see some soldiers headed my way but have decided to act as if I am doing rounds. I put my book in my pocket and enter the house. There is a startled shriek that calls out and I see two kids, about 8 and 10 years of age. I whisper to them that I am there to check on their mother and ask if she is ok. I give them a pleading look. They point towards a bed in the corner where I do see an obviously ill frame lying in bed. I start to tend to the poor woman who is feverish. I then hear soldiers behind me and a guard calls out saying their commander needs aid and to come help them. I shout back that I need to tend to the villager and will then head over to him once I am done. I ask where he is but get no response.

I see out of the corner of my eye a knight clad in white. He states that he needs to speak to me and his name is Ser Dennys. I state I need to tend to the woman and he states he will stay there and chat while I work. He asks if I have seen or treated someone of Robert's description. I stated that I saw someone matching that description 3/4 day's ride to the east but that I treated him and he headed on back east. I mix up tea for the villager and hear the soldiers leaving and heading to the west. I start to smell smoke…. and as I leave the house i see a house on fire!! I start to walk towards the house. As I pass the house with Maelys, I call in to him and tell him to come out and watch. I immediately regret this… I had forgotten he was dressed up in so much armor!! The guards yell at me to watch up and I take one step back….

Maelys is in instant combat and I see he is bleeding a bit. I back up a bit further. This is not going well! Calaila has thrown herself in the middle of the group pleading for them to stop. All of a sudden, Robert bursts out of the house and starts smashing away with his legendary War Hammer!! It is such a sight to see. In addition to this clatter, I hear a battle happening outside the walls! I then hear clattering and see our allies coming in through the gates and the targereans scatter! I run over to Maelys and apologize and start showing my apology the only way I know how, by tending to his wounds.

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The gods are great, Beer is good and Aerys is crazy.

One light shines from the belltower, telling us that the Targaryean army has arrived to the Stony Sept by land. With Robert hiding in the storeroom of the house, I park myself outside, prepared to deter any soldiers. Teddy passed by and in a hushed tone notifies me that soldiers are searching the area, to which I responded, "Searching for what?" with a wink, and prepared for the invasion.

I gather a few items and a basket, and stage a damsel-in-spilled-distress scene outside the house Robert is hiding in, when I hear the Head Guard yell that the town is under Martial Law, and Shaymus has been appreh​​​​​​​ended until Lord Baratheon is turned over. Seven hells, why must everything be so complicated? I decide to stick to my plan-it takes a lot of effort to care for others…

"Good day, sirs!" I cheerily chirp to some approaching soldiers, to which I get a disappointing grunt. Ugh, this is going to be harder than I thought. "In the commotion of the day, it seems I've found myself quite clumsy," I say with my warmest grin, "would you mind helping me gather my things and join me for an ale?" A few of the soldiers readily begin to pick up my basket items with me while making small talk, and we head to the inn for a drink.

"IF ROBERT IS NOT PRESENTED IN ONE MINUTE, SHAYMUS WILL BE EXECUTED!" I hear from the Inn with my new friends. "Why all this commotion for one man? It seems like a lot of trouble," I ask my pals. They chuckle to each other and share what I already know, that Robert is the head of the Rebellion against the Mad King. "Wouldn't calling our king mad be treasonous?" I inquire, hoping to distract them with their own hypocrisy, but they have little interest in my philosophical questions, or my suggestion to invite their friends slinking outside Robert's house in to join us. As we clink our drinks together, flames flicker outside the Inn window, and commotion breaks out across the street. To my one side, my drinking buddies are sprinting towards the fire, and to my other, Maelys and the Maester are surrounded by a dozen soldiers with their weapons drawn. I run upstairs to the Peach, and throw my legs over the windowsill, take a deep breath, and lower myself out to where I am hanging on to the sill by my fingertips, as though I had fallen out while looking on to the chaos. 

"HELP! HELP!" I scream perilously, hoping to milk my damsel look for all it's worth. A few gratefully distracted soldiers help me down safely, but Maelys is far outnumbered as he is attacked. Inserting myself into the mix, I frantically try to turn the attention away from my comrade, but with no success. At my most helpless moment, a handsome Robert Baratheon bursts through the door of his hiding house swinging his sword, and his allies, the Starks flood the streets of the Stony Sept.

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Chillin Like Villains
Healing and mealing

After finding Robert on the side of the road, we knew we must take him with us to Stony Sept, where Maester Thad could begin to properly heal him.

Once we arrived, it was clear that Robert would need to rest for an extended period before he would be able to move. Our band's service to the rebellion is most important in this moment, so I bought everyone their meals for the time we spent healing Robert. I'm such a nice guy! While spending time around town, I come to learn that the town is supportive of Robert's rebellion, and most would be willing to hide Robert in their own homes if they were asked. 

After a week or two, we received word that Targaryen forces were headed towards the town to search for Robert. In the days that follow, we decide to hide Robert in a house right across from the inn, thinking that the maidens could be used to distract any soldiers that got too close to Robert's hiding spot. Calaila, Thad, and Maelys would stay in the house with Robert, Dolins would stake out the inn, and I would keep watch in the bell tower.

The forces finally arrived! SO MANY BAD GUYS! THOUSANDS! The bells in the tower began to ring, and I gave the signal that enemy forces were arriving by land! One lantern!

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