Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

The Murder of a Bear

As Gregoriy and his comrades, Niall, Vesna and Kira, and I are preparing to leave, my father calls me over to him in a gruff voice. I see his arms are crossed, and he has a stern look on his face, so I hop on my sand steed and trot over to him, standing several feet over him. “I know what you’re doing!” I allow the silence to hang in the air between us for a long while. "A bear?1 Have I taught you

After warging into a raven and finding a bear from the air, I point the Order of the Darkwash in its direction. When we find it nibbling berries by a creek, quietly, Gregoriy explains the purpose of the mission-that we must kill the bear in a calm state with the eventual goal of healing Lord Ronnel’s sight. My heart sinks, and I step away and take a few deep breaths of forest air while considering his proposal. To be a part of such a vicious act towards such a majestic creature…unfathomable. But…it is for the good of the house, and for the good of Lord Ronnel. I’ve always wanted to be a part of the betterment of the house, yes? Well here’s my chance, am I going to let it go? Because of my own girlish wishes? Seven hells, it is time to grow up, Summer!

We start approaching the bear but it gets spooked quickly and starts to run off. “Wait!” I scamper after it and coo softly, “come back, friend.” The bear looks at me with curiosity and I give it a big smile back. I entice it back towards the creek and engage it in play, chasing and exploring the banks together. Each time Gregoriy approaches, the bear gets spooked, so I gently suggest from afar that he sneak attack. After some time, I see a glimpse of Gregoiy quickly followed by a flash of his axe, and the bear collapses, dead. I too, collapse, into a fit of sobs.

Gregoriy gets to work right away collecting the blood of the bear, while Vesna and the rest of the Order surround me with comforting gestures. When he’s done, I walk over to the bear and crouch beside it, apologizing and whisper “please help Lord Ronnel…please let this all be worth it…please don’t let your life be for waste…”

We all slowly and somberly make our way back to Castle Snownook, and prior to entering the castle walls, Gregoriy expresses his sadness and condolences for what he’s put me through today. I try to muster the strength to respond, but can only manage a sniffling nod.

A Thank You Note
For a wonderful visit

Honorable Lord Rowan,

I regret that we did not have the opportunity to meet during my visit to Golden Grove, you have a lovely staff in your service and a wonderful castle, which I am sure is a reflection of your leadership. In our unfortunate haste, my companions and I were not able to take our belongings with us, some of which are not easily replaced. I graciously request the return of our belongings to Snownook, seat of House Jasper in the Vail. Upon whole return of our belongings, you will be compensated for your troubles.

Theodore Jasper

The Helpful Mouse

With a little magic, Ser Dolins created a perfect lock pick for the steel door, gaining us entry to the small room. Sure enough, there Victorinox remained, wrapped tightly in a cloth, its glory concealed. I delight and tip tap my mouse feet around while Teddy, Dolins and Gregoriy devise a strategy for our departure.

At the top of the stairwell I motion for the crew to halt. Damn! Guards at each door…no way out. I scurry around and scratch my head, until I come across a store room. Perfect! I’ll create a distraction! With all my might I shove a goblet off a shelf. One guard casually pops his head in, but shrugs and carries on. I cross the hall to find a kitchen and try again. A pan clatters to the floor. “Darryl! Seven hells! Keep it down in there will ya?” The same guard from this hallway groans, but the one at the main entrance remains. Frantic, I look around. A-ha! Fire….

I gather a pile of kindling around the room-stale bits of crusty bread, textiles, bit of paper-and set it ablaze. Sure enough, the smoke drifts into the hallway, and the nearest guard yells “FIRE!”. The man from the main entrance bursts through the door and without hesitation, I motion for House Jasper to run out the unguarded door.

We hide in a nearby bush, and try to devise a plan. Gregoriy, the klutz that he is tries hiding in another bush, but attracts the attention of a nearby outer guard passing by in the most foul manner. He quickly surrenders and he and the man pass by us on their way back inside toward the cells. Faster than a flash, Ser Dolins steps out behind the guard and cuts him down in one motion with Victorinox. We stand there, flabbergasted at the power of our reclaimed Valyrian sword, as well as the one wielding it! I return to my human form and notify Ser Darron that we need his help getting out beyond the walls. “Great! I’ll be there in a few hours!” I feel my jaw hit the floor- “A few HOURS? A FEW HOURS?! Arghh!!” and return to the castle in my mouse form.

With another game of charades I let the others know that Darron will be here in 3 hours. We find another store room to hide out in and I stand watch waiting for signs of our rescue.

Sure enough, a mystery caravan pops through the gates after some time, and a young man appears to tell a dramatic tale to anyone n the courtyard who will listen. The guard tack up and depart-and Ser Dolins peeks his face out of the caravan! We all sprint towards our rescuer and leap in, with our prize in hand.

Ser Darron's Journal 24

Darron: I wish the others would return. Sure hope they’re alright.

Shaymus: I just wish we had some food, but this is no time to go looking for it. Not with those riders scouting the area.

Darron: Well, we could always eat her horse while she’s away (gestures at Summer)

Summer: (Stares glassy-eyed into space.)

Shaymus: Ho Ho! Darron, what a good joke! However it is WIDELY known that you LOVE HORSES and would be DISTRAUGHT if HARM were to befall that animal!

Darron: It is true. There’s only one thing in the Seven Kingdoms I care for more than horses and that’s…

Shaymus: Why a SQUIRE, of course. Your trait of being stern with BUT DEEP DOWN INCREDIBLY KIND TO your SQUIRES continues to this day.

Darron: Well, I was going to say A FRIEND, but YES I am INCREDIBLY HEARTBROKEN that my DEAR Thomas fell to the Ironborn. It was only my recently acquired DEEP-SEATED FEAR of the Ironborn following my own NEAR-DEATH WHILE SAVING DOLLINS that prevented me from pursuing his murderers. However, I did DONATE a SIGNIFICANT sum of GOLD to an ORPHANAGE in Oldtown in the hopes that it may ease the suffering of some other children.

Shaymus: Wow, Darron. You truly are a GREAT GUY. I know you’re telling the truth because you are an HONORABLE KNIGHT and would only ever lie in the most DIRE of CIRCUMSTANCES when it is NECESSARY to PROTECT your FRIENDS.

Darron: It is true. I lied about the sword because I see the Jasparians as FAMILY and wish to see NO more BLOODSHED in the name of that piece of metal. The TRUE PRICELESS ARTIFACTS are the RELATIONSHIPS WE’VE FORGED ALONG THE WAY.

Shaymus: You are without question the MOST NOBLE KNIGHT in the Seven Kingdoms and I would be honored to buy you SIX PINTS of Bandallon Ale next time we happen across a tavern.

Summer: (Still warging, but most likely agrees.)

Thoughts from a Lordling in the Reach

Summer catches Ser Darron trying to hide his failure…

We’ve come all this way across Westeros for one reason, to get the Jasper family sword back! Well also a second reason – I need to collect on my investment in that silver mine – but that aside, Ser Darron’s stunt is unacceptable. He failed to acquire the sword from the Black Shield in combat then attempted to cover his failure claiming he threw the family sword down a well! How disloyal! How shameful for a knight! This deed will not go without reprimand, gods no.

Guards of Golden Grove take Teddy, Dolins, and Gregoriy into custody for the night…

How fortuitous this predicament is! The rotund guard promises me an audience with the Lord of Golden Grove in the morning. I dare say this is the perfect opportunity to make all of this right. I’ll just bide my time until the morning.

Summer (form of mouse) shows up and breaks the three of them out of jail…

Seven hells, there’s no way I can make an arrangement with the Lord now! We’re disrespecting his rule by breaking out of jail!

Oh! Summer knows where the sword is!

Oh… its heavily guarded…

Maybe we can sneak into the Lords chambers and “encourage” him to take my offer. It can’t be too hard to get there while everyone is sleeping, especially with Summer leading the way!

Gregoriy takes 2 extremely loud steps and immediately wakes the first guard we see…

Well fuck me.

Quieter than a Mouse

I remained in the field with hopes of setting eyes of Lord Theodore and his escorts, but was met instead by a large knight of House Goldengrove. He questioned me, and warned me of some ruthless bandits out and about. I had to stifle a giggle when I realized, the bandits he’s speaking of are us!
After he carried on, continuing the search for the “bandits”, Ser Darron and Seamus eventually circled back and we realized that Teddy, Gregoriy and Ser Dolins weren’t coming. We made camp and I returned to the castle as the field mouse, hoping to hear even a snippet of information about where the rest of House Jasper may be.
Fortunately, I hear a lot more than a snippet! I stumble upon a conversation the large man is having about mysterious travellers from this morning’s market down in the cells and scurry back down the the basement. Sure enough, I find our companions behind heavy wooden doors. After a painstaking game of charades with Lord Theodore, I move onto the next cell, and find a more even keeled Dolins. He doesn’’t know where the keys are but promises he’ll stay quiet until we can bring help. Stay quiet!! That’s IT!! I shake my head with all my might, and then bang my little mouse hands against the wooden wall and point emphatically at Dolins. I see a spark light up in his eyes- “you want me to make a bunch of noise?” I nod and smile and scurry back to the hallway while Dolins makes a ruckus in his cell. Sure enough, a minute or so later, the fat knight comes bumbling down the basement stairs and yells at the jailer, a few doors down. They check on the prisoners, but I’m watching closely for their return movements. The jailer haphazardly throws the cell keys on a table, and I wait for him to fall asleep.

When his snoring reaches new depths, I grab a key and drag it off the table. It falls to the ground with a clatter and I hold my breath-the jailer stirs, but begins snoring again only a few moments later. Phew! I’m able to bring the key all the way to Dolins, who brilliantly reaches through the slat in the door and unlocks his cell, before quickly unlocking the others.

Together at last I gather them closely, and pantomime swinging a sword in the most dramatic fashion I can. Teddy, with his eye on the prize, knows exactly what I’m referring to. “You know where the sword is?!” I nod enthusiastically. “Is it heavily guarded?!” My eyes widen, thinking of the heavy, masterfully crafted steel door, and nod again more slowly. His eyes narrow as a smile creeps across his face. “Well, are we ready to get what we came here for?” As we creep away from the cells, me leading the way towards to other side of the basement, Gregoriy trips, sending sounds bouncing across the stone walls.

HEY!!!!!!”-the jailers voice rings out…

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.