Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

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.

To no avail

I ride back to the ship as fast as I can and approach shouting for the maester to mount his ride straight away and head back to Ser Aaron and the Iron Born prisoner. But returning with Thad has little impact on the task at hand. The man remains stubborn and despicable, and more importantly, unyielding. What’s worse, is that Ser Aaron insists the man will be executed in the morning. After our multiple failed attempts to get information from him, we give up and head back to the ship in hopes of finding the rest of House Jasper.

Shouldering New Responsibilties

The wise maester has given me my very first task! With August all healed up, I am directed to ride Kusa to deliver a message from the maester to a nearby house in need of his talents. Upon arrival, I am greeted by a guard who responds with surprise when I share my identity. “Are you from that ship?” I nod with pride-you bet I am from House Jasper! He explains that an iron born washed ashore a few days ago and the knight of the house, Ser Aaron, has him in captivity, and allows me to enter to small castle for both tasks.
I deliver the message to Ser Aaron, and he is quite kind to me, clearly understanding the importance of the opportunity to interrogate the man. In a barred pit below, after drizzling a little horse urine on him, I ask where Ser Dolins has been taken, but to no avail. His brusqueness rattles me, and I think to myself that a responsible representative would notify the upper echelons of the house right away of this matter. Ser Aaron urges me to ride quickly however, as the guard is fed up with their prisoner and wants to put the man’s head on a spike straight away.

Ser Darron's Journal 23

Ho! Ho! I’ve cracked that Ezzelina.

She thinks she’s so subtle – talking about her vague “business affairs” – but she’s dropped one-too-many hints on Ol’ Darron and I’ve figured out exactly what kind of “business” she’s running.

It’s clear now why she has no shortage of coin..
Why she prowles the lawless reaches of Dorn…
Why she’s constantly sizing up the Jasper men….

She’s obviously trying to recruit a company of sellswords!

Now, judging by how she carries herself this doesn’t seem to be her first tourney – so to speak – and my hunch is she’s had men before. Perhaps thousands by the look of her coin purse.

Free companies are a rarity in Westeros, so she must’ve sailed from Essos. They probably got into trouble over there, or else in the stepstones same as us. Now she’s raising some new band to settle a score or find new riches.

But, will I accept? Imagine it.. The legendary Ser Darron, Sword of Snownook, Officer in EZ Company! Slaying any foe that dares resist. I’ll have one horse for me and two more for my gold. The smallfolk would certainly write songs about me then!

Hmm. I do owe a great debt to Ronnel. I wish he paid me better…

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.