Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Splitting up the Group??

Down in the tunnels, we decided to heed Ruben's suggestions and to try to hurry on out. We head back to where we met him and decide to take the left where he suggested. We run into a locked door but luckily we have 2 great lock picks! Inside the door we see a ton of wildfire in a layer of sand!! I take a moment to count the jars and there are 300… This must mean that we are under the Dragon Pits as we saw in the note!

We continue on our way and find another room with a myrish crossbow! Dolins grabs it and takes it with him though I was for sure interested… I don't really have many good weapons, not that I would be great at using them… But a girl's gotta protect herself right? We continue on our way and see some sunlight! Finally! We end up in a tack room, but not any tack room! This is tack for dragons! I find some moldy old clothing and suggest we disguise ourselves in this, though the group doesn't love the idea. We decide to just head back towards the sea as soon as possible. So we head towards the king's gate! We walk through the dragon pit towards the huge dragon doors that are closed. Dolins shows incredible strength and opens up the doors! Through the doors we see over the city and decide to head down the hill at our feet as it is the most direct route.

We tie ourselves all together to get down this treacherous hill. It takes us some time and Calaila, Teddy and I stumble quite a bit while our bard keeps us steady! But we finally make it to the bottom! Once we are down there, we notice that many of the people in the town are nervous . We make our way towards the gate but see it's closed! I ask a passing woman and she says that the king ordered them closed as an army is on its way. She states that they are prisoners of their own town!

I see a gold cloak at the door and I start speaking to him. I state that we need to leave the city on pyromancer business. He seems skeptical that I don't have a note from the king for him. He and I go back and forth a few times and he is still unconvinced though I try to tell him the work is too secret to carry a note. I even come up with a story about how a maester was on pyromancer work up north and was killed when found with a note about his business. Dolins jumps in to show his new bow and states that the king gave him this. The guard seems confused at this. Dolins then offers 50 silver from the king to each man for their trouble. At this the guard states that if this came from a king, he wouldn't have offered this amount and he yells at his guards to seize us! Out of the corner of my eye I see Calaila and Teddy sprint off. What wimps! Also, what the heck! Leaving us here?? Dolins then speaks up and states he was mistaken, he has a gold dragon for each of them. At this, the guard appears to listen again. But Calaila and Teddy are long gone…. What friends they are!

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It's the climb!
there's always gonna be another mountain...

Heeding the advice of the man in the tunnels, we hurry back to where we found the man, and turn left to find a room with 300 urns of Wildfyre. Our cunning maester correlates this with the note Dolins found, identifying that we may be underneath the Dragon Pits…which made us wonder where the rest of the wildfyre had gone in the first location we found.

We leave the tunnels near the dragon pits, and bicker for a bit about a plan and how to escape the city safely. We step out into into the sunlight, and into the immense structure, and head northeast towards the nearest exit, to the dragon gate. I, still crippled by the fear of running into Tontos again, pull my scarf over my head, and we decide to slowly climb down the Hill of Raenys, and book it towards the gate. When we reach the ground, I can't help but notice a sense of nervousness in the crowded streets. We blend into the hustle and bustle, but find that the Dragon Gate is closed. "The king has ordered all gates closed as a war is coming to our doorsteps," a townsperson shared, and our plan is immediately foiled.

We cannot depend on the incoming armies to recognize us when they sack the city, so we decide to try and escape by convincing the guards to let us go. Unfortunately, this plan does not go as expected, and the next thing we know, we hear "seize them!" and the gold cloaks have turned to Teddy and I. We look at each other for just a moment before tearing into the crowds away from our hunters.

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Oh the fun we missed

That poor innkeep! I hurry on over and start helping his bleeding stubby fingers. I hear Dolins shout down what must be the secret cavern telling Calaila it is safe up here. I later hear her voice but she seems to refuse to come out with us… This girl is terrified. That guy wasn't that scary!! We meet with her in the room and as a group, decide we need to head through the tunnels towards the docks if we can find them. I am not fully on board with this, but I'll go along with the group. I need some protection anyways!!

So we head through the vast maze of hallways and doors. Dolins and Teddy take turns unlocking the doors. Most are empty but we happen upon one that has about 50 jars of wildfire in the middle! I warn my friends not to touch them but silly Teddy grabs one and carries it around! We decide which way to head next and Teddy wisely puts his jar back down. In another room, Dolins finds a note that reads "DP 300, GS 500, RK 1000". We deduce that the letters must mean the Dragon Pits, Great Sept and Red Keep. But the numbers, we can only guess at. And we continue on our way!

In another room we oddly find a boat and set of oars. Why they would be down here, we have no idea! As we keep going, Calaila hears someone headed towards us! We all pull out our weapons and see a portly man who we can smell all the way down the hall staring at us. He reeks of wine and old sweat. A poor combination in my opinion! We start talking with the man and he states he is an underguller of the black cells (which is a prison guard of the lowest dungeons of the red keep). He states that he regularly patrols the passages to check on them to see if there are people in them there shouldn't be. Calaila, being a grump, states that he shouldn't really be drinking on the job should he! I am starting to see why she has so many enemies….

He asks who we are, and we state that we are friends of a local merchant and we are trying to get his boat to the port through the tunnels as it wouldn't fit through his front door… I'm not sure this is the most believable tale, but we will go with it! He does not seem to trust us at all so we take him to the boat we found in the other room as proof. He then starts questioning us and gives me a smirk when I tell him who I am. I have no idea what that smirk means… My companions haven't even discovered my secret… How could this random drunk man?

Teddy and Calaila do an excellent job botching their lies to the man. Teddy most of all. We finally ask his name which he states is Ruben. Dolins asks if he understands RK1000 and he states he does and starts to get suspicious. He seems irritated and Dolins repeats the rest of the numbers an indicates that if he understands them, they must understand eachother… Good bluff friend… But will it work?

They continue to go back and forth then Ruben states if we can name the true king, he will tell us where we can find something of great value. I'm sure Calaila's ears perk up at this! Honestly, mine do as well! After the thief stole my money so early on in our adventures, I've become a bit of a greedy Gus! Dolins states that the true king is Robert Barathean and Ruben asks again who we really are. Teddy states he does not believe he is truly a guard and he agrees, he is not. Teddy states he is not of house Redwyne as he had previously stated but that we are of the house Lynderly. Ruben still does not believe us and seems frustrated. Calaila tries to convince him to tell us who he is if we share who we are. He still mistrusts us and leaves us alone in the tunnels. With nothing of great value earned… This maester thinks she should have spoken up…

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Tell me sweet little lies
Oh, no, you can't disguise

I hear Dolins faintly calling to me, and momentarily wonder if bringing me back to the Inn could be a cruel trick of Tontos, but when I return,  things appear to be quiet. With nothing but my suspicious eyes poking out from the trap door, Dolins tells me in a hush tone that they lied to get Tontos to leave, and told him that I worked in the Kitchens at Redwyne, and he seems to be heading there now. I tell him that it's clearly not safe for me to return to the streets, and I'm going to escape the city by going through the tunnels. They agree to come with.

The tunnel system is complicated and harrowing, but for most of our journey, we are lucky to only come across easily opened locks and some loot, perhaps most unusually, a row boat with oars. After many hours, we stumble into a man who introduces himself as a Black Cells guard, stinking and portly. Thinking back to our mysterious rowboat, I cheerily announce we are trying to deliver a boat to the water's edge. Clearly not believing us, we are happy to show it to him, and we tussle over the mechanics of how to "deliver it to the water". Unfortunately, this man intends on taking us through the Red Keep. Dolins shocks me when we agrees to the plan, and I panic, knowing that this is surely a path to fire and blood. I confront the man about his story, wondering aloud why he would be so far from the Red Keep if he was a Black Cell guard, when Dolins picks up on the man's slightly shifting facts.

Dolins challenges the man's identity, and asks him what he knows about a paper he found in the tunnels reading letters and numbers which were meaningless to me. The man's tone shifts considerably. "I need to know I can trust you," he repeats again and again, perseverating on his double edged sword of the lies we've told him without recognizing that he has done the same. Even when I offer to share our true identities on the condition he opens up in kind, the man declines, and encourages us to leave quickly and warning of us danger. He suggests we turn left when we go back to way we came, and disappears into the blackness of the tunnels.

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I was almost a badass... Almost...

Somehow Calaila found a trap door under a mat! That sneaky girl. One day I'll get her to tell me all her tales… So Tantos' men found the trap door and followed her down. I try to deceive Tantos by acting as if I don't know who he is looking for, but he doesn't buy it.

Tantos keeps hacking away throughout the time we are upstairs and I keep pestering him to see if I can take a look at him. He really doesn't sound good… He finally relents and I examine him. After I finish, I offer to make him up a coughing draft and he agrees. I ask Teddy to help me prepare this in the kitchen and I let him into my secret. I will indeed help him, but I was also planning to put milk of the poppy into the draft, causing him to fall asleep! I did think of poisoning him to kill him, but with his strong men all around, that seems too risky. Teddy agrees this seems like a good idea and the draft is made!

I offer this to Tantos and he takes a good swig. He starts speaking in Lyse and then swiftly falls asleep. I try to explain this is normal to the guards but they do not seem to understand… Teddy tries to mime poorly, but this is lost on them as well.

So we wait! We sit around and have some lunch and wait for about 6 hours, until Tantos wakes up. He asks about the girl again and then starts yelling in Lyse to his guards. He then turns on the innkeep Bathue and has him sprawled on a table and has a finger removed! He starts to have another removed but then Dolins intervenes and attempts to stop the innkeep's pain. Tantos demands 1000 dragons. In rebuttal, Dolins points out we have helped to heal him when we could have killed him. Dolins finally lets Tantos go with the "knowledge" that Calaila is a dishwasher in the arbor, which was true at one time! Tantos states that if he is wrong, they will meet again… And then he leaves… Dolins, ever the kind soul, then gives the innkeeper a gold dragon for his pain.

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You can check out any time you like...
...but you can never leave

Waiting outside our inn is a gang of intimidating men. As soon as we see them, we scurry back inside hoping we weren’t seen. While we are deciding what to do, the gang breaks in through the front door of the Inn. It’s a group of 10 armed men led by an older man who doesn’t look well. Apparently, they looking for Calaila, who has locked herself in our room while we weren’t paying attention.

We are held off to the side by some men as they start trying to break down the door, but Dolins suggests they use a key. I can appreciate the sarcasm he was going for, but they took his suggestion and got the keys to open the door. Helpful, as always, that bard is…

They open the door and find an empty room! A few minutes later, we hear the creak of old door hinges. It appears they discover a trap door under one of the beds. The leader of the group barks orders in a foreign tongue, and two soldiers descend into the hole to find Calaila. At this point, my initial thought is to get out of there. I’m sure there is an extensive tunnel system and Calaila will turn up somewhere else in the city.

Dolins and I were not on the same page. He tried the old “I dropped my instrument into the trap door” trick. These guys must have been had by that one before, no luck for Dolins. Thad asks to examine the leader’s cough, which is quite bad. Thad does convince him to look at his cough, and while that happens I strike up a conversation with the head honcho.

I learn some fun facts about this man while we talk:

  • He’s from Lyce, which is across the narrow sea
  • He’s had this nasty cough for many years
  • He’s from a wealthy family
  • Calaila “wronged” him, possibly a romance thing? Tough to say.
  • His family is in the trading business, King’s landing is the furthest West they travel
  • They do charter ships from time to time if the price is right
  • He is potentially open to hiring new people into his trading business!

The life of a trader could be fun! Have a fleet of ships that I could take anywhere in the world. Maybe we’ll end this on decent terms and I can break into his business? One can only hope.

After some time, the Maester diagnoses his ailment as whooping cough, and asks me to the kitchen to help prepare the medicine. Thad and I write sneak messages back and forth, and we decide to give him milk of the poppy to heal/incapacitate him. He drinks it and gets knocked out for 6 hours. Funny, now we’re stuck in a room with 8 armed men who don’t speak the common tongue and we’ve incapacitated their leader.

I briefly consider lighting the house on fire, but the exit plan is questionable. Ultimately we sit around and wait for him to wake up. When he comes to, his cough doesn't seem to go be any better. Nice going, Maester…

He freaks out and starts making threats. REAL threats! He cuts off the innkeep’s finger while trying to get information about Calaila! Dolins steps in and uses his wits! With a smattering of truth and lies, he convinces the angry man to leave the inn. Upon further consideration, I don't think I want to work for that guy anymore.

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I gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta get outta here
the shiver up my spine and this feeling of dread...

With Tontos and his cronies lurking just above my head, I sprint into the dark tunnels. Every few feet there seems to be a fork in my path, and I'm desperately fumbling forward when I find a door. My hands shaking, I pick the lock with my dagger, only to find an empty room. I try once, twice, and on the third time, lock the door behind me and jam my dagger into the handle for extra security. I juuust barely hear footsteps approaching, and draw my stiletto and shield, and potentially my last breaths, in preparation for a surprise attack….

The door clangs back and forth with my potential attacker trying the door handle, and I interpret his silence as him inspecting the lock just as I did. After what feels like a lifetime, I hear his footsteps tread away and into another tunnel. For fear that this may be a cruel trick of Tontos, I remain braced in my attack position. My past will not surprise me again, as it did with Olivia. 

Hours go by, and my heads spins in isolation and darkness. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to feel safe leaving this room. I wonder what my companions are doing back at the inn, and where I could go from here, if i ever manage to escape. Do I head towards the water and find a boat without finding them? Do I return to House Jasper? Clearly I am not safe in Flea Bottom, as these rats will sell my head within 24 hours of my return. My heart hardens as I press my back against the cold stone wall and wait.

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Another enemy?? How many does this girl have??

We all meet up at the dragon pits and discuss how to get inside the red keep to find us some turncoats. I know that there are tunnels that Maegor the Cruel built, but I don't know where they are. We may be able to find one and sneak our way into the redkeep? I also suggest that I can slip in the front door stating that I am in search of a cure greyscale for some poor imaginary child that has it in our house. I figure that may be a plausible reason to enter and sneak around a bit. As maesters take no sides in wars, it would be easy for me to go around unnoticed.

As we decide on this and head towards the red keep, we are walking through flea bottom. We start to notice that people are hiding away inside and quickly vacating the streets. We decide we should get inside as well and quickly find a tavern. We make our way inside but as we do, we see someone standing at the end of the alley watching us enter…

We meet the innkeep and chat with him for a bit. He brings us some food and drink and soon, a small blonde woman enters. She recognizes Calaila! This girl knows a lot of people! Her name is Gloria and quickly Calaila and Dolins sneak off to talk in our room in private. Teddy and I stay in the tavern and hang out. Teddy quite quickly gets drunk so my nice chat devolves into pointless banter.

Later we catch up with Calaila and Dolins, we decide to take turns keeping watch and we plan to leave at first light as it sounds as if the gold cloaks are planning to take over the red keep. As dawn breaks, we get ready and leave without a goodbye to the innkeep. As soon as we leave, we see about 10 men blocking the alley. So we scurry back inside!

We then see the innkeep and he takes a peek into the alley. He quickly comes back in appearing quite scared! We start barricading the door and then hear a soft knock at the door… Calaila sprints to our room and locks herself in. The innkeep lets in a sickly looking man with long blonde hair and a blonde beard and very red, puffy eyes. He asks where she is, then start breaking down the door to our room! What the heck Calaila! What kind of mess did you get into when younger??

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Honey, I rose up from the dead
I do it all the time

Outside the ruins of the Dragon Pits, we meet back up with the Maester, and brainstorm ways to get into the court. We decide to pretend to be from House Mullendore, seeking information from the Grand Maester abouttreating greyscale. As it's getting dark, we duck into a tavern, and tip our innkeeper well.

"Calaila?!" I hear over my shoulder. My heart drops, I should not have come here. It's Gloria, a girl a recognize from years ago, and my head spins wondering how I should respond. Will she pass along the news of my return? Will she steal my coin purse? Could Gloria be useful to our plan? I decide I cannot get away with lying about who I am, and greet her warmly.

We pay for her dinner, and after some cajoling, Gloria shares with us that she's been working at the Red Keep doing deliveries. She says that rumors say the Gold Cloaks are planning a mutiny, and army is headed towards the city,and that the King is murdering nearly anyone who crosses his path. As thanks, Dolins pays for a room at the inn for Gloria, and I am impressed by her thoughtfulness to detail.

As a group, we unanimously decide it is in our best interest to remain at the inn tonight, and instead of going to the Red Keep, to head straight for Castle Snownook at first light. We each take turns keeping watch, and after a quiet night, we pack up our things and head out to the alley.

We are immediately greeted by 10 armed men standing outside the inn, and stumble back inside immediately, knowing something is off. The innkeeper's eye grow wide, and his concern fills the room. Urging House Jasper to take shelter in our locked room,  they ignore my pleas, so I flee by myself and bolt the door. I hear the heavy front door open and recognize the new guest's voice right away. I shut my eyes tightly to hold back tears, take a deep breath, and set my jaw. I have to find a way out of here. I frantically tear apart the sparse furnishings in the room, and as if by destiny, I find a trap door underneath a straw bed. Heavy footsteps head towards my door as I pull the mattress over the trap door that I shut above my head, and run.

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The First Rule of the Fight Pit....
.... is you don't talk about the pit.

My apologies to future historians… It’s been a while since I’ve stopped to record my thoughts and adventures. I was able to prove my innocence by easily defeating Meatball in a trial by combat. I would not want the Redwynes to be without laughter so I spared the jesters life. Teddy received a poorly coded message to go to the docks. We were hired by a thief to break into the Redwyne’s vault. Not being able to construct a duplicate of their vault, pretend to rob it, and then actually rob it while dressed at police officers…. we had to sneak into it through a crack in the cave. We negotiated well and were promised a majority of the first take from the vault, provided we were successful. So once again our group found ourselves navigating a dark cave by lantern and torch light. We angered a swarm of cutter ants. The best way to fight them seemed to be with fire. Other attacks didn’t have much affect. After some comical combat resulting in a couple of my friends getting a bit charred themselves, the ant swarm finally fled back into the darkness. We also fought several Rock Creepers throughout our exploration of the passageways. One of which I was able to kill with one attack, stabbing its brain through a weak spot in its skull. My friends surely took note of my skill in combat and will talk about my bravery. Maybe they’ll even call me ‘Dolins the one hit wonder’. Surely that won’t have a negative connotation in the future. We were able to find the entrance to the vault and Calaila contorted herself into the vault and then back out again with the gold. The money would do more good for our house than in my pockets so I gave my entire portion of the gold dragons to the house’s coffers. We used some of our new found wealth to hire a boat to bring us to Kings Landing. Well… the captain offered my passage for free. My fame appears to be spreading! I’d better not let it get to my head though.

 

Our plan is to enter the city through the Iron Gate and then make our way to the Dragon Pit. Some guards were screening the people going into the city. Despite just trying to walk through like we owned the place, we were stopped for questioning. Morally, I didn’t feel great about having to lie to the guards, but it was better than trying to fight our way into the city. While walking through the slums of fleabottom, we were accosted by a young boy. I did not want to harm a young, innocent boy, that is simply hungry so I offered him food and board if he would travel with his. However, he had no interest in this. Still angry at anyone noble born he picked up rock and threw it at Teddy. The young heir bravely took cover behind me and the rock struck me in the head. Good thing I am so loyal to his father and to the house. Eventually Teddy paid the boy to go away. I wish there were a way to fill all of the starving bellies of Westeros, but at least that boy will eat tonight. Nearing our destination, Teddy and I are stopped by a burly looking man. He didn’t seem to want us to pass freely. He offered us to place bets on animals fighting in his pit. I politely declined, and we paid a small “toll” to pass through the ally. The man offered to stop back if I were ever interested in more bets or even fighting in his pit. However, I doubt I will ever return. If I do though, it would be to bring joy and improvement to the lives of those here that need it most.

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