Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Books and cats are all I need

Whelp, we have royally messed this up. Balabar gleefully lets me know that Teddy and Dolins have been locked in the dungeon after a botched attempt at… something? Hopefully to free me? And where Calaila is, no one knows. Balabar told me he was too busy to attend to our group so I am thankfully allowed to tend to my friends once a day. I am not allowed my maester kit but the dolt of a guard has not searched me, so I still have my dagger… What use it could be, I am not sure.

So I tend to my friends over two weeks and at that point, I falsely state that they need more time to heal. Which buys us a bit more time but that doesn't really help. We have no idea what to do. This really doesn't look great for us…

But while time passes, I work on training Guliver with some scraps from my meals as well as reading the book that I got from that old maester's quarters in Stoney Sept. It's called Strange Stone, and a strange tale it is! This Maester Theron must have been dipping into his own maester kit as he believes that there is a race of half human, half sea creatures and that this race created the Seastone Chair (which of course is the throne of the Iron Islands) and the fortress on Battle Isle. These part sea creatures, called the Deep Ones, are believed to be the source of the stories of merlings as well as possibly the source of the Ironborn's Drowned God. 

This really is a strange book. It seems to me that the only evidence Maester Theron has to link the throne and the ruin is the stone that both are made out of. I read through this book several times and although intriguing, I am not sure there is much merit to the tale. Speaking of tails, Guliver does not enjoy being cooped up. He really needs to get out there and stretch his legs. As do I Gulliver, as do I.

A Rose Gets the Thorne
This Knight Gets War Aw-whoa-awwwwwnnnnn!!!

It is lucky that House Jasper has a banner house for I continue to win us glory on the battle field. Dare I say I bring more value to this house than the lordling himself?! I do! And I shall ask for some payment as such…

The caravan I boldly captured was slow moving and the terrain rather open. As such, it was inconceivable for me to have prevented the less-craven-than-I-thought Tyrell from finding us with his new army. I delegated the parlay to my right hand war man Jardon. He tried to reason with the coward, but not terms could be met. This is when the Tyrell fools should have run away… But how could they know what was to come?

As adeptly as the previous battle I shouted out orders. Marshalling the troops and getting things positioned "just so." Knowing my skills best match that of the guerrillas I chose to embed myself in their unit; insuring effectiveness. I relinquished command of the army to Jardon as any skilled delegator would. Obviously if our army's makeup was different I could have led the forces, but today was a day for victory, not vanity. Ser Darron and Viktor joined the Joyful Few for similar reasons. 

With that, the battle commenced. The foolish Tyrell sent 3 units of cavalry at us. It could have been a disaster if not for our disciplined units brave stands. The onslaught was fierce, and much blood was shed. It was through this bloody fog of war we saw an opening. "Tyrell is undefended!" I cried. With that, the Joyful Few pounced! Charging the craven and mercilessly slaughtering him with their halberds. His army then broke, and we took them all prisoners.

It was tempting to slaughter them to the last. We can't keep fighting battles when we have supplies to deliver, but I also am a king hearted man. Instead we took all of their horses and goods and sold them on the open market, and sent them home on foot. This not only helped our cause, but also our house, and spared these men. They should take too long on foot to find any more soldiers to obstruct us. 

Hopefully today will lead to a new title for me. "Ser Carsen the Caring", "Ser Carsen the Battlesworn", "Ser Carsen the Economic"? Only time will tell, but I do say as my legend grows, I shan't let my ego. For I am far too grounded to let such fame go to my head!

Some wins for the home team show those fools, this bastard is not to be triffled with

Two battles won against the Tyrells, good ridden to those farmers with pitchforks. They surely couldn’t stand up to Iron-Bo…..I mean Jasper Steal.

Despite my gloating, I was hoping we would be able to get supplies to Storms end, it will surely help us aide in the overthrow of the Targaryens. 

Hah! Ser Carsen seems to think my successes on the battlefield are a result of his tactics, his command skill. Hah! Perhaps he should have been on the battlefield and not nursing his wounds while tending to a bunch of prisoners.

Although it is possibly in my best interest to let him think it is his glory to be had. Perhaps it might get me another shot at taking back my master at arms position front Samwell. Or perhaps another opportunity may present itself….

Either way, what Ser Carsen and that old drunk Darren say are of no consequence to me, I know where I stand. 

Don't give me that do goody good bullshit.

As morning breaks in the Inn, I step downstairs to a quiet tavern, and catch the attention of the innkeeper. "No, I haven't seen your friends, all I know is they've paid for their room until midday, and that's what matters to me…" These morons can't manage anything! This is what happens when you put a dangerous mission in the hands of our idiot lordling. I had tried to remind the bard the risks of this uphill battle…always the hero, that one.

I asked the innkeeper about what he knows of the Redwyne family. His pupils practically turned into gold dragons when he told me about the family's wealth, and  I decided this would be a good place to find work while I wait for House Jasper. That way, if I come across my travel companions, I can play my job as a way of getting closer to where I thought they may be.

I approach the castle gates, and appeal to the guards saying I'm looking for work. They denied me for a handmaid position, but did say I could work as a dishwasher in the kitchen. I'm escorted through the lavish castle halls to the cook, who is very clearly and simply, a madman. Waving his ladle and pointing in a guards face! This should be interesting. The cook admits he needs a dishwasher (as the last one quit after a week, running away in tears-seven hells!) He offers to pay me a penny a day, and it's all I can do not to laugh in his face. I warmly explain that I must make a living wage in order to afford living on this island, and we agree upon 50 pennies-almost a silver a day. Between that and my meager savings, I can make this work until I figure out a next plan.

Over the course of a month, I settle into castle life, sometimes staying overnight in the kitchen as means to save money, I'm able to pick up on rumors among the town and castle, most notably that Teddy was captured, not once, but twice, the first time with the maester, the second, pulling the poor bard into his mess. I'm grateful for my decision not to get weighed down by the foolishness of our lordling, and often remind myself how better off the seven kingdoms would be if lordship was based on merit rather than bloodlines.

After blending into the routine of House Redwyne, I begin taking leftovers from the house feasts to the guards in the prisons, confirming the location of Teddy and Dolins. Now that they know I'm here, for the sake of my head should they live, I must take action…but I will do so in my own time. The guards begin to anticipate my delivery, and build trust with me. When I hear that Lord Paxter has returned to the island, and a trial is scheduled, I decide now is the time to poison my special deliveries…

I fought the law...
... and the law won.

Now that we have the young heir back with us and our party is now only lacking our Maester, we need a plan. Luckily we came up with some of the best plans that Westeros has ever seen. Who would ever expect people to jump out of a wooden thing (wine cask) that had been brought inside of the palace as a gift. A plan so brilliant as this would never work… good thing we chose not to go with that one. Instead we chose to split up because this always works out much better than staying together. So Teddy and I were to go back to the cave, disable the two guards, take their uniforms, sneak into the castle, alert the other guards to the dead body in the cells, and then go find the maester… what could go wrong? Meanwhile, Calaila was to go to the castle seeking the aid of a maester. Then after we found Thad, we would escape with him and regroup at the inn. So we spent the day resting and then set our plan in motion. Teddy and I were able to sneak above the two guards. Much like Charlie Bronson, I always have a rope me, so I tied it into a noose. Deftly I was able to fish it around one guards neck and pull tight.

At this point everything started to go wrong…..! Teddy jumped down to fight the other guard. Only this youngster can't fight his way out of a leather satchel. Teddy was getting beat badly so I had to act. I tied my rope to a tree and vaulted down upon a guard breaking my fall with my shield and his body beneath me. Not wanting to stain the uniforms we would need with blood, I kept trying to strike the guard with my shield, however his armor was too strong. Teddy was shedding enough blood of his own so he decided to flee. Only apparently he can't run fast enough either! If he makes it out of this alive… I swear I'll force him to workout once in a while. My only hope was to continue to attack the guard closest to me, but alas, I too began to take some wounds. While being slain in combat in defense of the heir to House Jasper would be a sure way to have my name be written into legend, it would do no good to die here in the dark on an island far away from home where no one would learn of my actions. Regrettably, I too was forced to surrender. What will happen to us? Teddy escaped once before, maybe he can do it again. At least we are together. I wonder how Calaila managed? Hopefully much better than us. Hopefully she was able to safely make it inside the castle, find Maester Thad, and escape with him back to the inn.

Short but not so sweet...
Maester on maester fight... guess who loses...

I pick back up trapped in a room off of the maester's quarters. This appears to be a small room, possibly used for people who are sick. Two guards took me to the room but other than them and the maid who has brought me food,  I have seen no one. All of a sudden, I see a maester peeking through the door. I recognize him as Maester Ballabar. We start speaking. He states he is disappointed in me for getting entangled in this espionage. I argue that it is teh role of maesters that if we see a fix, to work with our houses to fix it! He argues that our place is in the house of our lord, and I rebuttal back that the house is not the permanent fixture of the castle, but the people who make up the house that are important. I really thought I was charming away and making great arguments! But he states I am misguided and that I must go back to the citadel to have my flaws in thinking addressed… This doesn't sound good… I ask for a day reprieve but it sounds like Teddy caused a ruckus in the dungeon.  I wonder where my friends are… And if they can get to me by tomorrow when Ballabar states he plants to bring me to justice…. 

I aint no fool

Back at the tavern, we plotted about how to rescue the maester. My indifference leaked through in our conversation, and Dolins and Teddy retorted that the maester was someone important and necessary. Not to my goals, but I suppose they don't need to know that. I will continue to look for rungs to climb. We agree to a plan by morning, and fall asleep at the inn as sun begins to rise.

The three of us head towards the castle together, and once I was sure the bard and lordling were well out of sight, I spun on my heels and headed back towards town. I am unwilling to put my own life at risk because of the foolishness of those who started this mission. I'll meet the rest of House Jasper at the tavern, as we had agreed upon, and tell them I got turned around by guards before I even made it to the door when they return by morning.

Bravely Leading Men To War
My Great Triumph

After the bloody "Battle of the Miss-Timed Sneeze," I was in pretty rough shape, but it didn't stop my from leading our army to ambush the Tyrell caravan. I may be biased, but I must say I looked every bit the battle commander. My knightly air, bloody bandages and my crest showing on my shield cut quite the intimidating figure. 

We came upon the craven Leo Tyrell  who begged us for mercy. Smelling panic I ordered the attack. There would be no quarter!!! I put the former master of arms in charge of tactics (delegation is one of my strong suites) and put my commanding figure on guard duty. Our three prisoners might get ideas should I put a less intimidating person in charge of their imprisonment. cough Nestor cough

So it was from a hill beyond the battlefield that I witnessed the following:

Jardon assembled our men on the biggest hill in the area. The brilliant tactician he is, he had our guerillas hide in the trees; ready for un-expecting foes. My personal army "The Joyful Few" were the main infantry line for this coming battle, and the support unit cleverly held in reserve. Our foes aligned on a hill not 40 yards away; 2 impotent infantry units, with a cavalry unit out to our left flank, and the caravan hiding in the back. Thinking they had us out numbered must have made them foolhardy, so Jardon ordered the attack, and the guerillas sprang out of the tree and fired upon the infantry. The unit broke; it became so disorganized it could barely function.

They tried to strike back, but it was foolish. The Joyful Few led a charge with Nestor along for the ride; decimating the other infantry. The cavalry crashed into our guerillas, and I thought they must have been destroyed! Alas, Tyrell's aren't good at war (nor much else) and they failed even in that. We mopped up the remaining forces and took pity on the craven Tyrell. We allowed him to surrender the caravan to us; saving face as well as his life.

Lastly, I tricked Tyrell into taking our prisoners. We had many mouths to feed and no need for the weakling knights of his realm. He can waste his resources feeding them and nursing them back to health. It was a glorious day for House Jasper, but a greater one for House Thorne. For without my brilliant leadership and delegation abilities, the day would have been lost. 



Trader Joe’s
... not Traitor Joe

I must have tried to drown my frustrations for losing the trail of the one armed Septa in Ale. I must have blacked out, for I do not remember my performance (I’m sure it was fantastic though) at the tavern or even how I got to the Arbor. At least I did not soil myself like Ser Darron. Calaila and I arrived at the spot where we were supposed to meet up with Teddy and Thad. Much time has passed since their expected arrival without any sign of them. So we decided to head to the castle where they had said they were going. A way into the castle without announcing ourselves as House Jasper was needed. Thus…. Trader Joe and his daughter Dalaila. We were to pose as purveyors of fine fishing nets. The guards didn’t buy our nets or our story. Perhaps we should have chose something wine related. Oh well, my old bones could not stand to be out all night waiting for Teddy and the Maester., so Calaila and I found an inn for the night. While at the inn searching for clues to our friends whereabouts, Suddenly, as if by a manner of destiny, we hear two guards grumbling about their duties at a cave. I wasn’t quite sure why a cave would need guarding, but I felt like an omnipotent narrator in the tale of this adventure was trying to tell us to follow them. So we did, we kept far enough back that we would not raise any suspicion, but it made following them difficult. Eventually we got to the cave and saw the guards we had followed. Calaila and I were going to try to find a separate entrance to the cave when suddenly a man came running out of the cave past the two guards and they seemed befuddled. You can imagine my surprise as Teddy came running towards them next. They almost captured him but he continued to run towards Calaila and I prompting us to run too. He said he would explain what had happened later. Oh boy! I can’t wait to here this one!

Where dem heirs at?
So go get him, we can all be friends.

Dolins and I waited at the rendezvous point for quite some time, but the Maester and Teddy were no where to be found. Upon Dolins' suggestion that we travel to the palace, where the Maester and Teddy had planned to go, I wonder aloud why they may not have shown up. Teddy is a bumbling mess but, the maester usually keeps good time. We agree to present ourselves as fishing net craftsmen, father and daughter. I don my scarf and hood to hide my vicious scar, and he stride up to the palace with heavily beating hearts.

The palace was heavily guarded, and we are stopped and asked what our business here is. "We've come to demonstrate our superb fishing nets to your lord!" Dolins beams. The guards eye us skeptically, "We are a land of vineyards, not fishing, and our Lord does not do the purchasing of merchant goods." I cut  in "…imagine the wealth your land might develop if you doubled your profit avenues!" We are turned away, and told there is no interest. 

Dolins and I spend the night at an inn and tavern, and overhear whispers of the wedding in Riverrun, a siege at Storms End, and some rumblings of meatballs. "I wasn't aware the the Arbor was known for its  meatball recipes," I respond to our neighbors at the bar, and they laugh. Two house guards were reluctantly leaving to go change hands at the cave, and Dolins whispers "We should follow them," and I shrug and go along with him. We sneak from far behind and watch them change positions.

We see a scuffle break out near the entrance of the cave, and inch towards the mouth of the cave as a young man sprints pasts the guards with a mangled Teddy not far behind.