Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Ser Darron's Journal V

Lord Ronnel,

 

I pray this letter doesn’t find you. If it has, be assured that I am never to return south. Consider me dead or impressed into service for the Night's Watch.

 

I write this from the fair ship Her Lady Quickness which has brought us so far from home. Presently, we are embattled by an easterly storm on the shivering sea, the likes of which I have never seen. The crew have confidence still, but guarantee further deterioration of the conditions. A knight has the instinct to fight for his life and those of his companions, but mail and sword are of no help here.

 

Eastwatch by the Sea is a day’s sail and holds hope for the survival of the ship. It is our present course. Should this small vessel last till sunup the crew will survive, but I fear the Jasper men will pay dearly for a crime committed against the realm.

 

You see, we have knowingly bought a wildling – a magic user at that – south of the wall. I know this is an unforgivable offense. Should we survive the seas we’ll surely face execution or imprisonment at the hand of Cotter Pike, the Eastwatch commander. But, m’lord, you must understand the circumstances…

 

Her name is Iris. She is gentle, she is alone, and I have destroyed her home. She is a woman but somehow a snow bear as well. She is fearsome to behold, but has conducted herself kindly and begged for our help as we marched for the coast following the mission.

 

Yes m’lord, the storied cave of the north fork of the antler river exists. With the help of Jardon and Ser Carson I have retrieved the legendary valyrian sword in the name of House Jasper. However, in doing so, some kind of scourge has been unleashed and now roams the north. Horrible beings that are neither dead nor alive pursued our party from that terrible cave. We escaped with our lives, but the dread plagues me still. Even after we escaped the forests our party quarreled and bickered in an unusual way.

 

I have seen Bran’s wall and it is staggering in it’s own terrible way – taller than a mountain and thick as a town – however I sense an eventuality in this evil and will fear it as long as I live. Lord Stark’s house motto is “Winter is Coming”. Perhaps we should pay heed to our northern allies.

 

Should the storm take our company, I will entrust this letter to a raven as a last act. Should we make Eastwatch, the delivery of this letter and sword south shall be my dying wish.

 

If you receive it, please know I am grateful for your belief in me. Few men truly have one chance at life and you have afforded me a second. As much as possible I wish for my meager effects to be split as follows: One quarter including my personal sword are to be given to my squire Thomas. Three quarters – if possible – shall be taken south and given to Sanah Brewlan and my boys Darron Jr. and Dennas. They can be found just west of Uplands in the Reach. No one of House Mullendore can know of this.

 

The valyrian sword is to stay with House Jasper. I have named it Darkness.

 

Yours,

-Ser Darron Brewlan

 

That was kind of dark so click here for a picture of a dog

-Alex

View
The Wily Handmaid
Get this girl a new horse.

We return safely to Castle Snownook, and are quickly directed to Lord Ronnel's presence who merrily chats with Teddy about the successes and challenges of our journey. No sooner than we finish does Rhaella introduce Lord Baelish and his son Petyr into the Great Hall. Teddy, Lord Ronnel and the Baelishes all agree that young Petyr will be brought on as a steward on a probationary period. I have an odd feeling about this young man and his black soulless eyes. 

I offer to show young Baelish to his room, and while walking discuss his interests-gold, the bizarre and unpredictable nature of people, the likes- and we exchange wits with one another, sizing each other up. I show him to the library to pursue his learning further. Upon arrival, I notice a raven waiting patiently with a scroll with blank seal, excuse myself and bring it directly to Lady Alys.

Lady Alys greets me warmly in the court yard and breaks the seal to read the message. "I don't know who this is from, it must be some sort of coded message," and hands it back to me to see if I can decipher it. The names "Rusty" and "Tess" stand out to me immediately, and I excuse myself to read through this further. Upon scurrying inside, I see that the full note reads “A former companion has taken something of great value. Gather your friends and go to Gulltown. Search for Terry and reclaim what is mine. Tess will meet you at the docks with your reward. -Rusty”. I rush to Teddy and Dolins, as the maester was fighting off an illness, and we all agree to pursue this challenge.

Sir Perin stumbles upon our party shortly before our departure, and heartily shares that is he going to join us on our travels to Gulltown. It is well known that Perin enjoys gambling in the big city, and he is not one to turn down the opportunity to visit.

After a few days of travelling, we come across Lord Lynderly at his usual post. I am put to the test with in representation of House Jasper, and engage in a battle of riddles. I successfully trick John Lynderlys into underestimating my wits, and we place our bets. In the end, I squeak out a win, earning good ol' gamblin' Perin a shiny gold dragon, and myself an upgraded horse-a rounsey.

Days later, we arrive in Gulltown and head straight to the docks, but see no signs of Tess. I inquire with the harbor master, who offers some suggestion about what my friend's "delay" could've been caused by. I decline to discuss this unnamed friend any further, and arond dusk, he head to a local tavern.

View
Captain Derblah has some skill
Homeboy still can't halbred....

Unfortunately had to give up Carsen's Halbred. With how broke I am, and seeing how Carsen and Darren are basically footing the bill for this excursion, I can't justify keeping this heavy old thing any more anymore, just weighing me down. Carsen eventually asked for it, had to give it up back to Carsen, and I would say "for better of worse", but in this case it turned out for the better. 

The captain of our ship up who was bringing us to Eastwatch by the Sea, who we learned later was Captain Kober Derblah, even let Carsen practice on the ship. I advised against it, but the captain seemed ok with it. Apparently Carsen didn't learn his lesson the first time, and is still able to convice people of his skill with this weapon, despite having no idea what he is doing……unbelievable…….what a con man……

It was nice to be back at sea, I still feel the most at home our here then I ever do in the fingers. There is a certain rhythm to the whole experience. The waves crashing, the cackling of the gulls, the occasional whale coming above the surface…….the smell of salt….anyways, I digress…

Anyways, Carsen proceeded at attempting to practice his "skills" on deck the next day. Wailing all about like a child trying to wield a log, Carsen came around heavily toward the mast. He was stopped by the hand of the captain coming from around the far side. 

"Ho there lad, your last thrust there nearly hit the reel holding connecting to the sails". The captain gripped the Halbred right under the blade, stopping the swing from Carsen as if it was nothing at all. 

"That would have been the killing swing right there. Good thing you were there to stop my superior skill from chopping the mast in half", boasted Carsen, as if convincing the captain he had some inkling of how to operate a polearm…..although Iam no expert, I have seen what it means to be a genius with the Halbred, Jacquen showed me that. I wish I had picked up more on that. 

"I can see that you have….ahem…" Captain Derblah cleared his throat, "….Ah, a Halbred, I used to wield one of these back in my days in the reach, not that I did much with it there…."

"A knight then?", I bellowed.

"Oh no! Ho Ho! I imbibe a wee bit too much into the meade and ale for that nonsense, oh no, Normund Bulwer was kind enough to employ me in his Garrison, pay me for the little skill I had at the time, and offered to train me on the proper use of polearms such as these. Do you mind?" glancing at Carsen. 

Still trying to flex his muscles, "I suppose, if you want to take a lesson, I would be willing to for …." Before he could finish, the captain grabbed the polearm and proceeded to dance with it.

No, not really dance, he wasn't trying to woo the damned thing, but his technique was just so artistic. It was impressive really, such grace and poise. He moved with the weight of the polearm and it moved with him. I doubt there are many in the seven kingdoms who could move that way with such a crazy long and heavy weapon. 

After about a minute of his dance, he proceeded to strike at Carsen, landing mere inches from his neck. "So, you've used one of these before, huh?" the lord of House Thorne gulped. 

"Here and there", exclaimed Captain Derblah, Smiling. He back away and proceeded to give the weapon back to Carsen, "Here and there…." The second muttering sounded more like a man who had seen battle and not that of a drunken, washed up sea captain. Nevertheless….

A long pause was then interrupted by Ser Darren, "So you like a drink then? Where's the ale?"

View
Betrayal from the Bard
How reasonable is murder in a situation like this...

A bit east of Widow's Ford, we're stopped by an old man curious about our travels, and asking for directions to Harrenhal. I eye him carefully, but the ever amicable Dolins strikes up conversation with the old man. He asks us about who we are, and while Dolins and Maester Thad give up their identities quickly, Teddy and I hold our cards closer to our chests, noticing that the man is not sharing his identity either.  We share words for a moment, and then-do my ears deceive me?!- the old man accuses me of stealing from Dolins! Practically spitting, I reply "I will not sit here and be insulted by a perfect stranger. Dolins, if you see it necessary, you are more than welcome to search my person away from this man, but in the meantime, I'll be carrying on my way." I spin my horse around and we saunter slowly down the road, waiting for my party to catch up

Still in earshot, I hear the old man convince Dolins and Teddy that I am a thief, and Dolins yells after me to stay away from him! Is he complete daft? He hasn't even checked his pockets to see if anything is gone! The man "wishes us well" and turns away to head down the road. "Wish us well," I scoff, "SEVEN HELLS!" I shout down the road. I consider for a moment turning around with my sword drawn and doing this man the favor of removing his head, but decide not to anger my lordling and bard any further. There are few in Westeros safe from my sticky fingers, but if anyone is, it would be Dolins. To be accused of this crime, that for once, FOR <u>ONCE</u>, I did not commit, leaves me burning with rage.

Upon gathering, I feel that the mood in the group has shifted, and Teddy and Dolins urge us that we have to change our plans and go east. They convince the maester to head that way, and turn to move in the direction of Saltpans. My face is red, my hands are hot, and in disgust, I gallup towards the west, brooding and muttering that I'll meet them at Castle Snow Nook. 

Only a few days later, I'm stuck at the Bloody Gates when Teddy, Dolins and Thad approach on horse back. Dolins gives a pleading apology, noting that in fact nothing was missing from his pack, and that he wished they had listened to me. I accept his declaration and agree to move forward from this terrible misunderstanding.

No sooner than I arise from my curtsy do we hear a booming voice, asking us who we are, and for a song from Dolins to pass through the gates. Dolins performs admirably, and the crowd erupts in applause. Brynden Tully greets us warmly, and announces Robert Baratheon's coronation.

View
Hunter's wife looks like a fisherman's wife
...so ugly... but not as ugly as not being able to burn down a building.

"Perrin the Pennyless" huh? How Perrin has worked up so much debt is beyond me, but I do owe the guy, and unfortunately I gave my word. Not that it does me much good now…..

We first hit up Jamie at Winter's Repreve in Gulltown, which we first learn of Perrin's nickname. Kind of a nicely done up haunt, he has obviously done well for himself in the past, but the whole bar was empty. Unfortunately, my intimidation tactics, as good as they were firing an arrow between the fingers on his dice hand, did not sway him to forget Perrin's prior debts, although being as cunning as I am, thought of another tactic, try to help hm out with his business a bit. 

This leads us to first building we were supposed to dispose of (and evidently enough the other of Perrin's debts that he owes to). The Falcon's Nest, now this place was more my style, a place right by the docks, made me feel right at home. We enter and get immediately involved in the same game Perrin probably lost at. After playing for a while getting treated to some nice hospitality , we couldn't possibly burn down the Falcon's Nest. Instead, we offered to burn down Winter's Repreve. 

Carsen even offered to pay off Perrin's debts at the Falcon's Nest. What a nice guy. I'll have to think about helping him out in the future…….

……thought about….never in a million years….

Especially after he trusted some random Gultownian with trying to light it on fire…..idiot….called the city watch. Even after I set a great diversion. Find a hunter's wife, call her ugly…..works every time. Everyone know fisherman's wives are the ugliest. Needless to say, Perrin still has some debts to pay in Gulltown…….something I'll have to just deal with when we are back after our voyage north of the wall.

View
Jardon Fought a Random Guy
Things did not ignite!

We settled one of Perrin's debts thanks to me. Cost me 7 dragons, but sure beats the 35 he owed. How he racked up such a big debt is beyond me. I only had to threaten to slaughter everyone in the tavern to convince them to take my deal. 

We were going to settle the other debt by burning the place down. We had a good plan too. I would deploy the oil on the tavern's backside, and pay a random guy or let Jardon light it up. Well, it started ok, Jardon made a distraction so no one would notice me and I snuck to the alley behind the tavern. Unfortunately, his distraction turned into him full on fighting some random hunter in town. I guess he was being super mean to the guy's wife. He had it coming… Anyways that hunter called for the town guards and we had to skeedattle before anything was lit. We say the guy i had paid to light the fire talking to them… I may need to be careful if I come back to Gulltown. 

View
Pony rich, gold dragon poor.

After about a month, while walking near the God's Eye, we're stopped by an old lonely woman who reported to us frantically that her 12 horses escaped and asked us for help in getting them back. BINGO! We agree to help her wrangle her horses back into her barn, and spend nearly the whole day doing it. Though exhausting work, I keep my eye on the prize all day long-that I will get a horse out of this, and get off my weary feet. Teddy and I exchange looks for a moment after mounting the first horses we catch, and I can see that we have the same thought; perhaps we bail on the rest of the job, take these rides and escape? I decide not to, as we have the ever honorable Dolins with us, who will likely stay behind and finish the job alone regardless of whether we're there to help or not.

At the end of the day, the old woman agrees easily to allowing us to each keep a horse. I hold onto the pony, and Teddy rides away on a mule, the Maester on the stot, and lucky Dolins on a handsome Palfrey, which he names after his wife.

Two weeks later, in the woods, we come across 6 men in the garb of House Arryn. They report their on an observation mission from Lord Arryn, but we immediately see right through this story. These men are on no mission. After some prodding, they admit that they are deserters,  Without armor or heavy weaponry, we exchange whispers, and persuade the men to head north for the wall, notifying them that we will be notifying House Arryn of their whereabouts and crimes. They turn out their pockets and agree to join the Night's Watch.

View
Escape From King's Landing
who has two thumbs and can't come up with any more relevant song lyrics? this guy.

Using Teddy's dragon seal, we forge a note saying that, on orders of the king, we must be let out of the city to carry out an important mission, and approach the Iron Gate with baited breath. Holding my head up high, doing my very best to conceal my concerns, I hand the closest guard our fraudulent letter. When he reports that he cannot read, the captain, who allowed us into the city the first time, exits his station and approaches us.

"It's a pleasure to see you again, sir," I greet him, handing him our letter, "On orders of the King". The captain takes the letter, turns it over in his hands, reads it thoughtfully. Every second feels like a long winter. Ultimately, however, the Captain follows the instructions, burning the letter to destroy the evidence, and allows us to pass through the gates. As we step outside King's Landing, it is all I can do to hold back tears of joy and relief.

After some time, we cross paths with Dolins and Thad, and hatch a plan to head north, looking for horses along the way, with the added security of a pre-forged letter with the stamp of "the king" in case we come across any loyalists. I never thought I would ever be able to call a place home, however, I can't help but notice the feeling of warmth in my belly at the idea of returning to Castle Snownook.

View
Finally a Break
Home Sweet Home

Well I didn't officially win the melee, but I was certainly going to! Unfortunately for me Perrin went down to an ankle-hack, which mathematically made Ser Darron the winner of the over all contest. Upon hearing this, Lord Ronnell called a halt to the Proceedings. It is well in the end, I looked quite accomplished in the melee, and I didn't get saddled with a new thankless job. cough Ser Darron cough

And that brings me to now; a well deserved rest. Jardon and Ser Darron are laid up healing from injuries and wounds, Chumps. I didn't take but a few scratches! So while they are stuck at castle snownook it is just me at the farm with my family. I may be a bit bold calling it a "rest" however. Being off at war, serving our house, and taking care of vital missions for our lord has lead to me being gone for months. My farm is a mess! Luckily chopping wood, and shearing sheep, and building fences is a lot safer than war, and I am getting some quality time with Olira – if ya catch my drift.

I am also having some magical times with the kids. Every night we build a fire outside our cottage, and stay up telling stories. I tell them of our battles fought and won, the trials and tribulations, and of my great heists. They tell me tales of whimsy and sorrow. Invented worlds they escape to and achieve things greater than we ever have. They always include Deston. My heart breaks every time I hear their sweet voices bring him back to life on the back of dragons or sailing the seas. It is hard to believe he has been gone as long as he has, yet it feels like it was just yesterday… 

View
A lucky escape
Darn it Dolins!!!!

I say to the guard that my hierling Dolins is known to try and short change people and I apologize for his "error". I state I was very distracted thinking about our upcoming work! Donald, the main guard, takes the money and stands there. He argues with me that he cannot believe us that we get to leave. I retort that the king would not like to hear that Donald of the Dragon Gate Guard took his money without letting us through! He nods at this and lets us pass. I book it through the door while Dolins takes his sweet time. As I am outside, and he is to the threshold, we hear a man yelling at us to stop. I turn and see the man at the top of the gate. 4 guards close in on Dolins. I call to the guard and ask him his name. He states he is Ser Larys. I tell him our story and that we need to go. After some back and forth, we are allowed to pass. Whew! We narrowly escaped that one. But I must have a discussion with Dolins about his slow pace and overly accomidating nature….

As we walk north, we meet up with Teddy and Calaila. I am rather annoyed with them for ditching this, and I do not hide it well. I then turn to Dolins and insist he take 4 of my gold dragons. He refuses! What is with him! He keeps arguing with me and I finally relent. I then carry on pouting for a while… As any female maester must at times.

We discuss we are planning to head up towards the trident through the country. Calaila and Teddy have forged a letter to clear us for passage should we run into the same error at the gate again. We move north to look for horses to speed us up on our way!

View