Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

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. 


Convince the enemy to stop being our enemy
In our head, it was a great plan

Aside from the gaping hole in Calaila’s neck, everything seemed to return to normal after our meeting with the Lord Corbray. My Lady mother was away in meetings while the rest of us enjoyed the lingering celebrations from the previous night’s wedding.

Our festive banter was interrupted when Lord Royce approached out tent area. He announced that Lord Arryn was meeting with my Lady mother and requested the presence of our group. The maester, handmaid, and bard composed themselves quickly to prepare for such an honorable summon. When we enter the Lord’s chambers, he and I exchange pleasantries and our group is complimented for our service to the rebellion in recent weeks. We have been asked to provide input on and execute an important espionage mission! We are to secure the secret support of a house in the Reach to provide the rebellion with information and political leverage. Lord Arryn takes a moment to make clear that it is mine and the maester’s opinion that he seeks. The efforts of the bard and the handmaid have been invaluable to the greater cause, but their uneducated minds are not suitable for making such important decisions. #ArrynBurn

We are told that Robert would return a house’s loyalty with titles, land, or gold. And further, the rebellion would do its best to prevent harm to their armies in the field of warfare. That being said, the choice of which house to turn belongs to the maester and I. Lord Arryn presents our options:

  1. House Footly of Tumbleton – A minor house that is easy to get to, but has little value to provide
  2. House Fossoway of Cider Hall – Valuable ally, but could be challenging to gain an audience
  3. House Caswel of Bitterbridge – Another minor house that is nearby, but has little value to our cause
  4. House Tyrell of HighGarden – Would be a valuable ally, but unlikely to happen
  5. House Tarly of Horn Hill – Very loyal to the crown, no likely to turn
  6. House Hightower of Old Town – Their loyalty to the king is all but secure
  7. House Redwine of the Arbor – Their navy holds a blockade against Robert’s brother, Stannis, at Storm’s End. They would be a powerful ally in to the rebellion

Initially, I proposed we start trying to turn one of the minor houses and then pursue a more valuable house afterwards. The maester counters with a compelling argument for trying to turn the Redwines of the Arbor. With the challenge of providing high value to the rebellion, we set course for the Arbor! Lord Arryn provided gold for us to charter a vessel, so we set off due west to Lannisport and set sail from there.

Our vessel arrives in Ryansport a few weeks later, and we are greeted by the harbor master. We tell him that we are here to discuss the position of house Jasper in the rebellion, and he points us to the castle, the seat of house Redwine. On the way to the castle, Dolin’s is drawn to a tavern where he might perform and win the hearts and coin of Ryansport. Calaila joins him, and we agree to meet back at the tavern around dusk, if we are able…

The maester and I are allowed into the castle, and it is a damn nice place! Seeing how the Redwine’s have nice things, maester Thad suggests we play the money card in trying to sway them. We don’t wait long in the receiving hall before the rotund Lord Redwine comes into the room. His appearance seems fitting for the Lord of a house with such wealth, and he comes across as very kind and welcoming, offering us bread and salt. He is surprisingly receptive to our proposal, and we ultimately agree that his house will provide information to the rebellion, and in return, I promise that King Robert will capture the city of Old Town and give it to the Redwines.

BOOM! A door slams open and a man who appears to be of the noble house yells, “MEATBALL! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” The man we have negotiated with jumps off his chair and rolls around laughing. It soon becomes clear that we just negotiated a spy agreement with the house fool…

The man at the door asks who we are and I introduce us. Meatball butts in and exclaims gleefully, “They promised to capture Old Town for us in return for secrets!”

“That’s ridiculous. Is this true?” asks the man, who is the son of Lord Redwine. I try to present our offer in less blunt terms, but he has none of it. He loudly touts the loyalty of his house and other nonsense, then commands his guard to throw us in the dungeon!

The tavern may have to wait for us…

Where does Olivia keep her army?
In her sleevy!!!!

I am woken by the voices of my servants nearby, and I lay quietly and listen. It would be really nice to continue sleeping, but alas, it sounds like a commotion that I should appear for. I approach the group and hear Calaila exclaiming in a struggling voice that House Jasper could be in danger. Woah! She has a mighty hole in her neck!

"No, no, no" I interject, "If someone was going after our house, they wouldn't attack a lowly handmaid."

"This could a warning!" Calaila continues.

I guess I have to say it out loud…"That would be a stupid warning, you are not important. Someone like me is important!"

It seems to me that Calaila may be hiding something about this attack on her life. After some discussion, our group enters our Lady's tent and Calaila reluctantly tells us her tale employing vagueness and omitting details whenever possible. She paints a laughable picture! She claims her attacker is a one-armed bandit that is impersonating a septa! 

Carson's self serving, yet sharp memory recalls seeing such a character during a visit to House Corbray. Perhaps this story could be true?

In the same morning, I approach the Corbray's camp and request an audience with Lord Corbray for my Lady Mother. Lord Corbray accepts, and we soon return with our party to their camp. As expected, the Corbrays do not believe the accusations presented by my mother. Oh, but wait. What is this? The accused one-arm Septa named Olivia cannot be found?? She has fled from House Corbray in the night??? SHE MUST BE GUILTY!!! WE WERE RIGHT!!!

I do applaud the Corbrays for entertaining us, and I hope the imposter did not do them harm. If not for House Jasper, that imposter would have continued to serve their family and raise their children. I do hope Lord Corbray rememers how we helped him on this day. 

And on this day, I do not envy Calaila. She will need to watch her back for the foreseeable future.  

Revenge is a dish best served.... armed

Torn between trying to follow the shadowy figure running off from Calaila’s tent and the need to find out exactly what is going on. I burst in to her tent and immediately can tell she is hurt. My skill in healing is about as good as a one armed Septa would be at juggling, so I call for Maester Thad. I was about to call for any guard or soldier around to help secure the area In hopes of catching the attacker before they could slip out of the camp. Strangely Calaila, pleaded with me not to alert them. How very strange!?!? I certainly don’t agree with her, but abide by her wishes. Thaddeus came into the tent and began to administer aide. The Maester, Teddy, and agreed to search for the attacker but not to alert the guards. The newly knighted Ser Carsen agreed to help but only for a price. Apparently noble titles do not mean noble hearts. I pay him some of my earnings from my performances. The darkness had masked any sign of the attacker or which way they might have gone. Returning empty handed and discouraged, I learned that Calaila’s attacker is a Septa! Have the gods not tortured me enough?!?! First my wife and child, now my friends? If I can find this Septa, I will have some revenge. Teddy and Ser Darron went to talk to the Corbrays about the fact that this attacker was from their house. Without their noticing I snuck along behind them and hid in the shadows waiting for my chance to attack. Unfortunately, that opportunity never came as the Corbrays discovered the one armed Septa had packed her things and left. The gods have eluded me all these years and they appear to continue to do so… for now. When I find her, maybe then I can get some answers, or at least some vengeance.

Tracking for Dragons
A not so subtle guide on swindling bards

Hello old friend! 

It has been too long since I wrote in you. I believe it is time for me to leave behind another nugget of wisdom for whomever may find this journal when I leave this world to feast with the seven. For, at that point I shall not need my bag of swindling tricks. I will be boasting of my knightly title and my impending castle to the mother and the maiden, if ya catch my drift!

Alright future reader. Get your mind out of the gutter and into the game. I am going to teach you how to "Track a Dragon." First, find yourself a city slicker who is trying to track someone in the woods.

Second, offer to help them, but for a very steep price. I recommend at least a dragon, but as many as 10 for a minor lord. (Don't pull this on a major lord, for they may kill you.) The reason for the high price is two fold; It implies you are talented in the art of tracking, and it makes you richer! MAKE SURE THE DEAL IS FOR YOUR HELP! (Not success) Can't stress that enough before we move on…

Third, let them haggle you down a bit. They will think they are getting a good deal, and you suck at tracking. (plus it's a ton of money for practically no work!)  While you mutter about being borderline robbed, you reluctantly move in to preform the "art" of tracking. 

Fourth, and mostly importantly, do your best! Try and track whatever it is. We both know we suck at tracking, but why not give it a go? Heck, you might even successfully track the thing and earn that coin. It gives a good impression if you look like you are trying hard. They won't be quite so bitter about handing over money to you when you fail!

Finally, collect your coins and be on your merry way! Don't let them weasel their way out of it either. A deal is a deal! You helped, so you get paid. 

And that, sweet journal, is how you "Track a Dragon." 

I almost feel a little bad for the bard though… He's a nice guy. Tried to be a hero and save Calaila. He must have spent hours trying to track the attacker. Maybe next time we cross paths I'll buy him a tankard of ale and a go with the whores. That should make things right. Plus, Ser Darron could use a friend his own age…

This seems like a good place to stop for now. So much has been happening to us lately. It is a crazy time. I will have to get more of this written down before too long incase this rebellion fails. By the old gods, I almost died once already and it wasn't even to proper soldiers! It is a dangerous time.