Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

A long awaited promotion

Dolins announces that this false knight is none other that Ser Giles, a knight of House Lynderly. The vigilantes of Castle Snownook huddle, and recognize that this is not only an opportunity to demonstrate to Lord Arryn that House Jasper is just and strong, but also to let him know that our competitors do not deserve the title of Warden of the Vale. House Lynderly has clearly sent this false knight in Jasper armor to besmirch the name of House Jasper in our mutual quest for this title. In our search on his person, I find some courtiers garb. Dolins finds a candle, and Teddy finds a mere 30 copper pennies. In my rage, I grab his chin and ask him where the rest of his gold and belongings are, which he denies having. I spit in his face-I look forward to using this event to the advantage of House Jasper…and myself.

We agree to send Teddy and Maelys to the House of Lord Baelish to send a raven right away to Lord Arryn to notify him of the trial that will take place for Ser Giles at Castle Snownook. Dolins and I ride straight home with a bound and gagged Ser Giles in tow.

Upon coming across our first farmers, the ones whose farm we saved, Dolins and I agree to hand out the belongings of Ser Giles as small recompense for their lost livestock. We notify all that they have House Lynderly to thank for their losses, as it was they who sent this man to the lands of House Baelish to wreak havoc in the name of sabotage.  Ser Giles is paraded in the streets of the hamlet, and shamed for his crimes, until we meet back up with Teddy and Maelys, and make it back to Castle Snownook safely.

Once Ser Giles is imprisoned in the cells, we discuss the events of our journey with Lord Ronnel and Lady Alys. Much to my surprise, my lady demands we go to war with House Lynderly. I scream internally, knowing such a disastrous plan would only delay and distract from my goals. Fortunately, wise Lord Ronnel speaks up, and with the support of his son and heir, persuades the group to at least wait until after the trial.

Then, Lord Ronnel announces that he and the now-simmering Lady Alys have been discussing my position while we were away, and both agree that, at long last, it is time for a promotion and new title. "My lord, my lady; please know that it has truly been my distinct privilege to serve as your handmaid these last few years. That you would even consider bestowing upon me such a great honor of serving the house in new and growing ways…I am overwhelmed with gratitude." They, as well as the bard and lordling, offer up kind words about my strengths and abilities, and explore the positions of saboteur, spy master, and assassin. Knowing that my climb will surely not stop here at Castle Snownook, and that I would prefer a title that will both be public and held in esteem, I deduce that developing a realm-wide network as the Mistress of Whispers, and a reputation for knowledge, would be in my best interest.


Ser Darron's Journal VII
In which 2xp are expected.

We had departed Heart’s Home as three and arrived in Gulltown as seven. We had sought out knights and in their stead found a tramp and a wildling. I had longed for the women, song, and beds of Gulltown, but last night found myself again in a tent – again listening to Jardon’s snoring.

However today the Father smiled on me. For today, we found a true knight for House Jasper, obtained a tavern, and made a useful ally as well. The gods are good.

Let me start from this morning. Ser Cedric offered to watch the wildling while we entered the city. That was fine by me! I don’t much trust the old man so I considered this a test. Maybe both would be gone by nightfall. If they stole my leaky tent too, that would be three of my problems solved! Without Ulf, the gatekeepers gave us no trouble

The inside of Gulltown sure was a sight for sore eyes. I don’t find it to be an impressive city (I’ve been to Oldtown, you see. Down there they have neighborhoods the size of Gulltown. Hell! They have brothels the size of Gulltown! Ho Ho!) Still – it is the largest in the Vale, and if you want news from abroad, a cup of Arbor gold, or a decent suit of mail – this town is your best bet. Compared to Snownook, it might as well be Braavos.

After a profitable visit to the docks we found ourselves within the battlements of House Grafton. And what a place to be on this day! With walls made of stone (rather than our shoddy palisades), and more men-at-arms training than our house could ever hope to field, I felt briefly like I was back home in Uplands.

I could’ve stayed, you know. Any house would accept an honorable knight. However… Ronnel took me in and I owe him a debt for that. Besides, what foolishness would Jardon get up to in my absence? No. I have unfinished business in the Fingers. We are recruiting fighting men. Could we become a regional power? Perhaps! Better us than the Lynderlys! I’ll see to that!!

It is in the stable that we met Ser Yoren the Yellow. What a vision to behold after weeks spent with plough horse riders and winking bowmen! A young man, golden of hair and of cloak, he was the embodiment of a warrior! Yoren was impressed by my deeds in the battle of the Trident and eager to join our ranks. Negotiations ensued. Smartly, he declined our sparring propositions (what does a warrior have to gain but accidental injury?) and only agreed after Carson promised a yearly grand tournament.

Tournaments are a requirement for any decent house, I say! How could a lord expect to attract respectable knights without one? A few hundred gold dragons as the purse, and we could spread the Jasper name far and wide! The deal was done and the ring was given. This called for a drink!

As Ser Yoren of House Jasper was packing his things, we made our way to the Winter’s Reprieve. I was hoping to rest and enjoy some ale and song, but there was a fuss with the owner – that ass Jamie – about the Falcon’s Nest.

Last time we were in town I was… in my cups… but recall we had promised to burn down the Falcon’s Nest. Apparently we agreed to burn it down again tonight. Now I’m not a man who believes in fate or fables – I’ll leave that to fools and septons – but the gods had twice brought us here and twice asked us to do this thing. Could it mean something? We agreed. Besides, what harm could it cause?

Later, standing in front of Jardon’s lit candle with guards yelling for our surrender and Ser Carson dashing away, the harm was apparent. These guards think we’re criminals! Just for burning a building! Jardon and I could go to prison! I…well… I… I’d… I’d be damned if Carson gets away from this and we don't!

Jardon thought quickly (must learn how to do that) and made up a story that we were looking to buy this building and merely using the candle to look inside. Amazingly, the damned fools accepted the lies and offered it to us for ten dragons. We told Lord Grafton and his men that we accepted the offer. I must admit, prospect of coin and wine upon each return made this seem a wise investment indeed.

Jardon declared the tavern would be named “Buffoons Three” after something from homeland. His village? His family? It wasn’t entirely clear what he meant, but it’s an amusing name and I was in high spirits. Moreover, if it pleases those Ironborn, it very well may please the seamen from Essos as well. I accepted it happily and began to ponder our future prosperity. This called for a drink! Ho Ho!

One last thing: I shouldn’t even be mentioning this – but last night it became apparent that Jamie of the Winter’s Reprieve is involved in the black markets. He is willing to purchase certain illegal goods and even claims to have work for us should we need the money. Smuggling or theft or some such unsavory activities. A knight of my distinction would never keep company with such a person of course, but a man couldn't be blamed for pondering how such a relationship could be beneficial.


A little lie from Carsen which hopefully we won't all pay for later...
Are we that rich??

We are all sitting around the fire outside Gulltown and trying to decide what to do the next day. We ask Olf if we cna shave him to disguise him but he says no. We offer him the option of the haircut or we will tie him to a tree while we go into the town. Cedric then offers to stay back and watch him if we tie him up. This sounds fair, but then he asks, if he does this, will he finally be a knight of our house? We agree but I state he should continue on with us on our travels. We tie up Olf's hands and feet for the night and rotate our watch. 

In the morning, we head into the city without incident. Darron wants to head down to the water to sell some Bravosii coins he has. He finds a ship's captain and it looks like they barter an exchange. I then state we should find the training yard after Carsen stupidly suggests we should instead look for them in a tavern. They smartly agree to find a training yard and as we head on our way, we pass the Falcon's Nest which is all boarded up. I piece together from passing conversations that the owner has died.

We carry on looking for Ser Yoren, who Lord Jasper thought was the most promising knight in the city. We reach the training yard and are directed towards the stables when we ask for a knight. On the way, we decide our tactic is to tell the truth with minor embellishments to recruit the knight. We see a man, dressed as a knight, walking out and it happens to be Ser Yoren! Well that was easy! We work on asking him if he will join us. His main concern is he likes traveling to tourney's throughout the year while still being our knight. The boys then do some boasting to him and Carsen states that we could throw him a huge tourney each year. Of course he agrees to this without discussing with us and suddenly Yoren agrees to join us! Uhoh… I make it clear I am not on the hook for this promise! But Yoren is sent on his way with a brass ring.

While we are in the city, I buy an adult, though untrained dog which I name Georgie. She is beautiful and giant, with long shaggy hair. I also buy a mule and two sets of scale armor for my growing dog army!

I then head to Winter's reprieve with the rest of the group. I see a young boy who is running around serving all of the patrons in the busy inn. We hear a voice behind us that says, "Well, look who has returned." And we turn to see Jamie, the owner! He accuses our knights of trying to burn his tavern down… I am not overly surprised by this. They keep arguing about the past and I overhear Jamie ask the knights to burn down the Falcon's Nest. At this point, I excuse myself from the group and sit down. As the knights head off to probably do stupid things, I decide to head back with Thomas to Olf and Cedric. Thomas is kindly bringing some wine back to the two of them from Ser Darron. Once we are back, I start on training Georgie!

I'm a #badbitch.

After some gruff arguing with stable master Eddric, I manage to trade in my pony for a rounsey. We set off towards the lands of House Baelish, and strategize during the weeks long journey about how to bring this false knight to justice. Upon our arrival, we immediately see smoke rising in the distance. We ride up to a disastrous scene, of an old couple rummaging through the rubble of a burnt and empty barn. They share in disgust that, in fact, the very monster we are looking for was the culprit of this evil deed. He's left them penniless and homeless. The couple points us in the direction he went, and we begin to track him.

After two days of Maelys, Dolins and Teddy succesfully tracking, in the late afternoon, the serene sounds of the sea winds is broken by shouting-an old man and woman come running over the hill and are paralyzed by the sight of our group drawing our weapons. He yells that a man is setting his barn on fire, and I immediately charge past them. All in the Vale will know my name for the woman who bravely brought down the false knight!

Dolins, Maelys and I surround the man, with Teddy, unsurprisingly, nowhere in sight. The man has thick armor that Maelys and Dolins are unsuccessful in piercing. My stiletto, however, sticks right through. With a look of vengeance, he comes at me with his lance, leaving a brutal gash in my leg. Dolins and I successfully corner him against the fire he set, and Dolins throws a net over the man. Maelys dismounts and slahes the man through the arm, and we push him closer to the fire. The man attempts to escape, but in his efforts, is knocked off his horse by Dolins and cut down by the three of us. Entangled, wounded, grounded and surrounded, the man finally yields.

We tie him up further, and as Dolins lifts the man's helmet from his head, a look of recognition washes over the bard's face…

Slight detour to almost KILL SOMEONE!!
Who are these reckless men I'm travelling with nowadays??

While Carsen and I were sick, Jardon and Darron went to heartshome where they didn't find any knights to recruit. They did find an older knight Cedric on the way to the inn after and they convinced him to come along with us and see if he is an honorable fellow…. Though Jardon, Darron and Carsen all seem only half honorable themselves! Carsen and I are finally feeling better and catch up to our group of now three.

Cedric yells out to us to see who goes there and Carsen responds, introducing himself as the leader. He starts going on and I interrupt by stepping in front of the boasting Carsen and clear it up that I am indeed the leader and ask where he is from. He states he has been around serving many houses and is now looking to find new service. Carsen butts in and tells me to give him the brass ring but I sense suspicion on the part of Jardon and Darron and I say no, he should come with us so we can get to know him. We all then head on our way to gulltown.

A few days along the south trail, I notice the shape of a man ducking behind rocks about 100 yards up the slope from us. Cedric and Darron seem to have seen him too. I suggest the knights go up there to check it out while I stay back and count my potions. Thomas stays back with me. The knights draw their weapons and head towards the rocks. I Darron talking with the man but can't hear what is said. Darron heads back and says that there is a peasant behind there who was hunting. Carsen seems to think it is a mountain clansman and he starts storming forward. Jardon joins in on horseback. I don't like this brash behavior so I charge my horse ahead and catch up with Carsen. I'm not sure if this man looks like a mountain clansman or not… But Carsen seems all hopped up on something and very angry at this stranger. I am standing besides the two of them. The man, who says he is named Olf, takes one of Carsen's axes and throws it downhill stating he doesnt want to fight, causing Carsen to threaten him. I lie to Carsen and say I am going to have Gary bite off his arm if he doesn't cool down. He just ignores me. Jardon then shoots and arrow at me, narrowly missing! Who are these men?? He yells at me to back off as it's not my fight. Carsen seems to have scared Olf into submission. I turn to Jardon and threaten if he shoots at me ever again, I'll poison him. He just ignores me….

Olf states he was out hunting and hid as he didn't want any trouble. Carsen asks if he is a burned man and he states he isn't anymore. Jardon draws his crossbow and tells him to "die motherfucker". Where are my classy old friends? I miss that group. These heathen knights are just uncouth.

Carsen asks how long he has been away on his own and he states 12 moons as something bad happened and he needed to leave. Carsen questions him further and he states it wasn't supposed to go like that… He states they were supposed to raid a farm and there was only supposed to be women and children there but one of the men killed a child who was trying to defend his family. He voiced concern to the Red Hand of the clan and he said he could walk away or eat his tongue for his defiance so he left the Burned Men. Carsen stated that he was going to join us and later, show him where this clan is living.

We continue on towards gulltown and finally reach the gate. A guard is yelling that he won't let us in because we have a wildling. He states it is on orders of the house. I speak up and offer staying outside the city while the other knights go in to find knights. We all agree this is a good plan but decide to camp outside and wait for the morning.

Walking the Tightrope of Crime and Crimefighting
It's a fine line.

Rhaella returns quickly after her secret mission to Gulltown, and announces to Teddy that the vessel is now anchored. We put our plan into action, with Teddy holding a banquet that evening in celebration of the garrison's hard work and commitment to House Jasper. I ride to Ralph's tavern, and tell him "tonight", with a quick nod, and leave quickly.

I wait in the cells with Dolins, and strike up a cheerful conversation with Rancis, attempting to ensure that he feels a sense of moral obligation to follow through with our efforts to help him escape. After a bit of quick banter, he says with a smirk that I am the kindest person he has met since he was captured. Trying to continue to play along, and increase my standings with this vicious criminal we're about to set loose, I continue trying to lay the charm on think, to which we responds with a disgusting threat that I can't help but run away from.

As I'm leaving the cells, I run into Ralph and 6 of his companions coming down the stairs to break Rancis out. Seeing the size of their party, I suddenly fear for dear old Dolins' life. But just as quickly as they came in, they come out with Rancis in tow. Ralph gives me a silent nod and a sly salute, and the deed is done.

I hop on my horse and chase after their trail, giving them a safe distance, and watch as they sail away into the darkness, when I hear the castle sound the alarm to notify all that Rancis "escaped". As I return to the castle, I see Dolin is safe and sound, and am happy to hear Lord Ronnel say "good riddance" as he retreats to bed.

The next morning, thinking our successful mission is leading into a formal promotion in the court of Lord Ronnel and Lady Alys, I put on my finest clothes, and enter the great hall with Teddy and Dolins, who are both in equally celebratory moods. Lord Ronnel gives us a very brief congratulations on the success of our scheme, and thanks us for our continued loyalty, however, this is quickly squandered by him turning the conversation over to Petyr. Petyr announces that he received a raven from his father, who reports a rogue knight has been terrorizing Baelish's lands, wearing the Jasper sigil. Instead of celebrating the glorious banishment of the bandits, we pack our bags, and head to the Baelishes' lands to bring this false knight to justice in the name of House Jasper.

I've got friends in low places.

I am face to face with repugnant Rancis, who lives up to his name. A foul man, inside and out. In my attempts to convince and charm him into working together to get him safe passage from the cells, I am met with quiet coolness, and incessant lip-licking, and try to hid the chills he gives me. Seeing that this conversation won't be going far with this quiet man, I bid him adieu, and meet back up with Teddy and Dolins.

Together, we travel to see Ralph back at the tavern. I share with him that my past allows me to truly empathize with the plights of the bandit, and that we can help each other get what we need-for him to leave our lands, and for him to continue to be able to safely pillage towns without consequence. Teddy shares that in efforts to win the title of Warden of the Vale, House Jasper will be bringing strong law and enforcement back to the region, and that it would be in Ralph's best interest to leave before the baliff gets here. Dolins successfully convinces Ralph to complete a staged and safe breakout to get Rancis out of the cells, and discretely board an unmarked boat to Paps Island with his comrades to plunder elsewhere.

Rhaella agrees to ride to Gulltown to arrange a chartered boat, and I give up FIVE WHOLE GOLD DRAGONS for this pursuit. This is the most I've spent in months! I hope Ronnel, Alys, Teddy and the likes sees me turning out my pockets for their cause, and that I am soon repayed in status and titles for my commitment to the house.

Can we get a second knight?
Where is Ser Darron? Drunk again?

After our success with Ser Denny's recruitment, we head out for the Lynderlys. When we arrive, Carsen and I decide to dress in disguise as a noble and a fool. The wiser, obviously not dressing as a fool. Jarden stayed back at the gate where he was hoping to run into John Lynderlys.

As we entered the gate, we see people milling about and see John walking towards us. Carsen, secure in his disguise, decides to run up to John and make a fart noise at him. Very mature. I apologize for my stupid fool and we carry on searching for Ser Gyles. We first look in the castle where the guards let us through and tell us to talk to the maester who is in the stable as I have told them I am looking to trade goods. We see the stable and Carsen continues his antics and silly walks all the way to the stable, then pretends to eat the hay. I'm starting to regret agreeing to go with this literal fool.

We see the maester and another person and I excuse my fool's behavior, stating he had a head injury when he was young so he has a penchant for hay. They question why we are there. Carson whispers to me that we shouldn't leave yet as we are headed towards the exit. I ask him if he has any better plan, and then he turns from me and bolts towards the main keep! What an idiot! I miss my Dolins.

The guards obviously take chase straight away and say to stop the fool. He yells back to stop the guards as they are chasing a fool, then he ducks into a ball on the ground. The guards are all confused and wondering what to do. He then stands up and leans towards them and make another lovely fart sound and a guard punches him in the mouth. I couldn't hold my thoughts in, so I yelled "CarDar, you deserved that". (CarDar was his agreed upon fake name) The captain of the guard states that if we want an audience with Lord Lynderlys, I should come back without the fool. I agree and then turn on my heel and leave.

On our way out, we see Jardon walking past us, into the castle with John Lynderlys. He makes an odd sort of blink at me as he passes…

I sit and wait with Gary while Carsen circles around me, taunting me like a mature adult. I tell Gary to go get him and he growls at Carsen. Carsen lunges at Gary and scares him. I am tempted, but I pull Gary back to stop him from attacking Carsen. I then yell at Carsen to stop it and he freezes mid stride. Annoyed, I turn away from him and continue to wait.

Jardon and Ser Gyles head towards the local pub and we follow in afterwards. I start discussing his leg injury as he mentioned it, and I suggested that I could help heal or help with his pain. He states that he must stay there as his lord made clear his place is here. We then gather our things and leave with the thought of coming back to see if we can convince Ser Gyles later in our trip. Maybe Darron will be of help?

We decide to head towards Heartshome of House Corbrey. We know of no knights here, but we are going to try and gather someone regardless. We decide to wait outside to see when Darron rejoins our piddly group.

Won't you be my neighbor?

Teddy exits safely, and we rush back to Castle Snownook right away to discuss his findings. It seems Ralph knew who Teddy was immediately, despite his disguise, but was open to discussions. Teddy reports that Ralph confirmed that the reason they have stayed in Felliston is because of the lawlessness of the lands, and shared that someone very valuable to him by the name of Rancis was in the cells of Snownook.

We explore our options, and deliberate where we hope to send the local bandits. Pooling out knowledge of our neighbors we gather that House Lynderly's heir is John and Yorrin is the Lord (who has a reputation as an older, oblivious oaf). Yorrin has a daughter named Janna, and has many nephews in his service. Their hamlet is walled in entirely, and we gather that they have a better sense of justice and law than House Jasper does.

House Pryor is ruled by reasonable and level headed Lord Derrin, Perrin's father. He rules from Castle Skymark, made out of slate on the island of Pebbles. They have no navy, as they have limited wood and resources. House ​​Coldwater is ruled by young Lord Royce from a strong, ancient castle to northwest of Snownook. It is a stop on the recruiting mission of Carsen, Jardon, Darron and the maester. House Baelish is a new house on smallest finger, and their keep is a small tower in a desolate land with a small population.

House Elesham is ruler from a tower called First Light on Paps, northeast of Vale and fingers. It is signaled by a constant fire burning. Their Lord is a young boy named Emmon, of only 10 years old, and until he comes of age is ruled by lady regent. House Woodhole-Also on Paps island. Keep is called Woodhall, spartan, defensible but not by mainland standards. No moat, no big walls. Lord is old and angry Sir Haster, a group of landed knights.

We decide that perhaps sending the local bandits to Paps would be the best course of action in attempts to both increase the law in our lands, and sabotage our rivals. I take on the task of braving the cells to meet Ralph's friend Ransis, and as I walk down the steps, his stench greets me first.

Lord Arryn Visits Snownook
And we make Jasper look gooooooood

Several weeks have passed since our visit to Gulltown, which means only one thing: my new longsword is finally ready! The smith has been working tirelessly to make this superior blade, all it needs now is a name! It must be cat-like, fierce, swift and silent. Sharp Tooth? Shadowcat Surprise? No… those won’t do. I’ll have to keep thinking.

My father calls a meeting of the house and we learn that Lord Arryn will be visiting Castle Snownook, but we don’t know why. Whatever the reason may be, it is incumbent upon us to make sure that he has the most enjoyable visit possible. Father has planned the day to go like this:

  1. Maester Thad will host a battle of wits
  2. I will show off my fighting skills by sparring with Sir Carson
  3. An afternoon meal will be served, serenaded by Dolins the bard
  4. Jardin will tell a tale of the Vail’s history
  5. A flag capture melee
  6. An evening meal before Lord Arryn departs

Of course, Carson asks if there will be a prize for the flag capture melee. We are told there will be an award, but it will be given out after Lord Arryn has left.

Father also makes a point to say that Calaila will be Lord Arryn’s cup bear.

When Lord Arryn arrives to the castle, he is received in the great hall. Welcomes are exchanged, and the festivities start right away with Maester Thad and his battle of wits!

Darron, Dolins, and myself face off against Calaila, Carson, and Jardin. The game is rousing, but our lot is no match for a handmaid, a knight, and a one-eyed baffoon. I blame Her Darron.

For the main event, Carson and I will spar each other, making a show of our talents on the battlefield. All of my companions are well aware of the skills I lack in this discipline, and for this reason I proactively arranged to pay Carson 10 gold dragons to put on a convincing performance and to let me win. I think the spar goes well, but apparently not well enough to convince Lord Arryn that I am a skilled fighter. He gave me some backhanded remark about knowing my strengths. This wasn’t worth 10 gold dragons… I follow up with Carson after the match and we settle on 6 dragons for his efforts. Still a damn good payment for a performance!

During the meal, Dolins puts on quite a show! In a break in the performance, Jon Arryn announces that Nestor Royce will take over management of the Vail while Jon Arryn serves as the hand of the king to King Beratheon. Further, he plans to create a new position, Warden of the Fingers and Isles, which will manage houses Coldwater, Baelish, Elesham, Pryor, Jasper, and Linderly. The lord who is chosen for this position will be responsible for protecting the peace and managing this group of houses, but ultimately the houses would still remain loyal to House Arryn. He explains he is here to visit House Jasper to consider my lord father for the Wardenship!

After the meal, I heard that Jardin’s history of the Vail was quite pleasing to Lord Arryn. I nearly knocked my goblet of wine off the table while I nodded off. Sparring is quite hard work.

In the flag capture melee, I prove to be useless. Maelys destroys me in quick order, so I spend most of the match cheering my team to victory. We win the melee, and each receive 2 gold dragons! 

Jon Arryn, before departing Castle Snownook, announces that Berta Rohan will become a ward of Snownook. She will arrive at the castle sometime within the year. There are exciting times ahead for House Jasper!