Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Back to playing the game

After a quick stop at Castle Snownook, our party prepares to set off for a pair of short missions. The Maester, Ser Darron, and Ser Dolins will join me to treat with House Corbray and rally their forces in opposition to the Lynderlys. Carsen and Jardon will make a stealthy landing near Snakewood and try to learn what House Lynderly is up to.

As I am prepare to leave the castle, Summer knocks on my door and asks for a word. She reveals to me that she can turn into her dog, she calls it warging. This claim seems outlandish, I’m skeptical. She can turn into her dog, but her dog doesn’t turn into her? This doesn’t make any sense. I ask if she can show me right now. The life leaves her body and her dog, August, becomes immediately animated. I ask the dog to go into Jardon’s room and bring me of his eyes or legs. The dog leaves the room and Summer’s body is left standing there in a very creepy state. I look at her cautiously. Is she really out? I give her a light kick in the shin to test. No response… interesting. A few minutes later, the dog returns with Jardon’s spare leg! Amazing! I take the leg from the dog’s mouth and use it to stoke the fire in my room. Summer wakes up and seems pleased with herself. She asks if she can join the spy party and I agree to let her.

When my party arrives at Hearts Home, we are greeted and escorted to the Hall where we are left to wait for Lord Lyonel Corbray. After we’re alone, Darron asks me if Lord Corbray’s throne looks more comfortable than Lord Jaspers. I suggest he try it out and compare, since he admitted to sitting in my father’s throne. He quickly sits and stands, nearly being caught as a servant walks in carrying some ale and bread for us. An hour or so passes before 3 men come to the chamber; Lord Lyonel Corbray, Lucas Corbray, and Wilbur their Maester.

I propose to Lord Lyonel the Corbrays bring their forces to Snownook so together we can settle our similar feuds with the Lynderlys. Their Maester thinks we’re up to no good here, implying that this is quite timely considering their current predicament. I argue “Nay! I merely propose this based on two facts: the Lynderlys are very unlikable, and Lyn Corbray himself admitted his dislike of the Lynderlys to me months ago at our tournament at Snownook.” Nailed it.

When asked, Darron and I explain the Lynderlys aggression against House Jasper. I ask of their recent troubles with the Lynderlys and Lyonel explains his brother, Lyn, and bastard uncle, Arturo, were ambushed by Lynderlys while hunting. Lyn is gravely injured and Arturo has not been seen for days, potentially captured by the Lynderlys while attempting to retaliate.

Lyn Corbray is heap of goat shit. I hope he lingers in pain and dies a slow death. He deserves it after disrespecting me at our tournament and whipping Edric, our stable master (and Summer’s father, now that I think about it).

Ser Darron announces, “Our Maester just returned from the citadel with new knowledge of healing, perhaps he can be of assistance.”

Seven Hells!

The Mystery Deepens

I continue my investigation by interrogating Carsen. He claims Rusty came aboard with an offer for House Jasper. He confirmed that Jardon disclosed we have more dragon eggs than most people are aware of. This made Calaila upset, and Caliala had a special visit from Rusty where he whispered something to her. He claims Calaila had to rush away. He joined her to offer protection for her journey, but then he left her and turned around after being repeatedly insulted by Caliala. He claims to not have seen Caliala after that interaction.

Carson continues to tell me about how he, Darron, and Jardon posed as Lynderly soldiers to cause a ruckus in Corbray lands. He stops to reconsider the information he’s about to disclose. I try to pull it out of him. Carsen says he was pledged to the house of faceless men and he could borrow people’s faces. This is what he did with the Lynderlys.

Its true! He has a face thing! He also seems to have the means, motive, and opportunity to have committed this crime…

When I pressed Carsen on the other details of that night, he effortlessly deflects every accusation I throw at him. It could have been ANY faceless man who did this, of course it wasn’t me. What about the disparity between the Maester’s sighting of Calaila and Thomas not seeing her? Thomas is an unreliable child. Caliala died from wounds of an archer. Carsen, you’re a faceless man who’s an excellent archer, that’s quite a coincidence isn’t it? Everyone is good at archery, it could have been anyone…

After our conversation, I go down to Carsen’s cabin and dump all his belongings on to the floor. All he has is a bunch of weapons and a full wardrobe for every possible occasion, but no faces.

I got back to my room, my head brimming with new information. Thomas knocks on the door with news that a party is on the docks, including Lady Elesham, Sir Argyle, their Septon, and Rusty.

Politics are the last thing on my mind right now, and I have no idea what’s happening on this island with the Woodhulls and Eleshams. Carsen seems to know what’s going on. Although I’m suspicious, I need someone who knows what’s happening. If only Caliala were here…

Dolins also joins us on the docks. He’s barely left my side since Caliala’s death.

Lady Elesham tells me that the alliance between Houses Elesham and Jasper has never been stronger, and they commit to sending an army to Snownook in a weeks time.

We set sail and return to Castle Snownook and fill in the Lord and Lady about our trip. Ronnel says he’s been feeling frail, so he is entrusting me to handle the ongoing issue with the Lynderdys.

After the meeting with the group, Lady Elise pulls me aside for a private conversation. I reveal my suspicions about Carson, and she agrees with the sentiment. She advises not to trust Carsen, but also not to act unless I am absolutely sure of his guilt. Lady Elise also tells me Raella hasn’t returned yet after being gone for a week, she should have been back by now. My mother reminds me that dealing with House Lynderly and finding Calaila’s assassin are the top priorities for our house.

What the heck is going on?

In the hall of first light with Lady Elesham, Carsen dismisses himself from the room. I acknowledge Lady Elesham’s renewed alliance and Darron and I leave to look for Dolins.

After a quick stop at the Rambis, me, Darron, Thomas, and Summer set off to look for Dolins. Originally it was going to me Me, Darron, and Summer, but the Maester tried to convince Summer to stay and help take care of Jardon. As the bickering rose, I raised my voice and ordered Jardon and Summer to come with us. Jardon, being an ass, insists on going shopping with the Maester for a new leg. Exasperated, I tell Thomas to saddle his horse and come with us. If the Maester and Jardon are going shopping, there’s no reason for him to guard the ship!

We find Dolins, and on our way back to the Rambis we encounter Ser Argyle. It’s strange that he’s out this late.

Upon our return, I get to interrogate the Maester once more about the night of Caliala’s death. He confirmed from the autopsy that Calaila was shot with an arrow or crossbow in the back, and her face was intentionally removed, but the reason is unknown.

The Maester recalls Carson and Calaila left the ship together. Caliala was angry at Carsen for bringing Rusty onto the Rambis and not stopping a conversation with Jardon that revealed House Jasper has 3 dragon eggs, instead of 1 which I’ve been telling people. Caliala left to find me to let me know immediately. Carsen insisted on escorting her, but she didn’t want his company. While on the trail they had some falling out. The Maester recalls Carson returning to the ship alone, and Caliala returning a short while later for a brief visit.

I also interrogated Thomas. He says the last time he saw Caliala was when she and Carsen left the ship together, and he swears his life on it! He recalls Carsen returning, but never saw Calaila again.

I need to talk with Darron and Dolins, something isn’t right here.

As I’m getting ready for bed, Summer knocks on my door with some interesting information. She tells me that on their nightly rounds, they smelled burning human flesh and heard Rusty’s voice discussing with a woman about a person being burned. She made it sound like Rusty is leading this nefarious effort. Very curious.

I meet with Dolins and Darron and discuss all the clues to this point. We decide that we must interrogate Carsen. I also fill them in on what Summer told me the night before.

A Worthy Stablehand

With rumors of a spy mission to House Lynderly swirling around Castle Snownook, I decide it is high time I share my gift with Lord Theodore in hopes it will be my ticket out of the stables and away from my wretched father. I find the lordling in his office- nervously wringing my hands, I explain my ability to warg into August. His eyes grow wide, then his eyebrows narrow as he asks for a demonstration. I leave my human form and my senses awake in August, looking up at Teddy. He smiles devilishly, and asks that if I really want to prove my ability, I shall retrieve Captain Jardon’s spare wooden leg. I bound out the door, across the training yard, and up the stairs to Captain Jardon’s quarters. After some finagling, I open his door take the wooden peg leg in my jaws and trot back to the young lord. He reacts with delight, holding the leg in his hand and eyeing it with near insane glee. As he tosses it into the flames behind him, I regain my human form, and request the honor of joining the mission of House Jasper, which he graciously grants me. Leaving his office I give August a little pat on his soft blonde head, and we set out for our first great adventure.

I make every effort to contain my enthusiasm on the ride to Jasport, but it isn’t long before a gruff Captain Jardon asks my purpose for attending the trip. “What help could a stable hand bring on a mission like this among experienced warriors?” I look to Theodore momentarily for assistance, but with a puff of my chest and a new found confidence, decide to take the question into my own hands. Within the span of a second, my eyes roll white and reawaken in August, and I playfully snap at the Captain and tug at his ankle. Before he can draw his weapon at the pup, I leave August’s form, and smile and shrug at Jardon. He looks at me bewildered, stating he’s heard of warging wildlings in stories but didn’t think they were real. “I’m no wildling, but I do hope to use this gift from the gods for the good of House Jasper.” He expresses a surprised sense of satisfaction, and agrees that in fact we may be of use to the mission after all.

Carsen, Jardon and I arrive at Snakewood, and hatch a plan to get through the gate then split up to get the lay of the land within the walls. The others change into merchant’s garb and hide their belongings with my body in a thick wood, and we hatch a plan to meet back here at sunset if we don’t reconvene before the end of the day. As August, I get through the gates without difficulty. My first stop happens to be the kennels and I’m greeted by a snarling hound. I assume a nonthreatening stance and the dog opposite me relaxes before a man I can only imagine is the kennel master calls to him. Not wanting to end up on a Lynderly cage for the night I sprint away, farther into the Snakewood walls.

Deep in a maester's thoughts

I’ve finally got the bleeding to stop. It took quite a bit of bandaging and took a good long while but now it just hurts. The throbbing will hopefully stop sometime. Once I rebandage things up, I go and take care of Jardon. Then I head up to the top deck to get a bit of sunshine. Once up there, I see Carsen being questioned by Teddy. The new Sir Dolins (so proud to call my dear friend that) is standing nearby. I’m sure he is protecting over Teddy. I walk over to join in the conversation.

It sounds like Teddy thinks Calaila was killed by Carsen. I am really quite confused by this. I have told Teddy several times about why I believe Rusty is the murderer. The timeline for Carsen just doesn’t fit! Calaila was not kind to Carsen before they left, he insisted on going with her as she was hurt, then he came back upset as she had been nasty to him. I don’t find this suspicious at all. Calaila could be very biting with her words. Then, after Carsen had been back for a while, Calaila did show up nervous about the visit with Rusty earlier and stated that Rusty had threatened her and she collected her things and told me she would see me later. Who knows what happened to her during those hours without Carsen. She could have been approached by Rusty again. The whole thing seems very suspicious. Rusty is sketchy to begin with and Calaila has always had a mysterious past. It all reminds me of a few times she has gotten in trouble in our travels. She runs away quickly with no plan for what to do next. The poor girl must have gotten caught up in something again.

But back to Carsen. What on earth would be his motive? I don’t hear Teddy mention anything. I do hear Teddy say he is a faceless man, which surprises me. I zone out a bit and start thinking through what I know of the faceless men. They try to make the deaths look like an accident, which this was an obvious killing. It is also normally best practice if the victim doesn’t notice the killer coming, which Calaila obviously noticed as it took several shots to fell her. And there is still the lack of motive. That is really catching me up. Calaila and Carsen seemed to get along normally, minus Calaila’s mean streaks. I just don’t see it.

I also don’t understand why Teddy isn’t listening to me. He keeps talking about Thomas’ recollection. Does he not see that the boy is but a child? He hardly notices anything! He is a good enough boy, and by the gods, he seems to try so hard, but he is young and distractible. And here I am, a full grown cross-dressing maester, and I’m being completely ignored. It’s starting to get really frustrating. At least Dolins seems to understand my logic. Thank goodness I have him.

After this frustrating conversation is over, I head into town to the same shop as before. I am in search for a prosthetic glove for my poor hand. I don’t want this wound to be so noticeable. Unfortunately, the shop owner doesn’t have anything like that. I head back to the ship and start reading on the deck. Then I hear the Elishams arrive! I look down and see Septon Hugo and RUSTY?? Again?? This man.

I hurry over to Teddy who is with Carsen and Dolins and warn them all that I think Rusty is responsible for Calaila and I ask them to be careful. I also hope that this will spur Teddy on to talk to the man. Maybe question him a bit. Me and my bandaged hand will stay on deck. Sparring with words has never been my strength regardless. A maester knows her place.
I head back to Jardon and point out the foolish septon who came to administer his last rights. He sure isn’t looking perfect, what with the missing eye and now the missing leg, but he is not dead! How his poor new bride will react, I am not sure…

I see them chatting on the dock and it looks like nothing is said to Rusty before they head back! What the heck Teddy! I am not sure what to do with him. We quickly head out after this, back to home, leaving Calaila’s ashes and sad last memories on the beach.

Back at Snownook, we are all called for an audience. We are welcomed home and Lady Elyse asks how we all are and questions Calaila’s death. She is upset that we had left without finding who murdered her. I need to talk to her. She instead, asks to speak to Teddy about it and when I ask to join, Teddy says no. I’ll have to find a private audience with her.

Bad Trust
Mistakes Were Made

It would seem that our young lordling is even less discreet than Ser Darron. I cannot tell if he is more obtuse than our good hedge knight or if he is angered with grief and acting recklessly. Regardless, my ability to disguise and investigate for the house will continually have less utility if everyone I share my secret with cannot keep quiet. This is a troubling turn of events. I regret sharing any of my past with my companions, even if it did help our cause. I came to this backwater to leave my old life behind, but between my actions and the lack of discretion in my companions, I fear that my past may come back to haunt me…

Boredom at the Beach
Longest game of Pick up Stix

It seemed like a good trade initially; I help the maester for 48 hours and in return He vouches for me. But 2 days of collecting driftwood later I am not so sure it was worth it.Everyone else is solving a murder and I am walking the beach picking up sticks. Thad hasn’t said a word to me since we started either, it is super boring. At least we managed to build a massive pyre, who would put that much work into a funeral service for someone they murdered? NO ONE!

The mind numbing work gave me time to think as well. We have the Paps behind us stronger than ever. Our mission here was beyond a success. Rusty scared Calaila bad enough for her to run out injured and all of the remains of the evidence are in HIS room. Perhaps I will suggest a closer look at Rusty. He is very valuable to have as a contact, but someone needs to take the fall, why not him?

A day late and two fingers short
It could have been so awesome.

After Teddy and Darron came back, we were all discussing what should be done. I day dream while everyone is bickering. I remember this spell I had tried back at the citadel. I’ve been reading in the dark of the night once everyone is asleep and suddenly, as if a bit of my destiny is burned, I have a breakthrough. I realize the few times I tried this specific spell at the citadel, I may have been using the wrong material! How stupid of me. I suddenly join back in the conversation and ask Summer to stay back with me. She flatly refuses and pushes back. So the only one I’m left with is Carsen. I guess he will have to do.

Before we all split up, I ask both Jardon and Darron if they have any dragon glass. Neither of them do but Darron brings out the snake carcass he has apparently continued carrying! It is extremely desiccated and I tell him to please throw it away. As neither of them have what I need, I’ll have to search for it when I take Jardon to town for a new leg.

On our shopping trip, I find a shop with no sign but a statue above the door. This looks like just the right place. We hear a woman call out to us among the very crowded shop. I yell back that I am looking for dragon glass. She rustles about for a long while then finds a dagger! Perfect. This will work just fine.

Jardon picks out a leg from the woman who surreptitiously had a one legged husband. She had a few options for him to pick from and he picks the bone leg. It is apparently made of whale bone, which seems fitting. He asks her to carve it a bit more and add in some tin, finally removing the tin from his eye to put in the leg instead. I had no idea there was even tin in there! No wonder he’s been such a grouch. He pays for both of our items and we head back, he needing to come get the leg tomorrow.

As soon as we are back, I approach Carsen and ask for his help. He reluctantly agrees if I promise to vouch for him. This seems an odd request, but as I have no reason not to trust him, I agree. He states that for some reason Teddy is upset with him. I promise to help if he aids me for the next 2 days. We then get to collecting driftwood! This takes all day.

At dusk, the rest of our companions arrive back with Calaila’s body. Summer keeps asking me something but I am more concerned with how Dolins has faired as he carried poor Calaila’s body the whole way. He seems to be upset, but doing ok. So I set about looking at her body in private with Teddy. It is obvious that she was shot at by arrows or a crossbow several times, with one clear fatal shot. Her face also seems to have been intentionally removed, but for what purpose, I am not sure. I relay this information to Teddy and also let him know that I think we should burn her body at dusk. He agrees.

He then asks what I remember about the last time I saw Calaila. My memory is a bit fussy with the events of the past day but I recall what I can. The next morning, I continue on the pyre, needing to go buy some wood in town. Carsen continues to help me set up. Finally, at dusk, after people say a few words, I instruct everyone to wait on the boat and I light the pyre. With my back to everyone, I say the prayer in the old tongue. Everything seems to be going well at this point… I continue to stoke the fire throughout the long night until the dawn.

At this point, I make sure that I am alone. I don’t see anyone on the ship. I turn my back to the boat. I take a deep breath, and I take out my dragon glass dagger. I steel myself and then start cutting my hand. I don’t know if it was the quality of the glass or the lack of sleep, but my hand slips and I cut off my last two fingers! I yell out in pain and double over. I am crying in both pain and in frustration, but at this point, mostly pain. What have I done?? I have taken on this power. I knew it came with risks, but like this? All I was trying to do was to see Calaila again and to get some answers. Her body gave me just more questions than answers. And now I have messed up my one chance. I grab some bandages from a pocket and swiftly wrap up my bloodied hand. I walk back to the ship, exhausted, in pain, defeated, and depressed. It’s not been a great week.

A bit of catch up
Maester's been a slackin

The last few days have gone by in a fog. First was the kraken. It took Carsen and Jardon into the water and strangled Georgie. Jardon was saved by Dolins although he is a leg short now. Carsen came back unharmed somehow. Then after that, was some odd events on the ship while I tended to Jardon. Rusty came to see us and talked with Carsen, Calaila and I. He had heard we had dragon eggs and the drunk Jardon informed him we had not just one, but three. This for some reason really upset Calaila who took off to find Teddy as they were all off to see the Elishams. Carsen stated she shouldn’t go alone and even through her protests and not kind behavior, he carried on and went with her.

Later in the day, Carsen came back and stated Calaila had told him to go away and she was nasty to him. I could see this happening, she isn’t always kind with her words. Later that night, Calaila came back briefly and was very skittish. She said she thought her life was in danger from Rusty as he has whispered something to her on his way out. She gathered her things and took off, saying she would see us in the future.

Then a bit of humor occurs. A stupid septon comes onto the ship claiming that he heard Jardon is dying. He instructs Thomas to gather the crew on board, so he gets Summer from the lower decks. He starts his prayers to my protestations. Jardon also talks over him confused as I had told him he was getting better. Gary is barking and Summer goes to get him from the top deck.

Later, I am still down tending Jardon when Teddy and Darron arrive back. They hurry into the room and tell us that Calaila is dead. We immediately start talking about her movements over the last day. I fill them in on my memories.

Ser Darron’s Journal 17

When the stablegirl asked why the maester was collecting so much driftwood I almost laughed. If she intends on spending time around Thaddeus she better get used to confusion.

Why indeed does the Maester do any of the things he does? Why is he always writing in his books? Why does he need dragonglass so badly? Why does he tie so much paper to birds? Why will he never let me borrow his razor? Why does he wear all those robes in the heat of the summer? Why does he argue with SER DARRON, DRAGONSLAYER about what is and isn’t a fucking dragon’s head? Why won’t he let me teach him how to use a sword? Why does he like spending so much time with Jardon lately? Why does he like dogs so much?

The wood was apparently a pyre for the girl – we know that now – but why so large? Why does it still smell like it’s burning? It’s the middle of the bloody night! Why does my head hurt? Why do I have to piss so badly? I climb out of my bunk and pass Dollin’s cabin. It’s quiet. I pass Jardon’s cabin. The door is open and the young archer is snoring on the floor. In the moonlight I see someone’s drawn on his face with charcoal. I rub my forehead. Charcoal too. Shit.

I haul myself onto deck, grunting. Why do the gods make you feel so old? I shuffle towards the rail but notice a figure on the beach. Why is Thaddeus still out on the shore this late? Why is he holding up that blade? Why is he cutting off his fingers!?

Seven hells! There truly is no understanding that Maester. The stable girl is gonna have to learn that. He’s either too wise for us, or else fully mad.