Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

A Message to Lord Arryn

After hearing from Maester Thad that he prepared a message to Jon Arryn in the name of Ser Carsen, Teddy wrote the following message himself:

Lord Arryn,

I write to reassure you that House Jasper, as Warden of the Fingers and Isles, holds a strong presence and respect amongst the houses of the region, and you can rest assured that minor issues between such parties will be resolved swiftly and equitably. Your Lordship need not mind any petty grievances from disgruntled House Lords, for we are seeing they are brought to a close without requiring your intervention.

Theodore Jasper

Ser Darron’s Journal 28

Darron steps onstage at Ye Olde Plain Looking Gosling’s weekly standup night

What’s the deal with Snownook food?? I mean, come on! Who is the sausage wizard who came up with this mystery meat?

mild applause

I mean, what’s the deal with the Council of Justice?? Who are these people? Beacon of Light? Maybe I could get behind it if there was a… Bacon of Light!

mild applause

Now, have you seen this trial of Carsen? I mean have you seen this!? Faceless man? Faceless man? I mean, sure he’s ugly, but give him a break!

mild reaction

Thank you! Thank you! You’ve been great! Don’t forget to tip your bartender. I mean what IS with bartenders anyway?? HoHoHo! You’ve been great!

A Letter To Nestor Royce

Lord Nestor Royce,

A matter of urgency has come to my attention in the Fingers. House Jasper is trying the head of House Thorne, Ser Carsen, with murder. The knight has written to me voicing concern for the council of smallfolk who passed judgement on him. I’m not of a mind to question how Lord Ronnel governs, the man has earned some autonomy, but I am regretting naming House Jasper Marshall of the Fingers & the Isles. First that business with their Master-At-Arms, now a trial of the head of their lone banner house…

I suspect Ser Carsen’s fate will be secured by the time you reach Snownook, but I command you travel there to oversee the aftermath and resolve the relationship between the houses.

Lord Jon Arryn
Hand of The King
Warden of the East
Defender of the Vale
Lord of the Eyrie
Keeper of the Gate of the Moon

Achieve What You Believe
I'M 50! 50 Years old!!!

The Council said That I would be done
But I with a chuckle replied
That “maybe I would be” but not if I run
Who wouldn’t give it a try
I knocked my arrow with the trace of a grin
My emotions I will not deny
Perhaps I will sing as I tackle this thing
I let it loose, oh my arrow did fly!

Tracking Carsen

I lament in my locked room with a gravely wounded August. The maester refused to treat my very best friend, insisting they only work on house fowl these days, and I am forlorn and lost about what the events of the last few days mean. I sob helpless tears throughout the night as August cries in pain from his wounds from Carsen, the code breaker, traitor and murderer. He is no true knight, and he is no friend to House Jasper.

As dawn breaks, I set my eyes to the sky, knowing I need to take action or I will surely go mad knowing Carsen still walks free. Confirming the door is locked, I warg into a raven and carefully search from the skies for any signs of the murderer. It is not long before I see an untied Bam in Thorne forests, and I swoop down lower to see if I can find any more clues. With no further luck, but hope and hatred in my heart, I return to my own skin, and tiptoe through the castle to find Gregoriy.

I should be embarrassed of my sleep deprived, tear stained, anxious state, but I am too desperate to let that stop me. I explain my concerns, that with the murderous faceless man on the loose, I fear for the safety of the Council of Justice and Lord Theodore, and share that I’ve found some evidence of Carsen’s whereabouts. When Gregoriy confirms he shares similar concerns, I’m overcome with relief, and I agree to lead to Order of the Darkwash River to Bam as a raven, and see if their tracking abilities can pinpoint Carsen.

As the afternoon turns to dusk, we find a smoldering campfire, and they track the murderer deep into the forest. A twig snaps underfoot, and Carsen draws his bow and fires at Gregoriy. I fly into his face, flapping my wings as he fires another arrow at Niall.

The Trial of Carsen Thorne

I breathe a sigh of relief when Gregoriy arrives to assemble to Council of Justice. All of House Jasper, even the maester who hasn’t been seen in years, gathers for the trial of Ser Carsen.

Before we can even really start asking questions of those present, Carsen launches into a dramatic soliloquy, moaning about how everything is blamed on him and how he thought this matter had been put to rest on the Paps. The men start yelling, and the room erupts before we’ve even begun. “Gentlemen,” I roar, can we keep it to the facts please?", which gets a wholehearted nod of approval from Brock. Lord Theodore begins by laying out the history of Calaila’s murder, stating it occurred in January of 286 on the island of the Paps, during a peacekeeping mission between the Eleshams and Woodhulls, Dolins found Calila’s body in the woods, having been shot in the back with arrows, and stripped of her face and all belongings. Dolins speaks up and states, “it makes me shiver to this day thinking about the sight of it”. It is established by all that Carsen has the ability to remove faces in the manner with which Calaila was found, consistent with the face I found in his bag, and use them to disguise himself in a mystical way. It is also established that prior to the last time the maester saw them each briefly, in succession, Calaila and Carsen were seen leaving the ship together and Calaila was refusing his escort as she was riding to notify Teddy that Carsen had brought Rusty on board the Rambis where house secrets about the now stolen dragon eggs were revealed to him. Calaila was described as being angry with Carsen and accusing him of betrayal. The maester was quick to defend Carsen, emphasizing that they had seen both Carsen and Calaila after this event, but confirmed they were not seen together in the same room. If Carsen is a known faceless man, I cannot put together why the wise maester wouldn’t be able to plainly see that this sighting of Calaila could have been Carsen. The maester’s enthusiastic defense of Carsen is perplexing and seems out of place considering the evidence set before us. I suppose seeing really is believing. It must be hard for the maester to accept that this sighting may have been the well thought out mystical maneuver of a faceless man, making the maester a oblivious pawn in Carsen’s plans.

The council of justice asks further questions, such as the population of the Paps, which is confirmed to be a sparsely populated small island, unlikely to house another rare faceless man of Braavos. And when asked about if Calaila had other enemies, it was confirmed she did, and Carsen had negotiated with this one armed nemesis behind closed doors in the past. With not one but two potential motives, the opportunity, and the means and ability of a skilled marksman such as Carsen to shoot Calaila in the back, as well as the condition she was found, it could not be clearer that Carsen is guilty of the murder of Lord Theodore’s trusted advisor.

Brock, Gregoriy, August and I step into a quiet room, and all are in agreement of Carsen’s guilt. Gregoriy is alarmed by the news of Carsen’s ability and history as a faceless man, and notes that we should be concerned about this, that they are notoriously feared among the people of Essos for their magical abilities. Brock calls the oath breaker a witch and suggests a hefty and specific fine of 687 (?) gold dragons for Ser Carsen. But Gregoriy and I agree that leaving the faceless man alive may put the house in jeopardy should he try to enact revenge and that a life should be paid for with a life, especially considering that this murder was against the knight’s code of chivalry and honor. Gregoriy insists on giving Carsen a last meal, despite my growing concerns of his uncanny abilities to escape.

My fears are realized when upon announcement of the council’s judgement, Carsen demands trial by combat, and immediately flees the Great Hall. “August! Go!” I yell to my dearest companion. August leaps into action, but is unexpectedly stalled by Darron, who tries to grab his fur. August wriggles free and driven by the command, races after Carsen. I look around the see who else is going to back up my pup, and am further confused by the painfully slow 18 seconds to pass before the Darkwash cadre follows them into the hallway. My head is spinning with confusion about how this can all be, from the maester’s loss of logic, to Darron’s interference, to the excruciating delay in response to the guilty party’s fleeing, when a pain erupts in my heart. I collapse to the ground of the great hall, eyes blurring from welling tears, knowing something terrible has happened to August.

or: The Thorne Ultimatum?


A cloaked rider goes slowly along the wooded path. Only a sliver of moon hangs above to light the way, but the road is a familiar one. The well trained horse treads quietly and soon the bridge of the Andals is in view. The rider sees another figure standing atop the bridge.

Good. As arranged.

Cloaked Rider: I wasn’t sure you’d make it.

Shadowy Figure: You think they could stop me? I am not easily found when I wish to stay out of sight.

Cloaked Rider: I know that more than anyone. Still, I thank the Father that things haven’t gone worse.

Shadowy Figure: Gone worse? The smallfolk want my head! What has gotten into our lordling to allow justice to flow through those who have no mandate? They wanted to put me in a cell. That is not something I will abide by.

Cloaked Rider: I agree this place is lacking for Lord Ronnel’s guidance. But in the end, mandate is little more than popularity. Who gave King Rob the mandate to usurp the throne? His armies!

Shadowy Figure: That is a good point. And why I demanded my right as a knight to a trial by combat. The gods have always favored the righteous in wars, and in violence. They will show me right here too.

Cloaked Rider: No one would deny you the right to be judged by the Seven. It’s not without risk, but I’ll arrange it.

Shadowy Figure: Good good. Let me know the when, the where, and the who. I will be there and prove my innocence. As a Knight they cannot deny my request, and if they think to try to deny it, I will simply stay away until Lord Ronnel returns

Cloaked Rider: I’ll see to it. You know how to contact me if you need anything, but it’s best to lie-low.

Shadowy Figure: Agreed. Until we meet again…

A letter to Jon Arryn
A Request, An Oath Broke, An End

Lord Arryn,

It is with great disgust that I am sending you this letter. I ser Carsen Thorne, have been charged with crimes I’ve not committed, by those with no right to try me. These crimes date years back to a faraway place. These are serious accusations of murder; however, I have already stood accused and acquitted once on the Pabst. Now, my lord Ronnel Jasper is away, and his son has put me to trial by a stable hand, a blacksmith, and a foreigner. The small folk are meant to be ruled, not do the ruling. They are seeking to have me executed for the murder of a commoner. This is unacceptable and I will not stand for this farce of a trial. As I knight, I have demanded trial by combat and am sure I will prevail. That said, I no longer feel I can be sworn to house Jasper. They have broken the oaths; they have lost their way. Clearly, they are trying to eliminate me in some effort to increase their own influence or encroach on my lands. The gods will smile on me I am sure, but whether it be me or my line after, I wish for new oaths to be sworn to you and for my lands to exist apart from the Jaspers through you as my liege.

Ser Carsen Thorne

Ser Darron’s Journal 27

Darron grunts as he pulls on his boots and laces them up

There was an old knight back home in the Reach – Ser Barrish Bole – past his prime even when I was a squire, but wisest man I ever met. He used to have this saying that he’d tell me whenever he caught me with a scowl.

“Darron! A man should thank the Seven everyday that he wakes up with a chicken in his hand and a goat in his heart!”

It always cheered me up. Not a fucking clue what he meant, of course. But as I’ve grown older I think about it more and more.

Darron stands up quickly and buckles his belt. He leaves his sword and scabbard lying on the table

Maybe what Ole’ Ser Barrish was sayin’ is that when life hands you sunny days, just be content to wear out your boots going between the soup shop and the tavern. Don’t go pointing fingers at friends and don’t go tryin’ to kill dogs.

Darron wraps a cloak around his shoulders and sighs

These fucking kids have a lot to learn.

He strides out into the night

The Value of a Life

Theodore makes the wise decision to alert Lady Alys of the compiled clues concerning Ser Carsen, but upon our return, Carsen has already let himself into the Lord’s private quarters. “Teddy!” he shouts over the closing of the door behind us. The lordling yelps in surprise, and August lowers into a crouching position and growls at the intruder.

The landed knight announces that he’s heard of the accusation from Darron’s ward, Wyne. He brazenly declares this matter as settled, but regardless, offers blood money. Alarmed, I step in, asking why a man would offer money for a heinous crime he insists he had nothing to do with. He responded with a demeaning disparagement of my own lack of funds, and assures me that this is what people with “a lot of money do, they use it to make their problems go away”. When I see Lord Theodore consider such a proposition, I kneel down to August, and ask him to go retrieve Lady Alyse. Carsen assures Teddy that he has plenty of it, and reports that “after his tin mine was shut down, he began panning for gold”. My head snaps up- “I’m sorry, Ser Carsen, did you say you began panning for gold after the tin mine workers were conscripted for the Sept?” He affirms this is what he said, and I note his dishonesty. This whole disaster started because Olira shared Carsen had been in the mountains for some time upon my delivery of the news of the tin mine workers. If he is untruthful about this timeline, what else is he capable of lying about?

Surely stepping out of line, I ask him again why he willing to pay so much for a crime he did not commit, to which he responds that he lacks trust in the court of justice and worries he will be convicted unfairly. “Do you not trust that the Beacon of Light, that Lord Ronnel himself appointed, will see what obvious evidence of your innocence you’ve clearly and carefully laid out before us today?” He ignores my sarcasm and incredulity, and asks where Lord Ronnel is. I scoff-“How can a banner house be so oblivious to such important goings on of its liege lord?” When Carsen realizes that Ronnel will not be available to consider his still unexplained reasoning for his exoneration, he leaves in a huff.

I hear a bolstering growl again from outside the lordling’s solar, and step into the hallway to see my dearest companion was successful in his mission. He’s returned with Lady Alys, who’s hushed his grumblings at the knight. Flustered, Carsen expresses his dissatisfaction of having to defend himself to the Beacon of Light for “the death of a commoner”, and I’m struck by his blatant disregard of another’s life.

While he goes upstairs to the maester’s rookery, I gather with Lady Alyse and Teddy again, and she admonishes him for him upsetting Lord Jasper’s only banner house, which reminds me that Ser Darron must have disregarded Teddy’s specific order to keep this conversation discreet. Before she departs, I butt in, unable to keep my mouth shut any longer. “My lady, while I understand the value of allies, I hope you can see the value in gaining a better understanding of what happened that day. If House Thorne murdered a trusted advisor of House Jasper, what kind of allies are they? What other betrayals to the Jasper family are they capable of?” She asks if I am Edric’s daughter, and knowing that I’ve really stepped in in this time, I hang my head in shame and softly say “yes”. The lady is benevolent, and agrees that understanding is a worthwhile pursuit, but I can’t help but notice that she speaks of understanding Carsen’s motives for the crime, rather than his level of involvement. No one seems to be arguing for is innocence, not even Carsen.

That evening, as August and I watch the sun set from the stables, I consider what I’ve witnessed in the last day here at House Jasper, and shudder, not from the chill in the air, but of all its meaning. If a member of the noble House Jasper’s own council can be murdered in cold blood by the house’s own knight, who is sworn to uphold honor and protect women and children, and no one ever pays for or even acknowledges the crime, what does that mean for me? I am but a humble servant to the house, would any one care if I were killed, let alone by one of my own comrades? Have I been naive about the wisdom and commitment to protection a noble house can offer to its servants? To see the way Theodore and Carsen spoke about the value of another human’s life in terms of a few dragons, I wonder what price House Jasper would pay for my blood, if any at all. I bury my face in August’s warm fur, and pray the sage Beacon of Light returns soon to offer council.

The next morning, seeking fresh air and solitude, August and I go for a walk. As we pass by town, we cross paths with Slim. From out of nowhere, the drunk throws his hands in the air at the sight of us, shouts gibberish, and run away. More confused than ever, August and I exchange looks, and return to Castle Snownook, knowing no peace could be found here either today.