Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Oh What a Knight!
Accolading and Knighting Me!

Keeping watch is boring work. The mercenaries were pretty much just camping with very little going on. The monotony was finally broken when I heard a crunch behind me, and who did I see? Ser Darron! He said his classic "Ho-Ho" and asked how I had been. I then filled him in on the situation; Mercenaries here, about 200 or so, mustached, halberds. No movement, but they seemed well trained for the most part. 

We conferred briefly on the situation at hand. What do we do with this military force in our lands acting on behalf of a defeated foe? Well, we decided the best course of action would be to negotiate with them. As we discussed options it became clear that I should take the lead on negotiations, but how to get them to take me seriously? Well, Old Darron offered to Knight me in order to give me a better station to speak from. I couldn't say no to that! So now I am a mutha fuckin'knight bitches! Watch out world, everything is coming up Carsen! Can't wait to tell my family. Olira is going to be so proud, and old man Jasper is going to have to hire me into the house now. My family is going to be all set after this! Now to swagger on into that camp in my sexy northern garb and throw my new title around as I save the day. Ho-ho!


Yuck yuck yuck

Ewwwwwww! Orville is very obviously dead. A classic case of gray cap poisoning. I look around the room and see no food or drink but do see his sourleaf… And some strange gray dust within the leaves which must be the culprit. I recall that Orville had ordered his food and sourleaf with Masha and Maggie had brought the sourleaf to him. So those two are worth questioning…

At this point Teddy sneaks downstairs. A bit later, Masha comes up with him and states it looks like food poisoning but this takes time to set in so it can't have been from her food. A likely story coming from a potential murderess. Dolins and I then decide to sneak down. Dolins makes it to the kitchen but I trip on the stairs and cause a clatter. Maggie sees me. She doesn't look pregnant which was one suspicion of mine. She states that Orville is not well liked by anyone. She also says that she helps around the inn and lives upstairs. She confirms that Orville's last name is Whent. She seems to withhold from me and I retreat to another area of the room and speak to some soldiers at a table. They state they work for Lord Whent but didn't seem to know much of anything. They did state that the Whent's have 4 sons and one daughter but they had no more information on Orville.

All of a sudden a man in orange appeared at a table behind me! How did that happen?? Anyways… I go to talk to this man, who's name is Tom. He states that he is a tanner and that it is too cold up north for him and he is traveling south. He asks me to pay for his room but I say no. He states he has no family and is unsure of his age. He also states that he has heard some fun trivia about Harrenhall and how it is the largest castle built. He also states offhand that he heard Raeghar is trying to be king and that Ned has been taken prisoner. He seems a bit scattered and not all that helpful, but he was good to talk to!

Interviews with an Innkeeper

With "Orville" dead in his own vomit, Thad immediately went to investigating, and identified that he had been poisoned with Greycap! My paranoia was well founded to know that our hosts are murders…

Our group conferred about what to do next. I reminded them that we still don't know that "Orville" even is who he says he is, and that our intended destination is his so called family, and that we may be wisest to butt out, but it appeared that my comrades were having none of it, and wanted to investigate. Always the heroes…

Teddy snuck downstairs, and returned with Mosha, who denied her involvement in any foul play and confirmed her understanding that the man was named Orville Whent. While Teddy and Maelys removed the body, and Thad and Dolins snuck downstairs, I spoke with Mosha. She shared that she didn't have any definitive proof about Orville's identity, and agreed that he may have been killed by Greycap, which apparently grows with abundance. She expressed amiability towards me, and I expressed thanks to her for sharing her knowledge with me by cleaning up the, ahem, bodily fluids.

I also spoke with Maggie, another staff member of the Inn, who admitted to having an affair with Orville just prior to her starting employment at the Inn one year ago. He had promised to marry her, but didn't follow through. She moved away from the Wain's because of the discrimination she faced because of her bastard name.

Two performances!
... to die for.

During my negotiations with Lyonel, I had humble (ok, maybe not so humble) bragged about my performances. Before leaving House Corbray, Lyonel insisted that I sing a song for his father. So I obliged them with a quick ditty about a house in Westeros, they call it House Jasper. They seemed to enjoy my performance and even tipped me some coin. Not having a one of its own… the residents of the castle were lacking the song and laughter that follows in the presence of a skilled Bard.

The Maester came to us and let us know that word had arrived to meet our Lady Alys on the road to Harrenhall. Lord Royce parted ways with our group and left us with some words of caution. I, for one, will miss traveling with him. He is a skilled fighter and diplomat. I know it pained him to resign his post as steward of the Vale. Good fortunes to him for the future.

As we traveled, Calaila suggested we come up with a backstory for who we all are and why we are headed to Harrenall. While I always enjoy some good acting, I'm not sure I want to hide my name. I guess I'll go along with what the groups think is best. Good thing I had my alter ego Bolins, ready to go. In the distance, we saw some wagons blocking the road and people standing there menacingly. We just kept riding at them while trying to figure out to do. They stopped us demanding food to let us pass. As they drew their swords to attack us, arrows struck down a couple of the bandits with lethal efficiency and the remaining ones fled. Calaila and Teddy took off down the road on their horses. I took a glance at the maester and saw he was still under the protection of Maelys. I decided to ride after the young Heir and handmaiden to protect them. The figure that emerged glad in black approached Thad and Maelys and did not appear hostile. I rode back to meet Orville, . He invited us to travel with him to the next town and spend the night. It was growing dark and it seemed like another opportunity to perform and gain some notoriety, even if it would be for Bolins. We entered the Crossroads Inn. I had been there once before, years ago. Orville has a dispute with a patron of the inn and the Inn keeper did not seem happy with Orville either. I asked what I could do to smooth things over and she said that he had an outstanding tab. I quickly agreed to pay it in exchange for him clearing the road for us earlier. I quickly brought out my heaviest of metal guitars and performed a new tune about our battle in the mountain. After my performance, which did not learn a lot of money, I went upstairs to sleep for the night. My friend Thad and I shared a room. I awoke well rested in the morning and went downstairs for some breakfast. We heard a crash upstairs and quickly went to go see what had happened. Maelys had kicked open Orville's door to reveal him laying motionless in a pile of his own vomit and excrement. Either he hard partied a bit to hard last night or some foul play is involved. What happened?!?

Left alone to meet friendly Orville
Maester gone solo

I got mail!! A raven arrived for me stating that Gulltown has been retaken and that we need to meet Lady Alys on the road to Harrenhall to meet with Lord Whent. I gather our group and let them know. I know that the lord of Harrenhall is wealthy, older and has a big family and I think I remember that a few years ago he held a big tournament of some kind. Before we leave, Calaila sneaks off to tend to something. We finally all get ready out front of the house and see Nestor Royce. He lets us know that the allegiance of the lands is uncertain and to be careful. He states that we should be careful with what we share with people and that as far as he knows, Lord Whent is not a diplomat and not as important to the war as others.

And we set off! Calaila is quite nervous and she insists we come up with a back story for our group to tell people along the way. We pass the bloody gate into contested lands. All of a sudden we see 5 soldiers blocking our path! We start talking while approaching and try to figure out what to do. We scatter off the path then the guards draw their weapons and say they want our food! All of a sudden one of the men is shot in the neck! Another then is shot in the chest! The rest scatter quickly. Then Calaila, Dolins and Teddy take off on horseback! I stay behind looking for whoever shot the soldiers. They obviously didn't mean us harm, or else we would already be dead! I see a shadowy figure approach from the thick woods. I greet him and thank him. He states his name is Orville Whent and that he roams his lands keeping the roads safe. I notice he is carrying an average bow and knife. Dolins and Teddy finally come back while skittish Calaila stays at a distance. Orville states we should head to the crossroads inn where there will be people who can vouch for who he is. And we all know Dolins needs to practice his new set… A fresh audience would do well.

We arrive at the inn and Calaila hides in the stables. The rest of us go inside where Orville suddenly gets into a fight with a young man and tells him he isn't welcome. We hear his name is Bronn who argues he hasn't ever done anything wrong. They continue to bicker then Bronn disappears. Dolins is playing his set throughout this time. He is trying out a new style of music. I am not sure this Maester likes this angry sounding bard… He must have had a bad ride in. Dolins also has agreed to pay off the debt that Orville has at this inn! What a fool! I could have bought so much poison with that money… I'll have to talk to him later.

We split into two rooms and Teddy hastily shacks up with Calaila and Maelys. Maybe my feelings towards him are unwanted? If only he could know the truth in my heart… Alas. Dolins and I get to hang out more! We chat away and then fall asleep. 

In the morning, Dolins and I rise at the same time, give eachother our best friends high five, then head down to eat. Suddenly we hear a door crash and running about upstairs. We hurry back up and see Maelys has broken down Orvilles door. A horrid rancid smell emits from the room and we can see he is dead… I'll take a closer look soon… Once I clear the smell from my nose…


Paranoia, Paranoia
...everybody's comin' to get me.

Upon tying up our loose ends with House Corbray, we followed the instructions of Lord Ronnel and set our sights on Herronhal, heeding warning from Lord Royce to be wary of bandits along the road. I suggested that we agree upon a false backstory in case we come upon enemies of the Vale, and our group discussed that if anyone we did not trust asked, we would respond that we were traders who were seeking sell goods along the Kingsroad, but were robbed and have nothing to offer. 

Once we were out of the Bloody Gate, we came across an overturned cart blocking the road, and their men drew their swords and demanded food. Mid-sentence, an arrow sliced through the throats of one of their men. Without thinking twice I spurred my palfrey, with Teddy and Dolins close behind. I noticed the two slowed and turned around to approach Thad. I slowed to a trot and kept an eye over my shoulder, but carried on away from the man emerging from the forest to talk to Maester Thad. 

Eventually the group, including the young man who I learned was name "Orville", caught up to me as we approached the Crossroads Inn. My travel companions did not seem as suspicious of the archer, but I did not trust this man, and wanted to steer as clear form him as possible. Wanting to avoid crowds, I offered to tie up our horses in the stables while the others secured arrangements for the night. After taking my time in the stables, I slunk into the Inn, scanned the room and didn't notice any familiar faces, so I relaxed a bit and headed up to shared a room with Maelys and Teddy. 

In the morning, on our way down to breakfast, Teddy casuallly mentioned he had snuck around in the night, found "Orville" covered in vomit and feces. Maelys immediately jumped out of our room, kicked open Orville's door, and found him dead. 

Stupid stupid Maester

We arrived and met lord Lucian. We were handed some bread but as we were in an unknown house, I checked mine for signs of poison. Calaila and the rest had dove into eating theirs but after inspection, I decided it looked safe and I ate mine as well. We then were set to split up and convince different factions of the house to our side of the battle. I was assigned to the Maester, as made sense. Nestor told me that the maester was new and other than that he didn't know much of him.

I met Maester Wilbur in his room where he was eating… Though honestly, he could have skipped a meal or two. I speak with spite based on what happened next. I attempted to sway him to our cause but alas, this maester was stubborn! He refused and instead tried to turn me to towards house Targarian and peace. Although the thought of peace is a pleasant thought, I know my lord and fellow friends would not go for this. After many attempts, I gave up and left rather frustrated.

Talk is cheap...
... unless you have a silver tongue

We walked into Castle Corbray, strung out from the road. We could feel the eyes upon us, as we’re shaking out the cold. It really doesn’t bother me, because I just feel old. We were greeted by Lord Corbray himself. He offered bread and water to our party, and with some hesitation, we ate and drank. Lord Corbray announced that his house’s actions regarding the rebellion and the march on Gulltown would be decided by himself and six other influential members of the house. Being a bard, I feel like I could talk to just about anyone (except for a Septon). So I let the rest of my party decide who they would like to speak with. I ended up making the acquaintance of young Lyonel Corbray, the eldest son of Lord Lucian and heir to house Corbray. I asked him to play me in a game of cyvasse while we talked but he seemed very insistent on preparing to march on Gulltown. Hmmm, he might prove tougher to convince than I thought. I needed to take a moment to read the heir before me. After sizing up Lyonel, it seemed much easier to talk to him. I was able to appeal to his young ego and charm him into being more receptive to what I have to say. After that, it was pretty easy to get him to cast his vote in favor of having House Corbray join House Jasper and the rest of our allies in the rebellion. When Lords Lucian and Royce returned to our group to announce the news, their words sounded garbled to my old ears and I wasn't able to understand. I had to receive the results carried by an electronic raven. Lord Royce was to step down as steward of the vale and House Corbray would remain neutral in exchange for 400 gold dragons. I'll have to put on quite a few more performances to restore that much gold to our coffers!

Fuck Tha Corbrays
Handmaidenz Wit Attitude

We arrived at Heart's Home and were served bread and salt. I saw that Nestor Royce ate, so I did too, and he and Lord Lucian Corbray spoke tensely as we finished our meal. Upon his return, we learned that we would have the opportunity to convince the household to join House Arryn in the rebellion. 

I spoke to the young Lucas, and attempted to gain his friendship and respect by laying on the compliments about his wisdom and with my warm smile. Though, as I grew more and more frustrated, and Lucas attempted to manipulate me, my temper took over and I laid my dagger on the table, and reminded him that my people are not afraid of lawlessness. Lucas seemed deeply preoccupied by the prospect of payment, despite clearly knowing that House Jasper has limited funds. In a moment of desperation, out of fear for Lady Alys, and understanding the power of coin, I recalled our party's duty and priorities, and spoke on behalf of my house that we would pay the Corbrays 400 (2 wealth points) for their vote of neutrality. At that moment, Lucas sprang from his seat and joined the coalition.

I fear for the consequences of my actions with Lucas, and yet, remain impressed by his cunning and persistence. I wonder how long I will remain safe in House Jasper.

They can have my fiddle....
... when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers

Our party, now quite large, departed from Gulltown with haste. I personally enjoy traveling with our new companions. I listen to their stories of travel and battle. To fill them in on our happenings, I perform an encore of one song I had performed at the tavern in Gulltown. We were to make for House Corbray in Hearts Home via the Mountains of the Moon. While we travel, we ask Lord Royce for advice on how to best get the Corbrays to not invade Gulltown, but instead perhaps persuade them to join the rebellion. Nester says he is skilled in verbal and political combat but says he is not much for hand to hand combat. Something tells me he is just being modest. As we were traversing a snowy path up in the Mountains of the Moon, we were prevented from traveling any further by an aggressive looking group of people. Calaila tried to talk our way past, but things quickly turned violent. The group spurred their horses into a gallop toward us. Calaila ran a button hook back to the main group and turned to face up the valley. In a brash move that bordered on reckless, Sir Darron charged ahead towards the leader of the fighters. What followed was utter chaos. Each of us had to battle at least one mountain clansman. Carson, the farmer, put on his armor before making any other moves. Lord Royce and the Master-at-arms slain some of out attackers each. I stuck close to Maelys who still seemed concerned with our left flank. My friend, my Maester friend, even swung his hard earned chain as a weapon at one of my attackers. I still feel bad he lost his money. Alas, no time to think of that now… we are in combat. As I stabbed the nearest clansmen to me, a pack of wolves appeared through the snowstorm! Now feeling more confident around animals after our encounter with the shadow cat, I thought I would attempt to tame this beast rather than slay it. I gave the wolf some food and it did not make any further moves against me but it also did not make any moves to join me. I threw a knife at a clansman attacking Calaila but it only stuck in his armor. I made one more attempt to calm the wolf, but to avail. In the flurry of the snow and the battle my mind went blank. In feint flashes almost like a dream, I had visions of Carson negotiating an agreement with Yara and the remaining clansmen. I heard whispers of our party seeking refuge in some ruins and crossing paths with a rambling old woman speaking of cats and birds. When I came back to my senses, I was in the castle of House Corbray. While I had been in this trance, I did think of a new song to sing!