Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Whatcha gunna do? Sept-a-fool!
2 fast, 2 furious

A challenge laid before us. Convince the ranking house members to desist their cause of fighting at Gulltown. Old man Royce even said that we could do one better and convince them to join us. My task seemed simple enough; bring ol’one-eye Jardon to the sept and convince the septa to speak on our behalf. The cyclops was next to useless, but I swung her to our side. I went for the ole double or nothing while Jardon tried his luck in the yard, but the septa thrashed me with her words. I hope the other guys had some luck.

Ser Darron's Journal II

Fuck the mountains. Fuck the snow. Fuck the mountain people. 

I write this from a cozy shithole fort that is pleasantly down off of the mountains, out of the snow, and far far away from the mountain people. It is comfortingly back in the familiar drizzle of the lower Vale. Ho ho!

Our party – those of house Jasper – has temporarily grown to nine and thank the Seven for that!  After meeting up in Gulltown we made for Heart's Home, but were ambushed by a hoard of wildmen  in the fucking mountains. Those fifteen or more clansman would have seen us in if not distracted by our sheer number. 

I personally engaged their leader and her warhammer-wielding champion while a blizzard raged.  The others cleaned up the less heavily armed ones. It was a taxing battle due to the conditions. One in which I sustained two grievous wounds. 

Even our Maester and young prince needed take up arms! The prince with his sword, the Maester with the very chain off his neck! It was only by the bold and brilliant persuasion of the farmer that we were able to escape over the pass without loss of life. I promised him that I'd help him with his fence when this is all over and I'm starting to really consider it!

What I really want when this is all over is get a tankard of Ale and some entertainment. The bard says he's written Westeros's next great ballad, but he's too licked to play. Don't blame him. He's good, but we're all probably too licked to listen. Now that I think about it I'd rather some whores than some music anyway. Ho ho ho!

Before I get some rest I ought to mention the witch who shares our campsite tonight. Said some things about three ravens jointing with the falcon and the black cat. Also that we must find the glass and use it, must open the tomb, and that the path to the tomb begins with the children. Seems like this place really will drive a person mad!

Maester Fail

We met up with our companions at the dock and the Bard thankfully resang our glory song! We then were discussing with Lord Royce. He re-told the story to our companions of House Corbray and discussed the Lord and sons of the house. Lord Corbray he stated was shrews and unremarkable. Lionel, the eldest, was well suited to his position in life, unlike his brother below him, Lynn. He is brash, impatient and should be avoided. Lucas is the youngest and although he is just 14, he is wise beyond his years and sounds like an excellent person. Maybe we will be able to gather information from him in future? He seems the best to be met with.

He also stated some of the houses that stood with us are the Runestone, Aaron, Belmore, Coldwater, Eagan, Riverlands, and a few others that I missed as he was muttering very quickly and I was distracted by my lost money. It is weighing heavy on my heart. All the activities I could have done… All the poisons that could have been bought… But alas. Lord Royce also stated that the Corbrays had a few hundred men on their side.

We carried on our way, not flying any house banners. We arranged ourselves just so, and carried on. I situated myself near my dear friend Dolins towards the back of the pack as everyone else had just bought new armor or weapons as they saw fit in town. We were heading up a snowy gully (A snow nook?) when ahead of us appeared 10 clanspeople! Calaila immediately ran ahead asking to speak to their one woman. I could not hear what she said but it must have backfired as they sprinted towards us! I notice Teddy is still hurt… Hopefully no more harm comes to him!

I backed up at the back of the pack as I have no weapons except my dagger. I see packs fighting and several clansmen go down. I see Darron has taken some strong hits. A clansman then heads towards our wonderful bard! Oh no! I quickly and deftly take off my maester chain and run towards the clansman, swinging my chain above my head. I attempt to smack them in the head with it, but alas. I miss. It's the thought that counts right?

 All of a sudden, wolves appear! Although they seem angry, my bff Dolins and I attempt to tame one. I have hatched the plan a few weeks ago that as I have no weapons or fighting skills to speak of, I would like to have an animal to assist me in that realm. All of the sudden, the clansmen drop their weapons. Someone must have convinced them to let us pass!

We carry on our way, a bit worse for wear, and come upon some ruins of the house Shell. We walk inside and see a woman sitting by a fire. We pester her for a long while and she tells us tales of what she sees. She tells us we need to enter the tomb but won't be able to for some time. Carson threatens the poor woman by stating he will hold her over the fire if she isn't more transparent with us. He then backs down. This guy is odd. After hearing more of her tales of the future, we decide we need to rest and heal up. I fall asleep, dreaming of the dog that Dolins and I almost tamed… I would have named him Friendly, as I saw a friendly glint in his eye behind the snarl. Maybe one day we will cross paths again and he will come be my furry, stinky companion… A girl can dream….

Journey to Heart's Home
I'm cold and everything hurts.

We had a few hours to gather supplies before heading towards Hearts Home, and Lord Royce shared that the Rebellion has in fact begun, though he had hope that we could reach a diplomatic negotiation with the Corbrays. We travelled without risen banners on horse back through a trail system, and discussed which houses are loyal to our cause (Runestone, Royce, Jasper, Arryn, Bellmore, Coldwater, Eegen, Hunter, Harding) and which houses are seem to be Royalists (Shet, Upcliff, Corbrays). The journey to the mountains was to take 4 days. 

As we rode into a deep valley, we stumbled into 10 clansmen blocking our path. The one woman in the group asked us to drop our weapons, and I invited her to a discussion between the two groups. My attempt to reason with the one woman of the group was met to no avail-she rode back to her fellow clansmen, and after a moment of discussion amongst the group, her comrades raised their weapons and began  charging towards us. This helpless handmaid found herself alone in the middle of what was soon to be a battlefield with savage. I muttered some colorful words under my breath and drew my stiletto and new shield. As I circled around towards my group, I saw Lord Royce cut down one of the clansmen, and looked back to see two clansmen next to me. Teddy headed towards me as I attempted to stab the riders around me, nicking one, and missing the other. Teddy's long sword swung at another rider, and missed. I stabbed the first clansman, and circled around on my horse to find myself face to face with a maul, which came crashing down onto me. I was surrounded by a pure chaos unlike any I had experienced in many years. Exasperated and terrified, I galloped away, and as I saw our enemies drop their weapons, I made a quick escape with the rest of House Jasper following close behind.

We entered the Shellfort for shelter the night before we arrived at Heart's Home, and spoke to Brenda, who had a vision of three ravens meeting with a falcon and a black cat. Jardon wondered aloud if this could represent the Corbray families, the Arryns and the Jaspers. She spoke in an infuriating cryptic manner, and it was all I could do not to stomp away in frustration. I was grateful for Thad's patience, who presented the old woman with the shield, confirming that the writing  was old runes but she couldn't read it. Brenda continued rambling about glass and the tomb and children…and I couldn't help but slink away so the group wouldn't see my impatience. 

There I am, up on the stage
There I go, playing the star again. There I go, turn the page

The Maester had helped me recover fully from my wounds. His skill in medicine is changing my opinion of anything to do with healing. I still hate and fear Septons, but I would know consider this Maester to be a friend. Our group had been not having any success tracking down the Roderick's contact. Perhaps the trail had been lost. Tired, we came to an Inn in Gulltown that seemed like it would be a good place to stop and rest for an evening. I bargained with the inn keeper for our party's room and board in exchange for a performance from a famous traveling fighting bard. My companions agreed to split up and try to find out any information they could. So I set my belongings on stage and began to tune my instruments. I watched Calaila flirt with a drunkard and coax him into stabbing his own finger. I watched the Maester stand up startled from the table at which he had been seated. Something seemed wrong, he was looking around frantically. I'll have to ask him later what was wrong. I couldn't focus on that now, I was about to perform. In the words of bard Seger… "Out there in the spotlight you're a million miles away. Every ounce of energy you try to give away. As the sweat pours out your body like the music that you play." I fired up my fiddle and played what is known in the bard trade as a parody song about out battle in the cave with the bandits. The crowd seemed both intoxicated by ale as well as by my tune. I even earned some silver stags in my fiddle case. The money is not that important to me at this later stage in my life. The fact that these people would speak highly of old bard Dolins, means the world to me. In between songs, I noticed Teddy bump into a patron and spill his drink. They appeared to exchange words angrily. I could see the man's hand reaching for his sword and deftly palmed a throwing knife in my hand, ready to fling in an instant. But before either the patron or I could act, Teddy made a hasty retreat out the door to the street. I rushed out the door behind the young heir. Maelys was waiting on one side of the door and I positioned myself on the other. Before the man know what happened, Maely's sword freed the man's head from his neck sending the head back inside the tavern. As I re-entered the tavern, none of the other patrons seemed bothered by the lifeless head on the floor and I returned to finish my performance. Thaddeus beckoned for our group to join him on the stairs. So I flourished my cape, bowed, and packed up my instruments. I followed our group into the room of a man that turned out to be Lord Royce. It appeared urgent to go to the docks and meet some friends that would be arriving. When their boat arrived, I watched Jardon (less one eye), Darron (a knight that I had given some funds to long ago to help get equipped), and Carsen Disembark. What type of adventure would our now large group of travelers encounter? Battles? Wars of words? I am not sure, but I imagine that being around such a group could surely lead to my name being told of in story and in song. I will stay with my companions and follow my honor to House Jasper!

Tavern Time in Gulltown
All-time bar fights!

Our party arrived in Gulltown and had little success tracking down our leads from the Spider's messenger. Running out of ideas, we went into this tavern to try our luck. I appreciate the determination that Dolins and Calaila have for accomplishing our task. They both went straight to what they do best! Calaila charmed the shit out of a drunk soldier and Dolins brought the house down with his performance recounting our latest adventure! I took a more subtle approach, hanging at the bar to scan the room. Thad managed to lose all of his money to a sneaky pick-pocket in the first 5 minutes. Our Maester is a hot mess. Everyone is familiar with the Standard Practices of a Successful Maester. Rule number 4 – ALWAYS protect the coin purse!

I saw Calaila starting to look frustrated taking with the drunk soldier. Thinking I might be able to help her conversation with my status as a Lordling, I leave the bar and walk across the tavern towards her. On my way over, this drunk goon bumped into me and spilled his beer all over himself. In his drunken stupor, he misguidedly placed blame on me. I offered to buy him and his friends a round of ale, but I don't think he has any friends. Needless to say, it made him even more upset. 

He swung at me with his sword and I took an injury before loudly announcing my Lordling status, calling him some names, then sprinting out the door where I knew Maelys was posted. As a good sword that he is, he was instantly ready to attack the good as he followed me out the door. Maelys caught him by surprised and chopped his head clean off!!! BOOM DEAD!!! Problem solved. I swiped his coin and kicked his head aside on my way back into the tavern.

Our scuffling caught the attention of Lord Nestor Royce, who was residing in one of the tavern rooms overlooking the hall. He called our group up to talk, he was in Gulltown looking for us specifically. The Graftons of Gulltown refuse to swear loyalty to House Aryn, and has aligned with the Targaryen King. An army of Aryn and Royce forces approach Gulltown to force the Graftons into submission. 

House Corbray will soon mobilize to defend Gulltown, because Lynn Corbray, the Lord's son, is a ward of House Grafton. We must ride to Heart's Home and convince the Corbray army not to march. A tall task lies ahead! We joined our friends Sir Darron, Jardon, and Carson at the docks as their ship came in to port, and prepared to head out toward Hear's Home.


WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED? Maester Thad is sad....

I started this week high on life, after having borrowed my lovely lord's cloak and after another week spent chatting and getting to know him. We arrived finally at a tavern that was quite monochromatic and had minimal details…. Nonetheless! Dolins immediately spoke to the barkeep about practicing his set-list in exchange for food and board. He went and set up on the stage in the corner. Teddy, Calaila and I stood at the door and looked over the room. I mentioned I recognized soldiers in one group that all were dressed for house Royce of Gates of the Moon. There was another group that appeared to be from house Graften.

At this point Calaila decided to go speak to an obviously drunk soldier of house Royce. I took seat across the room and bided my time listening to what went on around me. After some time, I saw Calaila riling up the drunken soldier and playing her five finger filet game. It appeared that she won, which is no surprise. The soldier's applejack gait would have made it hard for him to even walk out the door!

All of the sudden, I FELT MY MONEY DISAPPEAR!! All my hard earned cash?? What the heck. I stood up swiftly and turned around to see who took it! I saw no one. I bent over to look under the table, still no one. I shouted to Teddy for help, but alas, he was useless. I asked the group behind me, even bribing them with some chemical enticements, but they stated they didn't see anyone. I was distraught. I had so many grand plans for my money… A nice new matching Shadowcat jacket like Teddy? More poisons? All dashed. God dammit. 

At this time, Dolins finally had all his instruments tuned and started his song of our battle from a few weeks earlier. I tried to listen to the song but was so distracted by my own misfortune, it was hard to pay attention. I did notice some sadness behind his eyes. I think there is more to Dolins than we all realize…

After the song, Teddy started to walk over to Calaila but in his manly stride, ran into a bulky man and spilled his beer on him. This crazy man stood up and threatened our lovely lordling! Gasp! The large man drew his sword and charged at Teddy!! He then shrieked, stated he was the lord of house Jasper, and then promptly sprinted out the door… This does seem to be a very cowardly move… Maybe I should rethink my affections. Behavior like this doesn't deserve the affections of such a cute Maester!

As all of this was occurring, I noticed a man standing on the balustrade watching what was happening. I walked up the stairs to meet up with this man. I found out that he was Lord Royce himself! He stated that he was waiting to speak to our group and asked me to gather the group and meet him in his room.

I signaled for the group to meet me at the top of the stairs. I shared with him that I had heard that the Graftons of Gulltown didn't answer lord Arryn's call to arms, now Arryn and Royce have people marching on the city to make the Graftons swear fealty to Arryn. We all gathered to listen to Lord Royce. He stated that we needed to meet up with our friends at the harbor and head to Hearthshome which is the seat of house Corbrey. He stated we needed to stop house Corbrey from mobilizing troops as lord Corbrey's son is a ward of the Graftons. He also stated that the son is wreckless and dangerous, so we shouldn't try to get him ourselves.

We all agree to this and head off in our group to the pier. As we arrive, we see a boat tying up. Our friends meet us and lord Royce states that danger is afoot, we need to get to safety and talk. I also notice that Jardon is missing an eye… I'm sure there is a story in there somewhere. And who is this hunky Carson…. A maester's gotta maest as the bard would lament in his songs.

Ohhhhhhhaiedeedaiedeedaiedeedaie dee dai dee dai dee dai!

Our group arrived to Gulltown, and immediately began our search from Roderick's contact. After searching stables and farms, we arrived in a crowded tavern. I scanned the room to ensure that no one from my past had made their way to this tavern, and I thanked the gods that there were no familiar places. Maester Thad shared that soldiers from House Royce and house Grafton were present. I approached the drunkest looking soldier and asked him about what brought his group into the tavern that evening. He said Lord Royce sent him and his comrades, but refused to expand, so I challenged him to a game of five finger fillet in exchange for his information. After he nicked his middle finger, the man said that Lord Royce has asked his soldiers to keep an eye out for traitors. Unfortunately, this  fool was too drunk to remember any further details. I tried to reign in the rest of the Royce soldiers with a salute to their Lord Royce, but they appeared disinterested. 

Dolins the bard put on a brilliant show to the tavern, but was quickly interrupted by our Lordling getting attacked. As Teddy was running away, I noticed a gentlemen  standing on the second floor nicely dressed in similar colors to House Royce watching the door intently, and then the attackers head thumped back into the door of the tavern. My drunk friend shared that this gentleman was Lord Royce, and I saw Thad in a tense interaction between the two on the second floor. I shouted up for him to join us for an ale, and he responded there was not enough time. At the top of the stairs, Maester Thad shared that he overheard the house in Gulltown did not answer Arryn's call to arms. Lord Royce asked us to meet our fellow house members at the docks, where we will head to Hard Home, where we will need to prevent the Cordray's troops from mobilizing.

We arrived at the docks and met Jasper and the others, and noticed that our Master at Arms had lost an eye in between now and the last time we saw him. Just as I was about to express my sympathies, and man told us we need to hurry, as we were not safe there…

You Greedy Little...
Maester be Frontin

After the bandits were downed, Maester Thad immediately scrambled toward the unclaimed pile of coins. He seems unusually concerned with the loot, and offered to hold everyone's share. I insisted that I take mine because something seems off to me about this Maester, and I have my own damn coin purse.

We explored the rest of the cave as a group. We discovered a frozen, half eaten dead guy, and a shield with strange markings on it. The Maester took the shield because he "had the least to carry" and "he could study the markings later". This cave has been profitable for this Servant of the Realm…

When we found our way back to the mouth of the cave, we encountered a shadowcat. I whispered to the nearest person, Maester Thad, to help me drag one of the dead bandits to the front of the cave. The Maester put Milk of the Poppy on the body, and the cat fell asleep. The group decided it was best to slay the beast before it woke. It was apparent that some disagreed with this, but no legitimate alternatives were voiced before the deed was done.

As we settled down to wait out the storm, Maester Thad asked Dolins to turn the cat's hide into a cloak for him. Enough with this Maester! So much want for one dedicated to serve! I insisted the cloak belong to me, for the shadowcat is the sigil of House Jasper and I am the heir to the Lordship. The Maester moved uncomfortably close to me and pressed again for ownership of the yet-to-be-made cloak. I offered that the Maester wear the cloak while the winds continue to howl, but that it ultimately return to me. That seemed to satiate the acquisitive Thaddeus. If this trend continues, I may lose my temper with this Maester.

After a full week in the cave, I was relieved to see the storm subsided. Thank the Seven, it was time to get back on the road.

Should have left a trail of bread crumbs

After the second bandit fell to the cave floor, it seemed we were safe for the time being. I dumped my water skin on the two flaming bodies to extinguish the flames and search them for anything useful. Not finding anything I deemed worth taking, it was only then that I noticed my wounds. They hurt… but they were nothing compared to the pain of the loss of my deer sweet Maye and our child. I pushed this pain and those memories further inside me and thought we should move on to explore the rest of the cave to ensure we were not ambushed again. Normally I am suspicious of anything to do with the healing arts. However, I knew that if I were to be able to continue on our journey, I would need to recover from my wounds. Perhaps, I would give my friend the Maester a chance. After all, I had seen him heal Teddy and Roderick. Thaddeus’s healing methods seem based in this physical world and not in some made up spiritual one. I didn’t care much for the silver that Thad made no secret of attempting to horde for himself. So I offered for him to keep my share of coin in exchange for him attempting to heal me once we had explored the rest of the cave. He agreed. So we set about continuing down dark caverns illuminated by our flickering lantern and torch light. It was difficult to tell if we were in a new area of the cave or one we had already seen. I hope my old eyes are not playing tricks on me. Down one corridor we found a half frozen, half eaten body. I again searched this corpse for anything of note. Nothing. In another cave, the Maester did find a bronze shield with markings that didn’t make any sense to me. My trusty shield had already saved me during battle so I had no want for a new one. Thad would have the best resources to study this shield so it made sense for him to take it. We finished exploring the cave and returned to the entrance only to be greeted there by a cat-like beast. I know not much of the animal kingdom, so I remained silently poised behind Maelys, who had positioned himself to block the creature from entering the cave further. The wise Maester and the young heir quietly crafted a smart plan. Together, they went to retrieve one of the bandit’s bodies and brought it back to where Maelys and I were still standing. I watched the Maester pour some liquid into the wounds of the deceased bandit. Then we all retreated to a safe distance for the beast to feed. After a short while, the creature became drowsy and collapsed into a deep slumber. Maelys seemed reluctant with having to slay the beast, but in his dutiful silence, beheaded it nonetheless. We made a temporary camp where the bandits had been. With some reluctance of my own, I let Thaddeus tend to my wounds with the promise that I would make him a cape from the hide of the creature that I now know to have been a shadow-cat. The Maester was very talented and treated my wounds skillfully. After an uneventful week of resting in our makeshift camp, I felt almost back to my old self. I could still feel some lingering effects of my physical wounds but I felt well enough to travel. I’m not sure any skilled Maester could heal my physical wounds from the past.  In fulfillment of my promise, I fastened a cape for Thad. To my surprise, Teddy demanded as heir to the house that he should have the cape. The two of them talked it over and decided that Thaddeus could wear the cape until we found shelter in the next town. It doesn't really matter to me which of them wears it. Perhaps when we do reach a town or village I can find an Inn or Tavern to perform in. The locals could probably use some of my entertainment to break them from the weary doldrums of an unseasonable Winter that has lasted longer than usual into spring.