Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Ser Darron's Journal

The oaf, Ogden Borrell, idiot though he was, sure could swing a hammer. I didn’t expect to face trial-by-combat on this journey, but it feels good to put this sword to use. The attacks. The parries. The ol’ sand-in-the-face trick. Ho ho! They’ll be telling this story for years! Doesn’t hurt to have impressed lord stark as well!

Jarden was less than useless, as usual. His childish charge nearly got himself killed. Just like I told Lord Jasper when he was appointed Master at arms: “He’s too young! Has a lot to learn before I’d appoint him any rank higher than squire.” Well, he got his little eye poked out. Serves him right!

The farmer impressed me however. Jumping into the trial was certainly illegal, but his cunning and bravery are apparent. I’m happy to have him along.

If I’m being honest though, it really was a close one. I hope the others don’t realize just how close. Too many years rounding up petty thieves and second rate marauders for lord Jasper has left me somewhat out of practice against a real opponent. Now that we’re back on dry land – not that the Vale is ever dry – I’ll be getting back into form. Daily sparring with Jarden is what I need. Hell, he needs the practice more than me! Ho ho ho!

I gave my eye for Ned Stark...
...and he never paid Carsen Thorne for it

With talk of rebellion, the past three weeks have been more eventful than I would have previously thought. Especially since Lord Ronnel sent me out to fetch this stranger rather than to keep watch over castle snow nook. This was a task which should have been left to me as Master-at-arms, but was instead left to that old fart, Samwell Stone. Before departing I did wish sam well (I have not recently become a man of jokes, until now, but we will come to that later), but knowing full well that he would not have to face any difficult circumstances yet. He is much more experienced, but far less talented when it comes to fighting. My only hope is that Lord Ronnal knew what he was doing. 

This is however a minor point to the main part of the last month of my story. Riding out towards the Eyrie, I encountered two strangers, one of of whom I would later come to find out who was the stranger I needed to find, Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell, the other would become the one whom I detest most, the unbearable farmer Carsen. 

On a side note, I would like to make it abundantly clear, that even though he has helped us through the past couple of weeks in many positive ways, I do not trust Carsen. He has a way with words that convinces even the most steadfast and purest of knights to do his bidding. detestable….especially his most recent jokes…

Despite refusing to initially help me save Eddard Stark from a group of Burned Men. Carsen eventually helped me, if you can even call it that….

We later learned that Lord Stark was needing to get back to Winterfell, and that myself, Mr. Thorne, as well as Ser Darren would need to help him get there. We ended up charting a boat, no thanks to the wooings of Carsen, again, to White Harbor. And that's where the fun began…

We ended up in a jail cell in the Breakwater, the seat of House Borrell, after getting shipwrecked somewhere I assume in the Three Sisters. There we met the ever pleasurable ogg, son of Godric and heir, who would later bring us up to a chamber and we would learn we were indeed in House Borrell, but only before being threatened with the worst unpleasentries. 

It was there that Lord Borell convicted us of treason against the iron throne and would have to try to trial by combat. Ser Darren, a most genuine of companions, volunteered after some discussion amongst ourselves. Things did not go so well for Ser Darren, in fact so much so that it made more sense to take matters into our own hands (me and carsen that is). It is then I charged, what I thought then might be heroically, at Lord Borell.

It was at this same instant, that out of the corner of my eye, I saw Carsen ask for a sword from one of the guards, who just gave it to him. Now either Carsen is some type of mind controlling wizard, or those two are in cahoots. I never could get that out him later…

After stealing Godric's Axe, I was able to get a couple hits on the guards before being defeated by the guards. It was at this point that Godric Borrell took his axe back and carved out my eye. A most painful of experiences, but not in the sense of pain, but as an expert crossbow marksman because I have relied on my ability to see my mark, and now that is hindered. 

I do not remember much past that, but the two of them must have seen things through and defeated ogg and Godric. It was at least enough that Carsen Thorne seemed to seek additional payment from Lord Stark….how unbearable…even more so than the endless one eye jokes muttered by Carsen or Ser Darren. 

We finally did make it to White Harbor and dropped of Ned Stark, only to be summoned again back to the Vale and to Gulltown. It could be a while before we return to Snownook….


Holy Cluster Fuck
We almost died!

By the old gods and the new that was a cluster. Who know that our ship would wash up on the sisters. Getting locked in a jail cell was a miserable experience. This stupid lump of a man named Og threatened to make us pee in our own mouths. Gross! Well whatever, we showed him. When we got an audience with his father who wanted to give us a farce of a trial we said nay and instead demanded Trial By Combat. This Og fellow is so fucked. Darron can kick some ass and is going to carve him like a ham.

Well I was wrong. This fight was not off to a very good start… Darron got one good hit and proceeded to get smashed with a fucking war hammer. This Og is strong. I am guessing Darron is going to die and we are going ot be sentenced to death. Why the hell did I agree to come along with them? I thought "maybe I can convince them to let me off the hook. I am after all just a commoner. Yeah! I was pressed into service, had no choice in the matter… I can convince them of that I bet. It will suck for these guys and Ned, but I'll get out of here." As I was thinking all of that suddenly it was like "WAIT. WTF! DARRON YOU FOOL Don't charge the fucking lord! Goddamn it." I didn't say any of that, but I sure did think it. Looked like it was turning into a fight.  So I turn to the guard and am like "The lords in danger! Give me your sword!" and he did! hahahaha idiot… If only I were good at using a sword.

I also convinced og that his father was in danger. Thank goodness! It kept him from killing Darron. Jardon made a valiant effort on lord, but failed. I hopped into the pit to help Darron, who is still a huge fucker. He danced out of the way and let Og hit me with the war hammer. That really hurt, I didn't even have armor on. Once Jardon was downed the lord jumped in and engaged us in a 2v2 with his son and me and Darron. It was a slog of a fight. Good thing I convinced him we would kill his heir if the fight continued, not sure we would have to be honest. Alls well though. He gave us passage to White Harbor, healing, and our lives. And all we lost was Jardon's eye. That is a price I suppose I am ok with us paying…

White harbor was awesome! I sold that sword I swindled for 500 silver! Maybe this trip isn't so bad. I miss my family and I know I should get back to them, but I already have enough silver to change our lives for the better. Maybe I can stick around a bit longer and get us a on a whole new level. I know our life is good, but I am growing tired of farming.

Poor giant cat

As soon as I realized both thieves were dead, I sprinted over reflexively to snatch up the money before the fire went out. There, I took a moment to catch my breath. When I gathered my composure, I saw Dolins checking the bodies for anything worth looting. I then offered one silver stag to each of my cohorts. Teddy took his, Dolins asked me to keep one for my treatment of his injuries, and Calaila told me to hold on to hers as she trusted I would use it wisely in future. Which of course, I will!

We then decided to stick together and continue exploring the caves. For some reason, the shadows behind us seemed darker… And we got turned around a bit! We did stumble upon a dead body. It was impossible to tell where this poor soul was from though I did see that it was a shadowcat that felled the person. Dolins, the ever resourceful bard, searched the body but found nothing.

In another cave alcove, we found a bronze shield with runes around the edges. This I took on my back as I had the least to carry, and we continued on exploring. We were making it to the cavern with the fire, when a shadowcat appeared out of the darkness in the entrance! We all froze, unsure of what to do. Teddy whispered to me that we should sneak over and grab a thief to lure the cat away from the only way out. I walked over with him, thinking that this was a brilliant plan. Calaila sprinted after, stating we were too weak to pull the body. We sure showed her! We were so darn strong, we pulled that body right towards the entrance. I then dosed the body with some Milk of the Poppy and we all hid behind a rock wall. The shadowcat paced over to the body, nuzzled it for some reason, then ate and fell promptly asleep. I suggested we kill the cat though Maelys seemed upset by this. He did his duty and beheaded the cat. Both he and Calaila took a moment to grieve this animal that neither of them knew, while the rest of us went to getting set up near the thieves fire.

Here, we spent a week together. During this week, I grew closer to Teddy. I started to see some traits that I had not noticed before. Although he was mischievous and somewhat lazy, there were boyish charms about him that made me lose myself in his eyes… Then I would have to catch myself and remember who I was pretending to be.

After 7 days, I had healed up and Dolins was much improved. The jacket made from the shadowcat was finished and was given to Teddy. I took this moment to move closer to him and smelled his stinky breath. "Teddy, may I use your new shadowcat jacket?" The words were out of my mouth before the filter could stop them. I felt silly in even asking such a handsome, lordly man.

He said no! The hurt I felt was deep after the lovely week we had spent. I moved a bit closer, again forgetting myself in his charm, and asked again. He decided that yes, I could use it but would have to give it back. Oh the joy I felt! I would get to wear the jacket of the most handsome, goofy guy!! My heart was aflutter. I will have to find a way to squash these newfound feelings before they get the better of me. But as they say, the heart wants what the heart wants… I'm sure I'll study up and find a way around it. Maybe the runes on the shield hold some wisdom?

My eyes tire from rolling so hard...

Much to my horror, upon the deaths of the cave bandits, Maester Thaddeus immediately ran over put all their gold in his pockets! While he pillaged their pockets, under the guise of "carrying it for our group", the rest of us agreed to split up the rest of the goods, myself taking a common dagger from a bandit. The group discussed that it would be best explore the cave further, and ensure no other attackers lie lurking in other nooks. We first came across a half frozen dead body, to which Maester exclaimed that a shadowcat had eaten the missing half. In another corner, we stumbled upon a bronze shield with maroon markings, which no one could read. When returning to the fire built by the out dead attackers, out of the corner of my eye, I spied a shadowcat lurking near the entrance of the cave. I reminded our group that shadow cats rarely attack living men, and are scavengers, probably seeking the blood of the men we had killed just moments before, and not lookng to attack us.  I suggested we move into another room to allow the shadow cat to feast, but, the group insisted upon trying to kill the shadowcat. Teddy and Thaddeus dragged a dead body out, and Maester Thad spread milk of the poppy across the bodies' wound.  The shadowcat began to eat, and quickly fell asleep, and Dolins and Thaddeus urged Maelys to kill it. His body language read hesitation and confusion, but he followed his orders, and took a knee beside the cat's fallen body. I joined him in taking a knee, and said a few words in gratitude for the shadowcats sacrifice, and couldn't help but notice that a tear rolled down Maelys' cheek. I gently placed a hand on his shoulder, and he seemed to take a small comfort in this gesture. I may not like people very much, but I do not think harmless animals deserve such treatment.

We gathered back around the fire, and Dolins asked Thad to heal his wounds, to which he responded that he would IF Dolins would make the shadowcat's fur into a cloack for Thad. Seven hells! This maester has no tact! I rolled my eyes as Teddy exclaimed to the group that as the heir to the house, the shadowcat's fur would rightfully belong to him. 

Thaddeus healed himself and Dolins most of the way, and after a week, we peeked our heads out of the cave to find that the storm had subsided. The group agreed it was time to carry on our adventure towards Gulltown. Even after the grabbing up the gold, and bargaining healing for craftsmanship, Thaddeus surprised me again by suggesting that Lordling Teddy GIVE HIM HIS SHADOWCAT CLOAK. I reminded myself to keep this embarrassment of a maester at an arms length, and witnessed Thad sidle up towards our heir. Does this maester lay with men?! Teddy compromised, and agreed to let the maester borrow the cloak until they arrive in town, and we prepared to leave the cave…


I'm pulling my weight, right?
Go team!

As the Lynderly horsemen approached our party, I was unsure if they recognized me as the heir to their rival house. Seeing their numbers and not knowing their motives, I attempted to hand my father's scroll to the knight without announcing my status so he might provide us safe passage. This did not work at all how I hoped. The knight ripped up the scroll without reading it! That message from Lord Jasper could have been useful later on! I felt like a major dyngus for letting that happen. Luckily, Dolins can lay on the charm, and played a round of throwing knives with the knight, who allowed us to pass.

We managed to travel unimpeded to the Mountains of the Moon when we were caught in a serious snow storm. Conditions were unbearable, and our Maester was especially vulnerable to the elements. After 2 hours, I spotted a cave in the side of a nearby cliff and led our party to the entrance. The five of us entered the cave together and Maester Thad, Dolins, and Calaila lit their lanterns. Feeling uneasy about this cave, I left my lantern in my pack and decided I would stick to the shadows away from the lanterns. At the first main intersection, we decided to split up and explore different directions. Calaila and I went to the right, Dolins and Thad went left, and Maelys stayed silently at the intersection.  

We had been apart for only a few minutes when we heard Dolins yell. Calaila and I ran as fast as we could to our friends, but the scene was grim by the time we arrived. Dolins took two wounds and fell behind Maelys for reprieve, and Maester Thad was on the ground. Calaila was crouched at the side of the cave assessing the scene as I ran past. With all the commotion and the flickering light, I successfully snuck around the tussle, behind the two aggressors. I was about to draw my dagger, when Calaila somehow stabbed one of them in the neck! Woah! Where did that come from??? There is more to that handmaid than I originally thought. In quick succession, Dolins threw a knife in the chest of the other and falls him! Boom!! Dead!!

I hope everyone is okay… I was thinking we would wait out the storm in this cave, but now we may not have a choice.

And I set fiiirrrrre..... to the bandits
This bard is on fiirrrrrree

Across a bridge, the cloud of dust settled to revealed a squad of well armed knights from House Lynderly. Lord John stood at their lead and demanded if we were if House Jasper. As I had already been playing my fiddle to pass the time and miles, I introduced our party with a song. Lord John said we would not be allowed to cross the lands that had once belonged to us. Our Lord Ronnel had given his son a letter that might help in just such a situation. So he approached and offered the letter to Lord John. However, Lord  John refused to even read the letter. Calaila tried to persuade him to read it, but that simply resulted in the letter getting torn up and we were still denied passage. Instead, the Lynderly Lord demanded gold or some form of sport. Seeing as our house and our pockets were not considerably deep with gold, I thought to challenge the Lord to a throwing knife competition. He looked like a well trained soldier and I knew my aim would have to be true to win. I loaned him three of my knives to compete with and we began. Our first knives landed the exact same distance from the marked target. Unfortunately the Lord bested my next throws and won. Surprisingly, he agreed to let us to continue on our journey. He simply asked to keep one of my throwing knives as a trophy of his victory. This seemed a more than fair price and I quickly agreed. Perhaps he will tell a story of how he came to acquire it and my bard name and reputation will spread into the lands of another house. We exchanged pleasantries and our group continued on our journey.


After some uneventful days and miles of travel, a spring blizzard caught our group off guard. We struggled to find from the swirling snow and icy cold. Thaddeus suffered the worst from the storm and I feared he might not make it unless we got him shelter soon. Thankfully Teddy’s young, sharp eyes noticed a cave which we quickly ducked into. In the darkness, Calaila and I lit our lanterns. I gave a torch to the almost frozen Maester so that he might have some warmth and a light. We started exploring the caves together as a group. After finding several branching paths within the caves, I feared we might miss something if we didn’t go back and explore the earlier parts of the cave fully before moving on. So Calaila and Teddy went one way while Thaddeus and I went another. Maelys silently remained in the main part of the cave. Around a bend in the cave, the Maester and I saw a feint flickering light. No sooner had we noticed the light, then figures rushed towards us and attacked. I flung my lantern at the feet of the two dark figures and called out to the others for help. The oil from the lantern caught fire and spread to our attackers but unfortunately onto me as well. Thaddeus tried to make them surrender promising aid, but they paid him no mind. I dropped to the ground to put out the flames on myself in a maneuver taught to all Westerosian children called “stop, drop, and roll”. Before I could stand back up, the flaming bandits took advantage of my helplessness and wounded me greatly. The Maester attempted to help me up but in the chaos, ended up falling down himself. He was wounded as well by our attackers. Maelys arrived to our aid first, as he was closest. Then Calaila arrived, followed in the shadows by Teddy. With surprising skill, the handmaiden produced a weapon and dashed toward one foe. She stabbed him in the neck and he died. Angered by the death of his partner, the other bandit attacked Calaila and hurt her. Before the sworn sword could act. I threw a knife at the last bandit striking him down. Since the start of our adventure, all in our party had suffered at least slightly. But we are tough and will continue on to Gulltown. What we will find the bandits had been hoarding? What will the rest of the caverns contain? More attackers? More treasure? Despite the danger, I should like to explore as much as possible before continuing on. Perhaps though, in our weakened states, we should all stay together.

los bandidos están en llamas
(The bandits are on fire!!!)

Around the bend arrived Lord John of Lynderlys with several men on horses behind him. He called out, asking who we were. Dolins, our trusty bard, sang a lovely mountain song announcing us to them. Teddy then stepped up offering our scroll but he was swiftly denied. Calaila then convinced Lord John to read the scroll. She approached and handed the scroll to him wherein he ripped up the message before reading. He stated he either wanted money or sport to allow our passage and Dolins offered up a throwing challenge against himself. He lost heartily to Lord John but as he was a good sport and good company, Lord John allowed us passage for the price of the throwing knife.

One week later, we were in an unseasonably cold storm. We were searching for shelter but we took so long I was injured twice in the frigid cold! I will have to remember to get more clothes for the cold when we get to a market. My weakly body cannot handle such torment!

Teddy, our fearless leader, spotted a cave and we made our way there. Dolins and Calaila lit their lanterns and Dolins handed me a torch. We started exploring the cave and made our way deep into the darkness. At one point, my good friend Dolins and I split off to explore one path we had neglected towards the entrance. We make our way around a corner and see two men dressed in black with a small fire and the glitter of coins on the ground!

The men quickly rush us! My new friend took his lantern, swung it around in a circle and smacked both bandits with it, setting them alight. I attempted to stab them in the face with my lit torch, but I missed. I offered to help them by putting out the fire if they surrendered but they both ignored me and trained their sights on Dolins.

Both Dolins and I were injured by the flaming bandits (which is a great name for a band Dolins, we should create one when we get back to the castle). We yelled out for help and Maelys promptly arrived. He was hit and hurt a little. Dolins drew his stiletto and also noticed he was on fire, so he swiftly stopped, dropped and rolled. I had learned of this technique at the Citadel. I attempted to help my dearest, dear friend Dolins to his feet, but in my clumsy attempt, tripped on my long robes and fell on the ground beside him. 

Dolins was injured a bit more by the singed, flaming bandits. I remembered I had my dagger and I quickly pulled this from my robes. I rolled over to the closest of the burning bandits and attempted to stab him in the leg but my sweaty hands made the knife hilt slippery and the knife flew from my hands into the dirt a few feet away.

By this point, Calaila had made her way over and I saw her draw two weapons and charge towards the further bandit. She then bravely stabbed him in the neck which immediately downed the man and he started burning more. I could tell from my learnings that he was dead.

I saw Teddy appear near me, he must have snuck up in all the commotion and he stood on the far side of the battle near where I was on the ground. Dolins then grabbed one of his remaining 19 knives and threw this past Calaila and this landed in the chest of the other bandit. 

I believe this all would make a great aria set to a strong drum backbeat, possibly with a harp solo? Just a thought I need to share with my lunch buddy Dolins… 

Deadly Spelunking

Upon our travels, we met House Linderlys on a mountain pass, and Dolins presented our group to the house with a spirited song. Unimpressed, the man we would come to learn is John Linderlys clapped slowly, and admonished us for not introducing ourselves to the house before trying to cross his lands. Disgusted with our house heir's lack of diplomacy, it was ultimately I offered him the letter we were given, which was promptly torn up. John stated he was not interested in the letters of men who do not rule over his lands, and was far more likely to be persuaded to let us pass if we could offer him gold or sport. Dolins bravely challenged him to knife throwing fight, but lost and offered his dagger as an award to John. Lord Linderlys accepted, and allowed us to carry on our way.

In a terrible storm on our way to Gulltown, we struggled to find shelter, and the maester suffered greatly in the cold. Finally, Teddy put himself to use and found a cave. As we started exploring the cave, we split up, Teddy and I to the east, and Dolins and Thad to the west. As I peeked around the next corner in the cave with my lantern, I heard Dolins yell for help, and sprint towards his voice. As I approach, with Teddy trailing close behind me, I slow down to set down my lamp and see Dolins on the ground, suffering from wounds and very weak. Charging forward, I stab one of the attackers in the neck with all my might (and using two destiny points), and he crumples at my feet, still on fire. The other turned on his heel and hit me (3 points damage). Thankfully, Dolins stepped in and finished the job, with our attacker yielding. 

On the road again
The life I love is makin' music with my friends

After defeating our foe, he knelt wounded before me and Teddy (oddly silent and motionless for a while). Before leaving the banks of the river, I glanced out to the boat by which the mysterious stranger had arrived. It appeared unoccupied and I had a sneaking suspicion that it might hold more clues. However, the night was cold and dark and the waters were not calm. I didn't feel confident that Teddy could rescue me should I need assistance. So I let discretion be the better part of valor and thought it wise to simply return to Castle Snownook with Teddy and our prisoner.


Upon our return, we met with Thaddeus and Calaila waited for Lord Ronnel to dispense his wisdom and judgement. To fill in my companions on what had transpired… I broke out my fiddle and improvised a ballad of our battle. As we waited for our lord, we began to interrogate the captive stranger. At first we learned his name and is Roderick and that he claimed to be a fisherman that only taught us because we had a attacked him first. Things didn’t seem to add up so Calaila used her charm on this young man and he revealed his role in this mystery. Roderick said that in exchange for money, he couried the messages from left at the rock by the river (which we knew to be written by Jayne) to a rider in Gulltown. The talented Maester easily diagnosed and healed Teddy’s injury and Roderick’s wounds. Lord Ronnel arrived and agreed that our next course of action should be to take a sworn sword with us to follow the clues to Gulltown. Having sparred with both Perrin and Maelys, I recommend we take the latter with us for his knack of sensing danger. Lord Ronnel dismissed me to bring our prisoner to an abandoned store room to recover from his wounds. After this, I was quite hungry so I went to the dinning room to eat breakfast with Thad and Calaila.


After the fight with Roderick, I could feel my body limbering up. It seemed like my old bones were returning to the agility that I had in my younger years.  With a new pep in my step, I packed my belongings into my wagon and hitched my horse to hit the dusty trail with my companions. After a few uneventful days of travel, we heard the thunderous sound of horses around a bend in the road. We could feel the earth tremble as they came closer…