Campaign of the Month: December 2020

House Jasper

Ser Darron's Journal 26

Now, this is a story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute
Just one short speech
I’ll tell you how I was unfairly separated from my family in the Reach

In South Westeros born and raised
In the tiltyard was where I spent most of my days
Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’, all gallant
And all swingin’ some longsword showin’ my talent
When a couple of jewels that were pretty rare
One night just disappeared into thin air
The Lord needed a scapegoat and I was nearby
He said, “You’re losing your head if we catch you alive!”

They weren’t jokin’ around so ole Darron conceded
Rolled Stealth bonus Sneak and just barely succeeded
Not usually the kind to get scared and turn tail
But I thought “Nah, forget it, yo, horse to The Vale!”
I pulled up to Snownook at the break of daylight
And I yelled to Lord Jasper, “Yo holmes, need a Knight?”
I looked at my kingdom
It would have to do
And I swore on that day to bring my family here too


The Unbeatable Knight

Several more rounds of fights go by before a mystery knight no one recognizes challenges Ser Darron, who he swiftly defeats. The crowd goes wild and cheers Darron’s name, and the mystery knight quickly storms off, clearly a poor sportsman.

As the tournament continues, a fight in the crowds breaks out. The voice of an enraged man rises from the murmurs of the audience, and all look to see a man screaming at a knight with a sigil of white birds on a brown background, from House Shett. He bellows “It is you who are the bastard! How dare you!” and departs before swords start swinging, much to my relief. Eyes shift uncomfortably within the audience, and when no one approaches the knight, I quietly check in on him. He assures me he’s alright-“words can cut deeper than swords, can’t they?”. He introduces himself at Ser Hammett, and not long after, he dons armor to go challenge Ser Darron. I wish him luck on his way out to the platform.

My wishes are no use in the face of his opponent, Ser Darron. Ser Hammett is cut down like all the others

Ser Darron's Journal 25

Any tourney is a big event you know. The crowds of highborn and smallfolk make it just as exhilarating as actual combat. In fact, it’s even better since they make the archers shoot at hay bales and true knights are allowed to duel properly; sword to sword.

This tourney is extra important since the winner will be granted an appeal to Lord Arryn. He’s the Hand of the King with all the powers of Big Rob himself! The hand can grant any wish if the winning knight is worthy. I have a great request of him so must not only win, but win with valor!

What better way to prove myself than challenging Ser Mandon of the Kingsguard. No fighter has yet taken arms against him today. To duel him would draw attention, to defeat him would.… Will… Will!… Wine! Pay attention! I’m teaching here!

Now… to defeat Ser Mandon would be tricky… However, Ole’ Ser Darron knows something the others don’t, or at least don’t realize.

Of course, it’s a gamble. I’ll probably be bleeding all over the maesters before midday, but I believe this old knight has a chance. In a knight’s life, you see, there are times for moderation and times for boldness. I reckon the moment calls for recklessness. Now, fetch me my pants.

Suspicions Grow

I bring the news of the Red Priest robes to Ser Dolins and Lord Theodore. They express internal conflict about the suspicions we all share about the knight, and we agree to keep this new information to ourselves. I suggest a plan to continue spying on the knight through warging under the guise of feeling ill and weary for several weeks, the knight and Lordling agreeing to spread this story throughout the house.

Over the next few weeks, I overhear a tipsy Ser Darron expressing sympathy for the convicted traitor Shaymus at Ye Olde Plain Gosling over ales, as well as speaking with the blacksmith about purchasing a brand new full set of armor! Where would he have gotten the funds for such a purchase? I pass along this information to Teddy and Dolins, and they share they will also keep a close eye on him at the upcoming tournament.

The day of the tournament finally arrives, and it is a whirlwind of festivities! Brave Ser Dolins faces off against Ser Brynden Tully and loses, but Ser Darron, in his shiny new armor, challenges and defeats Ser Mandon Moore!

Suspicions Continued

I return from warging to find a relaxed Darron back at Castle Snownook. He speaks for some time to Teddy, Dolins lets the rider go after some deliberation, and all seems eerily calm. I fall back on our original plan of allowing Ser Darron to say his final goodbyes to Shaymus, and he accepts, stating he would visit that night after a flagon of wine.

I warg into a mouse and hide in Shaymus’ cell and overhear their conversation form the shadows. The conversation is benign, and while Darron does pass a small package over the the prisoner, upon further inspection, it appears to be a small satchel of spiced meats for his final meal in Westeros. I notify Lady Alys and she encourages continued suspicion.

Heeding her words, that night I warg again into my mouse friend and search Ser Darron’s room. The only thing that seems truly out of place is a set of robes worn by Red Priests. I notify Ser Dolins and Lord Theodore right away.

Suspicions Within

I’m summoned to the Council of Justice to determine the fate of Shaymus following his defeat in Trial by Combat. Darron insist on joining us, despite him not having a place on the council, though he mostly observes in silence. Brock initially suggests that the traitor should be killed from his crimes, but after mustering the courage, I encourage Gregoriy to consider another option. “Perhaps we should use his guilt to try and bring the eggs home..what if we exiled him to Essos, with the promise of a safe return home if he can bring the eggs with him?” After some consideration and debate, the council is in agreement, recognizing it may be the only hope of bringing the dragon eggs to Snownook where they belong.

Darron accompanies me to notify Shaymus of this news, but the conversation takes an unexpected turn. The guilty party looks to his old friend and asks for help, and Ser Darron recommends the man accept his fate. Before we leave, the knight attempts to offer the prisoner several iron stakes. I react in shock and quickly swipe them from his hand before they can be exchanged, looking back at him in horror. I usher him out, and run to find Gregoriy and Teddy.

When I find the Beacon of Justice and Lordling, I express my concerns about Darron’s actions, attitudes and inconsistencies throughout this investigation, as well as how they are intensified by the knowledge of his history of being accused of stealing priceless jewels from the previous house he served. They share my concerns, so we hatch a plan to spy on a conversation between Shaymus and Darron.

Unfortunately, when we go to find Ser Darron…he’s gone! Gregoriy begins to search for him at a relaxed pace but my heart drops into my stomach and I instantly warg into a raven to search from the skies. It isn’t long before I see a rider with the sigil of a green field adorned by a grey face on his cloak. The man is not Darron, but I am very suspicious of this activity and return to notify House Jasper.

Ser Dolins is the first person I come across, and he agrees to ride after the man with the sigil that he recognizes as being from House Baelish. He also voices his suspicions about Ser Darron that he’d been keeping to himself, and agrees the man must be cut off. I offer him my sandsteed to catch up to the rider as swiftly as possible, and run to Lady Alys to urge her to send other riders to follow.

After seeing Maelys, Cedric and the Order of the Darkwash depart after Dolins, I take to the skies once again, this time towards Jasport, to search for Darron.

An Intruder in the Night, Pt 3

Teddy is naturally alarmed and concerned for the House’s treasures. I accompany him down to the vault, where the door has been broken into with a high quality, but now broken, lock pick. Sure enough, the dragon eggs are vanished. I search around the room, and find a long dark horse hair near where the eggs were. I have confidence that the horse hair is from a palfrey. The only members of the house who ride palfreys are Rhaella (whose horse is light in color) and there are a few others who aren’t ridden as often in the stables, so no owner immediately comes to mind. Lord Theodore curses the thieves, and wonders aloud who could’ve masterminded this plan with so few people knowing of the eggs’ existence. “Knowledge travels fast in the wrong hands, my lord.” I remind him.

After regrouping, Ser Dolins shares that Shaymus has been interrogated and is currently in a cell under suspicion of involvement. We head out from the castle, following hoof prints, eventually coming across a group of panting and nearly passed out palfreys, and one dead man. After some inspection, we see another, smaller set of hoofprints heading further out, so I warg into a crow to get a birds eye view on the scene.

Some time later, I spot 3 dark palfreys, left saddled and abandoned near the coast, with footprints ending at the water, as though they were picked up by a boat. Soaring above, I peer out over the open sea, and see a ship off in the distance! I fly out and observe those on board for as long as I can. The crew of sailors lacks any distinguishing features except for one strange looking man wearing an oddly shaped hat. It appears to be black and made of felt and pointy corners on each edge. Otherwise, no sigils can be seen on board, and the only mention in conversation I recognize is that they are headed back to Braavos.

An Intruder in the Night, Pt 2

Dolins sprints down the hallway towards the stairs, and I turn my attention to my sweet, brave August. He’s too heavy for me to lift alone, so I knock gently on the closest door, the quarters of Betty the handmaiden, who nervously agrees to help me move August into me room where he can remain safely.
After thanking Betty for her help, I grab my stiletto, shield and dagger, and run in a daze down the hallway and down the stairs to meet with the rest of the house.

An Intruder in the Night

I’m awoken in the middle of the night by Ser Dolins, who looks uneasy. “I’ve been stirred by a strange noise that I think should be investigated, but I don’t think I should go alone.” I rub my eyes, and ask what he heard. “I’m not sure, just…something’s not right.” I rouse a sleepy August, and ask Ser Dolins to keep an eye on my body as I warg into the raven and take a lap around the castle.

From above, all seems quiet. But as I swoop lower, I see a group of a dozen horses tied up between the Dark Wash encampment and the Bridge of the Andals. My blood runs cold-everything is cloaked in darkness and eerily still, but I don’t see anything else out of place.
I return at Summer and explain quickly in a hushed voice what I saw to Ser Dolins. “We have to wake the castle,” I tell him. He tells me to notify Teddy and he’ll grab Victorinox and wake everyone else. With a quick nod, August and I sprint out into the hallway. The moment I turn the corner an obliterating pain explodes in my arm and I collapse in front of a cloaked and shadowed man.
“We’re under attack!” I scream in a shaky, broken voice, and look to August. “Attack.” I whisper to him. My loyal companion launches himself at the man, but is quickly swiped down by his sword. August lets a blood curdling cry, and even in the dark I can tell he is badly hurt. I throw myself over him. “Please no! Don’t hurt him. Take my life instead,” I plead to the man. The hallway is silent for a moment.

" Don’t. Move." The man holds the point of his sword firmly, but unmoving, into my back. I nod.

With my face buried in August’s wet, bloodied fur, and I try and fail to hold in a whimper. And then… with a broad swish, the stranger collapses beside me. I look up in shock, and the brave Ser Dolins stands boldly above us, holding Victorinox in victory over our opponent.

Rhaella steps into the hallway with us, having been woken by my yell. She asks “What do you need me to do?” and we both look to Ser Dolins for commands.

Honors Bestowed

I’m approached one morning after Lord Theodore and his trusted men have departed for Gulltown by the house messenger, Rhaella, who invites me for a ride. I gladly agree and am quietly happy to show off my riding skills to someone as talented on a horse as Rhaella. Overlooking a lovely valley in House Jasper’s lands, she asks if I would be interested in assisting her with her messenger duties, as the house’s correspondence needs have grown with its responsibilities. Moved by her consideration of me, I agree enthusiastically and pepper her with questions about the role. We carry on, enjoying the day’s gift of sunshine, until we come across a gathering of young adolescents and children moving rocks around, being overseen by a pair of adult. We observe from afar for a bit until my curiosity gets the best of me, and I approach the scene with August. Under the guise of a town girl looking for her dog, I inquire about their mission, and the woman introduces herself as a septa, and informs me that they are building a sept. Upon my return to Rhaella, she narrows her eyebrows at this, and we agree she should notify Lord Ronnel.

Only a few days later, I’m approached again, this time by Gregoriy. He shares that following the miracle he performed on Lord Ronnel, that he’s been appointed the ancient position of the Beacon of Light to the house. I congratulate him on this tremendous but well deserved honor as he expands on the positions’ duties, and his intention to create a council to assist with his decision making. To my shock, he invites me to join the council! I choke on the air in my lungs, “me? Surely you do not mean me…” but he protests and thinks having a young person familiar with the customs of the area would be beneficial in considering matters of local justice. I accept on the condition that Rhaella does not think it will get in the way of the role I accepted with her, and she encourages me to move forward with it.

Unfortunately, the first matter for the council is one far above my head. Gregoriy, I, and the other council member, Brock, heads to the cells to meet with Stephanie, a toothless crude woman, who confirms Gregoriy’s inquiries about her knowingly giving pox to her “suitors”. I feel my face get hot and hands get clammy as humiliating subjects from the sheer number of her partners to “sheepskin” arise. But after some deliberation, the council civilly agrees that tattooing the woman with a warning for her future potential suitors on her upper leg may prevent the infectious disease from spreading further throughout the town.

I am relieved to have a reason to take some time away from Castle Snownook after this experience, as Lord Ronnel sends me to deliver my first message! Per his instructions, I ride Kusa to Snakewood and hand deliver a sealed message to their maester Glynn. He responds with a cryptic warning of what happens to messengers who read their delivery materials.