Welcome to A Song of Revenge and Gold: House Malroy Quest. In which you take the reins of a House of storied glorious past since Aegon’s Conquering, but whose fortunes have taken a turn for the worse in the doom that Robert’s Rebellion brought. Taking place in 284AC a year after the Rebellion has ended you are Brynden Malroy, second son to Lord Vamos Malroy and Lady Esemella Hayford and the last living heir to Steadhold and House Malroy.
House Malroy is a pre-genned House designed around the idea of a story within the Crownlands of a House fiercely loyal to the Targaryens and their attempts to live in this new world after Robert’s Rebellion. The new Lord Brynden Malroy is as well pre-genned but will take direction from the players in his ways and how he develops himself further. This Quest will be moderately more story driven than others of its kind, but the development of the House and her lands will take just as much importance.
If you’ve played the one of the many Quests within the ASoIaF setting the rules of the SIFRP system should be known. I will be using the Game of Thrones edition, as well as a few of the expansions namely OOSP and a few house rules which will be explained as we come to them. If you have questions about how things work or why certain actions are taken I can explain them as we go along. In truth this is a learning experience for me as well.
Google Documents Mastersheet:
And now without further ado.
If war never changed, than her imitations surely did not as well. During the ovation you received for coming upon the grandstand this fine morning to the herald's call you look over the sea of colors and gleaming metal. Walls of men stood across from one another, some quiet, others playing to the crowd in boisterous shows, others rallying the field to their side, forming the bonds of war brothers in a quick moments before all hell would break loose. Spying across the field you see Ser Lucas Longwaters, his armor plain, a surcoat of seafoam and red being his only adornments besides the ribbons of crimson and grey that were surely favors from his newly married wife. Surrounding him are others of your Household, Ser Wesley Hayford in splendid armor a surcoat of the menagerie of green yellow covering it, Ser Duncan Ureye to his left in nothing more than the armor of a Hedge Knight, beaten and worn. You note the three talking strategy, clearly intending to go to the team rounds together.
Upon the second day of your melee you were joined by both your Uncles, Ser Dontos Malroy and Lord Winston Hayford. Samuel was noticeably absent from his father’s side but you paid it no mind. Dontos had allowed your son Victus to attend him in the grandstand today, and with him your quiet squire as well, Arron Qorgyle. The boy was so quiet at times you often forgot he was even there, he attended his duties with practiced hands, but so rarely spoke that it felt like you were doing nothing at all for the boy. Even your own son had difficulty in getting him to crack, they would practice together in the yard but he was a focused sort, the whimsy and wonder of a new home being lost upon him. A far cry from his family to be sure. As of yet you were unsure of how to quiet combat this. Regardless, beyond your family was Ser Mason Flowers, as always, and Illiad, as not so always of late. He had been helped up into the grandstand by Mason and a crutch, but he was getting better on it.
Your attention turns to the herald when a trumpet again calls for quiet, he begins to announce the list, no small feat as it contained near 300 names throughout the realm. The Crownlands, the Vale, Westerlands, Riverlands, The Reach, and Stormlands all had representatives, from second sons and cousins to hedge knights, both young and old. The last grasps of glory for the some, while others their first taste. Your ear catches upon another three. Ser Titus Sarsfield, Ser Lyonel Hill, and Ser Robb Brax. The Westerlands envoy, all competing, you search out the field and note them closer to the grandstand, together as your own household was. It shocked you to see Brax on his feet again, not only that but willing to compete not a day removed from the Squire’s Melee. An open field of near 80 was nothing to the open field round of 300, all with men trained far better than he, aware of his name, and all vying for the last 100 standing to move onto the team rounds. He was a brave one you gave him that. Noting again you see the Point Knights, Ser Aden Brune and Ser Quinton Crabb, and your eyes cast about the stands to see their respective Lords watching intently, speaking to one another far out of your earshot.
Just as you were about to grow bored of the herald’s seeming unending lungs he finishes his list, with a grand flourish, bowing your way and you wave him off. He returns the gesture, and runs off the field to where a large flag of your colors stands. The crowd quiets to a murmur, the Knights suddenly posture themselves for a charge, the clank of steel echoing across the yard. You stand, taking the few steps it did to reach the balcony, eyes turn to you from the crowd, eyes turn to the flag upon the field. You had no speech prepared, no words, simply a command, your arm rises and with a deep breath, drops. The flag follows. And all hell breaks loose.
The crowd roaring into life again, low and high alike. The clangs of steel upon the ground grew into such castrophany so immense you dare to think it could be heard in King’s Landing. Though it was nothing compared to the deafen clashing of the walls of Knights. Some go down easy, quickly. Others push through the mass ending up on the other side of the melee, only to gather themselves and end up right back in the mix. Your eyes fleet about the field, watching the individual fights that soon turn to brawls. You can taste iron upon the air, it was a fight to first blood, but someone had lost more than the first, you see the poor soul sprawled across the yard, a jet of blood occasionally springing from his gorget. A sad sight, but not one that was so uncommon as to ruin the day.
“Who is the man with the teal and bronze?”
You turn back and look at Dontos struggling to see the man that your son is pointing out, you had been watching him as well, an unknown hedge knight supposedly from the Stormlands if Wesley’s lists were any indication. Likely your own age, but he fought with a berserker’s rage, his greatsword lashing into anyone that dare come near in the melee. He fought with hammer blows driving his opponents into the dirt before moving on.
“H-his name is Ser Ambrose Oatwright,” comes a meek voice from the lad next to Victus that you realize quickly is Arron, “He was a Knight for a House that died during the Rebellion.”
You quirk an eyebrow, “Very good Arron, how do you know this?”
The boy freezes locking eyes with you, before mumbling out a response, “M-my father knew the man that killed his House.”
You nod and allow the boy to shrink again, you would need to work on his confidence if nothing else. Mason leans over having kept his eyes on the field, “Lucas and Wes are doing good out there. The field is strong Brynden, no doubt any of them will give Royce and his bandits a scare. Speaking of, Lady Alexes Chelsted would like to speak with you. If you’ve the time.”
“We as well Lord,” Illiad adds.
“Thank you Mason, Illiad,” you respond and they settle back waiting for your order. The banditry issue was still one you needed to take care of but perhaps in a more quiet venue, there were others you wished to speak to today.
>Speak with Lady Alexes Chelsted
>Speak with Ser Mason Flowers and Illiad
>Speak with Lord Winston Hayford
>“H-his name is Ser Ambrose Oatwright,” comes a meek voice from the lad next to Victus that you realize quickly is Arron, “He was a Knight for a House that died during the Rebellion.”
I take it he was from the oneshot.
Good to have you here again , father.
I wanted to remind you,in case you forgot (because you do background rolls).
we had sex with obella before we left, and that was a new month so basically a new roll?
IS SHE PREGNANT?
While chewing on the thought you watch as the field continues to whittle itself down, Lucas Wesley and Duncan are working in tandem to fend off various Knights. Lucas was a piss poor archer but his swordsmanship was a fair mite better. You watch him handily disarm his opponent and follow up with a crushing blows from his shield that crunches into his helm, a trick he picked up from Dontos you assume. The man drops and the three skirt off to better footing. Meanwhile the Westerland Knights have split up a bit. Titus and Robb fight together, while Lyonel has seemingly broken off to fight with what you assume to be a Riverlands Knight, of a House you can’t for the absolute life of you remember. Oatwright has taken up his next solo battle with Quinton Crabb, a far better match for the raging youth. They trade blows, the former gaining the upper hand with his large arching, sweeping strikes. But Quinton pressed into his guard any chance he got keeping himself off his backfoot as much as he could manage.
“Mason. Would you be so kind as to retrieve Lady Chelsted?” you ask, and he frowns not wanting to miss the melee much.
“Perhaps her suitor would be better to extend the invite,” he throws off handedly under his breath, just enough for you to hear, and a smile catches on your face while your arm pulls him back into place.
“A fine idea,” he say and he looks at you before stifling a laugh behind his fist, you continue turning slightly, “Dontos? Would you be so kind as to invite Lady Chelsted to the grandstand?”
Your Uncle freezes not unlike Arron just did, a bead of sweat running down his brow, “I erm… Of course nephew. A moment.”
He stalks off and you almost break into laughter, instead washing it down with wine, you were aware of Dontos’... Dislike of dealing with women. And in asking him to do this task you were cruel. But it amused you to no end regardless. Watching from the side of your eye you see the mass of black armor approach Lady Alexes in the stands, you swear you could see him shaking from here. She smiles prettily, for a woman her age, fanning herself and offering her hand that he takes as gingerly as a man suited for the battlefield could manage. That’ll do Uncle, that’ll do.
Moments later you find Lady Alexes Chelsted by your side, folding her fan and placing it in a pocket in a less than appropriate location, she smooths her dress of green and white and takes her seat next to your own, inclining her head, and offering her hand “Lord Brynden Malroy. A pleasure to see you again.”
“The feeling is mutual my Lady,” you respond taking her hand and kissing it a touch gentler than Dontos could ever manage, “Is your son not with you?”
“Rodner is with Ser Cyrus Chyttering, the boy wished to be closer to the field, Seven bless his heart,” she says watching the field and allowing a particularly heavy mace blow screw up her Ladylike facade for a moment, “He is well though. Thank you for the concern. Now, I do not believe you called me here for simple pleasantries Lord Malroy. Have you news of our mutual problem? I’ve some of mine own, and it is far from pleasant, Ser Cyrus nearly went to war alone.”
Your eyes flicker in the midday sun, Ser Cyrus was not unlike yourself but kept himself in far less check, he could ruin this alliance with the wrong move. He needed to be dealt with, Dontos could quell him, more efficiently than he had yourself no doubt. You sigh and turn to Lady Chelsted again whose eyes had yet to leave the field.
>Press her on her info first?
>Share you own new info gathered from Ser Drake Darklyn
>Press her into a new topic, such as Dontos courting
My fellow Loyalists, we need to hasten the wedding by 2 months atleast. All women at 5-6 months of pregnancy are obvious to spot.
but if we marry at 3-4 months, we might be lucky.
By the SEVEN, Trips.
We had insulted the spider.
he'll kill our child.
Or that damned red headed son of a bastard whore. He'll rape our sister and wife.
How long untill the wedding.
Is it possible to let her stay with us before the wedding?
From the sides of your eyes you catch Dontos shifting uncomfortably again, Mason having given his seat to Lady Chelsted stands next to him, keeping his attention towards the field. The action had grown sluggish, bands of Knights attempted to muscle out their competition, small alliances made against the more powerful and skilled of their competitors. You noted Oatwright on his own again, not too far from your own Knights. At a glance you guessed there were somewhere around half of the original number, perhaps a bit over. So there was plenty of melee for the day yet. You leaned into Lady Chelsted’s ear, her head unmoving and attempt to change the topic a bit.
“My Lady if I may be so rude in asking, how goes your search for a proper suitor?”
She eyes you from the corner of her eye and playfully bats at your arm, “My Lord, how could you ask me such a question. I am a Lady, not some pock marked street wench, my suitors are a private matter,” her lips curl into a smirk daring you to continue.
Deciding to lay the charm on thick you delve in, “You must forgive me Lady Alexes. I meant not to offend, but a woman of your standing, influence, intelligence… Beauty. It is not so long she chooses to stay unmarried.”
She looks at you now rolling her eyes, “They are exactly as they say you are Lord Brynden. A flatterer to the end. Again, it is a private matter. And I’ve no doubt your lovely betrothed would disapprove of your coming onto me,” she giggles to herself, you could swear even the blushing was fake, “And all that besides. I’ve already one in mind, you missed your chance my Lord.”
“A shame then. But this suitor? A man I know?”
“Now we play this game my Lord?”
“No game my Lady. Merely curious of the man that so handily beat me to such a lovely prize.”
“Flatterer,” she lips to you as her eyes roll again before going back, “He is such my Lord, one you would know quite well I’d imagine. A chivalrous man. He has escorted me about the festival for two nights. So nervous he was though.”
“As any man with his wits about him would be,” you remark watching Wesley and Duncan trip up a pair of Knights they were fighting while Lucas took a breather.
“Yet I desire a man with confidence,” she says, watching instead below the stands to where you spy Ser Cyrus and Rodner, “One that would fight for me. For my honor, just like he would his own,” you turn fully to regard Lady Chelsted that instead ignores you continuing to speak, “Another would still yet have my hand. He knows only one way, the sword. A duel might settle the matter. It would be a rather grand opening for a day of your melee do you not think my Lord?”
You cast an eye back to Dontos who shifts to your gaze, it might be a hard sell. But at least ti was something he was comfortable doing.
“Now that you’re done questioning me on my most private affairs Lord Brynden, perhaps we shall speak of our mutual problem?”
Oh man-eater Lady Alexes you are my favorite.
Wedding is in 4 months, and it is not. She is coming up at the same time as her brother.
Somewhat closer to this. If Obella is pregnant, she'll know how to hide it. A spy would I'd imagine.
Oh come on if she was why would she not maiden tea it to avoid being noticably pregnant at the wedding. Its not like her previous "it gives something to hold over him" at this point she'd be actively fucking herself over.
Think it wont be too bad since betrothal rights are a thing. It is okay for the guy to sleep with the woman he is suppose to marry before the wedding. While it wont be pretty so long we marry before the child is born we should be in the clear if a bit shaky.
Granted if we bailed out we would be in big trouble.
Well, if she has a f*cking heart, she wouldn't want to kill the child of the man who she loves wait wait wait.
She loves brynden
Carries his child
isn't a heartless wench and doesn't want to kill her own love child.
I can't tell if you're retarded or actually dumb enough to believe that.
Talking rubbish there.
Obella and her family wanted a kid from B as a political tool origonally. They would just use it as such if everything fell apart.
Not that it will, because theres no reason for it to.
You scoff and lean back into your chair to watch the melee continue, “After you then my Lady.”
Lady Alexes instead points towards one of the Knights still on his own, attempting to finish up a duel with blow after blow to his knelt opponent, you think the man on the ground is of House Pryor. The only reason you remember the small island House is because of seeing the color when in Dorne, a House attending Lord Arryn during the Peace Talks. She speaks after gaining your attention towards them, “What do you think of the Knight there my Lord?”
You watch carefully, unsure of what was so remarkable, the only particular you noticed was his colors were a match for the Lady to your side, a streak of red mixed in, “He is of your House?”
“A good eye. But not quite. He is a bastard. The elder son of my dearly departed husband. And Ser Cyrus has reason to believe he is a traitor.”
Your eyes glimmer again, another man giving the name a worse reputation, to know he was the sort that people thought of when your son was introduced twisted at your heart, “How.”
“We found a letter. Marked with the unknown sigil. It was mostly burnt, but near his quarters. Here,” she draws a folded letter, neatly fixed with the dagger and mace of her own house instead and hands it to you, “Examine it if you like. I fear there isn’t much to see, we assume it to be a cipher.”
You tuck the letter away and frown. Ser Pryor seems to have gotten to his feet again, and is bashing away at his opponent, sweeping at his legs with his mace and buckling the right knee. You hear him call out in pain and fall over. Lady Alexes smirks as he writhes in pain upon the ground. And you can’t help to maintain your frown. Things didn’t quite add up in your head. Ser Cyrus was always too eager for war, but over a piece unreadable of paper, why? Why would the bastard son of a dead Lord risk his cover in such an open place, let alone his health. Perhaps you were overthinking it.
“I’m afraid that is all the news I have my Lord. More dead ends, whomever is doing this is covering their tracks far better than I had expected. I hope your news is more substantial.”
Twisting your face up you pinch the bridge of your nose, there was a handful of things you knew but what did you want to tell her.
>Information from Lord Arryn (i.e. troop counts, how you might be granted leave to retake the forests where the bandits are)
>Information from Ser Drake Darklyn (i.e. the unknown sigil being of House Dargood and the small House’s actions in Duskendale)
>All of it
>None of it
>Information from Lord Arryn (i.e. troop counts, how you might be granted leave to retake the forests where the bandits are)
If we she support our push for this we have a better chance since she too has having to deal with those assholes.
>>Information from Ser Drake Darklyn (i.e. the unknown sigil being of House Dargood and the small House’s actions in Duskendale)
Or it is someone trying to frame him. Mayhap even Chyytering.
Seems, like she always hated her bastard son.
Having a reason to get rid of him, she would gladly accept.
Only information about ser drake draklyn.
Lets not share information,carelessly.
We must also still wait for our wife, so we can set up a spy network...
Because look at this.
Royce spends all his effort on military, He knew we were going to get punished, he knew we would be weakened. He took no direct action, he didn't make major economic investment or proper intrique, rather counting on us to be careless.
Now her bastard son who she hates, is possibly getting framed. What if that sly arse, has spies who now that his direct approach failed, will try to cause disorder/confusion and spying to gain information.
If we say, that there might be spies in her household, and use her bastard child as an example. She might think we are trying to side with his bastard because we have a bastard, and she might dislike us for it.
if we tell her everything, it might be so that a spy Now or later in her household will hear of it.
Removing the pin from your breast pocket you place it on the table between yourself and Lady Alexes, she hardly glances at it, and you take that as a motion to speak, “A Knight of Duskendale, tells me this is the sigil of House Dargood. Ser Theon Dargood is her current leader, a man that fought under the Baratheon banner, and is attempting to marry his daughter to Lord Ryyker.”
She inclines her head oddly, watching the melee and biting a nail carefully, “Who told you this?”
“A rather drunk, Ser Drake Darkewood.”
“On our journey to Sunspear. I shared a ship with him and Lord Ryyker.”
She pauses, “Ser Theon Dargood is dead. During the Rebellion he died in King’s Landing during the Sack. He had no children.”
You take a deep breath and reach for your wine again, “Seven Hells. Lord Ryyker came home by foot. This ‘Ser Drake’ likely disappeared somewhere out of reach.”
“At least we have a name. There is a Theon in House Darkwood. It would appear our Ser Drake was too drunk to make up a new name.”
You quiet a moment, watching Lucas dance with another Knight. The field was down to just above 100 if your eyes told you right. Lucas gets inside his guard, driving his pommel into the side of his opponent, wrestling his other arm away from the shield he was attempting to dig into his back. Lucas grunts and instead lifts the Knight up, swinging him on his hips and unto the ground. They land with a thud and the crowd cheers as Lucas takes potshots at the Knight’s helm with the pommel of his sword, attempting to keep him on the ground with the weight of his body.
“So we’ve a name that may or may not be working with the Redwards, Blounts, and Langwards.” you say almost bitterly.
“If nothing else they are their messengers. But on what promises?”
“They have an army. A formidable one. Lord Arryn shared with me the particulars of it, close to thirty-five hundred. Likely two hundred knights between them all. They could be positioning themselves to retake Duskendale, with their new allies' help. Dirty work for an army.”
“Seven. House Chelsted has perhaps 800 my Lord, and we’ve little in the way of organized Knights. And yourself?”
“Near 400. And my Knights. Well. Here. House Longwaters could perhaps bring me to 700 with their full strength.”
“And we’re still half as strong as they,” she sighs, rasping her fingers on her chair, “My Lord. It is imperative that this matter of a wedding occurs within the next month. Tell Ser Dontos this. I must speak with my steward, if there is nothing else?”
“A small thing. Lord Arryn told me there is perhaps a way the Princewood may come under my House’s control yet again. I… May need your help in this.”
She frowns at you, before shaking it away, “The wedding first my Lord. Then perhaps we can speak of it. Do be sure to give the letter a glance. Good day my Lord.”
And with that she gathers herself, bowing to you stiffly, before walking back to Dontos, requesting escort in the voice she had been hiding for her ‘faint of heart’ Lady act. Mason retakes his seat and catches you up on the melee. You stroke your goatee as he lists off the particulars of those that had made it thus far, by his count they were down to 115. And then he stops, you turn to see why, and noticed Lucas, Wesley and Duncan staring down the Westerland Knights, Titus, Robb and Lyonel. Easily the strongest fighters of the bunch, squaring off in the last minutes. Seven hells. You knew Lucas’ pride would not allow him to walk away from it either. They spread out, measuring each other up, unaware of the slowing chaos occurring about them.
>Watch this fight in full?
>Speak with Mason and Illiad meanwhile, they still seemed antsy to tell you something
Oh shit, we got bamboozled by the drunkard. Have to hand it to Redward's agents - they know how to bait our interest into false flags.
>Speak with Mason and Illiad meanwhile, they still seemed antsy to tell you something
Though you wished to give this little duel the fullest of your attentions Mason and Illiad seemed rather anxious to share something with you, From the corner of your eye you see Wesley charge into Robb Brax and finish off what was left of his shield with his shoulder, putting Brax on his back foot immediately. You sigh a little and wave to Mason to get Illiad’s attention. The former stands, helping Illiad to the seat next to you and taking up a position behind you.
“Lord, Ser Mason and I have spoken of this Crackclaw Point deal.”
“Aye Brynden. Limited degree that we know of it. But you mentioned investing in the ports on the Point. We think we know how, while still building something we might consider a fortification.”
“Yes Lord. Do you remember the caravanserai?”
The word is familiar, but you struggle with it in between attempting to watch Lucas and Titus going at it, “Remind me.”
“A trading inn in short,” Mason says half distracted himself, “Small fortifications, used to house merchants and their guards. Our purposes would be different. Build one in Dyre Den and Pyne, the two major ports of the Point. We use them as means to store our goods and any hired caravans and merchants. Meanwhile housing military personnel there to ensure our assets are protected and can aid with an immediate Celtigar landing.”
Illiad nods and you chew the thought over, “Cost?”
“2000 gold dragons a piece, atop the costs for the new infrastructure, the roads I mean. And of course raising the men.”
“Men not on Lord’s books,” Illiad adds lightly.
That caught your attention, a loophole to your restrictions? Perhaps an idea far more worthwhile than you originally considered. It was hard to look away from Duncan and Lyonel now trading blows, the older Hedge Knight getting in far more shots to the younger Knight. You give Illiad a questioning look and he smiles continuing, “They would be Point men. Raised by Lord. ‘Gifted’ to Pyne and Brune. Loyal to..?”
“Malroy. They wouldn’t technically be on our payroll, but would come to our aid with the Crackclaw Point Lords. Clever Illiad.”
“Thank you Lord. But was idea of Mason. I am business, he is military.”
“I would see a unit of foot a piece Brynden. One hundred at each, they wouldn’t need to be trained too much. Smaller military movements are easier to hide.”
The blow of a trumpet catches your attention and you see the pairs of men still battering each other. Others about the yard stand watching as squires and your garrison rush out to separate them. It would appear while they were brawling the others had been eliminated, enough that the six of them had made it to the team rounds and would now need be torn apart. You watch Lucas attempt to punch Dontos’ second, before spitting words in the direction of Titus Sarsfield. Wesley walks off with a slight limp and Duncan stays long enough to help Ser Lyonel up. Rivalry was expected, just not between two groups that were at extreme odds in the grand scheme of things.
You turn back to Mason and Illiad, “I’ll give it some thought. Thank you for the ideas.”
“Of course Lord,” Illiad responds and Mason nods while you stand to leave.
>Anyone in particular you would like to speak with/anything you would like to do?
>Timeskip to the next day, i.e. Archery Contest day
>Timeskip to the next day, i.e. Archery Contest day
I'd say let's float Mason and Illiad's by the Crackclaw Lords, but I can think of absolutely no reason either of them would object to such a thing. They stand to benefit so much from it. Before the Tourney ends, we'll lay the details on them, but for now let's press forward.
Alright we'll chat with Dontos, privately I assume.
Winston still hasn't made up his mind about the deal you offered, it was only yesterday afterall.
So I'm not too sure what you could talk to the Point Lords about, unless you want to bring up Mason and Illiad's idea and attempt to float the Hayford inclusion in the alliance idea by them as well.
“Dontos, if you would. I’d like to speak with you privately,” you say walking by receiving a nod in return. You continue on relatively unmolested, there are a few Knights here and there you can see are pretty beat up. You didn’t catch if Oatwright made it to the next round, though you assume he did, simply because of the bruising he left on some of his opponents.
Dontos catches up to you, and falls in step, keeping pace with your long strides, “Things got heated out there Brynden. Best to check in on Lucas.”
“He knows what he’s doing when he’s on the field Dontos.”
“Little matter if he cannot control himself off of it.”
“Why don’t you talk to him then? Hotheaded young men seem to be your speciality.”
He coughs and you glance back while he composes himself, “A thought.”
You enter into Dontos’ side room where he kept his wargame set up, you take up a stool at one end and he gives you odd look before taking his own picking through the items he had at hand. He was less likely to break something in anger if it held value to him, and the table gave a good bit of distance between the two of you, with the door to your back. A silly precaution, but one you took all the same. There were tears still to be shed for what held close to your breast, but you knew there was an anger in both your blood and his for what had been done.
Dontos scatters his miniatures abut the table and you pick your usual, mounted archers, heavy cavalry, the works. While he more footed men to defend. You sigh deeply, allowing the first few turns to be taken in silence and move a catapult onto the field upon the fourth. Looking for his reaction. Dontos usually was far better at you with this game and often would win, but of late you had taken to throwing something different something weird every time just to see if you could throw him off his game.
He finishes his turn after a long look at the catapult and then eyes you, “What is it nephew? I see turmoil in your eyes, even though I haven’t Ser Aeson’s emerald. I can still tell when yours burns dim.”
Where to begin?
>Start with Lady Chelsted
>Start with Isis’ letter
>Start with Isis’ letter
Use it as a springboard for talking about Chelsted. We need to make drastic, daring moves if we're going to liberate Isis and remove the head from Redward's shoulders - you and me both, uncle.
Our timetable has just accelerated. Isis is patient, and strong, but I am neither of those things. I want her out of Redward's slimy clutches, and I want her out now. We're going to do whatever it takes to make this happen. You're going to marry Chelsted, I am going to get the Crackclaw Lords on our side and speak with my in-laws.
You sit quietly for a moment, allowing your turn to draw out longer than was reasonable. He was right, there was still turmoil in your stomach, your mind, it was a weight upon your chest. You reached into your breast pocket, pulling the letter from it and placing it down on the table. Your uncle immediately notices the golden wax on it, the horse insignia imprinted upon it. his eyes keep to it before searching your own for the answers.
“I recieved it two days ago Dontos.”
“What… Is it… Her?”
You glance down at it, beginning to feel the sting of salt in the corners of your eyes again, “I think it best you read it yourself Uncle.”
You slide it across the table and he reaches for it with haste, but opens it with delicate hands, his eyes remain dark, like a storm, as he reads through it. Once, twice, perhaps thrice. The moment e falls into his chair you see it in him. A pain, a legitimate pain. His tear falls from the tip of his nose joining the few you had left behind after reading it.
“Yes Dontos. As I’ve told you before.”
“And she’s strong. Incredibly so. I-I… Brynden is this real?”
“You know her handwriting as well as I do Uncle. Of the lot of us her Valyrian was the best.”
Dontos nods in silence, seemingly reading for the fourth time, “That bastard got her with child…” he mutters to himself, fist tense in it. He looks at you, eyes of a dark churning storm, “We are going to kill him Brynden. That bloody fucking bastard!” his fist pounds the table. And you can see him struggling to breathe, pulling in what he can while attempting to still the shaking rage inside him.
“We are Dontos. I promise.”
Your Uncle’s eyes never your own, yet they search. They search still for answers, “I would have thought you enraged. Mounted upon horse and ready to ride. If even I favor that action, what have you done nephew?”
You sigh, breaking eye contact and pacing, “Bottled it inside. Pushed it down. You told me to be a Lord. I will not become the sellsword playing at Lord they think I am. I’m impatient. My eyes filled with wroth. I would skewer his head upon a pike before dusk had I the power. But I do not. We need-”
“Allies,” he finishes bluntly, neatly folding the letter, “What did Lady Chelsted ask of you Brynden?”
>Roll 5d6 for Convince.
Success, one degree.
The hard sell, but you could see the emotional want in his eyes. He would have done anything to save her this moment, but he knew as well as you did the stakes of this dangerous game you played. A false move and the entire Crownlands could come down around you. You stop your pacing and fold your hands up, watching him staring listlessly in your general direction.
“She spoke of marriage.”
His voice breaks in his response, “She… Seven Hells, did she?”
“Yes Uncle,” you begin to explain the finer details of your little chat with Lady Chelsted, telling him the information shared and gathered. She seemed a mite paranoid you added and then added your own thoughts of her potentially having a traitor in her House. It all felt odd. But Dontos stuck on one thing, the duel.
“You want me to fight for her hand?”
“More or less, though the want is going to need to come from you Dontos. It’s likely Ser Cyrus Chyttering that will be challenging you, should you continue to keep our lovely Lady’s attentions.”
“Don’t talk about- Argh. Regardless. But to make it a spectacle, nephew?”
“Ser Cyrus is unlikely not to want any less himself Dontos. And we need to find out where this over eagerness is coming from. It is beginning to discontent and worry me. He was ready to kill over what could only amount to being a burnt page and gibberish. And we both know where House Chyttering-”
“Where their loyalties lie. Yes with the Crown, the usurper. I know. And then we are but a fifth against the monster army Redward has assembled. Somehow.”
“So I cannot stress how important it is we keep those lands out of their hands, and instead tied to our own cause. Through the marriage. Lady Alexes wants much and same uncle, she has said as much. And clearly is a strong enough woman to handle herself.”
Dontos exhales and places both of his hands on the table, looking down at you with the dark storms in his eyes still unrelenting, “If I do this. You understand I will need to be in Chelsted more often than not. That means Victus will follow after, if you wish his training to continue properly. I am willing to do what is necessary to save my family, to save Isis. To make these wrongs, right. If you give me the order. Are you Brynden?”
Well? Are you?
>Give the order
“Do it Dontos. You play your part. And I will. For Isis. Donold and Pastorn.”
“For Vamos and Esemella.”
“For our family.”
“And for the family you’re about to bring into this world nephew.”
You sigh and look down at the board, “Thank you Dontos. I don’t know if I’d be able to do this without you.”
“Nor I, you. I am… Would you excuse me Brynden. I need a moment and then I suppose I need meet with a lovely Lady,” he shudders at the words but composes himself. Walking across the room and patting your shoulder, “The catapult would was poorly placed.”
You smile for the first time today, and look over the table, tsking at yourself when you noticed Dontos had a pitfall set up. You gather yourself and place Isis’ letter back into your breast pocket and leaving the room.
“What is this?”
You watch your son pluck a necklace from the myrish carpet, a locket dangling below it. For a moment you were mortified, thinking it was the property of lady, before remembering you had never slept with anyone in Steadhold. Let alone in this room. “I’m not sure Victus, bring it here.”
He places it in your outstretched hand and jumps up onto your bed sitting next to you and looking over your shoulder as you turn the locket over. What in the Seven Hells is this? You find the lock and it clicks open. Inside is a small scale, dark as night with swirls of purple. Taking it from the golden locket you notice how warm it feels, how pliable.
“It looks like a dragon scale!” Victus pipes in with wonder in his eyes, “Can I see it father?”
Your eyes widen. You remember it falling from the letter now, from Isis. She had the egg, or at least knew where it was. But this wasn’t the hard stone that you had been told of. It was confusing beyond belief. You place it in his palm and he flinches from the warmth, before getting use to it in a moment. Valyrian blood at work.
“It’s a gift Victus,” you say in the moment, placing the locket around his neck, “From your aunt.”
He flips it over, placing the tiny scale inside again and shutting it with a closed fist. You hadn’t told him about Isis yet, he wasn’t particularly ready for the reality of what you were about to do. You sigh and drew your son in close, ruffling his mess of hair. His world was about to change far more than you had promised before, and it twisted at your heart.
>Speak with the Crackclaw Point Lords while watching the Archery Contest
>Disguise yourself and enter the Archery Contest
The stands for the archery contest were far smaller than that for the melee, you’d need to talk to Wesley about expanding them in the future. You see your invited guests waiting for you already, it wasn’t particularly grand this stand, but you enjoyed the more leisurely nature of it. Maybe you’d get a good chance to see some budding local talent, as well as any particularly talented Knights. You were in need of two replacements for the Sons of Gold as it was. The thought still sat heavy remembering Sallo Rhod’s betrayal. He had taken from you more than he could have thought, but for what you still could not say.
“Lord Brynden. Good to see you,” Ser Dustin Brune greets you, extending his hand that you take with a firm shake. Lord Clarence Crabb takes it after with a silent nod, his eyes instead on the field.
“Talent about my Lord?” you ask attempting to coax him into word.
“Far less than I would have thought for Brynden Blackshaft,” he responds, “Though their seems to be a few of note. Careful I do not snatch them up before yourself I could always use talented archers upon the Point.”
You laugh and he joins you, less of a worry now. Lord Clarence wasn’t particularly fond of the idea of gearing the Alliance towards war, but so long as you could keep him in a good mood with cultivated the idea of trade he should be happy enough. Enough to remain and collaborate with yourself and the Hayfords. Today’s topic of note.
The herald calls attention and you are introduced, waving over the crowd, and looking to see a fair number of your own competing. Mors, Solhas, and Curtis Flowers primarily among them. A few of the Knights you saw yesterday appear among them as well, Ser Titus Sarsfield standing out to you. But more so for the memory you associate with him. He had been the Westerlands Knight in the Archery Contest in King’s Landing that Solhas had just barely eeked out. Small realm after all.
The majority of the some 200 competitors were unknowns to you however. A good sign, hopefully many were from your own lands or at least close, easy recruiting.
The open field round begins and you delve into business with the Crackclaw Point Lords, suddenly wishing it was the Lord of Dyre Den you were dealing with, anything as of right now was just talk. You need the man to make action, but at least you could begin.
How would you like to approach this?
>Talk up the Hayfords benefits to the alliance
>Talk up Mason and Illiad’s ideas
>Go straight for the kill and start to work on the potential marriage
>Talk up the Hayfords benefits to the alliance
>Talk up Mason and Illiad’s ideas
I don't want to muck about usurping our uncle's place as family head. The marriage is his to organize unless he specifically asks us to handle the negotiations, and even then I'd probably say that we should decline because it would just give Samuel even more cause to hate us over and one day he'll be running the hayfords, we want that relationship repairable.
Alright I'm drawing a blank for writing this scene right now. All I've done feels like really dry scenes and I'm not just sort of burnt on it today. I'm going to take a little break and walk around. See if I can get in the right head space again.
I did plan to run again tomorrow, Friday 1/29. And I still do, but maybe I'll just come back and pick up where I left off.
I don't know if I should change my runtime or if the material right now is just boring. But I'm going to adjust and see if I can get this straight.
Same here. But QM burnout happens sometimes. And usually it's just better to take a step back and wait until you're excited about the story again.
Or, alternatively, drop the narrative equivalent of a nuclear bomb on it and pick up the various pieces where they fall.
Eh, it's certainly not intense and dramatic scenes of wild, romantic swashbuckling.
We're doing feudal hob-nobbing and the medieval equivalent of making calls and arranging meetings. It's hard to make deskwork exciting but fuck if it isn't needed to get some shit done.
We need to be a Lord.
I would like to re-negotiate with Dontos about Acknowleding the child. We are in a different position right now and have been doing well so i believe we can get away with it. We may not have to take the child to Steadhold but can let it be raised in the villa with its mother who can work in it as a maid. The villa needs more personal anyway, poor rickard could probably use the help.
Get population and power up. Get more troops. Invest in the trade thing that Illad suggested to the crackclaw point lords.
Yeah that is pretty much what it is. I'm not bored of the quest, not even remotely. But I knew I was going to get a bit bored with writing just that stuff. Dorne at least had some action bits.
So I'm trying to figure out ways to include that here so the stuff is broken up a bit more. Basically, I need to get to the Prncewood and Narrow Sea battles otherwise I'll jump off a bridge.
Plan is to just pick up tomorrow. At 2PM EST as is standard. Hopefully we'll get to the duel.
I think I remember people plumping for Dornish influences when it was discussed.
Which is great. It'll be perceived as openly antagonistic to the Lannister Septon setting up shop there, and the gods know we need to piss more people off.
Not too much wind, sun to their backs, wonderful day for a bowman. Watching Mors knock his three qualifying arrows into the target brings a small smile to your lips. The crannogman was an asset that you rather enjoyed keeping around, he was soft spoken but his manner was hard, The Loyal Bows were disciplined and acted upon gesture. Adding Curtis Flowers to their numbers only brought the quality of the whole to new levels. Despite the day they still wore the dark leathers that were standard issue amongst their unit, and were armed with the tall longbows that were common all about Westeros. Perhaps the most iconic part of their equipment were the black shafted arrows, painted more often than not but watching Curtis’ shudder in the target still brought a further smile to your lips.
Turning again to your guests you offer wine with a simple gesture, both they happily accept on the warm summer day, you drain yours to near half before beginning in on them, “My Lords, I’ve given your offer of alliance a fair bit of thought in the past days, spoken to my Household at length, as well as my more extended family.”
Lord Clarence Crabb gives you an odd look, “Extended family? The Hayfords I assume?”
“One in the same my Lord, as I’m sure you’ve seen, Lord Winston Hayford and his sons have attended, the younger, Wesley, is the one that oversaw the preparations for this Melee in fact. My House has a martial bent as you can see, our main forms of income are our Horses and smaller scale trade to subsidized this. In the form of timber and grain more often than not. The former produces a fair amount of gold, the latter two, not as much. Not enough to supply the Point. However, the Hayfords produce far more food stuffs, as well as high quality leather and cloth.”
Ser Dustin Brune rouses himself, “We did not come for the Hayfords, Lord Malroy. We came for you, they are not sympathetic to our cause. And their military, negligible at best.”
“Ser Dustin, do your armies not eat? Do they not require armor or clothing in the field? The Hayfords are square in the middle of the breadbasket of the Crownlands. We are not Reach Houses to be certain, but they produce far more grain and food stuffs than the majority of the Point can muster. Is this not correct?”
Ser Dustin ruffles himself up like Benjin would before settling, “Yes Lord Malroy. Of course.”
Lord Clarence seems far more interested however, “My Lord. House Crabb survives on the crabs, fish, and clams we harvest from the Bay of Crabs. Dried fish is not the perfect meal to survive an army upon. Much of Crackclaw Point is unfarmable, the swamps too deep the pines too thick. But Ser Dustin speaks true, we do not come for the Hayfords even though it would be benefic- Erm. Trade is all well and good, but...”
You lean back and tap on your glass a moment, clearly Lord Crabb was conflicted, their information hadn’t been as solid as they had hoped, you were a military power to be certain but not the economic powerhouse they thought. You chew on the thought a bit before speaking, “The Hayfords are my family. Ravaged by the Rebellion not unlike my own House and I’m sure those of the Point. I have spoken to them of this and have presented the option. They still talk among themselves of its virtues. In truth my Lords, I could not provide the sheer economy that the Hayfords would bring to this Alliance. I asked to see you both today simply to present the idea, in the interest of full disclosure, and let you know where I stand on your original offer. I’d implore you to speak with Lord Winston Hayford, I cannot dictate your trade agreements, and his son Ser Samuel Hayford is an intelligent man, he knows his mercantilism.”
The two Crackclaw Point Lords exchange looks, they thought you had already decided. Small wonder they were so eager to see you today. In the back of your mind you had leaned towards agreeing and entering into their Alliance, but knew you needed something more binding to rally them to your own causes. However if they were more assured of your agreeance to enter, they would likely be more open to the idea of the Hayfords as well.
Roll 5d6 for Convince.
Entering the Crackclaw Point Alliance.
Nah, might as well use this one.
God that guys original plot was super dumb, I'm still amazed at how he offered us literally nothing of value.
"So my plan is you figure out how to deal with your debt on your own with no help from me and in the end still end up with a wife that Bates you."
Yeah. I am still not sure what went through his head when he came up with the plan.
>Okay convince brynden to marry my sister but hold off the wedding so father cant start a war
>he will not get a proper dowry
>he will have to pay off the debt by himself while still getting indebted to my father to a degree
>he will marry my sister who he doesnt care about and my sister already dislike him
>My plans are great
Yeah I kind of blew it on that plot. There was the whole Celtigar military being massive and your debt being entirely erased bit. But I probably conveyed it all very wrong.
Either way. We got HDW and I got my shit together so it all worked out.
"haha lets see them handle this little problem! okay... they figured it out pretty quickly. I guess that was an easy solution for those crafty bastards- how the hell did they manage to turn it into a advantage?! FUCK ARCHERY CONTEST!!!!"
Lord Clarence: Success, two degrees.
Ser Dustin Brune: Success, one degree.
Better now than any, you would still need to finalize things and allocate resources as necessary in the coming months, but better now to assure their cooperation than later, “My Lords, worry not. My intentions, of your Alliance, rather our Alliance. They are in your favor. You came for me and you succeeded. I will enter your Alliance, you’ve my word. But I would like you to consider my Uncle’s House as well. The Hayfords have much to offer. Not only yourselves but in assistance to my own efforts as well.”
Lord Clarence palms his chin and looks at you with an off eye, “We will consider my Lord. Perhaps Ser Dustin and I will speak with Lord Winston in the coming days. Either way, we are more than happy to hear this from you. When we come to a full agreement, I’m sure my maester can draw up a proper paper.”
Ser Dustin interrupts, “What exactly are you efforts my Lord?”
“Military and infrastructure, mostly,” you draw out slowly, “My intentions are to aid in the construction of a proper trade route through the Point, large enough for wagons, and soldiers. Logistics are everything in war, while your men thrive in the environment, mine own would be scattered to the wind the moment they set foot upon the Point.”
Lord Clarence looks surprised, “And you would do this without expectation of payment or tolls?”
You laugh slightly, “They are not my roads to toll my Lord. But not entirely without payment, you’ve two major ports on opposite ends of the Point. The Dyre Den on the north and Pynehall on the eastern tip. I’d be investing in these towns to a degree, a common thing amongst Essosi, they would construct caravanserai, or trade inns, housing product and merchants on their own payroll. A home away from home to an extent.”
“And large enough to house military,” Ser Dustin adds, “I’ve heard of these before Lord Malroy. The Celtigars would be wary of your sudden presence and more likely to land in locales avoiding such, likely the denser woods.”
“I cannot speak to Lord Brune or Ser Pyne’s response to such things however,” Clarence adds, “While the notion is certainly far more than we expected and welcomed, Malroy military so deep in our own lands may unnerve some.”
“Oh no my Lord, I am tethered by a restriction on my military. The only Malroy payrolled men in the caravanserai would be merchants, any military housed there would only be equipped by myself, locals all, ‘gifted’ to the respective Lords of their locales.”
Ser Dustin taps on his glass now, his old smile cracking a mite, “And you avoid spreading yourself thin on limited resources. Clever Lord Malroy. Clever. I can not see why my cousin could not be convinced of such. Ser Pyne however… That would require Lord Crabb’s word no doubt.”
Lord Clarence looks into his cup, and you eye the field, noting it seems to be cut in half after the qualifying round. He wasn’t entirely sure of the idea, you did just throw a lot at them in truth. They came asking for military aid. You offered to build them infrastructure most of the poorer Houses of the Point could only dream of.
“I was meant to ensure trade my Lord. I cannot come back to the Point with just words. I would need at least the beginnings of a trade agreement if I am to do this. We can offer harvest from the sea, and timber. Though little else I’m afraid...” Lord Crabb speaks at last.
Chewing over the thought you think a moment, you had little and less to offer from your House, there was the iron you were paid in from the Longwaters for grain, and of course Horse, but none of your breeds at present were particularly suited for the Point.
Lord Clarence Crabb needs at least some trade to begin between the Crackclaw Point Houses and yourself, likely his own since they are the most powerful economically and act as the middle man more often than note. In doing so you’d assure his assistance in convincing the Lords of Crackclaw Point to assist and allow you to build infrastructure in their lands, including the caravanserai and of course roads.
Now, yes definitely. Then I had only been QMing for what 7-8 threads at that point. I thought the blunder was enough to mark this as a failure. Now, it astounds me people are so into this.
Fucking Archery Contest man. Turning you into a powerhouse in one fell swoop. Ridiculous.
We could give them some of the iron and then, since we were thinking of making a workhorse breed anyway, why not prioritize them as buyers? They get first crack for the horses that will give them an advantage on the new roads they will be getting
Im not really sure what we can give beside horses if we are using the iron and leather we already got. Unless we can open up something with our contact in Myr or the other free cities.
I'd probably half it since you're acting as the middleman. Same would go for the High Quality Leather works. I say that because of course you're still going to be using some of the product for your own purposes, while trading the leftovers that would have just been traded for wealth instead anyway.
So a Valuable Mine gives +2 House Fortune & +2 Wealth rolls.
And Animal Husbandry>High Quality Leatherworks is +1 Influence & +1 Wealth roll. I'd probably knock the Wealth part of of that.
If it's something you are the sole owner of, I wouldn't half it or take anything anything away as I always have.
In exchange you could get a Fishery>Processing Holding, which gives +1 Wealth & +1 Population
A Timber>Lumber Mill Holding which is a +1 Wealth roll.
They don't have a lot to offer really.
Just do both. Focus leather and add in a little iron alongside it.
We can then suggest future trade when we have bred the horses suitable for their lands.
Probably something very akin to a shire horse, Big plodding things that wont get stuck.
Could we maybe convince them to start trade with us and once all if settled and the Hayfords become their new primary trade partner we can stop trading them iron.
I don't want to lose that wealth.
I say we take the hit on the mine and get the fishery, our House Fortune modifier is so damn big anyway it doesn't matter. The wealth mod will equal out and we still do need Pop.
Unlikely, they need at least something from you on a longer term. Otherwise it just looks like you're muscling in and setting up shop.
Shire Horses are close to what I was thinking. Would just need to figure out the proper modifiers.
Yes. That's exactly right.
Also, >>45091876 is right as well. -1 HF, wealth no loss, +1 pop.
Of course assuming Fishery. Which is probably the better option.
Big, strong, slow, oodles of endurance.
Oh and pretty damn resistant to biting cold and rain.
If this world has the screw pump then im sure that the point could be drainned to some degree, provided someone united the land under a single banner.
It does not. And I only keep up with House Redwards stats otherwise.
Anyway, I suppose we can do a vote for it.
>Trade Leatherworks for Fishery
(No loss on Wealth, +1 Population, keep +1 Influence)
>Trade Iron for Fishery
(No loss on Wealth, -1 House Fortunes, +1 Population)
Option to do both isn't there because you can't, they only have the one Fishery Holding.
I didn't mean statistically, just "does giving then iron leave them fluffed as better off than giving them leather"
Also, leather for fishery because honestly even if it does reflect I kinda want to not give it to them just to keep ourselves in a better position to be the one influencing them rather than them influencing us.
Ahhh, actually giving them leather is more likely to leave them better off, fluff wise. They employ a lot of archers and guerrillas.Not that it'll effect you too much, just means they'll have a stronger military. The Lords and Knights of the Point are petty Lords, a rung below your own House really. Only the Brune's of Dyre Den could be considered on your level and it would be closer to the Hayfords than yourself. So don't worry about them influencing you much. They did come to you afterall.
Either way, looks like we'll go with the Leather. Give me a moment to arrange everything in the spreadsheet and we'll continue.
Alright and we're done here. Nothing too major, though now Steadhold will receive a steady supply of rock crabs, halibut, and occasionally lobster. I guess Crackclaw Point is sort of like Maine? Additionally, we now get a +1d3 modifier to Population rolls. So that's fun and surely not going to bite me in the ass someday soon.
Do I hear temptations? I think I may. Or not. We'll see.
I was surprised at myself that Brynden never had any sex scenes in Steadhold.
Come on guys. I bet father has been bored out of his skull writing about trade agreement that would shame star wars episode 1. Let him write something steamy to cheer him up.
>Considering we had an entire section of this quest dealing with someone trying to have our love child for political gain, i do think it matters.
Yeah. But she is dornish and they be cray cray.
Doing a relatively quick and sloppy head count you pick out maybe ninety or so competitors left. Not the best turnout, though you do remember your population in the surrounding lands still hadn’t recovered entirely. Steadhold was your primary concern as of right now, but you did need to give some attentions to your domains in the future, suppose Benjin was right. There was a fair larger amount of Knights and members of your Household among them however, you note a couple of the Knights that were knocked out yesterday competing, though it’s clear they are favoring their injured limbs and sides.
They split into two sides, just as they did in King’s Landing. Mors and Solhas are on one side, the other Titus Sarsfield and Curtis Flowers.Watching the first few competitors step up at the second pace you tsk at the poor form and watch them eliminate themselves relatively quickly. Not the best show in truth, couldn’t expect much more, the Melee had been primary investment, the Archery contest was a side event. It annoyed you a degree, next time you might more heavily invest.
Shaking your head of idle thoughts, you turn back to your concerns at the moment, “Lord Crabb, a thought. I do fear my House has less to offer. The marsh of your Point isn’t particularly suited for my Horses. I can however offer, quality leathers. Highest caliber. I know your House’s prefer to use archers and guerrillas.”
“Hrm. Aye, we do. A small trade yes? My home is closer to the Crownlands than any other, and perhaps is home to the largest fishing trade, outside of Dyre Den. Crabs, lobster, fish? In exchange for your leather?”
“A years worth on either side?”
“My maester will draw up the particulars my Lord. And forward them to your Maester..?”
“Benjin. Really though, lobster?”
“The finest my Lord. I sell to King’s Landing upon occasion.”
Ser Dustin listens as you discuss the particulars of lobsters and crabs, well the particulars of food at least. He excuses himself, apparently intent to meet with his Knight still in the race. Lord Clarence Crabb is not soon after, with intentions to speak to his maester, drawing up a trade agreement and adding the amendments to their alliance pact you and hopefully Lord Winston will be signing soon.
You find yourself alone watching the Archery contest play out, this round leaving fifty or so men left. The next pace is started and Curtis drills his arrows home, staring down Ser Titus Sarsfield afterwards. Well at least that’ll be interesting later. You note Arron standing behind you watching, silently as he does.
>Watch the rest of the Archery Contest with Arron Qorgyle?
>Invite someone else to watch the rest with you (Specific?)
“Arron, come over, sit,” you say, it was rare you had a chance to speak with him, perhaps it was time to figure him out a bit more.
The lad awkwardly crosses through the few seats left and near jumps into the seat that Lord Crabb had left empty, keeping his eyes relatively trained to the field and his lips quiet. You allow him the quiet, perhaps he would talk when he wanted to.
Noticing the field continue to lessen you start to pick out the few that interest you. There’s a taller man by Solhas that has been taking the field with ease, what you assume to be twins competing with one another more than they are the field. Ser Titus is as proficient as he was in King’s Landing. Though you doubted he would win, Solhas had him edged out still. Not that it mattered much, his mind was on the team rounds of the melee tomorrow.
“Lord Malroy?” Arron asks suddenly, keeping his head still turned away from you.
Assuming this is the best you’ll get from him you respond, “Yes Arron?”
“My father, how far away is he?”
You pause, it wasn’t a scared child that asked that, felt more curious than anything, “Well by sea. Perhaps two or three weeks, depending upon where you stop to travel the rest of the way by foot. By land? I couldn’t say, months maybe? Dorne is a long way from here.”
His head turns slightly, “What about my aunty, Obella?”
“Maybe the same, a little less. She is in Sunspear now.”
He nods along, watching Mors take the pace with relative ease as he had been doing so before, “I miss them. And my brother. I’ve never been this far from home, Lord Malroy. I’m scared, everything is different here. Even the food.”
You laugh a little, and place a hand on his shoulder, somehow this was easy, raising Victus nearly alone had instilled that in you, children were always afraid by change. Seven, Victus was scared half to death the first time you told him you were coming home, “It’s normal Arron. You remember my son?”
“Is that what you call him?”
“He calls me Ron.”
Laughing again you remove your hand and lean back, he finally turns to look at you and you remember how much he looked like his father, “I suppose so then. When we were in Sunspear, so far from home, he told me the same thing. He missed home. He was scared. Wanted to see the people we’d left behind again. It’s natural, your father I’m sure misses you just as dearly, and in four months you’ll see him and your Aunt Obella again, and she’ll be staying with us. Better, yeah?”
Arron looks down a bit, and screws his face up, “Yes Lord Malroy.”
“You can call me Brynden. Seven knows half my bloody Household does already. And Arron? Don’t be so scared to speak up. I want what’s best for you. Can’t do it if you’re quiet as a Sept mouse.”
“Yes Lord Mal-, Brynden. I understand.”
You sit in quiet with Arron for a bit longer, and watch the field finally clear down to 8. Another Knight from the day prior rounding out those you noted earlier with Mors, Solhas and Curtis all making it with them. The lad seems relatively opened up now, at least for a bit.
>Any questions for Arron Qorgyle?
Ask how hes settling in, if theres anything he would like to do, anything in partic he wanted to learn from us etc.
The usual really.
The learn from us thing might work well into us teahcing him archery at some point.
>Any questions for Arron Qorgyle?
Ask if he wants to write a letter, any food he'd like, and what he misses most about home.
Yes Victus the Knight and Arron the archer, the dynamic duo in the War of the Five Kings
Yeah, but whether she KNOWS how to cook is irrelevant because she's not GOING TO, because she's going to be the lady of the house. She could instruct but it would be much less effort to bring a cook along with all the countless other people being brought up for the wedding.
Considering in this instance it would be in the case of dornish cuisine she would be instructing on, to a chef who is local, its not as far fetched. I.e. cooking for herself and her nephew.
This argument is silly, and yes i know the scenario is unlikely. It was a suggestion.
“You know Arron, if you wish you can write a letter back home, you do know where Maester Benjin’s tower is?”
“Yes, Vic and I practice our letters and numbers there everyday. But… My father told me to be strong, I don’t want him to think I’m... “
“Scared? Weak? Arron, I’m sure he misses you as much you do him, there isn’t a reason why he wouldn’t love to hear from you. Maybe Obella as well.”
“Maybe…” his eyes turn back to watch Solhas finish up with the taller man in a 5-2 decision after three rounds, “They say you’re the best archer since Lord Bloodraven.”
You laugh, “Who says that?”
“The people. Lady Lilly Cassel likes you a lot. The guards joke about not needing to guard you. You’ll just put an arrow in any attackers before they get to you. Ser Dontos always watches you practice and he nods like he’s happy.”
Well that’s different, “Do you want to learn?”
His head turns back to you, eyes wide, and he nods happily, “Yes, please!”
“You can practice with Victus and I then,” you pause thinking of ways to keep his attention, “Anything you like about Steadhold Arron?”
“All the color. It’s very pretty here. I’d like to go riding to the Violet Plains. The castle is boring but there’s a lot of places to play and hide in. Sandstone is just… Sand and a little oasis,” he says, swinging his feet a bit.
“My castle is not boring,” you feign offense and he laughs for the first time.
Mors just finished up with the black bow twin, 3-1. But the yellow bowed twin just beat out Curtis, 4-3, which surprises you entirely. Titus is currently trading points with the other Knight and you turn back to Arron, “Is that why you don’t like the food?”
He nods, “Not spicy enough. Everything tastes bland.”
“I could use the spice myself, do you like seafood Arron?”
“From the river?”
“From the sea, crab, lobster, fish bigger than a man.”
“I’ve never had crab before… Maybe?”
“We’ll try something a bit different than. Maybe you can ask your aunt to bring a cook with her?”
He nods along, eyes more turned to Titus falling the other Knight 5-4. This leaves, Ser Titus Sarsfield, the yellow bowed twin, Solhas and Mors. The former two are placed against one another while your men face off. Interesting little battle, the pace has gotten half to what your winning one was in King’s Landing and you doubted it would go beyond that.
“Can I tell you a secret about Aunty Obella, Lord Brynden?”
“I’d suppose Arron.”
“She’s scared too. She told me before I left Sunspear, I’m suppose to be her bodyguard when she gets here. I think she’ll be happy when she comes though. You’re a good person Lord Brynden.”
You ruffle his hair and he smiles at you, “Thank you Arron. I’d like to watch to watch the rest alone. Maybe you can go write your letters?”
He hops down and gives you a little bow and nod before running off, leaving you to sit alone. Solhas is up first and you watch him get a hair away from the center of the target with his first shot. He towers over Mors as they walk past each other and it almost makes you laugh.
“He is good child Lord.”
“You are suppose to be resting Illiad.”
“I will. When dead.”
“Sooner rather than later if you keep this up,” you watch him fall into the chair to your left, wincing a bit with is lack of leg now, “What is it Illiad?”
“Illion is ready with workshop. Requests you visit before feast. Yes?”
>Visit Illion before the feast tonight
>Decline, you had a date to keep with Lord Winston
>Decline, you had a date to keep with Lord Winston
However send a meal down to illiads brother with an apolagy, say we'll come as soon as we are able to pry ourselves away from current obligations.
Mors’ first shot shies closer to the third rung, putting Solhas up. 2-1. You knew the two of them were equal, Solhas could oust you on a good day, but rarely anymore. His next shot takes a moment longer, but he drills it into the second rung, 4-1. Mors takes a shot not to far off the latter, 4-3.
“You know I’m busy Illiad. As much as I hate it. It’s like trudging through a swamp. Slow and boring. Little gross at times.”
“Illion, not so boring. Has news.”
“Would not say. Wants see you first.”
Solhas takes is final shot, outside on the third rung. You can see him shake his head at, 5-3. Mors could tie it. His posture amuses you, likely to account for his height when using the longbow. He fires and the arrow digs close to the line, but still just outside of it, giving the contest to Solhas 5-4. Unsurprising, but Mors was a hell of an archer, you were lucky to have him on.
“You know he can just come to the feast right?”
“The noise makes him… Nervous, Lord,” Illiad struggles out waving his hand a bit, “Has always been. Likes workshop.”
“Illiad you can’t protect him forever. That’s my job now, try to coax him out. A little bit of socializing would be good for him, half the Sons speak Myrish anyway, at least he won’t feel like a mute. He can sit down at your table. I’ll say hello. What’s that in myrish again?”
“Same as Valyrian Lord.”
Ser Titus takes up his position, not entirely unlike your own, he draws, heavy, and aims. You noticed the sharp breath right before he looses, and watch the arrow fly true, nailing the bullseye for an early 3-0 lead. The yellow bowed twin comes up next rolling his neck, his posture is lazy, slightly bowed, you’re surprised that you just now noticed he was using a recurve. He draws and fires in one motion, the arrow slamming into the bullseye not unlike Titus, an even 3-3.
“Is he settling in well at least Illiad?”
“Enough, Lord. He misses home. I know feeling. Happy, to be…”
“With you, I know Illiad. Wish it could have been easier.”
Illiad is quiet and you turn to him, his eyes distant, “Sorry Lord.”
“It doesn’t matter now Illiad. What’s done is done. Remember you use to tell me that all the time when I was too drunk to stand up? When I was trying to forget… her.”
“What’s done is done. Yes Lord.”
Titus takes his next shot, as practiced as ever, landing in the second rung, 5-3. The twin takes his position again, stretching out his bow, again taking his quick draw and fire, not far off from Titus’. 5-5. Hell of a contest. Titus comes up for his final shot, looking frustrated, he’s clearly not use to commoners beating him, no wonder Solhas eeked him out last time. And it shows in his form, his shot errs to the left, barely striking the third rung and you see him spit unhappily. 6-5. Conversely the twin seems calm and collected, taking his time to take position, and almost lazily firing off his last shot, it lands with a thump in the second rung and he takes the win. 7-6. You clap along with the crowd, it was a fine showing.
“He will win Lord.”
“Solhas will give him a run, you know that.”
“He shoots like Myrman. Brother?”
“The same, slightly worse.”
You sit in quiet unsure of how to answer at the moment. It still dug at you anytime you thought of it. But it needed to be done. Solhas, again towers over the man, and his hand engulfs the other when they shake. He takes his position. Drawing out his massive goldenheart bow, the pace is ¾ your winning, but it doesn’t bother him much, he knocks a solid hit into the second rung going up 2-0. The twin again, showing a clear lack of care beyond flirting with a young lady in the front row takes his position, draws, fires. 2-2. Solhas shrugs your way, and you wave a hand, to which he nods. He draws, massive strength behind it, looses, it flies true and slams into the center of the target, 5-2. You quirk an eyebrow, clearly Solhas had been practicing, bothered him he wasn’t the best bowman among the Sons anymore. The twin suddenly looks serious and takes up his position, draw, fire, quick, too quick. It thumps into the second rung. 5-4. Solhas’ advantage. You smile at Illiad and he points, Solhas takes his shot, but it fares poor, something was off entirely, so rare it was to see that as it knocks into the very bottom of the third rung. 6-4. The twin looks serious still. Taking his position slow. And in an instant he draws, aims, fires. Bullseye. 7-6. The crowd applaudes the effort, and you do as well. Watching him carefully throughout, his brother comes back and they hug tightly, before he looks your way, he speaks to the man coming to retrieve him for his prize. The man looks taken aback and he points in your general direction. The twins nod their head and both look to you.
“He wants to challenge Lord.”
You laugh, “Of course he does.”
>Accept the winners challenge?
Pushing yourself out of your seat you stretch out as the page finally reaches you for the challenge. You send the lad off to fetch your bow and take a step down to the front of the stands. Just enough to see the two brothers, only distinguished by their bows, but both staring at you eagerly. Giving them a nod the winner smiles broadly and they both hug again. Looks like this was initial.
“They are young Lord.”
“Give me your best guess.”
“Twenty, one and twenty, perhaps?”
“Do you call me young Illiad?”
“Depends on day.”
You roll your eyes and decide to descend from the stand finally when the page arrives with your items. You had taken to practicing with the longbow more often than not lately, but still preferred your recurve, just for show at the moment. And your opponent preferred one as well, an even game all around. The page takes your shedded doublet and gloves, leaving you with only your guard and an undershirt. Not that Ladies in the box nor girls in the audience minded much. You flashed a smile towards to box noting a few of your invited guests still remained. The Hayfords, and Ser Dustin Brune had returned with his nephew, Ser Aden Brune, and his sister? A pretty little thing, delicate as could be, but she turned shades of red so deep she covered her face after catching your eye.
Passing by Solhas you thump him on the back and he shrugs, giving the faintest smile in response, you’re not sure what that meant, did he let him win? Finally arriving face to face with the twins you extend a hand, “I’m sure you are aware, but my name is Lord Brynden Malroy. Congratulations on your win..?”
“Better known in King’s Landing as Brynden Blackshaft if milord will beg my pardon. I am Fredrik Tanner, me brother here is Tomas Tanner, the winner of your archery contest.”
“And I’d bet it all on a single chance to compete against you milord.”
It wasn’t a particularly large prize, 200 gold dragons and a small flagon of Arbor wine from one of the smaller Lords. You laugh and wave it off, “Keep your prize. Not every day I see Solhas lose. Your challenge is accepted Tomas Tanner. You first.”
He smiles broadly, and you note a few missing teeth on the left side, not from rot, looks like from a fight, not recent. His brother smiling just as much, has them all. A small difference. Waving them on you take the pace that they had before, and Tomas walks past, shaking nervousness from his hands. He rolls his neck. And like a flash, draws aims, fires. The shaft shudders in the second rung, an early lead, meant nothing. 2-0. The crowd gives him a friendly round of applause but goes crazy when you go to take your position instead. You turn around a moment and see Tomas’ face having gone pale, as if the realization of what he had just done had set in. You laugh and take up position. No wind. Sun still at your back. It was a lovely day for a bowman. You draw up and stretch the bow out. Felt right, felt good. Ready.
>Roll 6d6 for Marksmanship.
And even worse! We would be humiliated infront of
>and his sister? A pretty little thing, delicate as could be, but she turned shades of red so deep she covered her face after catching your eye.
Gotta be a charming rogue and dedicate our win to her.
>That'd be pretty damn rude to our fiance? Fuck her sure but that's way way WAY too public.
Actually father said that Obella would like that. She would love Brynden to charm other ladies only for her to walk away with him.
Besides, it make sense for Brynden to do so.
Success, two degrees.
Your arrows flies true, an easy thing, you wanted a bit of sport with this little game. It had been far too long since you had competed, hell even held a bow in anything other than stress relief. You stifled the sellsword inside you as deeply as possible. But occasionally. Occasionally you need to enjoy yourself. Cocky youth that needed a lesson in who they were dealing with? Perfect opportunity. Your arrow knocks into the second rung, not too far from the center, a hair away even. The crowd roars its approval, and you note it having become noticeably larger with word of your competing. Dontos wouldn’t approve of you making a habit out of being a spectacle. But let him brood, you deserved it.
Tomas walks past you with nervousness in his eyes. The crowd clearly having turnt on him, he shakes himself out. Psyching himself up even going as far as to stretch his bow for once before turning to you, just slightly, and smirking. Your eyes glimmer and you almost laugh, he was faking it, trying to make you lax. Poor sod. Didn’t know what he was competing against. His smirk disappears in an instant suddenly aware you’ve caught him. It turns to a serious face and he draws up. Ready and loose, it was an impressively fast shot you had to give him that. Again it thumps into the second rung and he looks relieved. 4-2, your turn.
Wasting little time you take up position again, the crowd quieting to a murmur as they await your next shot. Draw. Inhale.
Roll 6d6 for Marksmanship.
Success, three degrees.
That one felt good. Smooth. Quick like lightening. The moment you release it almost feels as if time has slowed, the arrow so effortlessly flying from bow and hand. The roar of the crowd brings you back to the moment as the arrow crunches into the bullseye, not dead dead center but damn close. 5-4, your advantage. You take a spin on your heel and play to the crowd, it was second nature afterall. Illiad shakes his head from the stands and you laugh. Solhas looks amused off to the side, whispering to Mors and Curtis, the latter having burst into laughter the moment your arrow struke true. The other twin, Fredrik, looked pale as a sheet, his brother had made a mistake. Should have taken the coin and flagon and ran.
You walk past Tomas to take up with your men and give him a smile, he frowns and nearly trips when you clap him on the back. Composing himself with a quickness he takes his position, the crowd absolutely letting him have it, how quickly the tide turns when their Lord is involved.
“Poor lad doesn’t know what to do with himself,” Curtis whispers in your ear.
“Poor lad didn’t expect me to accept,” you respond with a smirk, eyes glimmering with emerald.
“Doesn’t know you very well then,” Solhas adds in his quiet baritone.
Tomas doesn’t waste any time this round instead he seems to block out the crowd for the few instances of his shot, he takes a sharp breath. Draws, looses. It flies well, it flies true. And knocks into the second rung, a hair away from the center. He clutches his hair and looks distressed. He was up 6-5, but you still had a turn left, and this wasn’t the pace at King’s Landing, this was easy, no overtime this evening. If you missed it would be by the divine doing of the Seven.
You take your position, the crowd quieting themselves again. So cruel it was to have turned them so easily, but this was your home advantage. Should have known better. You roll your neck, stretch your bow out to the ohs and ahs of the more feminine audience. And then you draw, digging deep. And then your inhale, sharply, practiced. You aim, trained. And you fire.
Roll 6d6 for Marksmanship.
Success, one degree.
Dontos would tell you such thoughts would incur the Seven’s wrath, and that would learn you to be some haphazard in your thoughts. The arrow flies true for a moment, but wobbles, it falls, and thumps into the third rung, a single point. Even 6-6. Huh. The crowd is perplexed and quiets a moment. Play it off. There you go, more fun this way, give them a show, a reason to come back. The little man was a hair’s breadth away from winning in overtime, a better story. You shrug, and the crowd cheers again. An easy sell. You were a master bowman, not so ard as to pretend that was done on purpose. Overtime it was.
You gesture for Tomas to retake his position, his mouth ajar. You can read his nervousness in his eyes, but there’s a mixture, seriousness some confidence. He thinks he has a chance again. Fredrik pushes him and he walks past you, watching still unsure, and you stop him, with a short whisper, “Makes for the better story, no?” and end with a smile before walking off. His reaction is of course not much more than a further stare and his mouth hanging loose still.
Solhas gives you a level look and you shrug again. He knew better, “Which one was it? The pretty one by the Lord? Or the one that looks like she could be Barq Zos’ sister in the crowd?”
Tomas takes is time getting ready the crowd is actually quiet this time, he shakes loose. Draw, fire. It flies true, as they all have, he was a consistent shot more than anything, and drives home in the second rung. 8-6. Your turn. No games this time. Well hopefully, your shots seemed to favor just outside the bullseye, and it bothered you immensely. You need to start practicing at this pace more often. You take your position again. Ready.
Roll 6d6 for Marksmanship.
Success, two degrees.
Not a game, clearly as you arrow drives into the second rung yet again, but further outside the bullseye that it had been before. Which annoyed you immensely. 8-8, tie game again. The crowd cheers, suddenly realizing that he was either a match or you were toying with him. Both seemed acceptable stories to tell. This time you gave a solid shake of your bow towards Tomas, a gesture seemingly saying, “You’ve got a hell of shot and a hell of a pair right now.”
You pass by Tomas again, his eyes trained forward, attempting to miss any possible contact he could have with you. The crowd quiets again, and he runs a hand through his hair, pulling a necklace from his tunic and kissing it for luck. A little hammer it looked like.
“Stop playing with the lad and just get it over with Brynden,” Curtis offers and you both laugh. Solhas is still convinced you’re being distracted. But you watch your opponent again, He sighs, draws, fires. It flies. Poorly. To the outside to the left, and just barely buries itself in the outside ring. 9-8, your turn. You watch him walk off, looking at the ground rather than you. It felt like he just handed it to you. Nervousness finally got the better of him.
There’s a quiet again as you take your position, might as well end this.
Inhale. Aim. Fire.
Roll 6d6 for Marksmanship.
Success three degrees.
It flies true, feels better like you had finally honed in the pace. The solid thud in the center of the target gives way to a roar of applause from the crowd. 11-9, solid win in the end. Took a bit longer than you might have liked but it would make for a fun story at least. The poor lad likely near pissed himself, or fainted, either or by the look in his eyes.
You trek the field to where the brothers are standing, both looking far more sheepish than they had before. The both take a knee quickly, their heads bowed in what looks like a mixture of shame and embarrassment. You pull them both up with a wave of your hand, and offer a hand to Tomas, “A good show lad. Haven’t had good competition like that since King’s Landing. I would ask you both stay, I might have a spot for you in the coming days.”
The twins nod and make to leave, quickly. And you’re left alone with the crowd’s voice roaring in approval of your victory. Playing up to them again you feign a kiss on your hand and fire it with a mock bow in the stands. You watch a few ladies go absolutely red in minutes, and catch the slightest glimpse of Ser Aden’s sister’s eye before she shields herself from yur sight again.
Your men rush you, and congratulations are offered all around. You hear the chatting of ‘Brynden Blackshaft.’ And for a moment enjoy the memory.
[End Chapter XXIV]
Ah man that felt good. Thank you for indulging me. Next thread is Sunday, January 31st. Thread is about to fall off so any questions direct them to my Ask.FM or twitter, both can be found in the OP. Thank you all for playing and putting up with my long windedness today. Really just wanted to get some stuff done. We’ll be starting up with the feast tomorrow. Some dancing, some talking to Winston. And we will be finalizing the alliance. What the hell do you call a paper you sign when you form an alliance? Treaty, pact? I don’t know. Anyway, thanks again all. Have a good one.
I sort of rushed through the end so it wasn't as good as it could have been. But I still had fun doing something a bit different.
For anyone curious, my total word count through all the threads since the beginning is 214,363. So. Yeah. Christ.