Black Motives of a Bleak Dynasty

Into the Lion's Gate

Topper Simonen motioned to another Gold Cloak, who stepped forward instantly. “Mick, lead the Miridans to an inn to bed for the night, I’m sure they won’t be setting up their pavilions at this late hour.” Mick Hallad nodded and lead the party down the remainder of the River Road. Were it day they could see Aegon’s Hill in the distance, but as it were they could only see a thick blanket of darkness.

“Most folks tent on the green,” Hallad began as they moved into King’s Landing proper. “Some Houses allow their retainers to stay with them in their pavilions. Either way, we’re heading to an inn tonight, the Green Tree Inn, in case you’re wondering. It’s rooms have all been set aside for nobles like yourselves for the duration of King Robert’s Tournament, so it should be easy to grab beds there, even at this late hour.” Beatrice struggled with the urge to go back home, and decided to do so, first offering the ladies to join her in Flea Bottom. Mick Hallad raised an eyebrow and scoffed. “I wouldn’t head there at this time of night, even if you do live there.” Ser Kai agreed wholeheartedly that she should remain with the party before Mick continues on. “Being as you’re from here I’d think you to have more sense than that…must be you’ve been gone for some time to forget something as that.” Beatrice furrowed her brow but remained quiet before acknowledging his point and conceding to remain with the party.

“I’ll tell you all of this one time I were stabbing this gorgeous girl…whore o’ course, but ‘snot the point…” Mick Hallad told stories and jested until they arrived at the Green Tree Inn. “Now, if you’re all as interested in sharpenin’ your swords as I am, right across the way is the Jade Spring brothel. It’s too bad I gots me duty to return to, as they’ve some lovely ladies there. Not sure if there are men folk, never asked ‘bout it, but the girls aren’t picky as to their clientele, so they’d please you all. Lyle Brewer owns both the inn and brothel, so ” With that, Mick Hallad turned around and headed back to his post at the Lion Gate.

As the party stood outside in the street they heard the screams of a woman in distress coming from a nearby dark alleyway. Gilligan, of course, headed to the inn, simply ignoring the screams. It’s a trap! He thought as he headed inside. Elliot berated him for a craven, ignoring Septa Demissus and Vigilus as they followed Gilligan, and joined Ser Harvey, Ser Kai and Beatrice as they headed for the alley.

In the dark alley they spotted a group of bandits with battle axes, dunking a woman into a large and shallow pool of water. The bandits grinned at the sight of fresh meat and the woman stood up, laughed heartily, kissed the bandit who was previously “drowning” her and ran off down the alley. Beatrice noticed some movement in the shadows and alerted the group to an assassin waiting in the shadows with a stiletto. The assassin muttered curses for being spotted as Ser Harvey attacked one of the bandits, who fell, sliced in half, into the pool of water. The pool began to turn a dark red as Beatrice threw a knife, missing the assassin, and braced herself to be attacked. The assassin obliged and struck, but Beatrice deftly dodged the attack as Ser Kai loosed an arrow into the throat of another bandit. He fell to the ground with a sickening “thock” as his head hit the edge of the pool. Elliot sneered as he drew his weapon, gripping it in both hands, and slashed at the assassin. The assassin died, his arm severed, dropping the stiletto before it plunged into the pool. The remaining bandit struck Ser Harvey with his battle axe, drawing blood. Enraged, Ser Harvey struck the bandit, nearly killing him.

“Yield! I yield!” cried the bandit as he sank to his knees. Beatrice, disgusted at the thought of being tricked, slashed his throat. The party remained indifferent as to her actions as Elliot searched the assassin, finding 30 Silver Stags. He offered to share with the group, but Ser Harvey expressed he should keep them, spoils of the battle, as they dumped the remaining bandits and moved the assassin into a dark corner of the alley.

They left the alleyway quickly, looking nonchalant, as people started to gather nearby at the sound of the commotion. Finally making their way back to the inn, where the group was waiting outside. The party entered the Green Tree Inn and instantly recognized several neighboring Houses of the Westerlands. House Lugus and House Hart were the most prominent among them. A hedge knight sat in the corner drinking ale, a few gamblers sat playing Cyvasse, several regular patrons were seen at the bar along with a noble from House Lugus. Ser Natan Lugus, sitting at a table with some of his retainers, drunkenly called the party over. Elliot waved half-heartedly at him as they decided what to do. Beatrice asked permission to perform, and did so, as Elliot suggested that Ser Kai secure rooms before heading to the bar and ordering a drink, where he noticed Rogg Thanders sitting and enjoying a drink.

“How nice it ‘tis to see you all!” exclaimed Rogg Thanders when he saw Elliot. “Where the hell did you go? You left after the ambush and we never saw how or where.” Rogg shrugged. “I dun’no. I don’ remember anythin’ after the attack until I woke up outside the Lion Gate. It was so strange, I can’na remember how I got there.” Rogg appeared to be genuinely freaked out. Elliot narrowed his eyes and asked him to remove his gloves. Rogg did as he was bid, the party gathering after Ser Kai had secured a floor for the party. Under his gloves were nubbed fingers. “As I thought, nubs. How did you go about getting these nubs of yours?” Rogg was taken aback by the sudden interrogation but explained. “I’ll have you know I wasn’t always an upstanding citizen. We had nothing when we was growing up, my sister and I, except each other. I often had to steal for our supper, and when I were caught, mi’lord was just and took my fingers instead of my hands.”

Orten Lugus, at the bar, spoke up to the party. “Here for the Tourney, are you?” Elliot replied. “Yeah, we’re here for the Tourney.” Orten smiled, “My brother is too, but not me…I’m here for my sister, you know, the Black Lady of Casterly Rock, to broker a marriage. Good luck to her…or him, if you will. Either way, it’ll be fun watching my brother in the tournament. I certainly wouldn’t bet on him in the tournament thought if I were you.” “Who’s the hedge knight in the corner, he seems to be staring at us?” “Well, I heard of him, old Ser Yorras Lancier, he is.” “Any news from the road?” Elliot asked. “You’d know more than me, just coming off it yourselves. I haven’t heard anything of late.”

Elliot remained drinking while Vigilus sat at the Cyvasse table and won himself a Gold Dragon. Gilligan had long since gone to bed; Septa Demissus had as well, and Ser Harvey approached Ser Yorras, recognizing him as an old comrade from Robert’s Rebellion.

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King's Landing or Bust

In the morning, the party woke up and headed downstairs where Marta Taverner had lain out a spread fit for the emissaries of the king. Honey and apples, blood pudding garnished with green tea leaves, poached quail and ham, grapes, and whipped herb butter with black bread and nuts. As the group feasted upon the succulent meal, they noticed a new patron enter the inn, Vigilus, a dealer of fine items from Miranport. Vigilus could often be heard around the marketplace boasting that he could find rare goods for cheap, leading the locals to believe that he is not exactly an upstanding citizen.

“M’lords” he said, nodding his head in respect as he approached the table. “Good morrow” replied Elliot quietly. Ser Kai greeted him as well, while Elliot offered him to take a seat. “What brings you here?” Elliot asked, slightly suspicious at his inauspicious arrival. “I heard this inn serves a nice dark ale,” Vigilus replied, “And I figured I may as well stop in on my way to King Robert’s tournament. Obviously I won’t be there to compete, but I can do good business down in King’s Landing selling wares, and I certainly wouldn’t want to miss out on that.” Ser Kai nodded and offered to share the road along with the destination.

“Oh Marta, how far out from King’s Landing are we?” asked Gilligan between bites of quail. “Oh, ‘bout a day’s ride from here. Ya’re goin’ to arrive around nightfall I’d ‘spect, if you leave soon." Hamish smiled slightly, hoping that the city would help give him the protection he desperately needed. He had only eaten a few grapes and guzzled several horns of water to combat his splitting hangover. As the party left, Gilligan thanked Marta for her hospitality on behalf of the party and King Robert Baratheon.

Once outside, the party mounted up for the ride to King’s Landing. Beatrice and Hamish sat in the back of the wagon, while Elliot takes the rear to watch over them. The majority of the group, sans Septa Demissus, Gilligan and Hamish, donned mail or padded armor in anticipation of possible ambush.

Soon after their departure, they met an odd peddler who introduced himself as Rogg Thanders. He looked much like Kriss Kringle in that he was portly, bearded and carried a large bulging rucksack slung over his back. He offered gold to help escort him on our travels, but Ser Harvey eyeballed him suspiciously. Finding nothing wrong with him, he asked to check his sack. After a quick chuckle from the immature nature of the proposition, he checked the large rucksack and found nothing but junk. Ser Harvey left him be, but Beatrice also had feelings of uncertainty about the stranger. The party sent him up front so they could keep an eye on him.

As they continued, the party was grateful that the weather was nice and sunny, and that many of the puddles made from the storm the night before were now drying up, allowing the road to remain easily traversable. More rumors could be heard from the passersby as they continued their journey:

“I ‘eard a small group o’ knights come tru these parts headin’ to King’s lookin’ fer valiant souls fer th’ Wall. Bloody crows in th’ Nights Watch, they’re no good they is.”

“I heard a force of Miridans done invaded the Dannett lands. Seems that Adham Dannett held them back, but they still burned every village under the Dannett rule, they did. Savage Miridans I tell you, and that son, Ser Kai, pah, some Ser he is. He’s the one done lead the charge he is.”

After several leagues the party rounded a bend, where several unexpected events occurred. From nowhere, an arrow whirred through the air, striking Hamish through the eye, killing him instantly. At the same moment, nearly everyone heard rustling in the bushes before a dry of “For the Fifteen! House Dannett!” cut through the air. Two people charged from the left on foot and caught Elliot by surprise as he and Ser Kai stared at Hamish in cold horror. One of the sellswords, Michael Kraft, attacked Elliot, delivering a solid blow to his mail, but still glancing off his armor. Before Elliot had the time to react, Ser Harvey struck and injured Michael, as another arrow whizzed by, striking a tree. Meanwhile, Beatrice threw two knives, maiming Michael by lopping off his ear, as well as cutting the other, Thomas Hen. Michael fell to the ground, clutching where his ear once was and screamed in agony. Lyanna drew her sword and struck Thomas before he screamed “They killed Michael!” as Gilligan peered into the woods in the direction the arrows had come from. He spied nothing as Thomas screamed “Loose the arrows!” Septa Demissus ran, trident in hand, as Vigilus tossed a knife of his own, catching Thomas in the throat. Clutching his throat, Thomas tried to speak but only gurgled blood as his eyes rolled back and he slumped to the ground. Damn, thought Elliot as he watched the battle end before him, Not even a single chance to strike.

Rogg Thanders cursed the party as a poison while they moved to where the arrows had come from, finding nothing but a few footprints leading deeper into the woods. Lyanna pointed out that the arrows were not shot from the ground, but from the trees, but had no useful information to give. The group returned to the maimed sellsword, still clutching his bleeding skull.

“Who hired you!?” demanded Ser Kai, intimidating him. “’Twas, L-Lord Dannett! I got a-a-a bounty from him, see here!” Thomas pulled out a parchment claiming bounty on the Miridans. It also claimed that a troop of ten archers would be there in the woods as support, which was obviously false. Septa Demissus took a look at the parchment and discovered quickly that it was a clear forgery, without a true seal of House Dannett, written hastily a few hours prior.

“Describe the man who hired you,” Ser Kai told him, still imposingly.” Thomas looked at him and shook his head. “We wasn’t hired, we was doin’ it for the innocents, the fifteen, as we’d said. And the man, Alfric Dannett, he was t-t-tall, gaunt, tan and-and i-i-imposing.” Gilligan scoffed at him, “Heh, that is not Afric Dannett. You were tricked by Clayton Arkay, otherwise known as the Fox Knight, the one who perpetrated the entire massacre that we Miridans had no part in, and framed us for it.” Thomas continueed to clutch his head and offered to be a witness in their defense.

The party accepted Thomas Hen’s offer and took all of the evidence from the scene, as well as the three Gold Dragons from the body of Michael Kraft. As that occurred, Septa Demissus approached Ser Harvey Karp and told him in confidence that she believes she has the Third Eye, and that she has been plagued with nightmares for the past several nights. “You can believe me or not, it matters little, but I have been plagued with these nightmares and I would like your input on interpretation. Unfortunately, Ser Harvey had no idea what the dreams meant, but thanked her for trusting him with the information.

The party continued down the road, and at some point along the way, Rogg Thanders, previously heading the group and allegedly being watched closely, disappeared. “Did any of you find it strange that Rogg was wearing gloves, but he was fingerless?” Elliot asked as the group began to murmer about Rogg’s sudden and mysterious disappearance. The group stared at him blankly as they approached the Lion Gate leading to King’s Landing. “He had no fingers. The fingers in his gloves were limp and unsupported, almost like all he had were nu…”

“Halt!” Elliot broke off as they heard the voice of a Gold Cloak stop them outside the Lion Gate. There were three of them, with one clearly in charge. Ser Harvey recognized him as Topper Simonen, and informed the party that during the war he was clearly on the take, looting bodies and breaking laws as though they didn’t apply. “Karp,” Simonen growled when he spotted him within the group. “You lot look suspicious, I’ll need you to step to the side so we can search your persons and your wagon.

Gilligan stepped up and threatened him, trying to discover why they were trying to search the party. “We know about your shady practices, and will report your actions to all the other Nobel Houses I can assure you, but that doesn’t matter as long as we go un-harassed, so tell us why you wanted to search us.” Topper Simonen fidgeted, “Ah, uh, no need for that, just giving you a bit of a hard time is all. Adham Dannett paid me to do so, told me you’d be coming. He was traveling with their master-o-arms and his three sons, their younger maester and that merchant fellow, Ruban Piper. Now then, let me escort you to where you’ll be staying.”

Topper Simonen told the other two to guard the gate in his absence and escorted the party through the Lion Gate and to their accommodations without further incident.

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Night at the Great Stag

Ser Harvey glanced around the room and noticed that Elliot was not present. “Where the hell is Elliot?” he asked, slightly agitated. “I’ll find him,” offered Gilligan. I have to get the hell out of here anyway; there’s no way I’m guarding this piss-soaked piece of shit. He marched up to the third floor and entered the room to find Elliot sitting in a chair, relaxing with his feet propped up on a table. “Get downstairs, they need you to help guard Hamish,” said Gilligan in a gruff tone before filling him in on the current situation. “So am I on guard duty first or something?” Elliot asked. Gilligan shrugged, “They just want you down there; now get the hell out of my room.”

Fucking prick, thought Elliot as he left the room and heard Gilligan lock the door behind him. He made his way down to their second floor room and was greeted with a sharp look from Ser Harvey. “Ser Kai will take the first shift, myself the second. You needn’t guard him, but we need every sword in case something goes awry.” Elliot nodded his approval, wrinkling his nose at the sharp stench of urine coming from the drunken Hamish.

“Ser Kai, as you are taking the first shift, I will take my rest. Elliot, I suggest you do the same. Elliot nodded, but before heading to his own bed, he approached Ser Kai with a suggestion. “I’d suggest that you keep him drunk. I heard he’s cooperating now, but he might not be so amiable when he sobers up.” Ser Kai nodded his acknowledgement and Elliot headed to bed. Ser Kai checked on Hamish, who was sputtering nonsense in his chair, and he watched him until he passed out. Satisfied that everything was all right, Ser Kai sat on alert, ready in case anyone approached to try to assassinate Hamish.

Meanwhile, upstairs on the third floor, Gilligan slept in his room, undisturbed. In the adjacent room however, Septa Demissus was once again plagued with nightmares. She found herself on the deck of an enormous warship sailing through the rough seas of a severe thunderstorm. Septa Demissus watched as giant waves pounded at the sides, violently shaking the ship. After a few moments she turned toward the stern to witness a new and horrifying sight: rows upon rows of hundreds of pale, headless men rowing the warship in haunting unity. Terrified, she turned and faced the stormy sea again. This time, she noticed that the waves turned into death heads at their peak, tears streaming down their faces. As she stared at the continuous waves of death heads, she heard a large pounding sound coming from the bow. She whirled around to witness a giant faceless oaf shambling toward her carrying a large and filthy, bulging burlap sack. The lumbering oaf stopped, dropping the burlap sack. Hundreds of pale severed heads spilled out onto the deck and turned to face the horrified septa. Once turned, their eyes flicked open and stared at her before opening their mouths in unison and shrieking like banshees. Septa Demissus jerked awake and stared around the room, making sure that none of the severed heads had carried over into reality from her nightmare. She stood up slowly and remained stock-still to assess that she was on solid ground and not the violently rocking cabin of a ship. Satisfied, she opened her window and took in the cool breeze for a few minutes before returning to bed.

Ser Kai sat on a rough wooden stool, wishing that the room had a window so that he could air out the lingering stench of urine, but remained ever vigilant in his duty of guarding Hamish from possible assassination from the Fox Knight or his associates. During a particularly enjoyable recall of one of his previous sexual triumphs, he heard the soft creaking of a floorboard in the hallway outside. Was that…? Hmm, better check it out. Ser Kai stood up and checked the door; it was locked. After unlocking it he poked his head out to check for signs of what made the noise, but saw nothing but shadows dancing in the dim torchlight. Shaken, he closed the door and locked it again, listening intently. Another creak found him waking up Ser Harvey and Elliot. “Ehhhh?” groaned Ser Harvey, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, “What’s the matter? We under attack?” Ser Kai shuffled a foot uncomfortably before he responded, “Uhh, no, I heard floorboards creaking but I didn’t see anything.” Ser Harvey was an inch from backhanding him but decided to restrain himself. “You woke us up, because you heard a noise? Are you fucking kidding me!?” Ser Kai, once again shamed by Ser Harvey, lowered his eyes to the floor. “Are you sure you weren’t imagining it?” asked Elliot, who was now awake. “It could have been any number of things, and footsteps without an owner are highly unlikely.”

Ser Kai insisted that he heard something, so Elliot volunteered to check as well while Ser Harvey fell back into a deep sleep. Once again, only shadows and torchlights dancing in the darkness crossed his field of vision. He made his way down the entire hallway, hand on his sword hilt, but still found nothing. When he returned, he reported that nothing was outside in the hallway. Suddenly, Elliot’s knees buckled and he fell to the floor, passed out. The door began to creak open and a small, stooping figure peered around the corner.

Nubbs! thought Ser Kai as he watched the old crone enter the room; this time she did not mumble incoherent ramblings, but instead she spoke her thoughts aloud. Ser Kai remained frozen in place as she approached slowly, speaking softly. “Fools, fools, fools!” she muttered to Ser Kai, quickly turning away and muttering to herself as though unaware that she was still speaking, “Ser Kai the biggest fool of them all!” She turned back and leaned close to Ser Kai. “Nubbs they call me?” she murmured before she turned away again, “Yes, fitting I suppose, I like, but I must not let them know. Can’t let them know too much, see.” She turned back to Ser Kai, a disturbing smile crossing her lips revealing large gaps between a few cracked and broken yellow and black teeth. “‘Twas yer grandfather’s cock it was, and bloody beach property. And the ejaculate! Oh… Looks like yer carryin’ somethin’ nice betwixt yer legs, like yer grandfather.” Nubbs spat on the floor and squatted, covering the floor beneath her in rancid piss before disappearing through the door.

Elliot, finally regaining consciousness, staggered to his feet, nearly vomiting as the smell of more concentrated piss wafted through the air. He held a hand over his mouth and nose as he approached Ser Kai, who continued standing stock-still. “What the fuck just happened?”

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Inn-Hopping

That night, Septa Demissus woke up sweaty after tossing and turning in bed. Not content to spend the rest of the night awake, she falls back to sleep, but this time she dreams. The noble woman with the long raven hair once again bids her to drink from a silver chalice. As a sign of good faith, she drinks first before handing the chalice to Septa Demissus. Remembering what happened last time when she drank, a half-malicious look crosses her face as she takes the chalice and she throws the contents into the dark-haired woman’s face. The noblewoman fades away to reveal the faceless men raping the same woman again, her face a fuzzy, unidentifiable blur. She awoke once more, poured herself a horn of water from the jug in her room and went back to sleep, hoping to gain a modicum of rest.

Meanwhile, Ser Kai slept as the floorboards of his room began to creak. Shallow footsteps continued to rouse the boards into quiet alarm as a shadowy figure stepped lightly upon them. When the figure reached the bed, they leaned over the face of Ser Kai and began to ramble incessantly. Already roused by the creaky floorboards, Ser Kai opened his eyes to find the old crone Nubbs standing over him, a deranged smile crossing her face. “Nubs, nubs, nubs! Comes in threes! You, me and Miridan makes three!”

“Ahhh!” screamed Ser Kai as he scrambled out from under the covers and backed against the wall. Nubbs backed away into the middle of the room and lifted her shirt, offering a shriveled, sagging breast to him as though beckoning him to breast-feed. “Yum, yum, yum; me, me, me; Miridan!” Ser Kai, his heart rate beginning to return to normal, stood up next to the bed. “Uh, thanks for the offer but I’m full,” he said wondering how she got into his room. Did I not lock the door? He thought, glancing around the room. The window was open and a cool breeze drifted into the room. His eyes lingered on it for a moment and he shook his head, That’s an absurd thought, there’s no way she could have climbed in through the window, we’re on the second floor! I must not have locked…

His thoughts were broken as Nubbs cupped her breast and jiggled it as though to make it an enticing offer. “yum, yum, yum; me, me, me, Kai, Kai, Kai!” Ser Kai remained where he was and after several moments, Nubbs pulled her shirt back down and gave an audible rasping sound, as though screaming. She quickly sprinted to the open window and jumped through it. Ser Kai, momentarily stunned, furrowed his brow before heading to the window to check for signs of the old crone. As he peered into the thick blackness outside the window, it occurred to him that he had heard neither the thud of a body crashing into the ground, nor a shriek of pain, and could not see hide or hair of Nubbs. Shaking his head in confusion he did not think to check the door, but instead went straight back to bed.

The next morning as the party gradually woke up and subsequently headed downstairs to the tables for breakfast they were treated like proper nobles again. Meg Moleskin had a cheery disposition as she served them brown bread fresh from the oven, whipped butter, blackened bacon and plates of fruit. They all watched as a mummer, dressed in a flamboyantly colorful robe, juggled knives above her head in the corner. After she finished her act by juggling the knives with a quarterstaff balanced on her head, she took a bow. Elliot smiled and tossed her a Silver Stag, wishing her a good morning before returning to his breakfast. Ser Kai seemed equally impressed and invited her over to join them for breakfast. “Of course you would invite her over,” Elliot muttered as the mummer appeared at the table and took a seat next to Ser Kai. Gilligan, deeply hungover from the night before, paid her little attention as he asked Meg to bring him more breakfast.

“So, where are you traveling to?” asked Ser Kai with interest. “I’m traveling home to Flea Bottom,” she said before introducing herself proper. “My name is Beatrice Hill.” Gilligan, tactless and blunt as usual, remarked that ‘Hill’ is a bastard name. “I am Ser Kai. We are heading to King’s Landing as well for King Robert’s Tournament. Were either of your parents of noble birth?” asked Ser Kai. “Aye, my father is supposedly a noble landed knight with one blue eye and one green eye. That’s about all I know of him though.” Elliot offered his name as well before Beatrice started in on her breakfast.

As Meg served Beatrice her breakfast Ser Kai decided to ask her about Nubbs. “Lady Moleskin, we met a strange old woman named Nubbs and she was actually in my room last night. Do you know the Nubbs I speak of?” Meg stared at him for a second before answering, “’Sounds like you’re speakin’ o’ Lady Palm an’ her five daughters, y’are. I know nothin’ o’ this Nubbs.” Ser Harvey Karp looked at him. “She was in your room last night?” Ser Kai nodded. “How did she escape?” Ser Kai scratched his head before answering. “She was lightning quick and jumped out the window. I look out after her but she was gone.” Ser Harvey scoffed, “Why didn’t your craven ass follow her?” Ser Kai lowered his eyes to the table and remained quiet.

After breakfast, Ser Kai offered his companionship to Beatrice. “Well I’m not so sure I want your companionship,” she said with a slight smirk. Elliot offered the companionship of the group and everyone else murmured their consent. Ser Harvey decided to keep a watchful eye on her. “Can you fight as well as you juggle?” he inquired. “I can take care of myself, it’s tough to live as a traveler without fighting skills,” she replied. Ser Harvey nodded slightly and dropped the issue.

“Do you still plan to wear your sigil so prominently?” Elliot asked Ser Kai. “What? Oh, yeah, it would probably be best not to with these rumors about us flying around.” Once again Ser Harvey scoffed, “Too craven to show pride in your House now,” he muttered but agreed that it might be best to remain low-key going forward. They all said goodbye to Meg Moleskin and took their leave of the Dag’s Inn. Ser Harvey was first to speak after they mounted and returned to the road. “So where all have you been?” he asked Beatrice, ever suspicious of the stranger. “Here and there, wherever the gold takes me.” “Have you been out looking for your father?” asked Lyanna Hobbs. “Yes, been out looking for him too.” “Have you heard the rumors about House Miridan?” Beatrice dismissed them, stating that she didn’t care.

On the road many rumors could be heard from the random groups of travelers. Mutterings about House Miridan and the Fox Knight abounded.

“You know, I heard that the Fox Knight was recently spotted heading West.”
“Fifteen women, children and farmers them Miridans done slaughtered.”
“I heard that the Blood Crabs are still terrorizing the Miridan lands.”
“You ‘ear about Ruban Piper? He was set to marry Iris Dannett but she done split! No one’s seen ‘er since.”
“That Adham Dannett may ‘ave determination, but I ‘eard them savage Miridans is gonna be competin’ in the King’s Tournament o’er in King’s Landin’ as well. That Ser Kai and their bloodthirsty armsman Ser ‘Arvey Karp.”

As they continued down the road, they spotted three nobles from House Clavier heading towards them. One of them carried the sigil of House Clavier, three yellow arrows on a black field. They were a new Landed House, only established because they fought valiantly with Robert Baratheon in the Battle of the Trident, so they did not recognize the Miridans without their House sigil. As they approached, they were muttering about the Miridans and their brutality, but before they passed each other, the three wished the party a good day and boastfully proclaimed that they were emissaries of the king. “We are heading to Harrenhal, but we first need to stop by Casterly Rock. We need to give out these personal invitations to King Robert’s Tournament. You all must have come from an inn, have you heard anything about the Dannett slaughter? Adham Dannett himself says that it was the neighboring House Miridan who slaughtered their innocents; tragic.”

The emissaries continued down the road and the group decided that they had to do something about these rumors. “It will be out of the Westerlands soon, it’ll become more than a matter that Lord Tywin can put to rest, this will become a matter of the Realm,” said Ser Harvey. They all agreed that they needed to do something, so they decided to send Lyanna Hobbs ahead to see if she could find traces of the remaining mercenary. Elliot volunteered to escort her, as it was always good to have someone watch your back.

The shadows grew long as the light faded, and it was not until darkness set that Elliot and Lyanna arrived at a much larger inn, the Inn of the Great Stag. Elliot and Lyanna entered and were immediately approached by a cloaked man, his face hidden in the shadows from his hood. “Elliot, Lyanna, please come with me,” his raspy voice barely a whisper. Elliot and Lyanna nodded and the three of them left the inn together.

The cloaked man was Ser Kyle Stillwell, captain of the Grey-Talon Irregulars. He extinguished the torches on the side of the inn one by one as they passed to keep the darkness close. They finally arrived at the empty stables before he started with his report.

“There were fifteen women, children and farmers killed in the massacre, and the Dannett’s are indeed blaming House Miridan,” he began, “But it’s likely you’ve already heard that. Know now that it’s true. We have twenty Grey Cloaks and two Fists of Talons that have been sent by Lord Miridan down to King’s Landing. They have already arrived, or will soon, and I will be leaving as well. They look as commoners so will be difficult to detect with all the activity. Lord Miridan and Lord Dannett have been conversing through ravens in regards to the massacre, and Adham Dannett passed through here a day ago – he should have arrived in King’s Landing by now. There have been no suspicious activities here of late. That is all I know, I must head down to King’s Landing.” With that, he left the stables and headed off to King’s Landing.

After the swift departure of Ser Kyle, Lyanna looked at Elliot, wondering what to do next. “I suggest that we get inside,” said Elliot as thunder began to rumble and rain began to drop, “The others will get here when they do, and in the meantime we can see if we can learn anything new.” Lyanna nodded and followed him into the Inn of the Great Stag. The inn was a veritable hub of activity, and much larger than the Dag’s Inn. Elliot watched as comely serving girls brought a variety of different dishes to guests and smiled. Mmm, they all look so tasty, and the food looks good too.

They were scarcely able to glance around the room when the remainder of their party arrived. Once everyone was together, the proprietor Marta Taverner greeted them all casually, and several in the party ordered beer. She told the party to have a seat and that her three daughters, each of whom Elliot had already spotted, would be serving them.

They analyzed the room as they sat down, determining that the only suspicious person there was a man sitting at the bar weeping in his drink and throwing money around like a Lannister. Unable to find a table close enough to be in earshot, they settle on one with a good view. Beatrice decided that a performance was in order, and the man watched in a strange state of melancholy delight. After her performance he flipped her one Gold Dragon and she sat down next to him at the bar. “What’s the matter?” she asked politely. He blinked at her, wiping away the remaining tears in his eyes, “They…they shouldn’t have died,” he slurred, sniffling and looking down into his drink. “Of whom do you speak?” Beatrice asked. “It don’ matter,” he grumbled, “They was fifteen, women and children they was.” Beatrice inquired further, asking if he’d witnessed what sounded like an atrociously horrible scene.

As Beatrice tried to learn from the drunk, Elliot and Lyanna informed the rest of the group of what Ser Kyle had told them. After hearing the confirmation that there were indeed fifteen with women and children as the rumors claimed, Ser Harvey, ever suspicious, snuck closer to Beatrice and the drunk and leaned against the wall, within earshot and out of sight. He had been watching them from afar and was tired of not knowing of what they spoke. As Beatrice continued to pry, the drunk rambled and repeated himself, finishing his drink and demanding more. She tried to gather more information from him but he just shot her a contemptuous look, rambling again. With that, Ser Harvey learned that the drunk was speaking of the fifteen in the Dannett massacre, and returned to the table to fill in the others.

“We’ll need to take him and make him talk,” proclaimed Ser Harvey. The group agreed. “Let’s get some rooms,” someone suggested as they began to strategize, and Elliot and Gilligan nodded, seeking out Marta Taverner. “I can persuade him to confess his sins,” offered Septa Demissus, “We can get him alone in a room that way. I’ll pray to the Seven and absolve him of his sins. After that you all can enter and interrogate him.” Ser Harvey nodded and the group agreed that it would be the best way, now hoping that they could find a room, or preferably more than one.

Meanwhile, Gilligan and Elliot flagged down Marta and Gilligan spun a long yarn about them being emissaries of King Robert. Her eyes lit up instantly. She had originally offered them only one room, but now offered them two others; one that she was saving for a relative and the other already reserved for the rich drunk at the bar. They smiled and thanked her before returning to the group to inform them that rooms were secured.

Everything went according to plan. Septa Demissus escorted the drunk to an out of the way, large and windowless room on the second floor to absolve his sins through the Seven, while Gilligan, Ser Kai and Ser Harvey awaited the Septa’s signal to take over. Elliot meanwhile, had other plans. He had stayed behind to seek out Elsie, one of Marta’s daughters. Once he spotted her he slyly asked, as convincingly as possible, if she would join him in one of their rooms for a romp in the hay. As tempted as she may have been, she turned down his offer. “Sorry hon, but I’m one of Marta’s, I’m noticeable ‘round here. If she find out I been shirkin’ me duties she’ll fire me on the spot. I needs this job, hon. Sorry, can’ do it.” Elliot, disheartened but understanding, nodded and left her to her work, heading upstairs to one of their rooms on the third floor.

After Septa Demissus left the room, Ser Harvey entered the room, followed by Ser Kai and Gilligan. Ser Harvey closed the door and stood against it drawing his sword. The sharp sound made the drunk look in alarm. “What’s your name?” asked Gilligan in an indifferent tone. “H-Hamish. Hamish Flowers,” the drunk stammered. Gilligan smiled, “Do you know who we are? We’re from House Miridan.” Piss dribbled down Hamish’s leg at the sound of the name and the sight of Ser Harvey’s naked steel. He approaches and relieves Hamish of his weapons. “You could end up dead, or an asset,” said Gilligan slyly, locking eyes with Hamish. “I- What we did was wrong,” said Hamish sullenly, “It was the doing of the Fox Knight, not our choice. If I can help, I’m yours.” Gilligan smiled. “Then tell us everything you know.” “W-well, after the massacre we planted the shield. He said we needed to…for House Dannett. A-after that…I had to kill them you see, the other mercenaries that were with me. H-he let me live, the Fox Knight did, and for that I had to kill them.” “But why are you alive at all, he could have easily killed you all himself, so why let you live?” It’s because…I’m a Targaryen Loyalist, like him. He must have figured the Realm needs more Targaryen Loya-”

“I think we’ve heard enough,” Ser Harvey interjected, “We seem to have our proof. This man is our key witness and can testify to our innocence before King Robert to have this whole ugly business washed from our hands. We’ll just need to keep him protected as we escort him to King’s Landing.”

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Dark Accusations

With room and board paid for and their horses stabled, the party stood together, plotting their first move in the sea of suspicion. With Gilligan leaning on his shoulder, Ser Kai brought him to a room so that he could sleep off his drunkenness in peace. Upon his return the party had decided that Septa Demissus, being a pious woman of the Seven, would be the best person to inquire as to the situation. She approached Meg Moleskin, who didn’t appear to be too busy at the moment, and asked her about the recent rumors, turning on her charm.

“Excuse me madam Moleskin, might I ask what the latest rumors are around here?” Meg, who had eyed the entire party warily upon their arrival, softened at her charms and answered willingly. “Well, the ‘ole lot o’ this place believe you t’ be the ones who slaughtered all them poor farmers, an’ the women an’ children too, aye.” Septa Demissus nodded her head slightly, acknowledging her answer as one they had discerned in the few short moments since their arrival. “Why is it that people believe we were responsible? How did this news reach the inn and by whom were these rumors spread?” Meg pondered the questions a moment before answering. “Well let me see ‘ere…it was that Dannett boy, Adham. ‘E came in ‘ere the other night claimin’ all this an’ that about a slaughter up in them Dannett lands. Accordin’ t’ ‘im, ‘twas the lot o’ you Miridans who done it. ‘E warned us that you lot might be stoppin’ by on your way t’ the tourney down in King’s Landing, an’ when I saw the lot o’ you walk through the door, sportin’ the Miridan sigil an’ all, we became wary. Seems to me the lot o’ you wouldn’ do such a despicable thing though, ‘specially not if you’re travelin’ wit a Lady o’ the Seven.”

Septa Demissus smiled before continuing her questioning. “Were there any other suspicious characters, or anyone else of note, that you recall seeing here in the past few days?” Meg paused a moment before responding. “Well, we ‘ad some no good, ruddy sellswords in ‘ere the other night; I didn’t know ‘em , weren’t from ‘round ‘ere. Don’ get me wrong, their coin was good an’ they kept t’ themselves, but they ‘ad a look to ‘em that made me wary. Anyway, they was sittin’ at the bar drinkin’ away, not botherin’ no one, when some nobleman strode in lookin’ t’ hire ‘imself some sellswords. ‘E hired ‘em an’ they took off wit ‘im.”

“Who was this nobleman? Was there anything distinct about him?” Septa Demissues asked, her voice full of hope. “Oh, yeah, matter ‘o fact, ‘e ‘ad a shield wit an ol’ faded sigil on it, looked like a fox. T’weren’t nothin’ special.” Septa Demissus racked her brain, trying to discern the identity of the House with the Fox sigil. Her eyes lit up when she recalled the details of House Archay. “The Fox Knight” she whispered. “Thank you madam Moleskin, you have helped us greatly.”

“Maybe we should give her some money for all the help she gave us,” suggested Ser Kai in a hushed tone, “A Golden Dragon, perhaps.” “Are you crazy?” whispered Elliot, “That’s far too much! She needs no tip at all for information.” “A Sliver Stag would be more prudent,” advised Ser Harvey Carp, “Dragons cause a stir, Stags are peaceful.” “Ok, a Silver Stag then,” Ser Kai conceded before pressing one into Meg’s hand and thanking her.

“Let’s split up and see if we can’t get some information out of these people,” Suggested Ser Kai, eying the maid sweeping the hallway. “I’ll take the maid there, Ser Harvey will come as well.” “I’ll go see if I can’t find anything out from Dag,” said Elliot, beckoning the rest of the group to follow.

Ser Kai approached the sweeping maid and tried turning on the charm. “Hey there, have you seen any-“ The maid turned away and ignored him and continuing to sweep. Meanwhile, Elliot tried to bargain with Dag for a few Silver Stags to pull information out of him. Dag, cooking a roast at the time, grunted and said that the offer wasn’t large enough, continuing to tend to the roast. Cursing, Elliot pocketed his Stags and allowed the lovely Lyanna Hobbs to seduce him. Entranced, He said that they should speak to his wife, Meg, and that his son Collin was working the stables, that it might be a good idea to inquire if he could give them any other information.

Satisfied with his response, Elliot left the group to speak to Collin, while the rest of the group turned back to Meg to use her as an advantage to get the maid’s attention. The night air was cool outside of Dag’s Inn and Elliot enjoyed it when he walked over to the stables. Once there he noticed a young man standing outside the door, waiting for any other travelers who need a stable for the night.

“Hello Collin,” said Elliot upon his approach, “Your father Dag said that you might be able to help me out with some information. Have you seen anyone suspicious come through here in the past few nights?” “O’ course I seen suspicious people come through here, nothin’ but suspicious people come ‘round here.” Elliot furrowed his brow and said, “Ok, have you seen a knight with a fox shield come through here recently?” Collin’s eyes brightened a little with recognition. “Ah yes, the Fox Knight. Yeah, I seen ‘im here o’ late. I stabled ‘is horse I did. He had six others wit ‘im, mercenaries they was. They was on foot. They took off the next day, headin’ up the way you came from. One of ‘em, a man by the name o’ Dan or Stan, came back ‘round here from that direction this mornin’, askin’ if we had any horses to sell ‘im. I told ‘im we didn’t and he walked off towards King’s Landing. I never seen none o’ them others again though, not even the Fox Knight.”

Back in Dag’s Inn, Septa Demissus persuaded the maid to talk to her. “There was this knight, Terrance I think he said, who was hittin’ on me all night, boastin’ aboot his sword. I was shocked to find oot he weren’t talkin’ aboot the one between his legs. Apparently he were a knight once under Stannis Baratheon and he showed me a sword with a stag crest on it. I knew it weren’t one o’ King Robert’s neither since it had no crown, so I took him at his word. He said he’d left years back but kept the sword. He was runnin’ with that Fox Knight now. After I dismissed his advances ten times or so he finally left me be.”

After they thanked the maid for the information, Elliot returns to the group and explains what Collin told him, in turn learning what the maid had told them. It was at that point that Septa Demissus asked Meg about the cloaked figure in the corner, who had been watching them ever since they first arrived. “Oh, that’s Gareth the Barrel, ‘e’s a regular, ‘e is. ‘E takes odd jobs ‘round ‘ere e’ery now an’ then.”

The group formed around the table where Gareth the Barrel sits as Lyanna Hobbs buys him a drink, seducing him with her wily charms. “Ahem, well, I guess yer not so bad as all I thought. Sorry ‘bout staring, but yer interestin’ is all.” “Can you tell us anything about the Fox Knight?” Lyanna asked with honeyed words. “Ah yeah, the Fox Knight. Bit of a prat that one, arrogant as shit. Anyway, he comes in askin’ fer sellswords, said he’s got an easy job fer ‘em. So bein’ that I like an odd job now and again, ‘specially them that are easy, so I spoke up. He said he don’t want no locals and hired himself a group of sellswords who done stopped in earlier. I’m guessin’ they was headin’ down to the ‘Landing, but they took up his offer and they all took off t’gether. He’s a suspicious one, that Fox Knight, even more‘an you are.” “Thanks me good man,” said Lyanna, playfully running a hand up his arm as she stood up. Enjoy the drink, I enjoyed the conversation.”

The party, now fully informed of the situation at Dag’s Inn, took their meals and retired to their rooms.

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An Inconvenient Massacre

It is known that an unknown event occurred in the past between Lord Gitus Miridan and Lord Alfric of House Dannett, which further soured their relationship. Everyone knows that it happened, but no one knows what it was, making it a topic of much speculation.

It also is known that Tywin Lannister is still displeased with House Farman of Faircastle on the Fair Isle. Long ago, Lord Farman grew vicious and Lord Tywin sent him a bard. Upon his arrival at Faircastle, the bard played The Rains of Castamere for Lord Farman at Lord Tywin’s request. The subtle threat and stoic reminder of Lord Tywin’s power quelled Lord Farman’s ambitions, but it seems that Lord Tywin would rather be rid of House Farman altogether than bother keeping an eye on them. Currently a secret bidding war for Faircastle and the Fair Isle is underway between House Miridan and House Dannett, and the animosity between both Houses continues to run extremely high.


As the party readied themselves to leave the bloody campsite, it appeared that Gilligan left them behind, to seek the solace of the inn ahead. The party grumbled about his craven behavior as they set off down the road. No more than a league out, the party heard the furious sounds of a horse at full gallop coming from behind them. Elliot flexed his sword hand and grasped the hilt of his bastard sword while Lyanna readied her bow and Ser Kai watched attentively as the horse and rider came into view. As the distance closed between the party and lone rider, his face became clear. “Why look, it’s Ser Drunk,” spat Lyanna Hobbs as Ser Harvey Carp slowed his courser and trotted over to them.

After their trip to Miranport’s martketplace, Ser Carp had wandered off to the Salty Moustache to hear the latest news. Unfortunately, the loosest lips could not speak, and those that could spoke only of King Robert’s Tournament. In the meantime, Ser Carp drank himself into a stupor. In no condition to join the others, he remained in Miranport far longer than he had planned, but as he was recovering, he finally heard news to make his waking hangover worthwhile. Aghast at the gossip spreading through Miranport like wildfire, Ser Carp took off down the road towards Dag’s Inn at a gallop, in hopes of finding his party before they arrived.

The party lowered their guard and put away their weapons as Ser Carp halted his courser next to them. The grim scowl on his face told them much and more before he spoke to give them the terrible news. Dark looks, dark words, thought Elliot, half-hoping that he simply meant to tell them off for leaving him behind. That was not the case.

“The talk of the land is that of a massacre in the Dannett farmlands. Many and more near-helpless farmers were slain, their corpses now feeding many a crow and raven,” announced Ser Carp. “What has this to do with us?” asked Ser Kai, his steady voice masking his revulsion at the thought of such mindless slaughter. “Much more than any of us would like, I fear. Word has spread that a shield bearing the crest of House Miridan was found amongst the fallen, directly implicating House Miridan in this grizzly slaughter.” Ser Kai wrung his gloved hands and muttered curses before speaking to the news. “This is nothing but lies, a frame-up by the Dannett shitheads to besmirch our name and curry favor for themselves. No Miridan would commit to such senseless violence, even upon the scumlands of House Dannett.” Ser Carp gave him a stony stare. “Words are wind Ser Kai, where is your proof? The Dannetts already have our sigil, the Miridan sigil, at the massacre site. They already have their proof, so what would we have in return to show as proof of our innocence?” Ser Kai grasped for words, “B-but my Lord Father would never-” Ser Carp slashed a gloved hand through the air, cutting Ser Kai off before he could continue and leaving him standing, mouth agape. “There’s naught we can do standing here,” snapped Ser Carp, looking at the party, noting the absence of Gilligan. It dawned on Ser Kai at the same time. "Gilligan,” he whispered.

“Gilligan went on ahead to Dag’s Inn, we must let him know of this news," Ser Kai mused. Ser Carp nodded his approval before Ser Kai rounded on Elliot. "You! Lose that accursed Baratheon sword before you find us drowning in waters over our heads! Our House is already accused of Dannett massacre, the last thing we need is to fall victim to rumors of slaying the King’s brother’s men as well.” Elliot grimaced slightly and reached behind him to grab the sword from his back. As he grasped the hilt, he hesitated, sending Ser Kai into a panic. “Elliot, as a knight I outrank you, and I order you to be rid of that sword! Toss it aside. Now.”

Defiant as ever, Elliot bristled at the demand, seething with rage. “You have the audacity to pull rank on me!?” spat Elliot, glowering at Ser Kai and letting go of the hilt, “You know how much I despise such actions!” Ser Kai furrowed his brow but nodded his agreement, studying Elliot’s movements to make sure he could not take him unawares. “I understand Elliot, I hate it when rank is pulled as well, but we can’t be seen with that sword.” Elliot softened a little and nodded. “I know, but I hesitated to think a moment. We may want to hide it, lest we lose something that may be of use in the future.” At that, Ser Harvey Carp gave his approval. “Indeed, were we to hide the sword the trouble it could cause would be put aside, and we would have a possible weapon of intrigue were the opportunity to arise.” Elliot and Ser Kai both nodded their agreement and Elliot removed the blood-dried sword. They called over Lyanna to hide the sword in a place distinct enough for her to remember, but indistinguishable and unmarked to keep others from stumbling upon it. Lyanna buried the sword one league north of Dag’s Inn along the River Road in a place that only she would be able to identify. Once it was buried they moved on, counting their blessings that no travelers had spotted them during their quarrel over the damnable sword.

As the party approached Dag’s Inn at a walking pace, they heard a strange muttering from the side of the road. “Mutta mutta, mutta; me, me, me; nubs, nubs, nubs.” They listened as they continued, curious. A moment later, they heard more. “Yum, yum, yum; comes in threes; nubs, nubs, nubs; Miridan.” They stopped dead in their tracks at the sound of their House, and Lyanna and Ser Kai dismounted to check out the strange ramblings. “Once again I’ll stay here to protect the others,” muttered Elliot, mirroring his statement from the campsite.

Barely off the road, Lyanna and Ser Kai came upon an anciently old crone. Her skirt was hiked up above her waist as she diddled her shriveled nether regions with fingers shortened to mere nubs. Her eyes looked wild and she wore filthy rags and bloodied bandages. She stopped at their approach. Ser Kai, the gallant knight that he was, inquired as to her condition. “Are you ok?” The old crone stared at him with blind eyes and replied, “Comes in threes; nubs, nubs, nubs; me, you, Miridan.”

She continued to ramble incessantly and Ser Kai and Lyanna decided to return to the party. Travelers were now appearing on the road, and the old crone followed the two of them to the road. “Song; nubs, nubs, nubs!” Ser Kai took this to mean she wanted a song as Elliot inquired as to who knew the words to The Rains of Castamere. The old crone sang instead, an unintelligible noise, and afterwards Elliot smiled wanly, tossing her a Silver Stag from one of the bags collected from the corpses of the slain sellswords. She rubbed it against her gums and continued to ramble.

Septa Demissus approached to diagnose her condition, finding her state to have been a long degenerating one over many years of abuse. None of her wounds appeared fresh, but all old as of years. The party left her in the road and she vanished quickly back into the woods. They muttered of the strangeness of her as they rode, dubbing her the name “Nubbs” and debating her true purpose.

Elliot, the youngest and most naive in the group, thought Nubbs to be merely an ugly old crone simply batshit crazy and out of her mind, Ser Kai fleetingly pondered if she had wished for a ménage a trios before tossing aside the thought in disgust, whilst Ser Carp figured her to be a spy, one sent by an unknown enemy. They put aside their thoughts as they approached Dag’s Inn. Ser Kai, Lyanna and Septa Demissus entered the inn together, Ser Kai eager to inquire about his brother, Gilligan. Elliot and Ser Harvey Carp remained outside, watchful.

Everyone knew they were of House Miridan thanks to the prominent sigil on Ser Kai’s clothing. His pride would not be their friend here, it seemed, as everyone in the inn appeared suspicious of them instead of greeting them with open arms. Ser Kai immediately noticed his brother Gilligan, blackout drunk in a heap on the common room floor, and approached. He appeared unhurt, and when Ser Kai grabbed him to prop him up, Gilligan sputtered unintelligibles that reminded Ser Kai of the old crone, Nubbs. Gilligan passed out again, leaning on Ser Kai’s shoulder when Elliot and Ser Carp entered the inn and joined them. As they all gathered, Meg Moleskin, the wife of the establishment’s owner Dag, approached them and gruffly asked what they would like, a presumption not typically made to those of such high status. This bodes unwell, thought Septa Demissus as they paid for their room and board for the night, along with the stables and feed for their horses, and the six of them made to check out their rooms.

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Out of the Marketplace and into the Woods

After finally buying their supplies at the marketplace in Miranport that morning, Elliot Iilar, Gilligan and Ser Kai Miridan and Septa DeMissus returned to Miridan Hall, with a wagon pulled by an ox carrying the bulk of their supplies. Ser Harvey Carp was nowhere to be found. Upon their return, Maester Veers bid Ser Kai to speak privily for a moment. Tentatively, Ser Kai joined Maester Veers in an empty room and inquired as to the nature of the conversation.

“Your Lord father has contracted Greyscale,” Maester Veers told him in a grave tone, “So far I have staved it off as best I can, but I fear even my abilities are no match…I cannot cure him.” An emotional Ser Kai inquired as to how he might help his Lord Father. Maester Veers blinked and cleared his throat. “There are rumors that the Red Priests of Asshai have the power to cure those inflicted with Greyscale. You must go to King’s Landing, find an Asshai priest, and inquire as to how your Lord Father might be cured. One more thing, Ser Kai…you know that your father is a very proud man, he does not want anyone to know of his disease, not even his own kin. I only spoke to you in order to help my Lord, so please do not bring these dark words to the others.” Ser Kai stood in terror at the thought of his father dying of this debilitating disease, but thanked Maester Veers for informing him.

Wishing to confirm the news through his Lord Father, Ser Kai confronted him and asked to speak privily. Once alone, he asked Lord Gitus if what Maester Veers said is true, that he is stricken with Greyscale. Lord Gitus wringed his gloved hands and boldly dismissed the accusations as ramblings, calling Maester Veers “a bumbling old fool.” Ser Kai stood there a moment, reflecting on his word and tone to try to suss out the truth, but he does not doubt his Lord Father’s word. Before he can leave, however, Lord Gitus put the Greyscale issue aside and bestowed upon Ser Kai, as heir to House Miridan, the family’s Valyrian Longsword, Greyfist. Ser Kai accepted it gratefully and thanked him greatly before leaving to confront Maester Veers again.

“My Lord Father claims no such thing,” exclaimed Ser Kai when he was back alone with Maester Veers, “He claims that he is not stricken with the Greyscale, and that your words were merely the ravings of a bumbling old fool. What say you, Maester?” Maester Veers stared at him with contempt, his tone nearly as sharp as Greyfist. “Of course he denies it, he will until it is too late! Your Lord Father is far too proud to admit to such a thing. Let me ask you though…what harm would it bring to find a cure for Greyscale, even if your Lord Father wasn’t afflicted?” Ser Kai let the words set in and nodded, agreeing to seek out the cure despite not knowing who speaks true.

Ser Kai decided that it would be best not to allow the others to see his Valyrian Steel, but as an honorable knight, his ability to conceal lacked much finesse, and all noticed his acquisition of the family blade.

As the party gathered to leave once more, they were introduced to Lyanna, a comely woman and skilled scout who will accompany them on their journey to King’s Landing. At her sight, Ser Kai’s lasciviousness took hold for a moment, running filthy thoughts through his mind at the sight of her. He pushed them aside, however, as they begin their journey into the woods.

It was midday when they entered the woods. They traveled down the road heading to the River Road, which would then lead them to Casterly Rock. After traveling for a while, they realized that this oft-lawless land was eerily quiet. As they cautiously continued, they breathed deep the choking stench of death and saw an ominous gathering of crows amongst the branches of the trees. Lyanna had dismounted when Ser Kai announced, “I’ll come with to check this out,” in an act of reckless gallantry. “As such, I will remain to protect the others,” said Elliot as Ser Kai dismounted from his horse. Lyanna and Ser Kai left the roadside to investigate the source.

They came upon a reeking campsite and discovered six dead bodies, but also six half-starved and feral wolves, feasting upon the carrion. Lyanna and Ser Kai cautiously returned to the party, but the wolves had already seen them and were following, blood and entrails dripping from their mouths. By the time Lyanna and Ser Kai returned, Gilligan had moved into the wagon, while the others remained on horseback. At the sight of the wolves, Septa DeMissues was able to keep the horses calm. The wolves began to half-circle the party, bloodlust in their eyes. They turned their gazes upon Elliot and Ser Kai, determining them the alphas of the party. Elliot was first to react, unsheathing his bastard sword, charging on horseback at the distinguishable alpha wolf and cutting him down, breaking the line of wolves and leaving them without an alpha. Lyanna loosed an arrow, taking out a second wolf, while Ser Kai felled another with an arrow of his own. Gilligan made an effort as well; loosing his arrow into a tree, but by then the pack was slain to half. Accepting their defeat, the wolves turned tail and ran, leaving the party alone to investigate the bloody campsite.

As the party entered the campsite, they noticed that the slain six were lying on bedrolls, and that one was now trampled as a result of Elliot’s charge. Investigation of the other bodies showed that they looked to be tough men, likely sellswords, and that they were all murdered in their sleep, stabbed during the night. Elliot proposed taking their weapons to sell along the way to King’s Landing, while Ser Kai dismissed the notion as “Not the honorable thing to do.” Elliot defiantly picked up the one distinguishable sword from the bunch, a common longsword, but bearing a noble stag crest. Septa DeMissus identified the crownless stag as the crest of House Baratheon on Lord Stannis’ side. Elliot begrudgingly kept it on his person after Gilligan threatened to toss it from the wagon were he to place it inside with the other belongings. Meanwhile, Septa DeMissus, while in favor of a proper burial, understood that they had neither the tools nor the time to do so. Finally, Elliot scooped up the six bags of coin, each containing sixty-six Silver Stags, and distributed them to the party. Ser Kai and Septa DeMissus each refused theirs, not feeling right about taking the coin from the slain, so Elliot keeps two for himself, and hands two bags each to Lyanna and Gilligan.

It was late in the afternoon when the party set out from the campsite, back on the road to Casterly Rock…

View
Beginnings

Miridan hall location

On the coastal and hilly banks of the Westerlands sits Miridan Hall, home of Noble House Miridan. Lord Gitus and his two sons, Ser Kai, first trueborn son and heir to Miridan Hall, and Gilligan, second trueborn son, reside here. Living amongst them are the Hedge Knight Ser Harvey Carp, who acts as their Master-At-Arms, Septa DeMissus, knowledgeable in many subjects, Maester Veers, though near deaf a very skilled maester, and their ward Elliot, from House Iilar.

As Harvey transitioned the day’s training into combat, he first pit Ser Kai, a knight of one-and-twenty and heir to the House, against his little brother Gilligan, who is seven-and-ten and holds no title nor claim. Septa DeMissus and Elliot Iilar stood to the side, Elliot prepared to take on the victor. The day was beautiful, and the Summer sun shined upon the training grounds as Lord Gitus appeared upon one of the battlements to watch his sons engage in combat training.

Wooden training swords at the ready, Ser Kai initiated the first strike, swinging his long sword with enough force to briefly knock Gilligan out. Mortified at his own actions, Ser Kai reached out a hand and helped his dazed brother back up to his feet. Gilligan screamed that he quits and tossed his training sword at Ser Harvey’s feet before limping off the training grounds and into the Great Hall in a huff.

As Gilligan limped off the grounds, Ser Harvey approached Ser Kai with a stern look on his face. Chastising him for helping up his brother and calling it an act of weakness, Ser Harvey picked up another training long sword and demanded Ser Kai face him in combat. In what he felt was a noble act of defiance in defense of his actions, Ser Kai stood his ground to take the blow as Ser Harvey struck, delivering a blow that knocked Ser Kai out cold, a reflection of what he’d done to his brother.

Enraged by Ser Kai’s continued weakness, Ser Harvey called Elliot to take on Ser Kai. Full of vigor and ready, Elliot waited impatiently for Ser Kai to rise and prepare himself. Just as the two were ready to fight, the mutterings of ravens by the stooped and decrepit Maester Veers, whose presence had gone unnoticed, caught all of their attention.

They followed the old maester into the Great Hall, Gilligan already there gorging on honeyed bread and spiced ale. Lord Gitus sat upon his high seat on the dias when the maester approached him, an outstretched arm grasping a letter bearing the unbroken seal of the Iron Throne. Taking the letter from him gingerly, Lord Gitus broke the seal and read the contents aloud.

King Robert Baratheon had ravens sent to all the Noble Houses across Westeros, extending an invitation to a tournament to be held in King’s Landing two weeks from the day. Murmurs of excitement spread through those gathered in the Great Hall. Lord Gitus announced that he would send them all down to King’s Landing to attend the King’s tournament, save for himself and Maester Veers, as a Miridan needs must always remain at Hall Miridan whilst the lands remain so lawless. Elliot’s eyes brightened at the thought of competing in the tournament, before the harsh realization that the tournament was for knights only hit him like a full force strike from Ser Harvey. Elliot was still Ser Harvey’s mere squire. Meanwhile, Ser Kai Miridan boasted as only a young knight could that he would emerge as champion, bringing glory to House Miridan, while Ser Harvey Carp spoke of the Golden Dragons he would acquire as he rose through the ranks in the tournament. Elliot narrowed his eyes in annoyance at the talk, but an idea struck him all the same. It was at that moment that he resolved to compete in the tournament as well, restrictions be damned.

That night, Lord Gitus had a great feast prepared to celebrate. The main course consisted of roast beef, spit turned all day, marinated in spices, and crusted with salt; roasted root vegetables including potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and turnips; onions baked in gravy and wheels of pale and sharp cheese. Dark ale and mead flowed freely. Honeyed bread with freshly churned butter and a large plate of fruit were also among the spread. Elliot smiled as he buttered a piece of bread and reached for a pomegranate from a passing fruit plate. Thinking of the juicy seeds and scarcely noticing what he was doing, he cut up the fruit and prepared to spread seeds upon the bread. He dropped it in an instant, spying the contents as rotten and maggot-infested. Cursing, he handed the fruit to Septa DeMissus, who found nothing unnatural about its spoilage. Elliot called to the table if anyone had their own spoiled pomegranate, but when Ser Kai grabbed one for himself and cut it open, it showed no signs of rot. Elliot cursed it for an ill omen but returned to the feasting. As everyone excused themselves from the table, Gilligan whisked a bottle of wine up to his chambers to drink himself into a stupor.

During the night, Speta DeMissus had a terrible nightmare. A woman with dark hair bid her drink from a silver chalice. She did as the woman bid her and began to writhe in pain, dropping the chalice and spilling the wine, which formed a pool of blood. She heard a woman crying out in pain as faceless men raped her. Suddenly, Septa DeMissues awoke with a start and tried to recall her strange dream. She felt everything was hazy yet familiar, and recalled that the dark haired woman was of noble birth, but could identify neither the faceless men nor the woman they raped. The septa kept the dream to herself, and returned to her bed to sleep.

The next morning Lord Gitus saw them off as they headed into the town of Miranport. A small town, but a port town of trade, they all headed to the markets of Miranport to prepare themselves for the journey ahead, their sights set on Casterly Rock before hitting the Gold Road to King’s Landing.

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And so it Begins...

On a cold Sunday night they met at the Inn at the Crossroads. Ser Joshua arrived to find that Ser Isaac, Ser Donny, Ser Jeremy and Lady Sarah had arrived before him. As they awaited Ser Brian, they discovered that their House was located in the rich Westerlands, their Liege Lord: Tywin Lannister.

Ser Brian rode as quickly as he could, whilst the others drank of ale and sugar’d drinks, eating of grilled cow, rings of onion, salad and bruschetta. He arrived as they supped, and once their plates were cleared by their serving wench they began to learn more of their House.

The brave adventurers soon discovered that their House truly had its strengths and weaknesses. They were fortunate to have expansive lands, which consisted of hills and contained road, a small town and a coast, but their defenses left much to be desired. They lived in a Hall in a near lawless land with a low population, but their power seemed enough to keep themselves safe at least. Their influence and wealth were great, which bolstered their spirits.

As the adventurers continued to drink under the roof of the inn, they delved deeper into the history of their House. They discovered that they belonged to an Old House, established in the Age of Valyria during the time of the Rhoynar Invasion. A dusty and crumbling tome bearing the now faded family Coat of Arms had this to say of their history:

“During the Age of Valyria around ca.-700, ravens carried news of the continued expansion of the Valyrian Freehold, now conquering the Rhoynish cities along the Rhoynar river, to the Kings and Lords of the realms of Westeros. An army, a quarter-million strong, had been easily felled by the invading Valyrains. This news particularly alarmed Mad Lord Barrax of the Westerlands, who in his madness sent a vast army to scour the realm for Valyrian spies and the majority of his fleet down the Sunset Sea, presumably to engage the Valyrians in an attempt to keep them from invading Westeros. With his army scattered across the realm, and his fleet out sailing to certain doom, a new family slipped in largely unnoticed and easily conquered the lands of Mad Lord Barrax and put him to the sword. They established themselves on their new land and procliamed themselves the new ruling House.”

Captivated by the news of their House’s founding, they read on…

“Soon after their founding on the former lands of Mad Lord Barrax, what remained of the army the Mad Lord had sent to scour the realm returned to find new banners flying where their former Lord’s had. Their captain parlayed with the new Lord and did not like what he discovered. Cursing his new Lord’s House as a band of dishonorable cutthroats, he returned to his army and lead a revolt. Eventually the revolt was quelled, but not without significant losses to the newly established House.”

The brave adventurers discovered one final piece of history amongst the crumbling pages of the tome, and were surprised to discover that the ancient text included such a recent piece of history…

“282 AL. As House Lannister sent a host of troops from Casterly Rock to King’s Landing during the War of the Usurper, so did they. Knowing of the Lannister plot to win Robert Baratheon the Iron Throne, they added their own troops to the Lannister host that stormed King’s Landing. As a result of their decision to rebel against the ruling Targaryens, and the expression of their loyalty to their Liege Lord through the dedication of troops to the cause, they gained the favor of their Liege Lord, Tywin Lannister.”

As the brave adventurers prepared to go their separate ways they knew that they still had to uncover the depth of their Power and Wealth, as well as their family’s Coat of Arms and the specific members of their family, but they would need to research that at another time…

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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