A Dirge of Oaths and Omens

Prolouge

(this tale from the first in house session, it is not well edited and might be hard to follow. I’ll punch it up eventually)

This is recap the events of the first game night for A Song of Ice and Fire RPG (SIFRP).

First we made the House, someone took the stat sheet so I can’t recall all that was bought. The basics is what I recall. House Locke is located in a mountainous and coastal area. There are two small hamlets that are centers of the population. One is along the costal wetlands and the other is high in the mountains. The coastal town is the port while the mountain town is where the small castle is located. The lands themselves are fairly dangerous. Being so far north and a large area. House Locke itself is new. It was established during the War of the Usurper. Lord Banon Locke (Adam) is the only the second lord. The Locke army is small for now, containing a garrison and few other units that are a bit ‘green’. If someone wants to post a run down of the numbers by House categories, I would like to record them, plus those that couldn’t make it can see the raw numbers and look at the rule book for an idea of how the house is set up.

Everyone then tweaked or made their characters a bit. No one was equipped though (outside of weapons), and money is very important! I don’t want it to turn into an accounting sim, but since gold can help with the House’s fortune, it is going to be important to keep track of it. Everyone kitted out, buying some noble fineries and horses as well.

The house is not steeped in a lot of history, but even as young as it is, it has a few enemies and allies.

It’s main ally is House Oakes, by marriage to Lord Locke’s uncle Lashman (Ethan).

It’s enemy list is much larger. There are degrees of the animosity in parentheses with each house.

House Manning (former allies / unfriendly) – During the founding of House Locke, the Mannings were strong allies. Locke and Manning shared the field and were even considered as close as brothers during the war. Things became complicated as Lord Manning made claims that he was owed a debt right after the first Lord Locke passed away. Lord Banon Locke and his advisors see no real paper trail to this claim and have refused paying (as far as they see it).

House Harte (unfriendly) – Harte and Manning are bitter enemies, and always have been. No one knows the entire history, but it has stretched back longer than most can remember. They have always been at odds. At times of war, they have been known to attack each other rather than meet their banner’s call. By turn, House Locke is also disliked by association (but not hated as Manning).

House Danett (sworn enemy) – When the first Lord Locke was given his castle and lands, the members of House Danett (a house that can trace it’s family line back to the Andals) claimed they were promised the lands. Though they probably would never openly attack, many of Locke’s smallfolk think that the bandits and “wildlings” assaults are just paid for by Danett money. Lord Danett has claimed that Locke will produce no heirs and then their lands will be forfeit.

House Hogg (unfriendly) – The Hogg’s are strong allies with House Harte, more guilt by association.

The Wedding!

This is a record of some of things that happened the first game. It was to try out a some of the rules, establish everyone’s character, and be a quick introduction to a little corner of Westeros.

Lord Locke was invited to attend the wedding Lord Manning’s son Ser Kevan to Lord Harte’s daughter Sylvie.

Lord Locke along with his trusted advisor uncle Lashman and his squire Devan (Wayne) left and journeyed to Castle Helmcrest, the home of the Mannings. The journey was uneventful, and they arrive at Helmcrest only to be told that the castle itself had no room for them, and they must find accommodations at the hamlet outside the castle walls. This was the first of many slights. The inn they stay at is accommodating as it also has a member of Hogg staying there, Ser Place.

Lord Manning did come and visit and told Banon that he does not trust this wedding nor the Hartes and feels he is in a “den of vipers”, he wants to forgive all past arguments to have at least one ally here with him. He feels both his sons have become enraptured with Sylvie.

While wandering around the castle, Lashman was informed that weapons were not allowed in any of the halls by Maester Hamdan. This turned into out first intrigue test as Lashman begin to browbeat and threaten the maester. Eventually, the maester out of fear of the northman relented and allowed they Locke’s to carry weapons within the castle.

During this time, young squire Devan, decided to practice a bit of sword play with the men in the yard of the castle. There was one knight who was thrashing a young squire to the point of breaking his jaw. This was Ser Etan Hogg. Ser Etan issued a challenge for anyone else, and Devan accepted. With one stroke and a quick turn, Devan knocked Ser Etan down into the mud. Ser Etan stormed away at being quickly bested by a squire.

The next event was the welcome feast. The only thing of note is that whlie introductions were occurring between the Hartes (which included the young and marriage ready Eilene Harte), Sylvie became ill and left.

The next morning was the hunt for the wedding feast. A very small hunting group was formed to head into the woods and return with wild boar. During the ride, the party itself begin to split up, while the Locke’s stayed together. Uncle Lashman spotted an owl, a possible portent as it is Locke’s sigil. The owl flew low along tree line and led the group to a scene of a wild boar savaging a deer. The boar turned attacked, but was dropped by a spear thrust and a well placed crossbow bolt.

Turning back, they party runs into Lord Harte, saying the Lord Manning was attacked and leads the group to the scene. Lord Manning lays dying at scene of a struggle. There are more horse tracks and two dead bandits. Following the tracks produces no other leads. When they return Lord Artur Manning is dead.

When they arrive, the silent sisters are already preparing Artur and now his son Ser Kevan is already named Lord Manning. He declares the wedding will continue and be joyous, followed by the mourning for his father.

The wedding occurs, and the asuste in the crowd notice that Ser Etan and Darren Manning show signs of discomfort when the septon declares Lord and Lady Manning married.

The wedding feast, another slight occurs. The Locke party is seated at the cusp of noble seating, even farther from the dias then during the welcome meal.

At one point, Lashman, concerned for the new Lord Manning, suggests that the castle man-at-arms up his guard. With that the man-at-arms noted that the only real danger to the new lord was House Locke.

The Locke party return to their inn only to be attacked by common five assassins waiting to ambush. The battle is over only moments after it begun with three dead bandits, one maimed one, and the final one yielding. The ambushers did strike Lord Locke, but caused nothing but a minor scratch. They chain the survivor and plan on taking him back to their home to face justice.

Word comes from the castle that Lord Manning would like to speak to Lord Locke. Lashman accompanies him to the castle as they leave Devan behind with the prisoner and a few guards. No sooner as they leave do Ser Etan and Ser Place arrive at the inn and charge Devan to release the prisoner into their custody.

Devan and Etan begin a quick exchange of intrigue. Etan overcomes him, but with no honor lost on Devan’s part.

At the castle, Lord Manning formally forgives past debts, and hopes that Lord Locke and his party can stay a few days longer to rebuild their relationship. Wisely, Lord Locke decides he must return home but would like to take him on the offer at a later date.

With that, the game came to a close as the Lockes left Helmcrest.

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Dark Sails - Starts

Dark Sails – Maester Meldrik

Before daybreak, the first bodies arrived. The wolves had been had at them. Pulp and gristle was all that was left of the children. The adults faired better, leaving at least torsos. There were fourteen bodies. The mountain wolves had carried away more.

They had been a mix of families that lived in a small farm north of Talon’s Reach. The dugouts they occupied had lined one of the smaller mountain passes. The guard captain noted that the dead smallfolk hovels had been upturned.

“Probably a wildling raiding party,” he surmised.

The captain was not pleased to drag the bodies back to the castle but Maester Meldrik had commanded it. He would have torched the hovels. Instead, the captain had to drag what parts he could find through the mountains for Meldrik.

The maester poked and prodded the bodies in front of the captain. He would pause, his hands dripping in some thick fluid, just to write in a journal. The guardsman did his best to keep down his morning oats with apples and honey.

“These wounds are from castle forged steel,” the maester stated as he pried back a slab of skin and rib. This troubled Meldrik. The wildlings have either looted some black brothers and are growing braver or this was an attack by well armed men, he thought as he noted the wounds in his journal. His lordship must be informed.

Wildling attacks were nothing new in that reach of the mountains. The lawless ones generally struck in small groups once or twice a year. This was different. Everyone in the dugout was put the sword. In relation to other settlements, these smallfolk were much closer to the castle. I must make my report then gather the young for their morning lessons.

The maester hurried up from his lab to the rookery. He grimaced as a he passed young Gregson Rivers. The steward was asleep again. Laying flat across the desk and speckled in raven shit, Gregson snored as Meldrik quietly walked past.

Meldrik saw that a raven had arrived from Oldtown. Dark wings, dark words.

Dark Sails – Lord Banon Locke

His uncle seemed uneasy this morning. The attack on the smallfolk to the north was not uncommon. One of the northern patrols had come across the bodies and quickly dispatched word to Lord Banon. The messenger had given an account of what they found.

The bodies, torn apart by wolves and crows, left no tale of their attackers. There were no horse tracks in the area. The last time the northern patrol had gone by the dugouts was eight moons past.

His uncle’s mood was soured by the news. They broke their fast with hard rye bread and eggs slathered in pickled carrots. The guard left out the meeting hall, leaving only Lord Banon and Ser Lasham alone.

Perhaps the Red Priest upsets him, Banon thought. The Red Priest Reynart had only been here a few weeks but had already made an impression on the area. He had come on a black sailed frigate with talk of trade alliances with Myr. Maester Meldrik seemed to think that most of his trade was with the whores in outlying villages.

Lasham had already appealed to have the Red Priest thrown off the Locke lands, but Banon thought it best to keep the man from Myr around. The nightly fire rituals drew some business from neighboring houses. They had become popular in the region.

“Reynart has asked to move his fire rituals within the castle yard,” Banon said as he sucked on a pickled radish.

“If it pleases my lord, but I want nothing to do with these foreign gods,” he said with a snap. “Nor does my family.”

Maester Maldrik had informed Banon that Mili Locke, Lashman’s oldest daughter, had taken to going to the nightly fires. The maester had frowned on the idea, but she was as headstrong as her father. Myrish ways are not ours, the maester had warned. Family and honor mean little to those who watch the flames of R’hllor.

Dark Sails – Devan Mormont

They made a laughable ensemble as ambassadors. Devan wore his standard armor with his Bear Island coat of arms blazoned across the front. Next to him rode Red Snow, the bastard of House Locke. He wore a plain outfit and was layered in thick furs.

Wynd rode close to Red. The “highborn wildling” he was called in whispers. He was the master of the stables and one of the best trackers in the North. Even with that, no one trusted him much. Devan rarely gave him doubt, but he had seen plenty of wildling raids on his home of Bear Island to let Wynd ride behind him.

Lord Locke had given his squire a simple task. Ride down to Ice Watch, and meet the captains of the boats that had arrived. The town always had a certain sound to it, but it seemed louder.

Four ships had made a call to port that normally never saw more than one at a time. Devan recognized one. It was a trade ship from Lannisport. It’s gold and red sail stood out. That was nothing unusual. Traders from the Westerlands and even The Reach came to Ice Watch in search of minerals and ore. Devan recalled savoring some of the fruit that a Highgarden trader had brought in.

The other three sails he did not recognize. All three were as black as pitch. Nothing distinguished them from a distance. Once they reached the port, Devan could see the figureheads on the prow were all different.

The first had a kraken wrapped around a naked woman. Her face was contorted as if she was being pulled under the waves. Devan’s thought, ironmen, but they he noticed it’s details. It was ornate to the point of being gaudy. The men on the deck of the ship were tall and pale as milk and clean-shaven.

The next figurehead looks like a royal man in thick robes. His face has a broad smile. One feature of it as that the man’s throat is cut. A man with a forked beard was dressing silks around the figurehead.

The last figurehead is a plain woman with open arms. She appears to be inviting anyone to step closer. Her calm pale face clashes with the black hull and sails.
Devan pulled his horse towards the dock stable. The sooner we meet these strangers, the quicker I can get back to training in the yard, he thought as he flicked a copper to the stable boy. Wynd, Red and him walked on to the main causeway of the dock. Black sails on a blue sky.

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Logs

Most of our game takes place in the forums with occasional ventures to tabeltop.

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