The Lords of Winter

GM Recap - Opening Ceremonies and the Welcoming Feast
Game time: Sunday, January 30th

You began still in the clearing of the kingswood. Ser Joris stripped The Fox Knight of his armor, weapons and head. You all headed back to the Green Tree Inn when Erik decided he wanted to “turn in” for the night at the Jade Spring next door. You met a couple of new characters in the main room of the Green TreeMarita Lugus, sister of Ser Naton and Orten and a Ser Gennady Shanin from Dorne.

In the morning the Maester convinced Gregor to let him have the phial with the drop of colorless liquid in it and Lassen headed off to the Maester’s Conclave. Along the way he encountered a young boy that claimed to be his son with a letter stating so from his dead mother. The boy followed but Lassen carried on towards the Conclave. Once there, Lassen spoke with Maester Luwin of House Stark and then headed off to the laboratory where he met an acolyte named Denys. After some bargaining, Denys agreed to run a toxicology screen on the liquid in the phial in exchange for a letter from Lassen stating that Denys would be installed as the Maester for House Ignatius. Lassen took a shortcut back to the tourney greens and was roughed up a bit by some poorly-armed footpads.

Meanwhile, Ser Joris headed off to the Tower of the Hand to claim a handsome reward for killing an enemy of the Crown. He then met up with Gregor at the tourney greens where festivities were beginning for the opening ceremonies and the showing of arms. Erik showed up with the lovely Lidda, a veiled high-price courtesan from the Jade Spring, on his arm. Ser Gennady, who had been admiring the portraits of Lady Emma, became enraged when he saw Lidda with Erik. There were some words exchanged and Ser Gennady stomped off.

During the showing of arms, Erik got into a proverbial pissing contest with Ser Etan and Ser Adham. Nasty things were said. Ser Joris decided to carry the favor of Aranette, a young horse-faced girl that needs to be married off – the daughter of a drunken knight.

The archery competition commenced, which was won by young freckle-faced Anguy.

Gyles the Bard was told to sing his bawdy song about Lord Dannett at a moment of his own choosing.

Then everyone headed over to the keep for the welcoming feast. People were in their cups and giving toast after toast when Ser Adham stood up and made accusations of butchery against House Slayton. King Robert was not happy about this, but let both sides tell their story. In the end, Ser Adham threw his mailed gauntlet at Erik’s feet and challenged him to a duel. King Robert declared that the duel would be the first joust of the day on the morrow and would not end with a simple unhorsing of one man, but with one man yielding.

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King's Landing I
Erik Writes his mother

Mother,

It is I, Erik. I fear our trip to King’s Landing is already a disaster, and we haven’t made it to the city.

After we made the King’s Road, we headed south. All through the North, the Peace of Lord Stark held, and we had no difficulties.

Then we crossed the Neck into Tully land. Soon we spotted a Murder of Crows. Investigating, we came upon a Murder of Men. Five unarmored men, slain in their sleep. Their armor still piled up against the trees. They looked like soldiers, and had a few silvers still on their bodies, and we found a large empty sack that may have contained more.

One of the dead man had a hilt with a Stag on it, but no crown. It must have predated the War of the Usurper.

We proceeded to an inn, Dags Inn, where we were met with open hostility. It seems our house was blamed for killing some of the Dannet’s useless small-folk. A Sir Adlern Dannet had ridden through, holding a shield with our device on it, and told a tale of mass murder of his people by House Slayton soldiers. There was a severed hand in the shield, said to be from a Slayton.

I thought to stifle these rumors at the source, and challenged anyone who repeated them to a duel, but the craven southerners moved to overwhelm us with unbeatable numbers. It would have been a glorious death, I’m sure I would have taken dozens of them myself, but I had our mission to think of. And I would much prefer to make the other man die.

We heard of a Fox Knight who had been in the area before all this trouble, hiring only outsiders for a mission, and paying well. We think he was hiring butchers and murderers to wear our colors while attacking the small-folk. He was regarded as a highly religious man, probably the southern seven. And a humorless man at that. He fought on the losing side of the War of the Usurper.

We moved on and found another inn, just out of King’s Landing, called the Great Stag. There I encountered a drunken lout with gold coin all over his table. He was bragging of killing small-folk dressed as one of us! Said the Fox Knight liked him because he was against the King.

Our house may have been set up by some plot of Targaryen loyalists. What with the failed wedding, we have a bad name in Tully’s land. It may be the plot is bigger than just defaming us, and we are being used as a convenient scapegoat.

I found a man of good birth, Ben Fred of House Ferring to witness the man’s talk. Sir Fred was also interested in Emma and promised to testify for us in King’s Landing.

Maester Lassen and our Master of Mint drugged the drunk, not that that was an epic feat, and kept him in the Maester’s room.

The next morning, Sir Ben Fred was dead. I had to bludgeon the Maester’s prisoner to keep him quiet. He seemed willing to testify himself the night before, but he was in his cups, so who knows? Now he is none to pleased with us.

Now we go to King’s Landing. We are flying the Ignatius banner, as our own attracts all sorts of unwanted attention. I fear we must clear our name before we can find a man for Emma and a Lord for our House.

Your bewildered son,
Erik

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Flint Fingers II
Erik writes his mother

Dear Mother,


Glad to hear you are up and hobbling now. Yes, I know you know about the disaster at Flint’s Fingers, and yes, I heard what you told the cook. As bad as it may have seemed, I look at it as a temporary setback.

But enough about me and the Rayne girl. She’s a real firebrand, I found her in the practice yard, working on her swordplay. I best be careful!

The rest of the wedding disaster was a jumble. Would you believe that when things got really confused with Malachite — you know he ran off with a Wildling wench? — I even volunteered to marry the young Rayne girl. No, not the baby, the one with the sword. Anyway, the old gods were looking after me and let my moment of weakness pass.

And what else? Well, old Lord Arthur Flint was killed in a most despicable manner. One of his own serving wenches drenched him in wine and boar urine. When he went boar hunting an enraged boar gutted the old man. I’m sure Emma was taking notes.

Arthur died, but not before asking me to tell Lord Stark of this outrage, which I have done. The Flints seem to have got themselves mixed up with some fool power play by the Ironmen. The Flints and the Ironmen are no concern of ours; Lord Stark will get to the bottom of this, no doubt.

And of course you have heard about Lord Malachite the Lost. I have to say the wildling wench was most lively, but it seems we have seen the last of them. No doubt they are north of the wall, playing with toy daggers made out of black glass.

The good news it that Emma now shoulders the burden now of governance, not me. And not that wildling Malachite.

Oh, back to that boar. I killed it. It’s meat was supposed to be part of the wedding feast, but that all fell apart when the wedding ended. I was almost as upset at not getting to feast upon my own kill as I was with Malachite for refusing to marry the Rayne girl. But all was not lost.

While sailing north, I was in a black mood until, Dominik, the old scout and a fine cook, came up to me with a steaming plate of roast boar. “I couldn’t see leaving it to those crazy Flints,” he said. I shall reward him, perhaps with a new hunting bow.

And now, I must say goodbye to Cliffside again. We are off to King’s Landing. After the incident with the boar where I had to dismount before slaying the beast, I’ve been practicing hunting with a spear while remaining mounted.

Which turns out to be perfect, because we are off to a tourney at King’s Landing, and the southerners will be lining up to sit on their geldings while I knock them off with a lance. It’s just like boar hunting, only the women are crazy about it.


Be well, and watch out for grumpkins,

Erik

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Flint Fingers I
Erik writes his mother
Dear Mother,


How is the leg? I know you wanted to come to the wedding, but a broken leg takes time to heal. Perhaps you should find a gentler horse than that devil beast from Dorne. Rest up and worry not, this wedding is a rushed affair, and you are missing little.

After all the pressure you and everyone else put on me and my niece Emma, I was not surprised to find out Lady Stark wanted our new Wildling lord married at once. When I heard it was to a Rayne, it gave me pause. It should have given me great pause.

It turns out Lady Stark had lined up none other than the sweet Sylvie Rayne for my nephew. I have not had a chance to speak to the lass privately, but this must be a shock to the poor girl. On one hand she gets a lord for a husband, and not some broke-down, white-haired, bandy-legged ancient like her father, but a young and strong Slayton. Not me, but what can you do? On the other hand, Malachite is a Wildling. Yes, he has the blood of the North, but he was raised as one of the “Free People,” whatever that may mean. Poor Sylvie must be terrified.

Now I know you will chastise me, but I have been with Sylvie before, and I’m afraid she may be with child. Everyone thinks it’s mine, but honestly, I’ve only visited her a few times, and she may have found other men to her liking as well.

The upshot is that the Rayne’s believe I am the father of Lady Brigit Rayne’s child and now Sylvie’s. It is not my fault if these river men cannot produce heirs, while a Northman has to just stand upwind of one of their women to find her belly swelling.

In any case the Rayne’s will no doubt try and attack me, and I must find a way to defend myself without breaking the peace that Lady Stark has worked so hard to achieve. Any motherly advice on this subject will too late to reach me, so let us trust in the Old Gods to protect us.

The Rayne’s have a Hogg in their midst. Ser Eaton Hogg is sworn to the Raynes, and it seems he is determined to make trouble for everyone, even me.

I have to ask myself, who among the Raynes will profit if this marriage falls through? Certainly they are under pressure from their river lords to see this through. Is this Hogg here as a spoiler?

And what of our host, Lord Arthur Flint? His wife is absent, and there is some secret about her. Their son, Robyn Flint is a capable, if serious, young man. Something troubles him, and we know not what. Perhaps it is only that his father has dreadful pious notions about women that septons prattle on about but seldom practice.

Sorry there isn’t much news to share with you. I will go hunting tomorrow. I assume someone will be hunting me or Malachite. Probably both. Perhaps my next letter will have something of import.

Your loving son,

Erik

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