Noble Houses (Game of Crowns)
Hal, Earl of Richmœnd, first born heir of a usurper, base of stock, is in another world: a magical land, crammed with intrigue, politics, paths paved with poison and envenomed halters. Surrounded by other gentry, Earl Hal Richmœnd belongs in his westland home, beside the coast. He and his second-born brother Brendon, reside in the Dukedom of Tiwynn Lancaster, found in a sleepy little sea-side town, on the outskirts of Lannisport, to the west of Castle-Rock, located on the mouth of the River Brute. Their ancestral home is to the east of Feastfire and Kayce. Alongside the two brothers is their sister (NPC), and a huntswoman, with a knight, a godwood holy-man and an alchemist-mæster . A new game is afoot, let slip the dogs of politics.
Dapper Hal, sat beside the Royal seat of his father, attired in silk wrought from the most delicate tailors, the splendour and opulence of his clothes surpassed all compare. His younger brother Brendon, also sported fine garments, and sat astride another carved rosewood seat, the other side of Duke Richmœnd, atop the stone-floor stepped dias. Behind them flew the draped tapestry, heraldic symbology spliced in half. On the left of the shield: the crownēd white hart of the westlands; to the right: the dragon-turtle of Richmœnd. All the other chivalric emblems displayed thereabouts bore the crest of the sea-turtle wyrm, symbolising only one generation of noblesse.
In the mid-morning sun, the brisk bracing onshore breeze bit at the guards gate-side. A stranger approached: t’was a page from another Kingdom, flags flying, flapping in the wind. News reached them, by this courier; flanked by Martyn: knight of the realm, and Frotha, an alchemist, the trio entered the privy star-chamber. The herald passed the scroll to the mæster alchemist Frotha Fleckbow, who read aloud its message for the Royal court to hear.
“You and your entourage are cordially invited to attend and participate in this year’s tournament, to be held in the southlands of the western isle, three weeks henceforth, should you wish to attend. The usual pageantry, pomp and solemnity of formality shall forsooth be the order of the day; after which, the banquet before the beginning of the spectacle.”
Hal: Father, we should send for the hermit John Godswynn, who is at present, praying in the forest, to the pure spiritree. To the sculpted visages of our ancestor first-men, the old philosophers.
The Duke: Why my son?
Hal: Because I have heard strange reports of this anchorite, before becoming a hermit, John was a tournament champion, and won valour in the chivalric arts of martial sport.
The Duke: Very well. Send for him. [points to a Royal messenger].
More palava was murmured, Brendon petitioned his old-man the Duke for counsel, Hal made a donation of over two-grand in silver, for a suit of armour, custom made for his form. Three days passed. Tabatha the hunter went into the forest looking for quarry during thrice sunsets, to no avial. Good Friar John the anchorite joined the valiant heroes on their quest to win honour and glory at the impending tourney. He instructed the family and close-friends of the court in the ways of tournament combat, on foot, on horseback, and with cordial discretion. Meanwhile, the knight Martyn took some of Hal’s Royal guards on-patrol, to clear the roads of any unsavoury types that may let, hinder or delay the tournament team. No brigands were to be found, thankfully. During which time brother Brendon and Frotha Fleckbow pored over the House keeping. With keen eyes on the records, a verdict was reached that the realms finances were in decline. (T’was here that Prince Hal decided to recompense the Royal treasury for his armour, offering up nearly all his coin, three times that which the armour was worth). The differences in donation and deficit was soon suspect, perhaps creamed off by corruption. [Texts were flying around, already the stirrings of bribery and regicide cast a fearful spectre over so civil a scene]. With a score or more retainers, and without further ado, the Royal entourage set off.
The sun shone bright in an azured cloudless sky, the cool salt-sea breeze turned to dappled orchards and trees; in-between, lay the path to victory, on the fields of valour, the tournament. Thrice times did the fiery globe set, sinking beneath the hills, kissing the land good-night, until on the fourth day, matters took an ever inevitably interesting turn…
As his horse Chevalier the palfrey trotted beneath him, Hal marvelled at the splendour from the shafts of sunlight that pierced the fecundity of a branched tangled canopy. Mossy riverbank rocks sat beneath a forested pathway, and something, somewhere stirred. Tabatha the hunter noticed what is was: an abnormally large amount of crows circled in the sky. Tabatha slid away, the others, bemused sat about blathering about what to do, while the hunter set her sights on a gruesome scene in a clearing, not a few yards hence; yet silently disguised from view, by briars and brambles the tracker trod, leaving near-no trace, of her having passed there.
Meanwhile, the others asked of the alchemist what might the meaning of this be? Both Frotha and Hal concurred that John Godwynn be the man to ask, when dealing with this manner of mystery.
John: It’s a bad omen.
Brendon: Pray tell, what kind of omen?
John: A bad one.
A quartet of ravenous wolves fed upon some carrion, the scavenging lupines were blissfully unaware they were being watched, whilst gorging on their feast of flesh, dead, devoured by brutish beasts. She took careful aim, but before lining up her target, two retainers under orders from Baron Brendon, bumbled through the undergrowth clumsily. This distraction proved timely, and as one wolf then two, then four strode for the pair of men-at-arms: Tabatha let loose. Wounding a wolf in the calf straight away she nocked another arrow sending a spinning shaft into finish the first one off. Boom! It was on! Roll initiative!
The wolves were swiftly dispatched and fled. Their feast was of some dead soldiers, from the evidence it was discerned that they had been betrayed by one among them, assassinated in cold-blood. The insignia on their weapons was an uncrownēd stag: they were men who fought on the side of the House of Lancaster during the uprising, when Robert dethroned the mad King.
After some deliberation, our Royal tournament team continued along the road southwards, until in the dark of night they saw a dim light emanating from a lone building.
They tipped the stable-boy Colin, of the Dag Inn, and entered the tavern. Following a lead after a little investigation, our team managed to discern some useful information.
Seemingly a man had passed by this Inn of late, looking to buy horses and recruit men. He did not find any steeds for sale here and trudged south. The suspect had been wounded in the leg, and headed south, limping.
Player: Maxen the Anglo-Saxon
Character: Hal Richmœnd (Henry, Earl of Richmœnd)
Age: 21 (Adult)
Rôle: First-born heir to the Dukedom of Richmœnd
Goal: To accrue wealth; Motivation: Financial Gain
Virtue: Humble, humility.
Quirk: Sometimes supremely arrogant
Animal Handling • • • (Ride +1)
Athletics • •
Cunning • • •
Endurance • • •
Fighting • • • (Axes +1)
Healing • • (Diagnosis +1)
Knowledge • • (General)
Language • • (Common tongue – Westlander)
Marksmanship • • • (Bows +1)
Persuasion • • •
Survival • • (Foraging +1, Hunting +1 and Orientation +1)
Warfare • • • (Command +1)
Will • • •
Intrigue Defence: 9
Combat Defence: 6
Armour Rating: 6
Armour penalty: -3
Weapon Damage: +3
Hunting Bow Damage: +2
Movement: 4 yards
Adept Negotiator, Family Heirloom (Long Axe) and Blood of Valyria
Valyrian Steel Long Axe
Monogamy Wood Armour (ornately carved with Dragonsea-Turtle crests)
Scale Plate Armour (ornately carved with Dragonsea-Turtle crests)
Hunting bow (120 arrows)
Noble’s clothes (worth more than two golden dragons)
Chevalier (thoroughbred palfrey)
Feed (10 days worth)
Silver flask (holds a pint of oil)
Waterskin (contains five pints of water)
Flint and steel
Approximately a score of retainers
Exp: (at least some, we’ve done like a whole session ’n stuff)
Life events: Fought in a battle wherein his brother was captured;
Caused a villainous scandal that brought shame upon the House of Richmœnd.