Færuin

The Last Supper

Game of Crowns

Song of Fire and Ice

Ulæth was in absentia but ’twas soon discerned that he and his wife – Lady Reign – had a Royal baby on the way. Hal, Brendon, Frotha and Friar John were all present hereabouts. After several day-release from being shut up in the barn, Lady Iris was restored into the house’s good graces, and free to dwell anywhere.

Alas, more joyous news of alliance: union in Holy matrimony arrived soon. Baron Brendon and Lady Iris’ wedding not only symbolised a Royal alliance, but also on a state level, branches betwixt the two trees – houses – a feeling of amity was fostered to help further diffuse the recent hostilities between the two states.

Mæster Frotha scrivvened a letter dictated by Prince Henry, “My liege, King Robert Brathian of Lancaster,

In amicable spirit of reparations, a union ’twixt our two families, which hath of late, relations have been tenuous, strained at best. Our good-will and worth be measured by proudly announcēd marriage, an alliance: Lady Iris and Baron Brendon. We do humbly invite your graces presence in attendance, that we may beg your benediction, should it best please your Majesty.”

Wedding arrangements were made, with invitations being sent out to: the Starks, Yews, Westerlings, Cliftons and our banner-men retainers, house Orliche.

The latter two could not attend, but all neighbourly Royals greeted our house by accepting the invitation. Among the first to arrive, was Alfred Dannet, and his Royal entourage. Hal, attired in his best livery, bearing a monogamy wooden carved symbol bearing the Royal crest of Richmœnd. Offering the dark arb sigil as a gift, Hal welcomed Earl Alfred Dannet. His welcome was receieved bruskly, yet accepted. Henry retorted Alfred’s disapproving snort with, “My house, is your house. For as long as you wish to stay, we sons of Richmœnd, offer you only the warmest of welcomes. Aye. For this day, I hath not so much lost a brother, so much as gained a good Uncle. Welcome Alfred. Welcome, to my home.”

A jet black raven arrived to Mæster Frotha, with a writ from the King’s Royal secretary, sadly declining the invitation to the event. His Royal Majesty, King Robert, did inform us however, that although neither he, nor Queen Crecy, would be able to attend; his page Lord Lancel Lancaster, would be there in his stead. Furthermore, soon after, word reached us that the Starks and the Yews would not be there either, too great a distance was it for them to travel, in order to attend such a … modest occasion, lamentably.

Baron Brendon also dispatched the Richmœnd Royal Steward to oversee the state of the Dannet lands, so as to not only get a better picture of what was happening there; yet also, conditionally, to aid with their fiscal policy, that their state may prosper and not flounder further in to the red. It was ascertained that their fiscal state was steadily in decline. Our help was much needed, as house Dannet had many outstanding debts. “Brother, can you lend me some cash?” Hal paused, then reached inside his coat, “This is a wedding gift to you, dear brother.” Hal offered a gift of some one ton in goldragons to the groom, gladly, and readily accepted.

So then, other dignitaries began to arrive from beyond the borders of Brendonshire. Too numerous to mention, the local gentry filed in, in pomp and solemnity. Though the day drizzled, rainfall could not dampen the spirits of the guests and generous hosts alike. Local gentry robed in fine silken tailoring streamed in to the scaffolded keep, the on-going works being postponed momentarily. Dour clad townsfolk of Brenton cheered the oncoming pageantry.

[more to follow]…

Ulæth turns up! Woohoo! :)

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Aftermath

Game of Crowns

Training Daze

Remaining in King’s Landing for a short while, Hal, Earl of Richmœnd, managed to find who he was looking for: someone to teach him how to wield a lance properly. (Despite the fact he had won the event sans skills!) Frotha the mæster scoured the remnants of the conclave conference for colleagues of the healing arts. He was successful, he soon took off to The Citadel in Old Town. “See you back at base in six-months.”, said he, off on his travels.

The Squire Ulæth also managed to find someone to train him in the use of the axe. He and Hal discovered an animal trainer which they took with them. The Royal entourage headed back to their homeland to overwinter. The journey back was uneventful.

Upon our triumphant return Orion’s drizzling look cast a dank and humid scene. The town seemed deserted. En route to the castle the rain steadily poured. Hal’s horse Chevalier became spooked at something, throwing Henry from the saddle straight into a muddy puddle. His mood further soured, heavens conspired his overthrow. No-one offered to help him up, so foul a humour was Henry possessēd in momentarily. Alas, the team entered the great hall. “Hello? Is anyone home? Father?” His enquiry was met with n’owt but an echo, silence. Ulæth looked quizzically at his lord’s brother, Hal. The silence was disturbing.

Suddenly the tapestries were flung back and a host of silhouetted shadowy figures appeared. Hal reached for the hilt of his axe. Ambush?

Music played and King Martyn appeared greeting the heroes. Festivities began and celebrations were enjoyed. “All hail the hero of the tournament!” “Thank you father. Please, ’twas you that bought me my first blade, and taught me all I know. I won the sport of kings for the kudos of our honourable house, because God is on our side.”

The celebrations came to a close as swiftly as they had begun, as Hal and Ulæth soon concentrated on the day-to-day affairs of running their Royal household. [In game terms: we sunk several grand goldragons into improving the Kingdom. We initially increased Defence and Population slightly, but mostly pumped it into Power, Law and Lands.]

One drizzling morning a herald reported the sound of a bugle. “Travellers approach, flying the banners from the Royal house of Rhymehall!” They sought an audience with King Martyn, and were admitted entrance into the Keep. Introducing himself, the young (19) Sir Gerald Orliche, heir to the neighbouring throne of Rhymehall offered his sister’s hand in marriage. The Lady Reign ended up marrying Ulæth, the dowry of a grand in gold was accepted, the occasion was to be hosted by house Richmœnd at the insistence of King Martyn. Plans for the event were made. Most everyone gave their blessing to this upcoming solemn wedding of two squires of equal station. (Lady Reign is merely second in line to the throne).

From a magic Skype-stone Baron Brendon beamed in illusory and ethereal, from a large lit slender slab of alabaster stone. A guard frapped at his bed chamber door, “Sire, someone is here to see you. A lady. She awaits your presence at the fortress gates m’lord.” “Very well, I shall see her presently.” Muttering under his breath, “It better not be Iris.”, whilst getting dressed, lo and behold, it was Iris.

The Lady looked forlorn, bruised, her rag-like clothes torn, fraying and flailing in the wind. Her face was smeared with a little dirt, and she had evidently been weeping of late. Brendon wore a stoic look about him, “What do you want?” “Orton Lugus killed my brother, then he himself died. I need your help, as I have nowhere to stay.” “Why did you betray me and my family?” “Orton had me under duress, he threatened to kill me if I did not do his bidding.” After a thoughtful pause, Brendon took pity on her, “You may stop in the stables tonight, while I think about it.” “A place midst warm hay somewhere dry is surely better than the roadside ditch I spent the night in yesterday evening.” Her face seemed to brighten, if only a little. Brendon ordered a guard, “Get her cleaned up and make sure she is fed. I want a good eye kept on her, making sure she is safe in the stables and does not go anywhere without my permission.”

The daze flew by, hazy, lazily; we were in celebratory mode, all that was, apart from Frotha. He was miles away, in Old Town, learning about shapes and colours, with his partner pedagogue: developmental. Far-out.

Meanwhile, back in the Kingdom of Richmœnd, the marriage celebrations got underway. Lady Reign adorned in a cream coloured dress, woven with gold knotting, a tiara of flowers and acorns crowned her long straight auburn hair. Confetti flew, the happy couple kissed beneath the sacrēd white-wood tree and tied the knot, in accordance with the old ways: hand-fasting yet more permanent. Squire Ulæth, attired in immaculate white, ’neath the noons high bright sunlight, danced with his newly wed beloved, to the sweetest most delightful melody: to be… in love. Truly.

Though she be but four years and ten, with the young esquire husband but nineteen, in these mediæval times, when it came to dynastic ties of alliance, ’twas the usual order of the day.

Trailing back from God’s wood, the happy couple were followed by a whole host of crowds and onlookers, wishing the newly wed couple well; for most part.

Therein, lay a key problem for the team. Demographics. On such a slender stretch of land, lay so many people. In the weeks that had past, an influx of flutson and jetson from neighbouring territories had drifted towards newly founded Brendonia wishing to partake in its prosperity. Waves of travellers, families of wandering countenance flooded in to Richmœnd Royal lands, and to the freshly founded settlement of Brendonton. With the call for craftsmen and women, the word put out erstwhile for skilled artisans to be invited to settle hereabouts, to help build the city and castle. Such matters of state seemed far away from mind as the people and princes enjoyed the banquet. Back from his travels, Frotha clinkeda silver spoon against his crystal goblet, “Speech! Speech!”

Some weird tradition happened where everybody gets naked. I’m hazy on the details.

Back to affairs of statecraft, the team had to focus on how best to develop their regal family realm. Ulæth recommended more agriculture. Hal concurred. The grain, fowl and legume would sustain the swelling people of Brendonia, ’twas a logical step. Frotha suggested an increase on defence first off. After which, motioning on investing in real-estate. He acted to increase our lands, buying up tracts of Dannet country. Yet, still having to pay homage to their rival house. Offering coin, to boot.

Acting on Baron Brendon’s sage council, brother Hal used his acumen to double effect, by channeling all available regency resource into influence, thereby restoring the lost standing in status we hath endured since the offset of the campaign. (The old grudge set against us for a past misdemeanour we’d become involved in, both brothers instigated, during character creation). Our good name was restored. With that, accompanied fortune and glory.

We set in motion the building of a shining city: Brendonia. Built, near the family Keep turned fully-fledged castle: Har’castle Craggs. Near Brendonton (known locally as just Brenton). Anyhow, further developments were made.

A shroud of darkness then fell on the session. The GM changed the rules, on a whim, putting a bad vibe on the whole game. Instead of letting the players choose what to spend their boons on, they must now be rolled randomly. We now have no control over how our nation develops excepting on a chance roll of some other event. We rolled ‘wealth increase’ and ‘lands’. This is such BS. We now officially have no control over how or what to develop our country, by way of boons. Hal steps down as regent if this rule is enforced (next session). Living in peace on a farmstead, in early retirement with his grand goldragon nest egg, as a simple citizen, taking no further part in politics. Transferrence of the investiture is to be handed over to brother Brendon, should this contingiency course of events transpire. (i.e. should the nonsensical ‘randomised Kingdom management house rule’ be enforced). On that note:

Here endeth the session.

This is how my character’s skills look now after the level up:

Status • • • • • •
Animal Handling • • • •
Ride Horses • •
Cunning • • •
Endurance • • • •
Fighting • • • • •
Axes • •
Pole Arms (inc. Lance) • •
Shields
Language • •
Marksmanship • • • •
Bows
Persuasion • • •
Warfare • • •
Command
Will • • •
Healing • • •
Diagnose
Knowledge • • •
Survival • • •
Forage
Hunting
Orientation
Athletics • • • • •

House Richmœnd (Stats)

Defence 42%
Influence 59%
Lands 45%
Law 31%
Power 41%
Wealth 63%
Population 70-something% (estimated)

Staff:

10 Elite Guards
9 Personal Guards (trained)
6 Bowmen
[various servants]

Holdings:

Guilds, a marketplace, a smithy (weaponry), a port and a God’s wood.

Upgrades this session:

Hired a skilled Shipwright, an expert equestrian jousting specialist (pedagogue) and a grand blade master (knight’s chapter master)

Increased our Keep to a Castle:

Founded a small-city, by Royal proclamation was dubbed with the name: Brendonton and within it, at its centre, was the recently bought pub, called The Traveller’s Rest.

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Last Tournament Day

The heroes Hal, Brendon, Ulæth, John and Frotha made it through to the final round of the mêlee.

Before the event, Bryan Telson approached Baron Brendon asking to join in the hand to hand, who, troubled, recounted the tale of how his dear father had been hood-winked by Sir Genadi Shælyn out of his ancient family heirloom: the scorpion sword. Seemingly Bryan’s true name was Tyger Wyld, whose father (Lord Wyld) has lost his fraternal name-sake artefact, and that Tyger wished to avenge the wrong done against his old-man, in the upcoming debacle.

Trumpets sounded and crowds cheered in jubilation on the afternoon of this martial contest. The King’s Herald spoke once the audience had silenced at his gesture, “The final contest of the day is met, two noble houses made it through to the ultimate challenge, the arena!”

Our two groups faced off inside the green-fields of glory midst an array of bright heraldic banners, flittering in afternoon breeze. Hal stepped forward, bravely, with Brendon, John, Ulæth and Frotha stood steadfastly beside their regent. On face was the ‘mountain’, flanked by various Knights, both teams had a handful of retainers.

Hal stepped in, his wooden axe having a no discernible effect on his golden-cloaked opponent. All hell broke loose, the two houses clashed, erupted into a cacophony of fierce fighting. A whirlwind ensued. Brendon tagged a gold-cloak before being struck down by the Mountain, he was unconscious. Hal caught his blade before it hit the floor. Ulæth took down a Knight. John brought one down. Frotha disarmed an enemy guard, Hal capitalised on the happening, striking the unarmed man shamefully, two strikes and the man was down. The battle raged.

The Mountain had struck many of our guards down in battle, Hal weighed in against him with his brother’s blade. John snuck round and attacked the Mountain, he hamstrung the warrior. Hal bashed away at the Mountain, to no avail. The Mountain grievously wounded Prince Henry, bruising him badly. John waded in there, Ulæth and Frotha slew some more golden clad guards.

The Mountain lashed back at good Friar John, who purged his destiny point right there and then. Boom! (It was so on!) Eventually the struggle came to a drawn out conclusion, with only a handful of their number still standing, and all but one of ours (Player Characters). Surrounding and rounding up the precious few scant smattering of soldiers still standing on the other side. They were down.

Retreating back to the Green Tree tavern, brother Brendon ordered a neat whiskey upon the discovery that his beauteous paramour had fled, without trace of her belongings, from their chamber. He soon went about in search if her, Frotha bade him look at his wounds and healed him before setting off, the mæster in tow. Ulæth took off to the tourney field tent where might be found the Dannet family. He had a sense of deja-vu, an ancestral soul of his, Tabatha, had experienced a similar doomed fate. Unfettered following his hunch he set forth for their tent, flanked by Friar John and Hal, Earl of Richmœnd and tournament champion.

Brendon did n’er find his belovēd, neither did the others turn up much. Without futher ado our adventuring company went to the ceremony.

The King threw a feast, offering Hal to take his place at the high table, for being solemnly conferred with the honour, of winning the tournament. For winning the joust, a grands worth of goldragons, for the archery: another thou’ in gold. (Hal slipped both into his secret crotch box stash beneath his monogamy wood ornamental armour, then duly paid homage to his King). Raising a goblet of the finest wines available to humanity, King Robert raised his own as all thereabouts dids’t follow. “To Prince Hal and house Richmœnd!” Everyone spake, “To Hal!” The King appealed for quiet, and bade brother Brendon, our baron, to stand beside his King. “Now, the bountiful prize for the rightful champions of the arena, five thousand golden dragons for you all.”

Following some deliberation over how the prize money should be divided: Baron Brendon wishing all seven large to be sank into a Rookery for Froth’. Hal decided to give each man in his Royal entourage a grand, with a further one thou’ for the team treasury, in the care of Brendon. Each member of our company philanthropically donated their full share to the group fund. Hal gave up another thousand and a further tonne in gold, to the treasury, keeping nearly one large back in his boxers.

Brendon broke off and honed in on the original Dannet family pimp who sold his burd into slavery, from across the room. Banter ensued, again, not much forthcoming. The King offered another toast, then as all was settled, basking in the glow of victory, into the atmosphere of high-spirits, a serpent did come. A woman, her visage shrouded shrouded by a dark purple veil, clad in silken dallians entered and strode with graceful aplomb across the room. ’Twas surely her. She soon spoke up, against our good name. We protested our innocence. The argument became heated, the King appealing for each side to plead their case, rumours of a triple poisoning, that would furthermore besmirch our family’s good name.

After a lot of smooth talking on our part (mainly Brendon) and following much eloquent and poignant defence, we were proclaimed innocent. One of the rogue knightly poisoners confessed, we dumped all the blame on that scape-goat, straight away mate. That was the break we needed. (Though our family did take a -5 to our reputation).

XP will be awarded (for the first time this week). The goldragons earned should ideally be spread equally across the team members, for training costs, so all out characters can level up).

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Tourney

Hal was late for the day’s tourney, but eventually rose to the challenge of the jousting and archery events. Due to side bets placed on a favourable outcome, the others potentitally could make a shed load of coin of the Realm, as Hal was not the favourite.

Hal bested his first opponent in the joust, in the second: both riders were unhorsed. Prince Henry sustained an injury but fought through, dismounting his opponent on the second run. Manning up, Hal grinned and bared the pain, step up to the plate and took on his next opponent: the mountain. Galloping, Hal unhorsed the towering Knight with great ease.

Prince Henry also won the archery, and the hand to hand combat.

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The Tournament

Game of Crowns

Song of Fire and Ice

The sun rose and avains awoke with a song in their hearts, singing in jubilation of the coming dawn. Although shafts of luminescence pierced the black blanket of cumulonimbus, the shadow of clouds overcast a spectre of ominous portents that heralded the arrival of this fortuitous day. Much rested on the shoulders of young Hal, Earl of Richmœnd today, for the fate of the Kingdom would be decided.

This all seemed foolish to the young Prince Henry. His father’s family had been dishonoured, shamed and framed by the ignoble House Dannet. His brother and he (Baron Brendon) had tried their utmost to clear their good name by maintaining their innocence, proven by veritable testimony from a willing witness. Alas, all this proved pointless, and it was decided by King Robert the usurper, that violence means justice. No mercy. No justice was served.

It struck Hal as strange, how in a land such as this, men could have their honour smeared, then are forced into a fight, to ‘prove’ their innocence. It was all nonsense. The massacre of the farmers, the enslavement of their adfilate sister by her own family, and the pointless trial by combat. It didn’t matter that House Richmœnd was innocent and framed, it didn’t matter how Adam Dannet had instigated the intrigue, all that mattered to Hal now, was that he entered into a fight, and won.

Surely, by debasing ourselves as to succumb to temptation, is wrong-headed, as we are surely just as mean and base as they. Have humanity Hal. Listening to his conscience, Hal rationalised that stooping so low, selling out as the Dannet boys had done, was that left hand Machiavellian path; whereas to walk through the straight righteous side, wherein honour she be satisfied, aye. We must be above all good sports.

Niccolo’s dark spirit lingers as being the nature of this beast. Politics. Regicide: Fratricide. The dishonourable assassin lurks, creeps and strikes. An air of suspicion, a thick heavy mist of capture, torture and betrayal.

Alas, the day dawned down near the Green Tree tavern, taking their places up at the breakfast table after the evenings shenanigans, Friar John the hermit of the old ways beseated thereabouts. Joining him was Frotha Fleckbow, a healer mæster.

Another newcomer to the posse was there, Ulæth, a boy esquire, retainer to Baron Richmœnd, who had of late caught up with Brendon in the dark of the night, plotting, intrigued and sought to hire nefarious help to rig the jousting in the following morning. Ulæth failed to reveal anything forthcoming about their new self-proclaimed mission to sabotage the next day’s event. Over the course of the evening, as the Hal soundly slept, one young nobleman entered a seedy tavern nestled in a dodgy district about King’s Landing. (Frotha had made an attempt at disguising Ulæth with phoney scars). The esquire, never before acquainted with a big city, entered the bar on his own.

A rotund looking landlord cleaned out a tankard with a dishcloth, as groups of rogues sat about huddled tables, dicing and making small talk. Their hushēd whispers barely audiable, quiet though it was in the bar sans nom. “A pint of beer please, and one for your good self barkeeper.”, said Ulæth sliding two groats over the darkwood bar-top. “We only serve ale in here.”, replied the barman after taking the tender, picking up another tankard, and scooping out two pints of warm ale from an open hogshead. “I don’t suppose you know anyone who needs some work do you?” “What kind of work are we talking about guv’na?” “Helping to rig a contest.” and so the conversation went on, incongruously.

After soon having hired some goons – who, may or may not be trustēd to make good on their word – to the tune of a twenty per cent cut in any winnings accrued, a slice of the fruitful pie scheme. Shaking hands closing the deal, Ulæth ordered another drink. He blabbered about, lingering, until the tavern owner had enough, saying sharply to the squire,

“You been upsettin’ my punters.”

“Looks like it.”, Ulæth stayed sat right where he was.

“Finish up your bevvy pronto, and sling your ‘ook, sharpish. All‘wright?” The tavernkeeper towered over the young squire and intimidated him. Even so, Ulæth seemed unfettered, keeping quiet, finishing his second pint, and eventually leaving the place, taking the pint tankard with him. “You forgot to bring the glass back!” yelled the random rogue racketeer, keeper of the seedy-joint: the bar in a downtown dockyard district.

That following morning however, after Ulæth finding the Green Tree tavern the only place accommodating in town, after breakfast, the band of brothers split up. Friar John gave a poetic benediction of the old faith, blessing being bestowed on today’s tournament. Hal accompanied the anchorite, and headed straight for the jousting competition, preparing for his trial by combat, that might clear his Houses’ name, fame and now tarnished reputation.

Brendon headed straight to the Jade Garden whore house, to find Lady Lieder, after just having bought her liberty, from the bookie and pimp, Lyle, the barkeep of the Green Tree. The madame said, “Lieder is with a customer right now, can’t you come back later?” “No, this is important, and can’t wait.” handing her a silver coin. “She’s making four and twenty more of these on her back as we speak.” Brendon offered her another twenty-nine silver stags, the madame entered her room, there was report of raised voices. Our Baron boldly and briskly went to investigate. Another young nobleman was hunched over naked in a chair, brow beaten by the madame of the brothel. Lieder pulled the bedclothes up covering her breasts as the madame ushered the young noble client out, handing him his dandy-like clothes and gem-studded shoes. Baron Brendon assured her that he had secured her freedom for some two goldragons, covering all her debt. Lieder was reluctant at accompany him at first, but after some silver charm and sincerely flattery, he worked his magic and enticed her sufficiently to stay by his side. The couple made haste to the tournament field.

Meanwhile, the milling masses gathered for the days events to take place at noon. Common folk from everywhere gathered about the jousting area. Bets were placed by many many people, including our noble circle. Adam Dannet was the favourite, but Hal, Earl of Richmœnd, was good odds at 25-1. Henry put all his gold on with Lyle, a sole dragon had he. (After donating almost all his worldly wealth to the House treasury).

Frotha Fleckbow became separated at Hal’s request, the Prince urged the mæster to join his colleagues in fellowship, once the two had ascertained that a gathering of healers was taking place, at the Sceptred Baylor – the conclave covenant.

Back at the tournament field, banter ensued. Ulæth tried to claim he was nobility, to which the Prince replied, “Riff-raff, gentry, not a Duke nor a Lord or an Emperor, but you might as well be mean and base of stock.” Their argument was silenced as trumpets sounded a fanfare, and a herald issued silence, as he announced, “Hail Adam Dannet!” The crowds exploded into cheer, despite the scores of men having recently been bribed to boo and hiss the Dannet entrance, hardly heard, drowned out by the jubilant cry of popular support House Dannet enjoyed momentarily.

Hal cried out from inside his pavilion, “You’re going home in a horse drawn ambulance!” Jeering his supporters to shout Richmœnd! Richmœnd! His rabble rousing had no noticeable effect, again being sounded down by the whistles and jeers the crowd boo’d Hal, as he made his entrance. Henry raised his arm under his elbow in an obvious sign of ‘up yours’ to the Dannet supporters, the majority. Prince Henry then decided to recite his own soliloquy, in the iambic pentameter, naturally.

Baron Brendon and he were raised outside.
In the forest, suckled by a she-wolf.
Hal spent many years on a mountaintop;
Alone: to find out more about himself.
He rescued a damsel, from the clutches
Of a mighty dragon who dwelt inside
The mountain’s dark depths: a chasm of fire.

Ladies and gentlemen: here, I give you,
Without let, hindrance, or further ado,
The Prince with the monogamy armour,
Liberator of maidens from dragons,
The spirit-warrior monk with the mostest,
A chivalrous Knight of the Oriflame,

Henry Haaaaaaaal Richmœnd!!

Both competitors took to there places at opposite ends of the field, amidst an array of brightly coloured ribbons and flags which fluttered in the summer breeze. Adam looked woozy in his saddle, it seemed more than just the sun, as he appeared a little off-colour when Hal rode up to the centre, to greet the King. After bowing and receiving a Royal ratification, that the first Knight dismounted loses the contest, and their family honour. Hal bowed in respect, turned to the flaky looking instigator of this fiasco, and said flatly to Adam, “You’re going down.”

Re-taking there places at either end, they lowered their visors, and began galloping towards one another. Hal went into ‘Eyes Fixed’ stance, they closed in to one another. Bam! Both lances glanced off their shields.

Turning about and beginning their second run, a canter turned to a gallop again: Hal in ‘Eyes Fixed’ (aka Ice Pick) stance. Boom! Henry’s lance shattered against Adam’s chest, knocking the wind out of the scheming Dannet boy, who now wavered in his saddle.

Third time’s the charm, boom! Ice Pick stance did the job as Hal’s replacement lance splintered into fragments, unseating the Dannet boy! Huzzah!

Giving the stunned to silent crowd another ‘up yours’ signal, dismounted, towered over Adam and began shouting at him and the crowd, “How do you like me now?! How do you like those apples?! Hmmn?!” Taking another bow, he followed up with, “I’ll be here all week. Thank you.” A slow round of applause began. Basking in his glory, King Robert praised him, “Honour is satisfied, House Richmœnd is cleared of any wrong doing.”

Adam looked like he was in a bad way, Hal went to diagnose his injury, but was swiftly set upon by some Dannet goons.

Back at the conclave, Frotha found out about a raven rookery, before returning to the tournament grounds.

The Knight Florēs was up next. Boom! He unhorsed Sir Jæm on just the first pass. Next up: Sir Nathan ‘the nasty’. Boom! The big guy cleared his smaller opponent, again on the first pass.

Now was the turn of Ulæth, he too unhorsed his opponent, Sir Shanyn, a Varlish Knight, who’s lance splintered into a myriad fragments as it connected with him. Remounting, the Knight went to go again, this time dismounting squire Ulæth and wounding him badly. He was not in a good way. Even so, the indomitable esquire moved in for a third run. Boom boom! His lance found its target, smashing itself on impact, and unhorsing Sir Shanyn. Victory for House Richmœnd. “Blessings be upon you.” said the attentive Frotha mæster, after patching the esquire up as best he could. Ulæth’s sprained wrist was strapped up some. His shards of splinter fragments: foreign bodies trapped beneath the skin, festering.

Hal remunerated and recompensed the healer, to the tune of a dragon, thanking him for his services rendered in physician skill. His bet, when cashed in, made a twenty-four times profit on the Hal champion. The one goldragon Henry had put on himself winning transmogrified into twenty-five. All of the players turned a very merry profit, on the side-bets; despite the fact that Ulæth bet on Adam to win, and supposēdly (so he said) also bet on Hal: the victor.

The day was done, celebrations happened, the sound of a lute drifted lazily along the warm evening summer breeze was heard. Emanating from an empty fireplace rested snug within the Green Tree tavern. The night rolled on towards the second day.

Tomorrow’s passing of sunrise would bring with it, the second heat of the jousting and the first of the fighting on foot. Yet now, in the evening air, as the Royal entourage celebrated Frotha noticed a group of robed figures enter the inn. Fellow mæsters. He engaged them in conversation, lose lipped an honest fellow though he wise. In a last ditched attempt to reverse the situation, our healer argued that we had been instigated in another miscarriage of justice. The suspected poisoning.

Who knows what happened? Soon the entire town was gossiping about it. So, Hal found that the dragonbone boot dirk, was in-fact made of dragonbone china. During the time, some random stranger brushed up against Henry’s boot dagger, it had come loose. Part of the handle of the dirk unclipped to reveal a secret compartment. Therein lay a liquid. Odourless, tasted slightly sweet, but was a deadly poison. The brothers soon disposed of the planted evidence, destroying the clear half-full phial.

The hermit John was wildly inebriated by now, raucously cruised the crowd for fine wenches and fair maidens. While Ulæth stayed up late, the others retired, all save the Friar and he.

Here endeth the session.

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Fox Hunting Feastday

Evening-song sounded sweetly above the crackling of the fireplace. Pliant strings plucked reported thereabouts. Frotha Fleckbow the mæster returned to the Green Tree tavern, where harp music emanated, warm, comforting, like the hearth. The hedge Knight Joris (the NPC) sat drinking and raised a tankard to Froth’ in affable acknowledgement, amity. Baron Brendon and the huntress Tabatha all conversed, above the slight sounding gentle harp, which stemmed from Hal’s direction. Yet, before long, most of our number went to bed for the evening, Tabatha stayed down in the bar for another half-hour or so, snooping around for more information. Nothing new came to light.

The next morning the hedge Knight fed from a fine array of food, and bade our company join him. After confirming the food was safe from being poisoned, we all ate with him, heartily. Sweet meats and mead-bread made up the fare. Sir Joris had a letter, it was an invitation by the mysterious Fox Knight, daring to throw down the gauntlet, a challenge of an honour duel. T’was to be held out in the forest, presently. “I would ask one of you to act as my ‘second’ should I fall.”, asked Sir Joris, staring intently at Hal. Prince Henry shrugged his shoulders, beckoning an arbitrary NPC retainer be appointed to do so. "I shall step up to the plate, and accept this honour.”, replied Baron Brendon, bravely. “Whiskey.”, ordered Brendon at the bar.

The Bravosii stranger whom they had met before overheard us talking and offered to join our company, it transpired that the man’s name was Bryan Telson. We accepted. Orton Lugus also was then added to our number, though Brendon and his family and friends were wary about this, seeing as he had a chequered intimate history with “Lieder” (a.k.a. Iris Dannet).

We set off riding on horseback with a procession of people (Frotha’s retainers and the three other NPC’s). Inside the King’s woodland, shafts of amber sunlight pierced the trees, on this hot summers day a gentle warm breeze passed over us, as we trod on the leaves, and the ever growing fecundity of the forest.

En route to the rendezvous Tabatha overheard something said twixt Joris and Orton, who, advised Joris that the Fox Knight will not yield nor draw any quarter. It was rumoured that the identity of this chavlier renard was in-fact most likely ‘Lord Archæ’.

More time passes, Bryan Telson pipes up, whispering rumours of the lost ‘scorpion sword’. Stolen from somewhere, said to be hereabouts.

We reached the clearing, Tabatha scouted thereabouts in the undergrowth, without trace of footfall, silently and deadly. Brendon and Hal waited in the trees, Hal covered Sir Joris with his bow as he entered the glen, accompanied by Orton. Two of Frotha’s retainers were sent to scout about the place. Shortly after the mæster tried voice mimicry of an owl, which merely sounded in the likeness of a man, trying an impoverished imitation of an owl.

Orton orated his challenge out to the faceless silent glen, “Lord Archæ! I am lord Lugus, son of Conrad, for the love of God: the father, show your yourself!” An armoured man bearing a blade, shield by his side, strode boldly from the seclusion of the tree-line into the centre of the glen towards the two knights. Formally observed t’was indeed Archæ who spake thus, “I am he, and in the name of our father, I do accept your challenge.”

Roll initiative! (Oh it was so on!) Boom! Joris swung wide, the old man missing his mark; yet Archæ Reynard was not so unfortunate: his savage sword struck Sir Joris! An agonising cry of pain and strained look was written all over the old man’s face, as he tried to keep it together.

A voice issue from the edge of the forest, “I am Baron Richmœnd, his sanctioned second.” To which our bellicose Baron Brendon boldly bore down on the brigand. Boom! Tagged him! Slicing his right-shoulder, Archæ wailed in agony. “Yield!”, insisted Brendon. “Never!”

A shadow emerged from the trees, it was Tabatha, slowly drawing her bow, knocking an arrow. From the other side, Hal yelled, “No! Tabatha! Honour must be satisfied, do not strike!” She did not abate, and continued to take aim. Hal re-insisted, “You let loose that arrow and you are off the payroll, for starters!” Prince Henry aimed his own bow at Tabatha, who did not waver from her original target.

Archæ took the opportunity to strike Baron Brendon. (His one and only permanently burned off destiny point later…) Orton was attacked, instead, Archæ hitting his shoulder. Tabatha immediately let loose her arrow, seeing as how protocol had been breached already. Her flight ballistic hit Archæ straight through his throat. Garn. Dropped him. Brendon immediately rifled through the dead man’s boots in search of any evidence for his involvement in the framing of House Richmœnd.

Hal lowered his bow, as did Tabatha, the mæster Frotha, and his ten men, they all slowly milled about, gassing.

“Um, could somebody please help me?”, groaned Joris. Frotha immediately rushed to his aid, diagnosing the injury and stemming the flow of lost sanguine. He was unsuccessful in his attempted succour. Brendon was unable to find anything useful to aid their current cause about the corpse of lord Archæ.

“Good healer, go with your retainers, take Sir Joris back to King’s Landing, and see that he is in good health, and recovers speedily.”, said Brendon. “But I wish to accompany you, I have done all I can, for now. My cadre will ensure he is safely carried to a hospital. Orton! Why not you go with him?” Lord Lugus complied with the healer, “I shall see it be so.”

Tabatha tracked the footprints to his hideout: beneath the root on an ancient gnarlēd tree lay a small hovel. The earthen cave was littered with old animal skins, a few cooking pots and some cutlery. A blanket, an unkempt bed. Hal carefully checked for traps. None were found. They searched the place, again nada, rien, n’owt.

Upon returning to the city, it soon came to light that Sir Joris had gone to a better place: the empyreal heaven. After Henry said a prayer for the departed soul, lamenting the loss of his new old friend, the four of them could not help but wonder what it might have been like had Brendon’s wishes been followed. No matter. With the sad spectre of sorrow draped over their souls, the entourage went to the opening ceremony.

Trumpets sounded a fanfare, their banners draped in colourful solemnity: it was time for steady composure of regal visage. Heralds announced the Royal Houses as they passed the cheering crowds. Confetti cast and applause with cheers and hoorah’s sounded all about the tournament field. The pageantry of the procession in full swing on a summers day, Prince Henry on his palfrey, flanked by his noblemen and retainers waved at the crowds in Royal calm. Hal was oblivious to the group of cheering onlookers who boo’d and hissed, cursing the name of Richmœnd for the apparent killing of the yeomen. Tabatha noticed them, slid off into the crowds and feigned supporting their cause to extrapolate more about these duped rebels. Beside Hal was the Baron Brendon, who gave a subtle somatic signal to Tabatha, who disappeared mysteriously from the crowd: to go and investigate the Dannet pavilion.

As the huntress snuck stealthily into the tent, she began searching for evidence, any artefacts or letters that may help clear their name. Someone else entered, a Dannet guard. “Hello there, now what do we have here? A common thief in my masters tent?” The soldier smiled cruelly, drawing his sword and approaching the rogue. His sword swung down landing squarely on Tabatha’s pretty face. (Her destiny point was burned off too…) She managed to jump upon a table, draw her bow, knock an arrow and shoot the approaching soldier in the eye. Two more guards burst in as they heard the scream. Tabatha was on the defensive, drawing her blade. Boom! She was down, wounded twice by the oncoming onslaught. Frotha Fleckbow burned a destiny point to try and save her, to no avail. They were just too far away. In a last desperate attempt at survival, Tabatha clambered on one of the guards’ back, who lanced her to the floor, followed up, and plunged a fatal sword ending her breath, her thread of vital life.

Meanwhile, Hal had a brief audience with the King, and did, after listening to him intently, politely bowing and paying homage to his liege and sovereign, begged a boon from his majesty. Hal spoke of the farmers incident, and how they had been framed, concisely summarising the situation. “I’ll see see what I can do.”, replied the booming voice of King Robert (in a basso profundo deep baritone voice like James Earl Jones’ character at the end of Sneakers).

Now only a trio, blissfully unaware of the fate of their comrade, we headed back to the tavern. Changing from our armour into our silken livery, Brendon went to fetch Lieder, before long our motley crew arrived at the banquet. Alas, musicians played, nobles mingled and from across the room could be seen the young pig-nosed Adam Dannet. Hal rose to go and speak to the young man, but Baron Brendon put a hand on his shoulder saying, “Not yet brother, we must choose our moment carefully.” “Very well.”

Lieder was reluctant to go along with the proposed plan, and was barely compliant, only just staying with us after some smooth talking from her new paramour Brendon.

All went quiet as the King rose to make a toast. All cheered their sovereign on, all that was, except Adam Dannet. The young nobleman did the inevitable, despite the indicated revealing the identity of his indentured sister, unfurling the shield, giving the expected character assassination, adding to his accusatory tone that a rogue from our House had been caught only this afternoon. We were given a chance to defend ourselves. Brendon began, highlighting the key points of contention in this smear-campaign.

Adam Dannet struck back with acidic tongue, but was stopped in his tracks by Hal, who rose, and delivered a soliloquy that ran thus:

See you, my princes and my noble peers,
These Dannet serpents! My lord of Dannet here,
You know how apt our love was to accord
Belonging to his honour; and this man
Hath, for a few light goldragons, conspired,
And sworn unto the practices of him,
For his own reasons turn into your bosoms,
As dogs upon their masters, worrying you,
That almost mightst have coined me into gold!

The truth be told my noble lords, ladies,
That our House be no cold blood murderers
Of innocent yeoman, honest farmers,
Look here see you, we have testimony
From men belonging to House Dannet lands,
A golden-clad guard from King’s Lancaster.

It is well known that House Dannet is poor,
For a palm crossed with silver sells his soul,
Spake with a forked tongue of an argent whore!
Who sold his own sister simply for gold!

Though ’tis tragic that such a noble House
With tradition harking back more than mine,
Should stoop so low as to resort to this,
Though it be proved his noble knightly line!

Hal’s speech was met by a round of applause from his own House, all except for Lieder who left without anyone noticing. The King brought an end to the trial, but Adam Dannet would not let it lie. He threw down the gauntlet: trial by combat. Prince Henry accepted gladly. In the morning would be the first event of the day: jousting, where the fate of the Kingdom would be decided. One way or another. It all rested on the outcome of this Chivalric sport.

Here endeth the session.

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Dr. Jack Francois Jones

New character (Game of Thrones)

Heraldic scholar
Age: 18 (adult)
Role: Expert (Mæster)
Background event: Kept the company of a famous person
Goal: Power
Motivation: Excellence
Virtue: Chaste
Vice: Can be foolish at times
Flaw: Bound to the bottle (Alcoholic)

Abilities:
Animal Handling • • • • (Ride 1)
Cunning • •
Healing • • • • (Diagnose 1, Treat injury 1)
Knowledge • • • • (Education 2)
Language • • •
Persuasion • • • •
Status • • •
Will • • •
All other skills • •
Awareness • • •
Marksmanship • • • •
Fighting • • • • (Pole-arms 1, Long-blades 1)

Destiny:
Mummer (can entertain audiences)
Gifted Teacher (grant bonus dice to students)
Knowledge Focus (education – history)

Intrigue Defence (Awareness + Cunning + Status) 8
Composure (3 x Will) 9
Combat Defence (Agility + Athletics + Awareness) 7
Health (3 x Endurance) 6

Gold: 13

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Tournament Preamble

Game of Crowns

Song of Fire and Ice

We resume our tale as the night drew in, dark and shroud like, a blanket of stars with no moon arched above the merry quartet of players. Eves the steward was stood at God’s gate in King’s Landing. Closely followed was the group of nobles and their entourage: Henry, Earl of Richmœnd, Tabatha the huntress and brother Brendon, Baron of Richmœnd with numerous retainers in tow.

At God’s gate, the guards shook us down, rooted through all our personal affects, and took quite some time about it. Undeterred, the four heroes boldly strode on towards a tavern, the Green Tree Inn. Alas, the four of us (and NPC’s) trudged in the company of two gold-cloak guardsmen, one of whom revealed that the man Simion had crossed the guardsmen’s palms with silver, to have them delay our group. Heaven only knows why.

The gold-cloaks (named Michæl and Hallad) were surprisingly jovial, yet the banter soon stopped as some new information was forthcoming. Troubling rumours were circulating, Adam Dannet intends to present a shield bearing the badge of Richmœnd publicly, whilst here, some time soon. He is staying in his tent at the tournament grounds, just outside King’s gate.

The Green Tree was packed, and the heroes entered – about the time of the witching hour – Michæl and Hallad departed for the tournament grounds, with the lion’s share of our retinue.

Brendon: We wish to rent three rooms bar-keep. How much for three room please?

Bar-keep: Six goldragons.

All four: What?!

Brendon: That’s extortion!

Bar-keep: Well, all available rooms in the whole city are fully booked up. Take it or leave it.

Brendon: Excuse us while we mull this over.

After some deliberation, Bredon returned to the bar, knocked the price down to nine silver stags.

More gossip circulated about the tavern, we heard whispers of tensions rising to fever-pitch betwixt the Royal houses Richmœnd and Dannet. Then two men came in asking for volunteers. It was the nefarious Night Watch seeking help manning the walls in this busy tourney-time. There were no takers (seeing as how most of their ranks are made up of criminals).

As soon as the Night Watch had left, a fair-maiden arrived. Baron Brendon ordered some wine, of which a long bottle cost an entire goldragon! (11,760 pennies) Eves footed the bill, and the five sampled the finest wine from Aquitaine. Bredon toasted, “To new friends.” (At which we all toasted “To new friends!”)

Learning by enquiry: history was made. It transpired that the newcomer pretty wench was named Lieder, and divulged information regarding House Dannet. Lieder’s voice was almost musical, “Their Royal household seems lacking in resources. In short, they are on the make, so it would appear. ’Tis widely rumoured that their House has been steadily in decline, financially, for quite some time.”

As her enchanting looks and melodic sounding voice continued to reveal more of their rival House’s history, all present listened intently, “Banditry plagues their roads, and although they are nowhere near as well off as House Richmœnd, they are an older House, with an illustrious and chequered history of tradition.” Just then, she brushed Baron Brendon’s foot underneath the table. Two men, strangers to our company, but previously acquainted with Lieder seemingly, interrupted the conversation. One of them approached with drunken wink, saying, “Hello darlin’, d’ya fancy a drink?” As he placed a hand on her shoulder, Lieder slowly peeled it off, excusing his behaviour, as unperturbed and graceful as a Princess. As the two men left, Lieder explained that the man who appeared so fond of her was none other than the Earl Orton of Lugus, second-son of his Household, in his mid-twenties, and, had he not been so inebriated, he normally possessed a snake-like charm about him. House Lugus (again, one of the Royal Households of Lancaster – albeit a minor one) bore the emblem of a silver chalice: enchased with emeralds, on a black background. Lieder excused herself and went to sit with them, but not before revealing their motto, “Drink, Live, Last.” (Endure) The trio were evidently in high-spirits at the Lugus table, laughing, drinking and joking.

Hal took the opportunity to retire upstairs, insisting the sole witness for the prospective trial be kept close by. Two guards were posted as sentry outside the door.

Meanwhile, the other three heroes, downstairs in the Green Tree tavern were told another tale, that of a femme fatale the nefarious Marietta Lugus. Known as ‘the Black Widow’, Orton’s sister, married at the age of seventeen. Her husband died of a contagion fever shortly afterwards. Marietta re-married once she was twenty-one, again, her newly wed husband died in mysterious circumstances soon after having tied the knot.

A man approached them, Eves noticed the stranger sported an outlander accent, that of the Bravosii. Our steward was widely travelled, and had discerned the newcomer’s dialect, as having travelled those lands before, across the narrow sea.

Following the departure of the Bravosii stranger, Lieder returned to the table. More wine was ordered (this time not such a dear beverage – the less costly and almost as enjoyable summer-isle fruit wine). It transpired that she was the ex-consort of Orton Lugus.

All seemed well, until Eves acted above his station, causing a short and sharp rebuke from Baron Brendon. The steward soon learned his place in the pecking order of our noble House, and not to question his superiors.

Lieder confessed to being a ‘Lady of the Night’, an earth-maiden. She told Brendon of the address where she worked, on Steel Street, in a brothel called, “The Jade Garden”.

Eves met an old man in the corner of the bar. Tabatha went outside to comb the city streets for clues at night, just off Steel Street. No new information was forthcoming, but the huntress did notice a flash of movement from the corner of her eye. Returning to the tavern, she snuck into Brendon’s room. Everyone fell asleep, as safe and sound as could be expected, in such a climate of fear and suspicion.

The next morning, as the sun rose high in the sky, Baron Brendon went incognito. Changing into attire of a common man, he wolfed down his breakfast, and headed straight for the tournament grounds.

Tabatha noticed that on her little excursion last night, some colleague (another thief) had stolen her coin-pouch unbeknownst to her! Having lost a considerable sum, she still honourably paid her dues to the house, donating four goldragons to the Richmœnd treasury. (Which she had stolen from the dead witness Hamish Florēs, shortly after he ‘bought the farm’ with an arrow in his gullet). Seeing as how the treasurer was away (Brendon), the huntress gave it to her liege for safe-keeping (Hal). Again, the upstart steward Eves tried to wrest the coins from his noble lord.
Prince Henry was having none of such nonsense, “Now look here steward, you may have proclaimed yourself arch-chancellor and be speaking in a condescending tone to a man whose blood is of the Royal line of nobility, but you will stop taking that tone with me, nor any of my family. Brother Brendon told you last night, and I am telling you now. You had best thank your lucky stars that I am more lenient than my brother, had you been so insubordinate to he, you may well have ended up on the sharp end of a point. Know your place. We are a team, and work together. Let that be an end to it.”

Brother Bredon, Baronet of our Household had some palaver with some people, trying to investigate the whereabouts of the mysterious ‘Fox Knight’ and the other perpetrator who is against our noble cause. His enquiry met with scant success. Soon finding himself within the close-proximity of the Dannet pavilion, the adroit Baronet ‘accidentally’ slipped up on one of the tents posts. While on the deck he discreetly listened to the goings on inside. Nothing of value was ascertained. His second attempted eavesdropping was by feigning to do up his boot-lace, whilst lifting up the pavilion tent. Again, nothing useful to report.

Whilst strolling along Rivers Row, en route returning unto the Green Tree tavern, a young boy approached him, wide eyed with his tongue lolling about his mouth. Brendon felt uneasy with this lad staring so intently at him. The boy approached him, telling him that he was Brendon’s son. Disbelieving at first, the boy presented Brendon with a letter, showing proof of his lineage. Brendon enquired as to the validity of the document, and the hand who wrote it. Before long it was assured that Neil Rivers (as the wag was known) was in-fact the fruit of Brendon’s over-active loins.

Racked with guilt, and taking immediate action, Brendon sought gainful employ for the boy. Striking a deal with a baker – Gianna – Brendon paid for the boys lodging, and apprenticeship as a bakers boy. The noble brother had secured his sons future, given him hope, somewhere warm to stay, and a skill, a trade at which to be prepared for the cruel world. Shortly after saying his goodbyes, Brendon re-entered the Green Tree Inn. “Whiskey.” He downed it. “Another; and leave the bottle.”

Eves the steward was hot on the trail, also investigating these rumours. He found a lead and followed it up. Not much came of it, if anything at all.

Tabatha the huntress went to buy a dress for the feast night on the morrow. Finding herself at the Thimble and Thread tailors on Silk Street, she had herself fitted at the dress shop, and looked every part a lady.

As this was happening, Eves suddenly found someone useful to talk to. He discovered some information from a handmaiden of Lord Arras ‘the spider’, a suspect in our investigation. The astute steward also managed to get in touch with one of his working boys, before bounding back to the tavern, to tell the others.

Our motley group was reunited at last. Brendon spoke of his dire day (still hitting the bottle of fire-water, which was now half-empty, or half-full depending on which way one perceives such things). Alas, Bredon had been ‘rumbled’ that day, to make matters worse. His face betrayed him, as being a noble of quite some standing.

A gift was left by Hal’s room for him. T’was a letter, an oily rag and a dagger. No-one knows who left it, as the note was unsigned, but upon further inspection, the dagger seemed to be of some value. The blade – razor sharp – and the handle was delicately carved from dragons bone.

More banter ensued at the tavern. Eves target was lost, the old agēd and venerable steward could not catch him shadowing, he told his companions. It did however transpire that Orton had some connection to the Jade Garden, our group suspected him of being a mediæval ‘pimp’. The man Orton was certainly more than he appeared to be, at the very least. Our group then decided to seek audience with King Robert himself.

It took us a good half an hour to get to Red Keep, which was teeming with activity at the gate. Brendon was told that the King has no time for commoners today, as the tournament was merely days away, and His Majesty had many preparations to make for the feast falling on the morrow. “I am no commoner!”, exclaimed Brendon. The red-cloaked guard at the gate did not believe him (for Brendon had forgotten to change out of his peasant garb). Hal took over the talking, patched things up, and erected his Victorian style changing room from the saddlebags of Chevalier his palfrey. The red-cloak sentry returned telling our group that His Majesty will speak with them on the morrow, at the Royal banquet.

Returning to their temporary base – the Green Tree tavern – some more information came to light. Seemingly House Florēs were due to be in attendance tomorrow. Not only that, but Eves managed to discover some information about their prospective opponents at the tourney. A competitor known simply as ‘the Mountain’ was seven feet tall, clad in near-impenetrable armour, and excelled in both the hand-to-hand events, and the jousting.

Meanwhile young Hal met an old man at the Green Tree Inn. He introduced himself as Sir Joris. A thief-catcher who rooted out banditry wherever he found it, and brought the unscrupulous robbers to justice. Sir Joris also valued the dragonbone dagger.

Brendon decided to investigate the Jade Garden. He had little trouble finding the house of ill-repute, which, as it turned out, was a classy joint off of Silk Street. Brendon was successful in his investigation of an earth-maiden, filling his boots and quite literally pumping her for information. The hooker in question was none other than Iris Dannet, sister of Adam, who’d been sold off by her impoverished family, to a merchant known as Ruben Piper. Baron Brendon proposed to buy her, after the two had danced to a music only the soul can hear. Sweat soaked in rapture. Iris exclaimed, “You just want to buy me so you can have me for yourself, that I am to be traded between owners, like any common commodity!” Brendon retorted, “You have me all wrong m’lady. I wish to buy you your freedom so you can do as you wish. You will be able to choose where you go or who you are with.” “Oh thank you Baron Richmœnd.” “Brendon, please.” “How can I ever repay you.” (One can imagine how, and, what happened next…)

Eves sussed out more about the competition at the tournament. Tabatha discovered the rumour about the shield uncovered to be true, the impending smear-campaign against our noble house was to be done tomorrow, at the King’s banquet. Tabatha also noticed a scrap of paper, proudly protruding from Eve’s pocket. It simply read, “Chatas, sundown.” in a lady’s handwriting. More information about the Arras ‘the spider’ was unearthed.

The old Sir Knight Joris smoked his pipe, drank ale after ale in the company of Hal and their witness. Earl Henry had grown fond of the man, warmed to his old-ways, and the fellows enjoyed their banter. As they talked at length, it was discerned that Sir Joris was afeared by the ‘Fox Knight’. Seemingly the Fox Knight had lost at Prince Rægar’s tournament, fighting against Sir Joris in disgrace some time ago. He fled. The loss had sent the Fox Knight ‘a bit doo-lally’ in the head. Ever since then the Fox Knight had stooped to the level of banditry, believing what he did to he noble. His misguidedness had addled his wits, and the Fox Knight longed to settle an old score with the old man. It was time… to go Fox hunting.

Here endeth the session.

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En route to the Tournament

Noble Houses (Game of Crowns)

It was on a soft summers evening, midst the tranquil peace of the countryside, as the tweeting avians sung in jubilation at the setting of the sun, that we resume our tale of noble knights and their entourage. Outside the Dag Inn brother Brendon, Baron of Richmœnd, conversed with Colin the stableboy, crossing his palm with silver after gleaning more information gathered, pertaining to their cause; namely, the suspected whereabouts of the assassin ‘Daniel Dannet’, and the location of the mysterious Fox Knight.

The holy man John Godwynn wandered into the forest, finding a place to camp in contemplative solitude, meditating in prayer to the old gods, the first to walk the earth. The Knight Martyn went a wandering, as did Mæster Frotha Fleckbow, who were only at the gathering in spirit on this fine evening (NPC’s).

Baron Brendon, his brother Hal, Earl of Richmœnd and Tabatha the huntress, entered the Dag Inn, and so were met with an atmosphere soured with apparent malice. The locals all therein threw the Royal trio a sea of sharp looks, frosty shoulders and smiles through clenched teeth. Something was dreadfully wrong…

Tabatha the huntress discreetly mingled thereabouts, trying to discover the cause of the peoples distress and quite obvious animosity towards the heroes. Despite flashing her almond eyes and in askance imbued with amity, t’was to no avail. No information was forthcoming.

It was here when Lord Henry, Earl of Richmœnd, spoke out, perhaps rather rashly. Henry stood up, aggrieved, and addressed the whole bar “I say! Do you know who I am?” (Hal’s outburst was met with silence). The Earl carried on regardless, “Now look here you good people of the land. I demand to know why on earth it is you people have such blatant hostility towards my brother, and our companion! Well?! What do you have to say for yourselves?” (this was met by more silence, and a couple of raised eyebrows by Tabatha and Brendon, the shaking of heads). Henry, unfettered, picked up his harp, and his wine, stamped his foot, and stormed out of the Inn. Hal sulked just outside the tavern door, singing a love song, about how an enamoured Prince, try as he might, could n’er win the heart of his belovēd Dag, as she shunned his affections.

Back inside the Inn, the other two continued to proceed with just caution and discretion – the better part of valour. Diplomatist Baron Brendon and Tabatha managed to calm the situation down somewhat, rent a couple of rooms for the night, and also discover the reason for the people’s bitterness towards the trio. T’was rumoured that a group of soldiers, baring the Royal crest of Richmœnd – the Dragon Sea-Turtle – slaughtered in cold blood, a knot of innocent farmers from and in Dannet lands.

It is as plain as is the summer sun which set outside the windows of the tavern, that no such action had taken place. House Richmœnd prided herself on extolling the virtues of Chivalry, Honour and would never commit an act so mean and base. These… rumours, were clearly falsified, and no man nor maiden would be so ignoble as to murder good agrarian folk.

Hal finished his evening song, drained his goblet, and returned inside the tavern. “Sorry, sorry everybody.”, spoke the Earl, thence ordered another wine, and bought everybody in the place a round of ale: which was met with good cheer.

Baron Brendon and Tabatha thus took the opportunity to gather more gossip and rumours. Again, the tragic tale of the murdered farmers resurfaced to haunt and shame their family. More information came to light: Another action, a contingent of soldiers (again bearing the shield of our noble House Richmœnd) attempted an attack on House Dannet. The attack was repelled. Furthermore, t’was widely believed that the young Lord Adam Dannet, last of his line, was going to be struck down, fatally wounded by a lance during the jousting at the upcoming tournament, not three days hence.

Tabatha and Brendon seemed to be getting on rather well. The two brothers Brendon and Hal shared a knowing smirk betwixt one another as Henry bade his brother Baron good night, and then himself retired.

The next morning, Hal awoke in good cheer, descended the wooden spiral stairwell at the Inn, to take up his place at the rustic breakfast table. Henry gave his blessing to the newly enamoured couple, complimenting Tabatha on such a fine and well-heeled choice of consort. His compliment was met with disdain, and she raised a hand to the young Prince Henry. As her hand went to strike the Earl, Baron Richmœnd adroitly grabbed her slender arm, cast her a serious and stern glance, gazing gravely into her almond eyes saying, “You do that again, and it’s over for you! Finished! To slap the Prince, or any member of our Royal House is a treasonous offence, as ’tis synonymous with attacking my very father himself, Lord of our lands. You do not strike the Regent of the Realm, nor any branch or stem of our mighty stock.”

Henry spoke, “My brother is correct. Not only that, but I wished to merely express my joy, at having gained a sister, who I could not think of finding a better or more able suit, than Baron Bredon of House Richmœnd. You are indeed a worthy paramour, and, now a member of our Royal Household; here, we do not strike each other in haste. That, is reserved for the practise field or at the tournament. We aspire to be lords (and ladies) of even temperament and sporting countenance. Not brawlers. Most unbecoming for a lady.”

At that, Tabatha accepted the dressing down, arose from the table, excusing herself for want of some fresh air, and quietly slid off into the forest; whereupon she made not a sound, and spied the hermit John Godwynn. Blissfully unaware of her having passed near there, the huntress chose to reveal her location, and bade Friar John to return with her to the Inn, and join the trio for breakfast, which they promptly did.

Meanwhile, following some banter between the brothers, Baron Brendon Richmœnd and Hal discussed matters of regency, namely: the treasury. “So you see brother, since seeing the state of the Realm’s finances in decline – though still in possession of an ample income – I took the liberty of depositing half your recent donation to safe-keeping with father; and the other five golden dragons, I decided to use to fund this very expedition, that we may not be in need of anything requisite on our voyage south, and during our return.”, said Brendon hushēdly across the morning table. “Brendon, this is the very reason I offered such a mighty sum, for want of mine own acumen: I do not trust my very own fiscality. See how I splashed money on frosty folk, foreigners to boot, only yesterday evening. As things are, it is for the best, the way things have worked out.”, replied Hal. “I’m glad that’s cleared up. Now all that remains is to clear our Houses name, and, to win the tournament of course. Or at least do our best. Ah! My beauteous paramour returns!”

With her, entered John Godwynn, bidding all a good morning. Brendon, the huntress, and the Friar then perused the place, pitting their wits, by gathering some more information, gleaning a little more gossip, coaxed from unwilling tongues, who continued to offer a lukewarm welcome, and frosty reception to the four heroes.

After working the room, pumping the country folk for information, John Godwynn took up a seat at the table alongside Hal, “Sire, I have heard that it would be wise to check all meat and victuals prepared for you, on this voyage, for they may yet be laced with poison.” “I knew it! Thank you good Friar Godwynnson, I am glad your prophecy, augery and commune with the spritree would bear fruits of divination. Your dream foretellings must be hard to perceive the meaning of. You truly are a holy man.” “Forgive me sirrah, but I fear you place too much trust in my abilities as a prophet.” (John discreetly indicates towards a stranger seated at the bar), “That bloke over there told me m’lord. My powers of perception did come into play, for I met his eyes and knew full well he spoke only truth. Their was nothing mystical about it whatsoever, I regret to inform your Highness.” “Ah. Alas, your wisdom and discerning verily powers of perception saved my thread of vital life. For that, I give you thanks good Friar, you truly are a visionary.” “Very well my lord, if you say so.”

At that, they all four became seated at the oaken breakfast table, and the rustic fare was served. In light of this new information, Hal offered, nay commanded a retainer to be a patsy. The newly appointed Royal food taster was ordered to ingest half the breakfast, ‘till it had gone cold. Brendon simply asked the man to taste a little of his. The loyal retainer did not seem to be suffering from any ill effects. Baron Brendon, his Lady Tabatha, and Friar John all enjoyed a nice hot meal. Still suspicious Prince Henry erred on the side of caution, and contemplated skipping breakfast. But at the behest of his brother, who bade him eat something, finished off his now near cold cooked breakfast, as half-hearted and lukewarm as the locals that frequented the place. As the Earl ate, their food-taster retainer feigned ill-effects, thinking it be jovial to jest about the suspected poisoning. As he began to laugh at seeing Hal’s complexion pale somewhat, the smile was soon wiped off his face as Baron Brendon Richmœnd gave him a characteristically grave dressing down, ensuring discipline in the ranks, and no clowning around of that ilk. Such was the seriousness of the situation, and safety to the Royal persons and their entourage.

(Taking no chances, Hal decided it be best to employ his survival skills of foraging and hunting to find food from now on; so as to not be at the mercy of any would-be assassin). Two of their men were swiftly dispatched homewards, to inform their liege lord paternal protector, of all the events that had transpired – particularly the killing of the Dannet farmers and its repercussions – so as to keep father aware of the gravity of the situation.

Without further ado, the score of travellers set off, still heading southwards. As they rode, Friar John addressed the Earl, “Perhaps our lord, your father, did not deem to inform us as to the atrocities that were committed in our name.” Hal shot him an intense look from sat on his palfrey Chevalier, “Hogwash! I know father, and he would never order such a thing. It would make no sense, for he hath not provocation. Discard such doubts good Friar, have faith in father, for like his sons, he is an honest man. This whole situation is odious, that our honourable reputation be besmirched. I fear we are being set-up, framed, and as brother says, we must find out who is the perpetrator and have them brought before the King’s justice. In doing so, wipe clean the stain upon our noble name, and clear our House of any wrong doing.”

Maybe a week passed without let or hindrance, until they approached the proximity of the Great Stag Inn. Forsooth, no sooner than they neared its locality, than Tabatha, scouting ahead, was met by armed knights bearing the insignia of House Clavager.

Hal saw the the Knights in the distance, saying to his brother, “Parley.” “Agreed.” They rode forth to meet them. Palaver ensued as the Royal dignitaries advanced, and discussed with the knights of Clavager. “We are under orders, by Royal authority vested in King Robert himself, to bring you villains to justice, by force if necessary. Yield, for we have rubric and remit to arrest your persons, to be brought before the King, immediately.” One of Clavager’s men handed Baron Brendon a letter, bearing the Royal seal of Lancaster. “Good Knight, we and our own are well aware of these falsified allegations brought against us, and are also acutely aware that House Clavager would do most anything to gain the King’s favour, by clamouring in desperate acts unworthy of such gentry as your House beseems. Raise not your blades against us, who wish only to parley, and not enter conflict with you, or the King, whose succour we all entreat.”

The Clavager knights eased up a little, their hands being ordered away from the hilts of their swords by their Knight-Commander, who spake thus, “I was told to expect a hostile reaction, and it comes as something of a surprise to my men and I, to meet with such frank words. Even so, we are ordered by King Robert in person, as he doth crave your admittance to His Majesty, for trial and retribution. Therefore I say, give up your arms immediately, and let us escort you before the Royal Court of justice, presently.”

Hal piped up, “Do you know who I am?” “Yes. You are Henry, Earl of Richmœnd.” “Then you will know full well that neither I, my father, or my brother has ever before engaged in such villainous activity that we heretofore stand accused of. Which charges are baseless, for we are not guilty Sir Knight, of anything like this.” Brendon put his oar in, “The allegations are false, and we intend to clear our Houses’ honourable name. Alas we acknowledge your merry message, and bid you not escort us under arms. Our people are en route to the tournament at King’s Landing straight away. Know that our first intention is to seek audience with the King and his counsellors, to clear up this abominable mess that we be embroiled in.”

Clavager’s Knight-Commander weighed the Baron’s words carefully, and decided, after a fashion, to leave the Royal personages of Richmœnd be. Much to our relief, we could be permitted passing through without obstacle. The two parties then shared news and investigated further the whereabouts of the elusive Fox Knight.

John spoke again to Hal, once the Clavager knights had left them in peace, “Perhaps it would have been more prudent, Sire, to have had these men on-side, to add to our own protection. Their number would have meant our numbers be doubled, thereby more safety and security for ourselves.” Hal replied, “Nay good Friar, being deprivēd of our liberty would serve no purpose. Being left at the mercy of House Clavager would leave us defenceless, for they have their own agenda, and are possessed of scant sympathy to our cause.”

Further down the road, they arrived at the Stag. Situated in a sleepy town, where very few people were seen out on the streets, for they all seemed to be in the pub. A great whitewood head of a hart dominated the decor above the tavern door. Rounding to the stable, the group changed from armour to civilian attire, hiding any trace of Royal insignia, ashamēdly, until their House’s good name be restorēd. Night had fallen, the temperature dropped as the wind picked up ominously.

Naturally, the welcome was as warm as the weather. A sea of sharp suspecting looks, and an offish response was met with the people herein. Cold shoulders and frosty reactions as seemed to be the norm in these here parts, cast a spectre of melancholy about Prince Hal. Our group tried as they might to clear their name. The talks reached fever pitch and Henry showed his Royal seal: the Dragon Sea-Turtle with pride, only to be met with a refusal of service at the Inn. Downcast, he left the tavern, sitting on the steps once again with his harp, no wine this time, and composed a tragic ballad in the iambic pentameter of the ancient playwrights. The Prince sang in sombre sobriety:

“The heroes are framed: reputation shot,
Our ‘generous’ hosts do besmirch us, sure,
To clear our good name and heal the cut,
Wounds that cut deep, too grievous to cure.”

Brother Brendon intrigued awhile, then smoothed things over by way of soliloquy, his stirring oration won the audience over, and all was well. “We want no trouble, all my companions desire is to stay at your splendid Inn, for which we are willing to pay you for your hospitality.”, he said to the barmaid once the scene had calmed down a little. After being granted admittance to stay overnight at the Inn, three rooms were rented, that the Friar might not have to spend the night alone in the wild again. Tabatha then set to work the room, mingling with the now near affable punters, following a line of enquiry that she might learn something of their current cause. Again, the efforts of our group met with some success.

Gently coaxing much needed information, she worked her charm on a man, who, having been involved in the action of said farmers, was racked with guilt at having been embroiled in such an incongruous affair. Hamish Florēs, a commoner, recounted how he and his companions, all mercenaries to a man, were paid handsomely to slay those innocent country folk of Dannen, in the name of House Richmœnd. In cold blood. Sporting a broad West-Country accent he sang like Tweety-Pie, “I told ‘em straight. I don’t mind bein’ a sell-sword gainst soldiers, loike in thaat aaction we done versus them ‘ouse Richmund men. An damn good foitin’ men they werr too. They give us a good run fur our money, ooh aar! Gave us a bloody thrashin’ they did too, rebuffed our assault.” Hamish paused to take a sup of ale, from shaking hands, before continuing, “So anywayz, we done gone down thurr to they Dannen lands un thaat, an’ ee’ told me, ordered me, to attack they farmers out workin’ iz field. I done said to ‘im, ‘Look ’ere see, oi don’t mind attackin these ‘ere other soldiers, who knowz them there risks ’ee duz take afore enterin’ baattle; but they’z just yeomen. I haz no truck with them there yeomanry, who, likes me, just tild the soil an’ fish the sea, in honesty. Them there men iz cut of the same cloth as me, livin’ simply see?’ So anyhow, ‘ee done gone had his men to cut ’em down like they’z stray dogs after our flock. I coulda stopped ‘em. I should’a stopped ‘em, but I didn’t. Woe is me, left ‘em to die, an’ now? Now I am in misery. Guilty, see? For the plight ‘o them there farmers, who ain’t never done no ’arm to no-one.”

Tabatha ordered him another pint of ale, and informed the Baron of the new information of late, being brought to light. Alas, the couple rejoined Hamish at his table, and Brendon spoke softly to the man, “Would you be willing to act as a witness, in honest impartiality, at a trial tomorrow to help clear our name?” “I would zire, but only on one condition.” “Anything.”, interjected Hal, rather foolishly, who had re-entered the bar and been ear-wigging at a distance the entire time. [Maxen: Here this common man could have asked for all the gold in India, all the tea in China, or the sum of all orient-pearl in the ocean. Thankfully, he didn’t.]

“All I aask, is thaat you don’t see me sent to the scaffold for my part in the debacle.”, asked the Yeoman, humbly. Brendon assured him, “We shall do our utmost to clear your name, as well as our own, with equal measure. Fear not old man, I shall put in a good word for the King to spare your life. On my honour.” “Thank you zire. I dun ’alf appreciate that.”

Baron Brendon thence ordered his room be protected by two random NPC retainers, arbitrarily milling about the tavern at the time. Tabatha secured the window of Hamish’s room, shut fast with a rope. Tabatha then snuck up on the old farmer, who was by this time dozing drunkenly, deep in sleep, snoring on his pillow. “Nooooo!”, whispered Hal in fierce conviction, explaining quietly, that nothing can risk this mans animosity against us. Brendon concurred quietly, that for the safety of our very lives, this man be treated with respect and dignity, and that we shall make good on our word, that we do everything within our power to implore the King’s counsel, to spare his life, if at all possible; in keeping with our former vow. “Oh, all right then.”, whispered Tabatha, placing the mans coin-purse back on his belt as deftly as she had stolen it. At that, the heroes retired for the night.

With the arrival of dawns first rays of light, Tabatha went to Hamish’s room laden with a pale of water she had fetched for him. The four, now well awake, entered his room, noticing the faces of the changing guards outside in sentry. Hal and Brendon were slightly bemused as to precisely what the huntress intended to do with said bucket of cold spring-water. As it happens, she spoke gently to newly found witness, and gave him something fresh to drink.

“I thought perhaps another interrogation was about to begin brother.”, said Baron Brendon. “Indeed, my thoughts exactly.” All transpired amicably, thankfully.

Following the rising daybreak, they dined at the Inn. (Again, wily Hal foraged from the forest, and hunted game for his own breakfast, while the men assembled the entourage). As they rendezvoused back at the Inn, whilst preparing to set off in the stable, another old man appeared. This stranger was curiously laden with riches, of even countenance, and asked to be escorted for he had heard they were travelling southward way. He then produced a tired old mule, too laden with more riches and precious cargo, that it could hardly stand. Uncertain, it soon became apparent that this old-gentleman, however genuine a person, affable or affluent a character he may be, would slow us all down, majorly. After some deliberation, it was agreed that we would in-fact accompany the old boy in safety, but that his riches be distributed evenly throughout just the honest most trusted men in our entourage. i.e. not Tabatha. Places were taken, and eight men surrounded the witness Hamish, with the Prince next to him, in security.

Offering our word as our bond, to vouchsafe this new man’s possessions, which weight we bore with even encumbrance, the group proceeded with God’s speed, to the tourney and trail that awaited them. As they trotted beneath a canopy of trees, the huntress scout, met two golden cloaked guardsmen. “State your name and business lone traveller!”, asked one. “We would know why you’re here.”, demanded another, briskly. “I am here to enjoy the King’s tournament, that is all.”, she plea-bargained the two guards. “What do you do? Why have you that bow on you?” “I am a hunter, within the auspices of the King’s Royal authority.” Seeing no reason to doubt the lady’s word, as she seemed to fit her description, and no trace of a lie was found, they said, “Very well. You may pass. Go on through about your business now.” Tabatha trod on slowly, thanking the guardsmen, before bringing her horse to a halt, some way down the track. The canny huntress had already sensed something amiss, danger lurked hidden within the trees near here, and she dismounted, as though managing her equipment, ever-so slowly drew her own bow, ready for any eventuality.

The group approached the guards, who immediately handed a letter from the King to them, recognising who they were instantly. After tethering her horse to a tree, Tabatha gently snuck off into the undergrowth, taking up a concealed position facing the guards, not a stones throw from where they stood.

Just then, the guards drew their swords. Roll initiative! Boom! It was so on!

In a flash, the huntress let fly an arrow, she struck true, through the guards visor. A cry of agony cried out as the guard’s arms flew up instinctively to clutch the arrow which now pierced his brain. Falling to the floor from his horse, as quickly as his sword had, t’was clear to see the man flailed about in agony. Twitched from rigormortis, and died on a blanket of leaves. His fellow man turned about and fled, Brendon was hot on his heels, subduing the guard, halting him in his tracks.

Just then another arrow flew forth from the folds of the forest trees. The bolt out of the blue struck poor Hamish Florēs directly in his heart, killing him instantly. Some men jumped on to horses nearby and fled the scene. Angered at the loss of their then only witness, Prince Henry gave chase, hotly followed were the assassins. Chevalier (although a race horse of top-notch quality), somehow was unable to catch the villains. Almost as soon as it had begun, the encounter was over. Prince Henry and his men, turned about, after losing sight of the assassins.

Thus began the interrogation. It transpired upon Frair John’s close inspection and keen eye for detail, that the letter the gold-clad guards had given them was a forgery. The bill was as false as the men who wore the golden cloaks, as they two were impostors; not true guards at all! Under duress, the sole surviving guard, now in captivity was forcibly made to give evidence at the upcoming trial. He said it would be so. After gathering up the dead mans cloak and uniform, Tabatha pillaging the body of any valuables, they made haste to their target.

Upon approaching King’s Landing, the group tried to blend in. Captain Simian gave us an amicable passing there.

Here endeth the session.

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The Prince
Game of thrones

Neworlds

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)
Culture: Westlander
Age: 21 (Adult)
Rôle: First-born heir to the Dukedom of Richmœnd
Goal: To accrue wealth; Motivation: Financial Gain
Virtue: Humble, humility.
Vice: Licentious
Quirk: Sometimes supremely arrogant

SKILLS
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 • • •

STATS
Intrigue Defence: 9
Composure: 9
Combat Defence: 6
Health: 6/6
Armour Rating: 6
Armour penalty: -3
Weapon Damage: +3
Hunting Bow Damage: +2
Movement: 4 yards

DESTINY
Adept Negotiator, Family Heirloom (Long Axe) and Blood of Valyria

EQUIPMENT
Valyrian Steel Long Axe
Hand 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)
Belt pouch
Table harp

Chevalier (thoroughbred palfrey)
Saddlebags
Feed (10 days worth)
Pavilion tent
Silver flask (holds a pint of oil)
Waterskin (contains five pints of water)
Torches (10)
Whetstone
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.

COIN
Gold: 1
Silver: 119
Groats: 30

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