A Song of Ice, Fire, and Elvers

Session 8: Splitting the Party is an Awesome Idea

As the Elver/Marsten army marches back to Castle Marsten, many troops begin showing symptoms of the plague. One of the Marsten chirurgeons remembers stories of a similar plague almost a generation ago, in lands now ruled by the Barnell family. Trenton swears to find a cure for the plague, Lady Marsten offers her daughter’s hand if Trenton can save them. Trenton refuses the offer of matrimony, says he will undertake the quest for the good of the Kingdom.
Trenton, Rory and Jacob set out for Barnell lands, while a peaked-looking Armen stays behind with the Elver master or arms. Shortly after departing, they meet a messenger on the road from Elver hall… it seems Lord Wesley Elver has gone missing.
They decide to return to Elver Hall, as it’s not too far out of the way, and consult with Sebastyan the Senechal. They are suspicious that Wesley’s disappearance is linked with Lord Wesley’s ham-handed strategy to deal with the Tall Man.
They opt to split up. Rory and Sebastyan will go to the Executioner’s Stone at the Folly, while Jacob and Trenton head north to Barnell lands.
On the way to the Executioner’s Stone, Rory and Sebastyan encounter terrified farmfolk who insist the Tall Man is watching. Many have gone missing. At the stone, they find Lord Wesley hanging with about a dozen other smallfolk. As darkness comes, they decide to cut him down. Sebastyan will ride for Elver Hall with the corpse, while Rory builds a fire and waits to face the Tall Man. However, Sebastyan’s steed pulls up lame. In the darkness, Sebastyan meets a horrible death at the end of a noose. Meanwhile, Rory spends the night next to the fire, unperturbed by the Tall Man. When morning comes, Rory returns to the Executioner’s stone and sees Sebastyan’s body hanging alongside Lord Wesley’s. Rory pockets the Lord’s signet ring and rides north, hoping to catch Trenton and Jacob.
For the journey north, Trenton and Jacob decide to avoid dealing with House Frey and look for a river crossing that isn’t The Twins. Trenton suggests Maeylys’s crossing, a ford south of The Twins, on the border of Frey lands. They arrive at the crossing, discovering a Frey knight and his squires bullying some smallfolk. Jacob decides to teach the Frey knight some manners, hauls him off his horse, and pummels him with his fists of justice. Trenton gamely tries to hold off the squires and ends up on the wrong end of some blows from a polearm. The Frey knight yields the ford.
Jacob and a gimped Trenton finally arrive at Castle Grenward, the Barnell stronghold. Steward Farris Leed receives them, and is more than willing to send them on their way when he learns they have come in contact with the plague. Leed says the woods witch that lives in the nearby Godswood is the only person who might remember the plague.
They reach the edge of the woods by nightfall. A robed maiden meets them and leads them to a hut, where “Gammer,” an ancient crone, greets them. Gammer seems to know the Elver visitors by their scent, and offers to help them with the plague and the Tall Man if they can pay her price. Trenton is stumped for what to offer her. Gammer gives the Elver boys some stew, and they sleep.
Trenton has a dream about a battle. He’s at the foot of a hill, fighting under a black dragon banner with his father, brothers, and about 10,000 others. His father – who curiously doesn’t look like Lord Wesley, but he still knows it’s his father – is fighting a man in a gold cloak. Trenton knows this man too, and knows he used to be a friend. His father gives the man a terrible wound, and calls for his healers to tend the fallen knight. Trenton urges his father to press on to capture the hill, offering to lead the men himself. Father refuses, insisting they will all go together. Trenton then sees it is too late – his army has lost the high ground to another force led by a man with a red raven device on his shield. Arrows rain down, killing his father. Trenton takes up his father’s sword – he now knows this to be the Blackfyre sword – and leads what’s left of his army in a desperate charge up the hill. He meets the raven knight and fights him, wounding him in the face. The raven knight strikes Trenton down and mortally wounds him. As the Blackfyre sword falls from his fingers, the raven knight transforms into an actual raven with three eyes. As he hears the raven’s mocking cry, the dream ends.
Jacob dreams about punching things.
The next morning, Trenton wakes up with the maiden in bed beside him. She smiles and tells him Gammer has what she wants, and she will give the Elvers what they want.

-more later-

Session 7: Into the Mountains

Following their victory over the Black Serpent mercenaries, the combined Elver-Marsten army pursues the Ironborn and hillfolk into the mountains. Armen stays with the forces guarding the pass against another attack on castle Marsten, while the rest march down the coast toward the main hillfolk camp. Armen notices some odd behavior from his friend Joss, who abruptly becomes a rabid lunatic. After a brief struggle, Armen receives a superficial wound while Joss is immobilized by some well placed crossbow bolts. Meanwhile, the rest of the army encounters nothing but abandoned villages and camps, while hearing distant chanting coming from a nearby mountaintop. Unable to bring the Ironborn/hillfolk forces to battle, the army makes camp at the abandoned Ironborn landing site. Late at night, the chanting stops and the army is attacked by hoards of crazed hillfolk, Ironborn, and what appear to be crazed Marsten farm folk. The uncoordinated attack is bloodily defeated, and the Ironborn leader is captured after he falls into a fevered coma. No sign of Bleak Ormond, the Drowned God priest. Only the Elver archers suffer any significant casualties, but most soldiers and heroes are at least somewhat banged up. The army marches back to Marsten castle.

Session 6: The Battle of Hartshorn

Lady Isobel of House Marsten sends word to House Elver of raids upon Marsten farms. Bands of hillfolk supported by Ironborn raiders have pillaged several settlements and carried off the inhabitants into slavery or worse. Lord Wesley appoints Trenton as head of the Elver expeditionary force, and Jacob, Rory, Armen, and the new Elver Master-of-Arms are sent as part of the mission. The army consists of Elver Guard, a unit of bowmen, and the Elver engineers. The 300 man force marches to Castle Hartshorn without incident, where they plan the response to the raid. As the characters feast with Marsten nobles, Lady Isobel takes great interest in Trenton. She informs Trenton that there will be a tourney at Hartshorn castle next month, in accord with Riverlands tradition. Rory meets with Lady Gwyneth Marsten, the daughter of Lord Mikael. Rory tells Lady Gwyneth that her father still lives in exile across the sea, and that he will carry word of her to him. Armen meets Jos, the Marsten sworn sword. Jos seems to be very interested in sticking with Armen. Lord Kellan Kriegar, a Marsten bannerman, is also present. Kriegar’s forces are about a day’s march away.
The next day, Trenton leads an allied Elver/Marsten force to find the mountain pass used by the raiders. In an effort to shake Jos, Armen slips away from the army and returns to Castle Hartshorn. Upon discovering the hidden pass, Trenton decides to march the army back to Castle Hartshorn. As they begin the return journey, a force of Black Serpent mercenaries attacks. Meanwhile, back at the castle, the hillfolk and Ironborn descend from the mountains and attack the castle garrison. The Black Serpents are quickly routed with bowfire and a charge by Marsten cavalry, and the attack on Marsten castle is quickly abandoned when the returning Elver/Marsten force is spotted. Many Black Serpent prisoners are taken, and they seem particulary unenthusiastic about their alliance with the Ironborn. Black Serpent prisoners report that most of the captive farmers have been killed. That evening, Lady Isobel celebrates victory and vows to pursue the raiders to their lair in the mountains.

Session 5: Take The Black, Trenton.

The party returns from Port Maril to find Lord Wesley waiting at the gate with many of his guard. Trenton is escorted away, then the group is asked for a brief summary of the events in Port Maril. After the meeting, word spreads quickly that young Trenton had poison in his room, and will take the Black.
As the group gathers for the evening meal, Armen notices a disturbance in the kitchens. He investigates, and hears the cook complaining about Mot the scullery boy, who has been interfering with her job.
Armen joins the evening meal and divulges what he’s heard, and suggests to Jacob that the food may have been tampered with. Lord Wesley scoffs, saying the poisoner has already been found. Jacob consumes all of his father’s stew, and immediately feels ill. Sebastyan administers aid to Jacob as the rest of the group searches for Mot. Rory searches the road between Elver Hall and Port Maril, to no avail. Armen discovers some letters apparently left behind by Mot, implicating Lady Isobel Marsten in the poison plot. Sebastyan examines the letters and concludes they are forgeries.
Jacob, Armen, Rory, and Sebastyan set out for Marsten castle, where they meet with a confused Lady Isobel. She calls upon her spiritual advisor, Bleak Ormond, who is nowhere to be found. Bleak Ormond is apparently a devotee of the Drowned God, and purported to have an ability to speak with the dead. During the exchange with Lady Isobel, Armen makes a comment about Lady Corrine, they young Marsten heir. When Lady Isobel reacts with dismay, Armen realizes Lady Corrine may be descended from someone other than the late Lord of Marsten… but he can’t quite figure who the father could be. Rory tracks Bleak Ormond with dogs, but the trail ends at the shoreline. Sebastyan finds paper in Bleak Ormond’s chambers matching the letters.
That night, Armen spies on Ser Markus – Lady Isobel’s chief knight – leaving her chambers after a late meeting. The next day, Ser Markus escorts Jacob and Rory into the mountains to interview local hillfolk, while Sebastyan investigates the nearby town. Armen opts not to go into the mountains, and Ser Markus appoints Jos, a sworn sword, to accompany Armen wherever he goes.
Armen performs some crossbow tricks, Sebastyan finds little information about Bleak Ormond and determines the village’s mayor may have crime connections. The expedition into the mountains finds a deserted village, and no sign of hillfolk. All agree this is suspicious. The hillfolk may be massing somewhere with other tribes, or they may have been driven out by something worse.
Everyone returns to Castle Marsten, and Lady Isobel appeals for military aid in the face of a possible attack by hillfolk and/or Ironmen raiders. The group returns to Elver hall, where Trenton seems to have found his way back into his father’s good graces, and apparently won’t take the Black after all. Lord Wesley takes the advice of all and opts not to send aid to Marsten immediately, but raise the Elver armies to a state of readiness.

Session 4: Negotiations in Port Maril

Jacob Stone sets up a meeting with the council to establish his new position as lord of the town, and direct some new improvements to the tower and the port. Sebastyan disguises himself and sneaks around town, looking for information about the council members. Rory Elvers drinks. On the day of negotiations, Jacob interviews each council member and makes some alliances. Negotiations look bad until a good Intrigue check and a burned destiny point turns things around. The council submits to Jacob’s authority and will support his improvements, while eliminating support for pirates and bandits.

Council members

Robert Garrys – former pirate captain
Danielle Tayle – Madam and owner of the Black Mermaid inn.
Harold Raris – Shipwright. Non-criminal.
Edwin Manester – Captain of the watch. About to be replaced.
Short Tom Tinker – owns provision shop/fence
Cecily Cooper – bandit leader. Left town.
Privateer captains Hewis Sand and Karl Lophand
Garwin Stackspear – Mercenary captain. Living under an alias.
Oberyn Haye – acting Septon. Crazed.
Harrold Stackspear – Portmaster and treasurer. Maimed leg.
Rhae Jast – owner of Tall Man Tavern.

After the meeting, Gawin Stackspear discusses connections with the Elvers and the Blackfyres. Gawin pledges his mercenary band’s service to Jacob.

As the party returns to Elver Hall, they encounter a column of House Bartheld troops under Ser Rowan Clay. They are searching for a pro-Targaryen fugitive named Ser Mikael Marsten. The description seems to fit Gawin Stackspear’s. Sebastyen sneaks back and warns Gawin. Ser Clay searches to no avail and leaves, annoyed with Jacob.

Session 3: The Tall Man and a trip to Port Maril

As a gift from Lord Hoster Tully, the town of Port Maril is transferred to Elver control. Word has also spread of a murdered farmer at the hands of a bandit. Meanwhile, Lord Elver has been injured in a fall from his horse, and someone seems to be poisoning pigs.

It is decided the bandit will be dealt with first. After traveling to the Folly, farmers suggest the killing was carried out by the mythical “Tall Man,” a kind of justice seeking tree spirit. It is decided that the House will not interfere. Also, a discovery at the Folly suggests the Elvers are related to the Blackfyre line, a cadet house of the Targaryens. Legend has it the mad king Aegon IV legitimized all the Blackfyre bastards on his deathbed. 2 pieces of dragonglass carved to look like candles and a dragon’s tooth are also discovered. Armen finds and keeps a dragon talon. The party returns to Elver Hall.

As our heroes prepare to deal with the new port, Lord Elver narrowly avoids ingesting poisonous pig meat. He reacts with suspicion toward his son. Lord Wesley and confiscates everything discovered at the Folly.

The Jacob Stone is put in charge of the expedition to Port Maril. Upon arrival, the party discovers a town full of pirates, prostitutes, and other criminals. A meeting with the Portmaster and the rest of the town council is arranged, to be held just outside of town on the other end of the causeway.

Session 2: Dealings in Dulver
In which our heroes prevent a war

The lord of House Dulver (Lannister vassal) is rumored to be preparing for war with a neighboring house. Lord Tully tasks the nobles of House Elver to go and defuse the situation. Our heroes discover Lord Dulver’s target is House Tullison (Tully vassal), and that Lord Dulver is being manipulated by Maester Falstan, Falstan is exposed, and a raid by Ironmen is narrowly avoided.

Session 1 - House and character creation
Character creation

Rob – Trenton Elvers
Jay – Rory Elvers
Mitch – Jacob Stone
Kyle – Armen Wyrm
Josh – Sebastyan

Significant NPC’s: Wesley Elver, head of house

House Elver, Tully Banner House.
Vassal banner: House Wyrm

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