A Land of Sorrow

Lost Battle & Meeting Duegan the Red
January 19th, 2016 session

The battle on the road between Briarwhite and Lambswold was a loss, though not a complete one. Entan Kale led his mastiffs and well armored calvary against us. We lost two of our oarsmen with many more wounded. However, we took two of his host captive. Entan called for retreat when he saw our peasant horde rounding the corner behind us, and Burell made the call not to pursue. The peasants were upset, but it was the right decision.

An agent of Duegan the Red met with us that night. He convinced us to meet with Duegan in the “cursed” woods of High Heart. We moved camp from Lambswold to the hills north of High Heart, and buried our chest of dragons near there: The location only being shared between myself (Francesco), Aaron Deddings and Commander Burell.

Duegan, quite the eccentric fellow, proposed a partnership to take down Ebonfall. With no terms discussed, we agreed on the plan to joint attack Briarwhite. If Briarwhite proves too defensible to take, we will leave the bulk of our least trained forces outside the walls so our army appears to still be sieging. Then, the rest of our forces would march south to attack Iron Bay.

We briefly returned to camp to see what supplies were needed and how the training was coming along. Afterwards, from Duegan we purchased 15 spears, 15 axes, 30 shields, and 20 hunting bows. My companions managed to talk down Duegan’s marked up prices, and we bought the other supplies (food, bedrolls, lanterns) from Lambswold.

Now, we are ready. Now, we ride for war.

Adventures in Lambswold

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Recruits in Ramsford & Meeting Lord Vypen
Ah, Ramsford. I remember it well...

My child spies reported a mustached guard inquiring about me around town. After meeting with Marilla at the extravagant bath house, I was told I’d be given a “test trial.” Meanwhile, Casper the Foolsbane hears from a priestess at the temple that Ebon once came through Ramsford putting anyone in the town that had worked with the bandit queen Talia to the blade.

To the south, Commander Burell continued driving the caravan to Old Stones. He sends Aden, our best scout, to Ramsford to check up on us and look around for the Mire Knight’s horse. Burell and the caravan reaches Greyhedge, a primarily stone town with lots of masons left over from the construction projects by the Mallister nephew. Many of these people (if not all) now work for Ebon. Ignoring the rumors of a witch, Burell leaves Greyhedge and sets up camp at Old Stones. Flute music greets them, and Burell has a lovely conversation with ‘the witch,’ a youngish eccentric woman named Hazel.

Aaron Deddings arrives by ferry to the well barricaded Eatermead docks. After giving the guards searching them a tongue lashing, Aron meets with Governor Inmain, who explains all of these measures were based on their trouble with Ebon’s men who invaded across the river. Ebon was winning the war, but without explanation they stopped invading. It is also learned that the Kales, a lowborn family and master of arms for the Vypens, deserted during this conflict. Deddings continues his journey to speak with the Vypens in Lydcove.

Casper the Foolsbane, hearing from Aden, finds a horse loosely matching the condition of the Mire Knight’s in the stables. He leaves a message of warning for the Mire Knight with the septon. I pick up a few things to accomplish whatever Marilla’s mystery job might entail, then I meet up with Casper Foolsbane. We share our knowledge, then split up once more. Foolsbane goes on to recruit and arm all the embittered young men of Ramsford: dock boys, cobbler sons, any who will say ‘yes’ for a gold dragon.
“I beg you: please do not ask my son to fight.”
“Let me be honest with you: I am absolutely going to ask your son to fight.”

With this group of armed recruits, Foolsbane marches them South through the evening to meet up with the camp at Old Stones. Once there, Foolsbane learns that Commander Burell had broken off earlier to pursue a man in blue riding west from Greyhedge.

Burell follows this man to where he made camp for the night on the road. He fails to get the jump on the blue man, who escapes and backtracks to Greyhedge. But Burell, not one to be out maneuvered, corners his quarry and brings him down by lance.

Meanwhile, in Lydcove, Aaron Deddings meets with Lord Vypen and his son. The son begins an unwarranted provoking of Deddings. Swords are drawn and it comes to blows, ending only when Deddings follows a parry with a swift punch to the son’s nose. Lord Vypen then explains it was a test, as the last person they met with had no spine. The lord explains that during their war with Ebon, House Blackwood sent aid, but they were unwilling to cross the Blue Fork. Aaron’s group must be the aid requested of House Mallister. He also shares that Ebon is fighting near Fairmarket, having tried to bend them for the past year. Through some convincing, Lord Vypen agrees to militarily support our cause once we’ve rounded up more men and “taken the situation in hand.”

The next morning, Aaron returns by ferry to Ramsford. On a nearby rooftop, Smiley ‘the assassin’ nudges a masked and shirtless Lenny Rivers. Lenny takes careful aim with his longbow and shoots Deddings once through the stomach and again through the chest. He also shoots the accompanying guard, but not before taking an arrow himself. Using a rope to repel down, Lenny outruns Smiley, revealing his true identity to a still standing Deddings and telling him to play dead. Deddings reluctantly goes along with it, taking the mimed stab and performing an admirable death scene. For good measure, Lenny fishhooks some milk of the poppy into his mouth and spills pig blood across his neck. Lenny is then chased away by Aaron’s squire, who momentarily sees Francesco’s face before losing him in a panicked crowd.

Back in Old Stones, Draven is appointed to train the new recruits. Commander Burell rejoins the camp, and he and Casper the Foolsbane make plans for their next target.

Aaron Deddings
Leaving Nutten

The night progressed slower than planned as we delegated what to do with the Ebonfall men we’d captured, Some wanted to hang the men like the traitorous bastards they were but the local septon convinced us otherwise. The entire town was under the yoke of Ebon, making such a bold statement against him too soon could have ended this expedition earlier than we’d have liked. The men weren’t even truly the problems but simply symptoms of the local rebel that was Ebon. It’s the Lord’s duty to protect and guide the the people who live on his lands lest their simple minds drive them back to their more basic urges and it would seem Lord Mallister hasn’t been paying attention to these duties.

Our second batch of prisoners turned out to be closer related than we could have ever expected, mother and sons in fact. Seeing that we would be on our expedition for many years to come i decided it would be in our best interest to have our own ship or at least full control of someone who did have their own ship, which is where the smuggler women Karya came in. I offered her a deal she couldn’t resist, I would take one of her sons as a squire and in return she would provide us with the use of her ship and anything else we demanded. In truth I have no intention of knighting the boy , I simply wanted to keep leverage over her, Leverage that only became more precious when I learned she was also the Mayor’s wife and we now possessed his son as well.

As the sun rose up over our camp we realized just how long we’d been deliberating and decided to put our plans into motion. One such plan including actually sending a scout out to assess just how strongly Ebon had entrenched himself in these lands, the other included the release of all our prisoners with some well placed warnings. As we began to break camp Nuttens sleazy mayor approached us with a few of his town guards as if to intimidate us. We let him know his wife would be returned and that I would be keeping his son. He didn’t have much to say after that.

As we set out about the road to RamsFord we encountered none other than the Knight of the Mire. Ser Casper challenged him to single combat and taunted to man into charging him. Ser Casper instead drove his ass into the bog and foolishly the Mire Knight followed. Ser Casper’s plan of entrapping the knight in terrain where he couldn’t maneuver seemed sound until the his lance tore through Ser Casper’s side. Ser Casper lashed back bravely but the fight was not going in his favor and so the rest of us took action. Commander Burrell Charged into the bog to assist Ser Casper as I organized our forces to strike at the knight while the young Courtingbloom loosed his own arrows into the knight. Seeing the tide change the Mire Knight abandoned his attacks on Ser Casper and fled deeper into the bog severely wounded by our arrows.

With the excitement over our forces returned to the road where we encountered a simple cabbage merchant and his daughter. After setting up camp for the night we broke bread and drank wine with the man who was all too knowledgeable about the region we’d be entering. It would seem Ebon isn’t the only threat about as we discussed bandit queens and marauder kings who also plundered the lands. We also learned an interesting truth about ebon, he used to serve lord Mallister.I can’t yet decide whether or not this further points to Lord Mallisters incompetence or the lands unruliness.

In the middle of night I was awoken to shouts within the camp and rushed to see what it was about. The Mire Knight tore through our camp setting tents and a wagon ablaze. When challenged to fight us on fair terms he simply ran off into the night strangely energetically for a man who was supposed to be deeply wounded. The fires were put out but we were all still on alert until we reached Ramsford. There we decided it would be best for our party to be proactive instead of reactive, to do this we would need more information and strong local allies to call to our aid. So it was decided that I would cross the lake to Estermead and treat with the noble lord there, Commander Burrell and ser Casper would continue on to Oldstones and the young Courtingbloom would entrench himself within ramsford to learn of any local secrets or rogue movements.

The story begins
We know what we are doing- (in a general sort of wayish)
It is a time of peace. Which is to say it is only not a time of declared open warfare. Robert Baratheon is King and has just begun to settle in as a Ruler rather than router. A diverse group of four is summoned to Seagard to meet with its house head Jason Mallister. Also present was his son Patrek Mallister and Edan Ashford (who had married Althea Mallister.) It was explained that we were to reclaim “oldstones” south of Hags mire. which, depending on who was asked, fell somewhere between abandoned keep to ruins. The area was also described as somewhat fraught with brigands and lawlessness. A nephew was despatched earlier on this task but appeared to have failed miserably, and (after exchanged glances) was proclaimed to have been sent to kings landing. A symbol of our authority was asked for and there was an ackward moment as it lay there claimed by no one. the young Francesco began to raise from his seat slowed slightly by it being the secondmost fluffy chair in the room, when sir Deddings lurched forward quickly as if nudged from behind to grab the ring. Deddings went to talk to the captain Neal Leonard (of the Wooden Wench) wilst Burell went to inspect the troops. Francesco and Ser casper went information gathering at the local pub. Deddings talked to Jason Mallister about provisions and it was revealed that wagons and a steward (Aren Stally) and staff would all be comming on the morrow. Breakfast came and mysterious loud scraping/dragging noises could be heard from the kitchen area. The sea travel was uneventful save the bickering of the nobles about whos grandfathers deeds made them more worthy to sleep in the cabin, and what color the vomit from the sea sick ser Casper might be. What happened next was Nuttin. (you knew a pun was comming get over it) After a booming proclamation that both Francesco and the Rule of Law had come to Nuttin. A talk with the gruff, salty mayor Robert Garrys revealed problems with smugglers and a gang calling themselves Ebbenfall, led by a man named Ebon possibly based in a city to the south. Deddings, after abtaining a lock for our funds chest. seemed to have been followed, he slipped into a nearby sept and then slipped into some slightly too tight friars robes and absconded back to the wagons, which had been freshly unloaded from the boat. A camp was set up just outside of town. Ser Casper and Deddings found the town constable Colren to be a hopeless drunkard. After some information about the mayor paying protection money in a fortnight to the Ebbenfall from the ever-present fishmongers and francescos captured child-spy revealed to us that local Ebbenfall members were now at the Nuttin tavern. A small debate about how to proceed and what did we really know about the tavern insued. As It turned out, It was not a tavern populated by peaceful townfolk but rather a more wretched hive of scum and villainy you may never find. After a small Dust up it was found to have five local members of the Ebbenfall, and the captain of a smuggling boat with two of her “boys”. A ranger was sent to bring a cart to round them all up and bring them to our camp. Ser Casper the quick and the agile put forth that they should be publicly hung on the morrow. Francesco could be heard saying that it didn’t seem particularly heroic. And That is the beginning of the story.

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