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(IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

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  • (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead


    CHAPTER ONE: Whispers of the Dead

    It was a wet and bleak morning, with seagulls crying high in the grey sky and men working low in the muddy wharf of the port. Small fishing boats were already in the horizon, scattered in the cold waters of the Blackwater Bay, and those men who were not fishers were in land, suffering Master Errol shouts and orders. The gaunt old captain of the port had a nasty face, and it was a nasty work that he and his men were doing for the last days. Fourteen days have passed since Stannis Baratheon's army was defeated in the mouth of the Blackwater, but the dead were still coming. Mostly were horribly burnt, black deformed things the waves brought ashore every morning, so damaged by the fire that was hard to tell them apart from the wreckage of the burned ships that came with them, but there were also the swollen ones, the ones that died by drowning, or by arrows, or even in the walls of King's Landing. The guards says those were the worst, for they still look very much alive, with their faces still marked by fear and pain, even if they are partially eaten by the seagulls by the time they show up. So it was for Master Errol and his men to collect the dead from the water so the guards could bury them elsewhere.


    The golden whale of the Gargons was trembling so hard in the window of the Lord's Chamber that you thought the wind would break the banner apart. "A storm is coming", said Milanna, the older maid, putting some strength in her fingers to finish lacing the long deep blue dress her Lady was using. Almost black, you thought. "Seven's mercy, no" fat Ruby replied while struggling to straighten the heavy blankets and furs on the bed. Those two loved to talk, you knew. But you always liked their talking.

    Almost a year has passed since the news of your sweet Lord's passing, and for a month you used black so everyone could see how you missed him, but the month passed, your color changed, and you still find yourself waking alone crying in the night. Should you wear black again? Your own mother wore black for the last of her days after your father's death, Seven bless them. Would that mean your love was weaker than hers? Mourning colors always were a reminder of your mother, but now they only bring the memories of your Arold. You looked to your other clothes in the great chest at the bed's end, full with gifts your Alber sent from King's Landing. Your boy was always difficult one, but he never forgot his mother, and always wanted her to dress richly. Now as a Lord he kept his word.

    "Days are getting colder. And shorter. Not much we can do about it. It's the gods way of punishing us, wait for the winter and you'll see. If we get until then, that is." Milanna's words were hard and sour, just like her since her husband's death, also in the Whispering Woods. Younger Ruby gasped at hearing them. "Don't say that! Why are you so mean?!" But you knew why. Milanna has also lost her husband in the war against the North, and she heard the men in the docks complaining about fishing corpses but having no luck with fishes. War have not touched the Gargon lands yet, but death has already taken it's toll. And your son, the young Lord, quickly emptied his father's granaries to help feed his Queen's city. If winter comes while the kingdom is at war instead of plowing the fields, there will be hunger and there will be death. Death inside the houses, inside this very castle walls.

    "Well, it's done. A beautiful piece of cloth this one, m'lady." Said the older maid, looking at your dress. You were ready to break the fast. But suddenly a loud wooden crack startled everyone in the room. The Gargon banner was not in the window anymore, taken by the strong winds.


    "...and the mason's daughter has been asking to be put to work in the kitchens my lord, and Molly has already received her, but saddens me to say that we have no place for the two young sons of the late town smith, who was also part of the entourage of good lord Arold last year, and if I may say it is past time we spread the word that the castle will not have more of this..."

    Sour Symon was talking for a time now, informing you of the castle staff and situation of the land. You've lost many men in the war, both in the Whispering Woods and in the Blackwater, and the castle was short of men to fish the seas and plow the fields. Many widows and orphans have come to the castle of the Good Lord Arold looking for shelter and protection. The small hamlet outside of Greenwalls was full of people who ran from King's Landing or from hunger. And the new lord, Alber, was nowhere close to receive them.

    You looked to your younger brothers entering the room. Andrel and Andros were already playing, pushing each other at the long table, while little Annie greeted you with a kiss and quickly tried to eat a big and round onion with her tiny teeth. You considered the food in front of you. To break one's fast before midday was considered a sign of gluttony for the Seven, any septon would agree. But your grandfather Lord Arrol always favored his stomach over the gods, and as he always pointed with pride, a true Gargon should have the strength to built his own boat and fish his own food if needed. He loved to begin his days eating in his chambers while looking at the port, and even your late father enjoyed to break bread and fish in early mornings while at his small library. There is a little bit of the old Lord Arron in you as well, you thought looking at the food. And a lot of it in Alber. Since your older brother became lord you family spent lavishly on food. It was his way of showing that he cares, you believe. This and the expensive cloth he bought from the capital. The smell of lamprey pies, pork sausages, boiled eggs, smoked herrings and hot bread filled the air in the room, even now when he was two days from the castle, at King Joffrey's court.

    "It is warm here, my lord." Said the old master, looking at you with this small black eyes. "With fire cracking in the hearth, plenty of food and thick walls to keep the fierce winds from entering. But outside is cold, and men are growing desperate. There are more corpses than fish in the waters, so the sea can't feed them. There is talk of broken men in the woods, preying on farmers and merchants alike, and so the land is no safer. With all the recent rain Tom and his men can't produce salt and our salterns are on hold for more than a week. Where is their lord? Write to Alber, m'lord. I ask of you, write for him for his people are in need."

    You considered the old adviser plead. If you had crows you could send one to the Redkeep, but they all died a long time ago. The castle maester was a kind man to you and your brothers, but he was also extremely sad. Something to do with a lost love, if you would believe the maids. He used to drink his own potions, like milk of the poppy, to numb his fears, but one day he locked himself inside his chambers and drank to death. No one know exactly how the fire started, most probably probably a candle, but when the guards stopped the fire all the bird were dead. No crows since then. And a rider would take two days to reach the capital. One more to actually be received at court. The last message you received from Alber was ten days ago, telling you about the victory of the Tyrells and the Lannisters against the pretender, about how the mouth of the Blackwater was blocked with wreckage, and commanding you to send two thirds of your stocked grains and smoked fish to the capital, which you dutifully did.

    Sour Symon was a good and competent man, but he seldom offered comfort in his words. You missed a friend to give true counsel, like your Grey Bard, but he disappeared since yesterday morning. Where could he be?


    You woke up with the sound of men shouting at the docks. Then you felt the wine from yesterday coming back from inside you, and with the burp, a sharp headache that made the room spin. It was a poorly lit place that you were in, with a straw bed under you and a single window at the other side of the room that was so small it barely let light in. It was very warm and damp, and so were you, sweating wine from the skin, apparently. When you tried to get up, you stumbled on some wooden cups, a horn and a flask of wine, all around the bed covered in furs. With a curse you tried again, that time reaching the small window and pushing it open to see the day, and it was awful. An ugly morning, with a worse weather, and cold as the seventh hell also. But you saw the blacksmith at the other side of the street, and the docks, so you could only be in Allyn's place.

    Nauseated by the cheap wine, you rolled your eyes inside the room. You were indeed in Allyn's inn, his guest room to be sure. And judging by the cups, you've been busy. You only noticed her when she moved with a groan; a brown haired woman, lying asleep right where you were. Getting closer to her, you slowly moved the furs over her, revealing her skinny body and pointy breasts. The cold woke her up, and when she drunkenly looked at you, you immediately recognized her. Dalla, you let yourself mutter. "Tom?" she moaned, too drunk to see that you were not her husband. Oh. Seven. Hells.


    Your glorious gambling den was a sad place this early in the morning. Without the gold-and-red light of the candles and the small hearth you lit every night the whole place looked black and grim. Tanda was opening the windows to let the fresh air take away the smell of cheap mead and wine but also to wake the few creatures which still lurked in the shadows after a long night of bad luck. Otto the Ugly was one of them. He also was one of the guards, but certainly not one of the brighest to work for Lord Gargon, at least when it comes to playing dice. You saw him lost a whole purse of silver this week, and after last night, there was not much more for him to do besides drink his anger out. He in fact woke up with the light and the cold wind pouring through the windows and the door, rubbing his hands in his ugly face.

    Almost as sad as the ambient was the bowl of porridge you were struggling to eat. Tanda and her daughters were fine women to serve the men and to clean the inn, but by the gods their food was waste. Maybe you should try to sneak in the castle kitchens. The late lord Arold always treated you as kin, and you always had free passage to enter the castle walls. Fat Molly, the big woman head of the kitchens, always enjoyed your company and surely could arrange something for the next days. Food was getting scarce out here, and you know that sooner or later you'll be able to turn it into a profit. If you managed to smuggle food from the castle you could probably get enough silver to buy a small ship and with luck, start a new trade.

    -All right, everyone out. Out! - Meldred's voice was loud and powerful. He was a powerful man, tall and sharp, and he had those scary eyes that you knew were exactly like your father's. You watched as he moved the drunk out, Otto included, and felt grateful for lending a hand for him when he needed the most. Meldred was a fierce man, with a difficult temper, but a loyal man still. You gave him a roof over his head and a place to call home, and in exchange he was the strong arm you needed to run a place like this. -You should eat. -His words were brusque, just like him. -And then sleep. Today I will go after that Malric to bring the silver he owes you. Then you can buy me a drink and play cards with me. I'm sure I can win this time.

    You grinned while thinking about it. Malric the Maid was another man from the garrison. A good lad, and he enjoyed to drink and play dices in your inn, but was much less fond of paying his debts. He owed you half as much as your other friend, the fool. With a spoon of porridge in your mouth you thought you should seek better friends.

    -WHERE ARE THEY? -Shouted a huge man at the inn's entrance. -WHERE IS MY WIFE? -Big Tom got his name thanks to his size, and he was tall enough to make Meldred look like a thin boy. And Tom was not alone, for behind him were some of his workers, other men from the saltworks. Three of them. Hardy people, with hard pressed eyes and bad intentions all over their mugs. Big Tom was the master of them, and he was pissed. You could not blame him. But you could not imagine how the seven hells he learned where the drunken bard was hiding.


    The wind was hard, and judging by the clouds, today you will have heavy rain. The other men also noticed, and they were already complaining about it. -Less talking, more digging, boys. -Said Ser Willem, very aware of the problems of the incoming storm. -And dig deeper, or tomorrow we'll be here with shovels again. -He was right. The common graves your men have made for the dead soldiers of the Blackwater have all been washed by the last storm, and the water exposed the dead buried in the more shallow of them holes. Besides, all that rain has made work in the salterns much more difficult. Without sunny days the only way to produce salt from seawater is through boiling, a much more expensive method. You've heard Big Tom was having problems controlling his men, as there was more work to do for the same wage. You looked to the captain of the guard of Greenwalls. He was older than you, and much smaller, but every bit as honorable. A good and dutiful man you enjoyed talking and riding with.

    You were eight men in total. The four lads shoving the land were covered in mud, but didn't need to see their sigils to recognize them. Three of them were Shellings men, from the Lonely Tower, the seat Lord Gargon conceded to you after your father's death. You knew them by name: Olyver, Ruger and Beren. The other was one of the Gargon guards, called Malric the Maid for his pretty face and golden curls. Nothing very pretty in him now, all covered in dirt, just like the others. Over the three corpses was Septon Hobert, a poor excuse for a priest with robes stained from wine. -He was the only one who accepted to pray over these men. -Ser Willem said to you this morning, forgetting to mention the fat septon accepted the task only for a flask of wine. The Littlefish was the last member of the party, caring for the horses. The younger bastard of the sinister Rottenfish was a nice lad of sixteen years, very serious and very obedient. He was Lord Arold's squire, but since your liege's death you took him under your service with no regret. You both wished to be with the Gentle Gargon during his last fight.

    -Oh Sefen abofe, help thefe fouls to find the peace in deaf that they could not find in life. -Septon Hobert said, struggling with every word, while the guards started moving the dead inside the holes. -Fuck! Glargh! -Cursed the Maid, gasping when one of the cloth holding the dead ripped open, revealing the corpse swollen face. -Gods! These are the worst! -Complained Ruger when the putrid smell got to his nose. He was right. The burned ones were horrible enough, but there were men who survived the wildfire only to find death by sword, arrows or even drowning, and their corpses had open eyes and blue faces that were hard to forget. The Septon could not hold anymore and promptly started vomiting, to the horror of the living men in the common grave. Malric in special was very loud on his disapproval.

    -Ser. -Littlefish called you. -A rider. -You looked to where he was pointing in the fields, but it took you a long time to see the horseman coming out of the woods. He has sharp eyes, this one. -It's Garth. -The boy announced. Garth was one of Lord's Gargon household guards. He and other men from both houses have been patrolling the farms, seeking poachers, thieves and deserters from the Blackwater. When he arrived you could see he was riding in haste for a time, for his horse was clearly winded. -Captain Willem! Ser Eustace! -He was wearing a green tabard with the golden whale of the Gargon over his leather armor. -We got them! We saw some stags trying to rob Jasper's farm, right close to the Old Tree Hill! We attacked, saving the farmer and his wife! -Garth almost could not hide his pride.

    -You did well Garth, but tell me you didn't kill them all. -Said Ser Willem with his mouth completely covered by his big mustache. And he was correct in worrying about the captives. For a time now survivors and deserters from Stannis Baratheon's host have been plaguing your lands. Most of them were broken and ruined men, but last attacks have shown that some of them got a little more organized, and should be hiding somewhere. -We took them by surprise, Captain. Some of them tried to fight back, but two were smarter and quickly asked for mercy. Larry, Lamprey, Samm and Buckets are watching over them at the farmer's house. I came to warn you as quickly as I could.

    Ser Willem took you by the shoulder. -Eustace my friend, this is good. These prisoners may tell us where their lads are hiding and we can finally put an end to this madness. Young Alwyn will be happy to hear. What do you think of it?
    Last edited by Saturno; 21st July 2015, 06:53 PM.

  • #2
    Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

    Eddard Gothos - The Fool/Grey Bard

    Eddard searched hurriedly around for his clothes and was surprised to find them in a pile. At least I didn’t lose them last night, he mused as he began pulling on his trousers, noting the jingling of coins, and I even have funds left. Must have been a good night.

    Certainly she was a fair companion, but her husband would not be understanding as to the innocence of the encounter and neither would his friends at the Saltworks. He couldn’t remember last night and from previous experience, neither would she after a couple of drinks. Why had he not learned from last time, or the time before…

    “I am afraid not my dear, you were in your cups last night again. We will have to inform your husband that you were too inebriated to be moved last night and that as a gentlemen, I brought you to this room so that you could rest in peace and that no fellows of low virtue could take advantage of you. I of course being the gentleman that I am stayed next door, but kept a watchful eye."
    He passed her clothes over to her from where they had hurriedly dumped in the corner.
    “And you may want to get dressed quickly before your husband decides that something did happen because you are no longer draped in your fineries."

    He pulled on his boots as he could hear Tom shouting below, hopping out to the room next door

    Convincing Dalla: 5d6k4 19


    • #3
      Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

      Austace - The knight

      The news were a small light in Austace's tormented day. He would like to be as optimistic as Willem, but his gut was telling him that things would not be as simple as that.
      The air smells like death and I believe there's more to come soon, to make matters worse, this man is a shame to the Faith, what would the Seven say about such creature to represent them?

      Keeping his cold eyes on the septon for a second before looking at Willem, Austace spoke with a deep voice.

      -Stannis is still alive, just like the bloody Stark boy. This madness is far from ending, but let's bring the justice we can - turning quikly to Merryn. - Bring my horse Meryn and get yourself ready, you'll come with me...
      Austace interrupted his talk due to the sound of the septon vomiting again. He walked to the drisgraced man, towering the septon.
      - You are a disgrace to your robes, Mother's mercy on you.- Then throwing a copper coin at the feet of the man.

      Walking back to where Meryn would bring his horse, he turned to the captain again and continued.

      -Let's go. When we're done with these raiders, let's hunt some stags.


      • #4
        Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

        Allyn shoveled a spoon of porridge into his mouth, it was not pleasant but he knew he would need the energy for the long day ahead. It were a time of peril, danger and uncertainty - but also possibility. As Meldred emptied the Inn by yelling at drunks, and fresh air replaced their hideous body odor, eating became much easier. Allyn only drank water, he saw way too many times what becomes of men who partake in wine from early morrow.
        The bastard half brother, one of many, Ally dreamed of the sea from early childhood like all Gargons do, even though he is not a Gargon. A faulty whale, born out of bedlock, but now more powerful and richer than many true ones.

        If only I could afford ships, and a legitimate trading deal, sea breeze smells better than stale mad, and I am sure Meldred would be happier fighting pirates than yelling at drunks, Allyn thought.

        "Thank you, good Meldred. It is about time for him to pay up." he said absentmindedly. It was just about then the collosal Tom walked in. Setting the spoon to the side Allyn Storm cleared his throat and straightened his hair, signaling Meldred not to intervene right now with a subtle move of his hand.

        "Welcome, Tom. Care for some ale? What seems to be the problem?" he asked with a calm voice, accustomed to all sorts of problems and problem makers by now.


        • #5
          Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

          ***The Heir***

          Feeling duty press over him, Alwyn regretted he was not there to fight with the pretender in the glorious victory his brother wrote about. He had yet to win his spurs and what could be more glorious than to win them on the field of battle?

          "I will write a letter to him." Alwyn told the maester. "Mayhaps part of the grain the Tyrells brings to the capital can be diverted here for our smallfolk? My brother tells me he is a friend of the queen, so maybe she can make it happen." But to himself Alwyn thought; If King's Landing needs so much of our food, what crumbs can they send back? "I bid you a pleasent meal but duty calls to me." and Alwyn left the table for the lord's solar.


          • #6
            Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

            THE HEIR

            -Yes, you duties...

            Leaving your siblings to their meal, you walked out the great hall and through the castle corridors to find the Library Tower, or the Burned Tower as it was called since the incident with the late maester. But the old servant followed you persistently. -...I don't need to tell you that as the elder Gargon in the castle it is your duty to provide for your people, young Alwyn. -You took a long breath, as you knew you would have a hard time to see yourself free from the old man. Sour Symon was working in the castle even before your father's birth, serving your grandfather. -Your brother is well intentioned and gods know how important is to a House to bond with the capital, even more with the Royal Family... -With him puffing in your heels you took the stairs. Even there the old man continued talking. -...but there are matters that must be urgently addressed, with swift action...

            Your father moved his private office to this tower so he could have even more privacy, as he enjoyed reading and writing alone as much as managing the House's finances. With Symon babbling on your ears you passed the locked wooden door of the late maester laboratory in the second floor, and the library's door in the third, with the stone around it still marked by the fires, to finally reach the solar. Guarding the door was Almeric, one of your guards and the youngest son of your steward, Mortymer. Master Symon finally got silent when seeing the guard. Almeric was a slightly overweight man in his twenties, wearing chain mail with the golden whale sewn into his green tabbard. He had a clean shaved face and his father's brown eyes and pig nose. -Goodday, m'lord. -Said him in reverence. You always liked Almeric over his brothers for his gentler personality. Marlon and Morson were little more than grunts to you, always ready to prove their manliness, and while Morson was the kind of man who never talked much, Marlon was famous for his dirty songs and obscene jokes.

            When you entered the solar, Symon closed the heavy door behind you, turning back to his oratory, but in a lower voice, making sure only you could hear him. -...actions that must be done even in the absence of the Lord, and with haste...- The three big windows were closed and you could hear the strong wind hitting the wood. Eventually a weak rain started outside. In the center of the room was a big table with waves carved in the wood, and it was covered in maps and annotations, as well as seven big unlit candles. There was a second table, smaller, for individual use, and behind it was a heavy chair made of pine, with whales sculpted in it's arms. In the opposite wall was a small hearth, black and cold. When you sat, Master Symon was still babbling while lighting the candles, to finally get where you KNEW he would go. -...and if it is for the greater good of this castle and the Gargon family, I believe it is perfectly clear how necessary it is to you, my young lord, to impede our Lord's nonsense.

            There, he did it. The family's old servant always had much to say about everything, and your lord father was always amused by it. He said that Sour Symon never honeyed his words and was always speaking ill of everyone, but never spoke about anyone without a reason. He was there when you was born, the same with your brothers, and it was difficult to think of him as any different than as your old grandpa. And while everyone at home felt the weight of Alber's hand in his orders, Sour Symon, who was not kin to your family, was the loudest opposition for Alber's rule. -Lord Alber is a good man, but if I am free to say, he has lost any sense in his pursuit for the King's favor. He will put this castle in debt to please the Royal Family, and let our people starve before letting the Lannisters grow bored of him. -To any other man, those words could mean treason, but you knew the old servant had no allegiance beyond your family, which he saw as his too.

            -Look to those papers, young Alwyn. -He pointed to the account books and weekly reports of Mortymer, the steward. Symon himself was illiterate, knowing only how to draw his own name and only being able to recognize a few others, but he was well aware of the house's finances for constantly harassing and interrogating the plump steward of the House. -Mortymer says the storms have hindered the fishing and impaired the salterns to a point he is forced, without enough fish and salt, to use the castle's treasure to maintain the holdings. A treasure that is almost empty thanks to our Lord's open hand to the King. -You were aware of this, thanks to your weekly meetings with Mortymer, when in the last one the fat servant brought the expenses of Alber's last gifts: three barrels of golden wine from the Arbor, a dornish sand steed, and an exotic Myrish mirror. Annotations that, without him in the room to translate, you could barely make sense. His handwriting was horrible and many times you could not discern one number from the other. Mortymer always gets red when his handwriting is mentioned, saying that the harder it is to read, the safer the finances are from spying eyes, but you are pretty sure he just don't admit he cannot do better.

            You have been trying to learn about all of this for some time now. Your late father made sure to teach your older brother about finances and trade managing while you were sparring in the yard with the other boys from the household. Since his death and Alber's inheritance you had half a year to learn from Mortymer his trade, and looking now to the books and files over the lord's table you could only see what the steward showed you in the last meeting you had with him: the castle coffers are practically empty.

            -Your lord father always listened my counsel, so I pray you hear me now: your brother has grown confident and ambitious. He is determined of gaining the King's friendship, and we have already provided almost all the Gargon's gold, grains and fish to King Jeoffrey. But it is a vain notion that he can buy a King's trust. It just cannot be done, for a King has everything already. Lord Alber would lead us to ruin if you do not act, my young lord. -He cleaned his throat. -Mortymer does not know that I know this, but he wants to ask for a loan from our neighbor, Lord Wendel Wendwater. Ten thousand gold dragons, my lord. So Alber can buy more gifts for the Crown, I suppose. He will be here soon to ask your permission. And I ask you to forbid him of doing it. Lord Wendel is a shrewd negotiator, and he will surely squeeze that oaf we have as a steward until the deal is done in his terms. We cannot ask for something we cannot pay back, my young lord. Mortymer only wants to please Alber, who in turn only wants to please the Crown. Someone must care for the House.

            THE BASTARD

            -Fuck your ale! -Big Tom shouted interrupting you and stepping inside the tavern with his companions. Huge as he was, he had to actually low his head a little to pass through the door. Tanda was scared, suddenly quiet in the corner of the common room, broom in hands. Tom came right to you while his men spread over the place, looking for someone. You could not see, but you were sure Meldred was already holding the grip of his longsword. You had no doubt that your half-brother could protect you from the giant man, but to kill the master of the saltworks was really bad for business and would confer big problems with your half-cousins in the castle. Besides that, the big ox had his friends right behind him, so things could get really messy. Big Tom leaned over you, and you could smell smoke in his sweat. By this and and by his red eyes, you could guess he spent his night working burning wood in the saltworks. -The problem is that Norwell here told me Dalla spent the whole night drinking and whoring with your minstrel friend while I was working my fingers off in the fucking saltern! So you better tell me where they are or I will put this shitty hole on the ground, do you hear me?! WHERE IS ME WIFE?? -He threatened you with his huge finger right in front of your nose.

            _: 3D6 = [6, 1, 2] = 9

            You looked into Tom's eyes, and then to the man at his side, this Norwell. He was a rat disguised as a man, thin and hairy with big crooked yellow teeth coming out of his mouth. A worker from the saltmines, probably trying to squeeze some silver out of this situation. Gods be damn, Eddard used to be more cautious than this, letting himself being caught by this kind of man. You could see that Tom was very serious in his threat, but you knew he was not a violent man, so you could probably turn the situation around with wit and a little bit of luck.

            -I heard someone up there, Tom. -One of the workers said.

            THE FOOL

            Still queasy for the drinking of last night, you sidled out of the room, founding yourself in the second's floor corridor. You could hear Big Tom yelling at your friend downstairs, at the end of the corridor. Close to you were the doors to other three bedrooms, and to the other side, beyond the stairs was the common bedroom, were some poor gamblers and travellers who could not afford a private room shared thin straw beds in the floor. The hamlet was filled with refugees from the war coming from the Riverlands. You could see that in the shadows three people were still sleeping together in there. Back in your bedroom Dalla moaned something, and you found her unconscious again in your bed, passing out half-naked when trying to put her clothes.

            -I heard someone up there, Tom. -You heard one voice coming from downstairs. You looked around, but there was no window big enough for you to escape - Allyn made sure no gambler would run from his debts. Should you help Dalla in getting dressed? Should you hide in one of the other rooms? Should you stand and face Tom? You probably have only a brief moment to decide and act before they come up. Unless Allyn saves you somehow, something that would put you even more in his debt.

            THE KNIGHT

            A thin rain started falling from the clouded sky when Littlefish brought you the horses, and under it you rode with the young squire and the old captain of the guard, abandoning the drunken septon to the digging guards. You followed Garth's nut-brown horse in a hurried canter, with the captain at your side with his grey steed almost as old as him, and finally Merryn coming right behind you in his spotted young horse, dark brown with white. You had Sugar, an docile black mare with a white snout. The Gargons were always a house from the seas, so they never built decent roads in their lands, nor did their neighbors, so the four of you took one of the trails made by the passage of farmers and merchants in their constant travels. After half an hour of riding, the rain gained strength. The terrain was already wet, but now it would quickly become muddy. Garth reacted to the increasing of the rain by putting his horse to a gallop without warning, gaining distance over the three of you as he rushed through the landscape. -Garth! Wait! Garth! Damn it. -Shouted Captain Willem. Merryn approached the two of you in silence. -Gods, the spirit of the young. -Captain Willem complained.

            You looked to the skies pouring the cold water, the winds were gaining strength. You could still see the black sea in the horizon, and when you turned to Willem, he looked like an old furry dog, his mustache increasingly soaked. -Most of my men are like this now. Young boys, immature, impulsive, undisciplined. All our good men died in the Blackwater. -He stood in the rain for a moment before resuming. -Let's go after that kid before we lose him or the storm reach us.

            [Let's roll a chase! Write your action and then roll your Animal Handling (Ride) three times. Thanks to the presence of both Merryn and Captain Willem you have a bonus of +2B in your rolls. Let's see if you can keep up to Garth's gallop!]
            Last edited by Saturno; 23rd July 2015, 02:43 PM.


            • #7
              Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

              The Fool

              Looking back at Dalla and at the other rooms, he felt a twinge of conscience. He certainly felt the need to save his own skin, but Dalla didn’t deserve this. She loved Tom, though she was loose with her affections, especially if there had been alcohol involved.

              Pulling his top over his head, he moved back into his room, closing the door quietly and helped Dalla back into her clothes, at least enough to avoid the sense of impropriety before laying her back on the bed, checking as he did so that she was still alive and breathing. His initial plan had been to use a lady in the other room to pretend that he had been with somebody else and that Dalla had been alone. Since she was not capable of getting dressed, a new plan was required. Thinking on his feet, thankfully, he had the maester’s kit left behind by House Gargon’s late maester. It had been once well supplied with drugs and would suffice for this situation.

              sneak into room: 3d6k3 12
              check Dalla: 3d6k3 11 - healing check
              Set up the room: 4d6k4 19 - deception check


              • #8
                Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                Austace - The knight
                Austace built a small smile in his face when the Garth passed through them.
                Silly boy, reckless, but confident, let's see if my age already started to affect my skill on the saddle

                3D6 + 2D6 = [1, 4, 3]+[1, 5] = 14
                3D6 + 2D6 = [6, 4, 1]+[2, 5] = 18
                3D6 + 2D6 = [3, 1, 1]+[6, 2] = 13

                Final results:
                First Roll: 12
                Second Roll: 15
                Third Roll: 11


                • #9
                  Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                  ***The Heir***

                  Alwyn listens to the old steward and is forced to agree.

                  "I will write to him on this, both the matter of the loan and the reason for it."

                  Alwyn felt the steward's work dreary, neither glory nor victory to be found there.

                  "I'll write that there's no more money to be found in the House and that perhaps he could seek the king's favor with valorous deeds on the field against the rebels?"

                  Seven knew that's how Alwyn would have done it instead of courting the king like a man stricken by love.

                  "Maybe we could make him come here and confront him with facts? There's harder to turn away that truth than it is to dismiss a letter."


                  • #10
                    Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                    **** The Bastard ****

                    "Oh, Tom, why must we shout? It is unpleasant to listen to shouting in the morning." Allyn said calmly.

                    "Now I remmembered Dalla, right? Your wife Dalla came here last night, that is true. Had a few drinks and sang a bit, but got ill afterwards. Then, as she was leaving to bring you some food to the saltworks, she fell unexpectedly , fell and cut her knee. But fear not, our good Eddard patched her up, and we gave her a room upstairs, a room to sleep in." Allyn said, hoping to avoid trouble.

                    Deception (Bluff): 6D6 .HIGH(4) = [5, 6, 2, 2, 5, 4] = 20
                    Last edited by todicpetar; 25th July 2015, 05:29 PM.


                    • #11
                      Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                      THE HEIR

                      You could see the relief in the wrinkled face of the old servant. -Oh, that's wise of you, Alwyn. Finally someone actually listened to this sad sack of bones. -He sighed deeply. -Well, I don't believe your brother will come back from the capital so soon, my young lord. But I also believe there is no harm in trying. Maybe he will listen to you, it all depends of what you will write to him. Now with your permission my lord, I will tend to other matters and send some servant to lit your fire. My lord can summon me anytime, or send a boy for me when finished the letter. I will have a rider to take it for your brother with haste. -The small whitehaired man made a reverence and took his leave, letting you with your thoughts.

                      You looked around, making yourself comfortable in your father's seat. It was not the throne of the castle, no, that was reserved for the Lord of Greenwalls and was localized in the great hall. The seat of the Gargon Lords was a mighty throne made of cold grey stone, carved with a thousand drawings of fish and seaweeds, with arms in the form of waves and a rising whale's tail as it's back. Your father told you that the first Gargon, Galrys, was a valyrian advisor of Aegon the Conqueror himself, and as a gift from the first Targaryen King of the Iron Throne he gained the castle of an old house destroyed in the Conquest. Your ancestor chose to keep the castle coat of arms from himself, and it is said that Aegon frequently flied to Greenwalls over Balerion to see his old friend. You wondered how magnificent would be to see the black wings of the huge dragon over the windows of your solar.

                      Someone knocked the door, pulling you from your thoughts. -Pardon, m'lord. Should I lit the hearth? -Gretch asked after you let her enter. She was a servant of the castle, mid aged and with a sad, tired look on her cheeks. While she rushed to lit the fire, you noticed that was raining outside, with winds hitting the wooden windows with increasing strength. You wondered how the fishers were at sea. It was not long ago that you were salling with Master Errol in the Mighty Gargon, the huge old dromond of your family, the biggest of your warships. Now all of them were destroyed, Whale's Wrath, Golden Flipper, Brave Argos and Arold's Mercy, all lost in the Blackwater. It saddened you considerably. As the room filled with the warm red light of the fires, you looked to the files and papers over your desk.

                      In the middle of book accounts, trade agreements, annotations and messages, was a small parchment with the handwriting of your brother.

                      "Dear Alwyn,

                      It is with the heart filled of joy that I write this letter, for we won. It was a long night of battle, with our uncle Ralph guarding our Grace King Jeoffrey with other valiant knights in the walls of the port and myself in the Mud Gate, side to side with the greatest warriors of our time. The fight was heavy and plenty, and our house suffered greatly. Saddens me to say that our ships were burned during the night, and many of our men died fighting. But I knew the Warrior and the Father were at our side. My faith proved true, for Tywin Lannister rode over Stannis in the end of the terrible night, scattering his host. We won, brother! This is naught but the first victory over the traitors, hear my words. But for now King's Landing needs food as much as it needs swords, so I require you to order Symon to put a fourth of our granary and our stocks and to guard it. The rest is to be sent to the Redkeep. The mouth of the Blackwater is filled with wreckage from the battle and the decks are in ruins as are the shipyards, so the only option is the land. Captain Willem shall choose our thirty best men to escort the caravans, with a trusted name to lead them, perhaps Morson or Padrick.

                      Do send my regards and my love for our brothers and sisters, and tell our mother it won't be long for our father's bones to be brought back home.
                      Seven bless you,
                      From your brother,
                      Lord Alber Gargon."

                      While you were reading your brother last letter, Gretch asked permission to leave, and then you were alone. The room was warmer now, and quiet, if not for the rain outside and the cracking of the wood in the hearth. You looked to the feather and the ink at your side. Should you use this quiet moment to write your brother as Symon wished?

                      [OFF: All right, now you must decide: you will write the letter now or will you wait? You can use your brother's message as a base to how a letter would look like.]

                      THE KNIGHT

                      With cold rain hitting your armor and your face, you pressed Sugar with your heels and your knees, pushing the mare out of the muddy trail before a hidden hole could break her leg. You rode for some time following the distant green silhouette of Garth, sometimes losing him behind a small hill or a big rock, only to find him again later, punishing his horse. Garth "guided" you over a stream, a passage of rocks and a field of crops. Captain Willem and young Meryn were not far behind you, the first opening his helm from time to time to see where you and the boy were.

                      You finally caught Garth behind a huge fig tree over a small road made by the farmers in the vicinity, looking at you with a white face. The tree was enormous, protecting you and your splinted mail from much of the rain when you went under it. Not far from there, maybe two hundred feet, was the small wooden shack of Jasper, the farmer, with some ducks nearby. A thunder roared in the sky as Ser Willem removed his helmet. -Damn you, boy! You should never ran like that again, do you hear me? I trained you better than this! -He shouted with cheeks red from the chase. But Garth didn't respond. His eyes were wide, looking to the farmer's wooden house.

                      -L-Larry! -Garth pointed with a shaking finger to the ducks, more precisely to a pile of cloth in the mud close to them and in the way to the house. -It's Larry! He was g-guarding the p-path! -Cried the young guard. Ser Willem drew his longsword, Meryn looked at you with this blue eyes. It took you some time to see that clothes in the rain were in truth a man, face down in the ground, his deep green cloak hiding his leather armor. -Seven curses... -Muttered Ser Willem in a low voice and vivid eyes.

                      THE BASTARD

                      You could smell Tom's breath as you lied to his face, and you could see his little eyes tightening as his mind processed this new information. For you it was easy to read his face, and momentarily his anger turned to sincere concern for his wife's well being. But then Norwell, that rat, spoke up. -Tis is a stinking lie, Tom! I saw them with my own eyes! The fool was giggling 'n playing with his many fingers all over your wife Tom! The bastard is probably holding you as the fool escapes! -The skinny man gazed to you with a malicious smile made of crooked teeth, and Tom suddenly was filled with rage again. -Out of my way! OUT OF MY WAY! -He pushed Meldred so hard he almost threw your surprised half-brother over a table, rushing to the stairs.

                      -Get them boys! -Shouted Norwell, and in a second the workers started flipping some tables to flank you and Meldred. Tanda yelled in fear and Norwell advanced trying to grab you, instead meeting Meldred's cold blade. -Oh no, you wont. -Said your brother, his sword tip touching the skinny neck of the rat. You stepped back, looking to the other two workers, who were now holding one knife each and trying to surround you and your brother. You knew Meldred could put them down easily, but you were made of softer skin. Now this was REALLY going to get messy if Eddard don't come with a surprise upstairs.

                      THE FOOL

                      -Honey... I'm so dizzy... stop... -Dalla moaned and complained while you dressed her, or at least she tried, as she could barely speak, always thinking you were her beloved husband. Helping her to get back to the straw bed, you opened and looked her pupils, felt her heartbeating and you concluded she was just intoxicated. Heavily. The woman probably never have drank so much wine in her life, and how she is paying the price for the night of love you gave her. Leaving the woman for a moment, you started searching the room. You quickly gathered the cups and flasks of wine, throwing them outside through the window, to the rain and the mud of the tavern's backyard. Close to the window you found your purse and the small wooden box filled with maesters potions, bottles and medicines, and thanked the gods nothing was shattered during your little party with Tom's wife.

                      Suddenly you heard more shouts from downstairs, followed by heavy steps from someone in the corridor. Fuck, he is already here. You listened to Tom searching the other room, right next to yours, and you quickly reached Dalla, pushing your fingers down her throat. The woman gasped, starting to vomit right beforeBig Tom kicked the door flat, entering the room in a explosion of rage.

                      Last edited by Saturno; 1st August 2015, 09:47 PM.


                      • #12
                        Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                        ***The Heir***

                        Before the old servant can leave Alwyn halts him and gives him a stern look. "I am not the lord, my brother is Lord Gargon." then Alwyn lets the old man go.

                        Alwyn bends to the task at hand. He picks parchment and a quill and starts to write.

                        Lord Alber Gargon
                        My dear brother

                        We are rejoice with the news of King Joffrey's victory over the pretender Stannis Baratheon, such a victory has not been celebrated since Daemon Blackfyre was undone on the Redgrass Field. All our prayers go with our righteous king and our lord.

                        The news of the distress in the capital is a grevious one and we weep for them yet we have little to give beyond our own needs for the winter. A fourt from the granery would leave us starving when the land is under the snow. If you would find it possible you would be dearly welcomed return, if only for a while, and see what little food we have. Otherwise I wish you the best of luck and that the Seven will be with you in your brave deeds on the field of battle for King Joffrey.

                        Seven bless you
                        Your brother
                        Alwyn Gargon


                        • #13
                          Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                          Austace - The Knight
                          This smells like a trap.

                          Austace jumped off the saddle and grabbed his warhammer, turning immediately to Merryn.

                          -Stay here lad, I'll take a closer look. - turning to Ser Willem - Will, cover me.

                          Austace walked solid steps in the mud, feeling the rain drops run through his itching forehead. He looked up to the tree and kept his senses warned as he aproached Larry's body.
                          He at first looked for tips in the tree and surroundigs, something that could tell the tale that happened there.

                          Arrows on the mud, footprints, anything!

                          Austace general Awareness roll:
                          3D6 = [2, 2, 1] = 5

                          Finally aproaching the corpse, he turned it over, checking pockets and looking for any information he could get.
                          A different man would have tried to first check if the boy was alive or what led to his death, but Austace already had too much of it for giving any special care for the lad.

                          Just another corpse, not so different from the ones we burried today.

                          Austace second Awareness roll over the body
                          3D6 = [5, 2, 6] = 13
                          Last edited by Tyrondir; 27th July 2015, 03:37 AM.


                          • #14
                            Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                            The Fool

                            “In the Seven’s name, can you not show some respect. We have a sick woman in here." Evidence of her illness lay on the floor in front of her.

                            He pretended not to see Tom, instead concentrating on the men who accompanied him.

                            “And where have you been?” he gestured in the direction of Tom’s companions, figuring at least one of them had been here last night, and would quickly incriminate himself, allowing him to focus the correct one. “I sent you to find this poor lady’s husband and bring him here post haste.”

                            Then he pretended to now realise that Tom was stood there.

                            “Oh,” he clapped his hands, “excellent, you have finally arrived. Your poor lady is not well. I believe that somebody drugged her drink last night and I have been ministering to her to ensure that her life was not in danger." Eddard kept talking, not giving Tom a chance to think before he could completely change his perception

                            “Come in, come in,” Eddard waved Tom in, “she has been asking for you. She has had to sweat out whatever it was slipped duplicitously into her drink last night and she is still having a bad reaction."

                            bluff bluff the big man: 4d6k4 17


                            • #15
                              Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                              The Bastard

                              Allyn rolled his eyes, petty violence displeased him, especially this early in the morning. Looking at Norwell, he said matter-of-factually, his voice cold as mountain stream:

                              "Norwell, you silly rat. I'll have you know Lord Gargon issued strict orders last morrow. If anyone is to be caught making trouble on his lands, including this reputable institution, will find himself missing a hand. So I'd put down those knives of yours boys, and leave, and than I might be in mood good enough not to mention this little incident to my brother." he spoke and slowly reached for his stilleto, just in case.

                              Deception (Bluff): 6D6 .HIGH(4) = [2, 6, 3, 5, 2, 4] = 18

                              "What is it with you inciting poor Tom like this anyway?" he asks, hoping to sense real motivation behind Norwell's actions.

                              Awareness (Empathy): 5D6 .HIGH(3) = [3, 1, 3, 1, 4] = 10