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

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  • #16
    Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead


    With only the company of the clanking wood from the windows and the occasional thunder roaring in the rain outside, you wrote your letter carefully, finishing it by pressing the hot wax with the ring of your family. You glared at the metallic object for a moment. It was silver, with a bronze rugged whale sculpted on it. Your father used this ring for every day of his rule, but took it off before marching for war. Could he be aware of his fate? The image of him and his host passing through the castle gates is still fresh in your memories, you noticed as you asked for a servant to send the letter for Master Symon. You stayed a while in silence, listening to the rain outside, when the door opened revealing the round face of Almaric, the guard. -My lord, my father... huh, Master Mortymer is here to see you.

    With your leave, Mortymer entered the room and made a reverence. -Greetings, my lord. The weather is bleak outside, but I believe I have something that will shine our day. -In his youth Mortymer was a big and burly man, but the years of good life have made him soft, with a round belly and pronounced bottoms. In contrast to the moss green that Symon used in his robes, Mortymer wore a fabulous vest of woolen gold thread over a fine purple cloak, and a green bonnet covering his brown receding hair. He was caught by the rain, to judge his expensive clothes sprinkled with water. -For long I've wondered how could your family find a way out of it's actual situation, difficult as it is. -He noticed by your expression over the account books he needed not to linger into this subject. -My lord knows how many days we lost in this very room facing the hard truth that the lands income is not enough to cover Lord Alber's investiments, but I also spent nights awake wondering about the answer for our problems, and I believe I have found it. What this castle need is a loan. -He said, exactly as Symon told you he would say. -But not a common loan. Not one from the Crown, that would be counter-productive, considering the recent efforts of Lord Alber to befriend the King. The Faith is also not an option, as for almost a century our lands have failed to honor the Seven with a proper temple since the burning of the Sea Sept. The Iron Bank of Braavos is far too severe, and the Lannisters are too aligned to the King's court. -Mortymer stopped to get a step closer to you. -But there is someone else out there, young Alwyn. Someone who is in deep debt with your House, a debt that seems unnoticed by everyone else. Out there is someone who would not simply loan the needed gold and supplies to our House, but in fact would pay us for what he owes. Or at least, be persuaded as such.

    The fat man smiled, prideful of his plan.


    With caution, you abandoned the cover of the huge tree and went to the rain to meet the man in the mud. Ser Willem was right behind you, his arming sword wet and ready. Littlefish stayed under the tree with Garth as you ordered, but you knew the boy hated it. He wanted to go with you, but he also was obedient. Staring Jasper's wooden shack while approaching the man, you noticed the door was open, with rain pouring inside. And when you reached the man, you noticed an arrow pitched in his back. Black and yellow the feathers were. Baratheon's colors.

    -It's him. It's Harry. -Willem said after a quick glance when you turned the man up. He was covered in blood, and it became clear it was not the arrow that killed him. His throat had been cut open, and his blood was one with the mud. -By the gods. -Willem said with a low voice, avoiding to look into the dead eyes of the boy he trained. You noticed Larry was without his knife, his spear and his shortsword. The ground was a mess, and the rain was cleaning any track you could follow. By what you and Willem can guess by the thick mud, at least a dozen men passed over Larry in different moments.

    -SER AUSTACE! -Littlefish shouted from under the tree, and when you looked at him he was pointing to the wooden shack. A thin man was at the door, signaling you and the captain to approach, a man Willem recognized as Jasper.

    -They k-killed him! -Jasper said when you reached his house. He was in his late thirties, and he was shaking. His wife was right behind him, holding his arm and completely mute. -B-Buckets and the other guards were h-here holding the b-bandits, b-but then more of them appeared in the crops. F-five of them. T-They captured Larry a-and threatened to kill him if... if Buckets and the others didn't released them friends... but they killed him anyway!! -While Willem tried to calm down the man, you glanced at the small shack. There were two dead men in the ground. Dirty men, covered in rough patched cloaks. Probably the ones Garth told you didn't surrendered when caught. By what you can see, it was clear they died during a fight. -W-when them robbers escaped, Buckets waited a while and then went to follow them with the other guards. -Buckets was how Robbet was called, you don't know exactly why, but you remember it has something to do with a story involving a bucket of horse shit. He was an older man from the garrison, and he was accompanying the younger lads as an order of Ser Willem. The old knight considered important that every patrol had at least one tested man.

    When asked by Willem, Jasper pointed outside, to the woods on the other side of the hills. -Them bandits were on foot, they disappeared in the hills, but I think they are heading to the Shivering Woods. -The Shivering Woods were part of the Kingswood, named after the infamous Smiling Knight that terrorized these lands many years ago, as it was impossible for one to enter his domains without shivering in fear for one's life.

    -Those are Blount lands. Could it be that those rats are hiding under the very nose of Lord Beros Blount? -The old knight asked you. You thought that yes, it could be very possible. Lord Beros was a man more known for his banquets than for his courage. The late Lord Gargon considered Beros Blount to be lazy, vulgar and stupid, someone whose greatest achievement was being the brother of one member of the Kingsguard.

    -If they're on foot we can chase them, Austace. -Willem said, water dripping from his mustache. -There are at least seven of them. If we find Buckets and the others, we'll be equally matched. We must hurry. -Yes, you thought. But they have arrows. For you the rain would be a blessing for the long distance, making the aiming almost impossible, but fighting in a closer space, like in the woods, it would not be of much protection.


    Big Tom's face turned white as milk when he saw you holding his wife as she vomited without control in the floor. -Mother's mercy! -The big man cried, helping you to hold her. -I...I... I was working... N-Norwell told me she was having d-drinks with you! -When you mentioned that someone drugged her, he looked at you with huge eyes. -WHAT? Someone did this on purpose? But why? WHY? -His thick hands started to close. -C-Can you save her? -The huge man grabbed you by the shoulders, and you felt like a children being shaken by an adult. -PLEASE EDDARD, PLEASE SAVE HER! DON'T LET MY WIFE DIE I LOVE THIS WOMAN EDDARD!

    It took you a lot of effort to not vomit yourself when the giant started shaking you, but you convinced him to calm down. -Oh my sweet, sweet Dalla. -Tom approached his little wife, touching her with all the care in the world, as if she was some kind of tiny flower. -Who did this to you? Tell me. Tell me who did this and I'll kill him. I swear by the Seven above, Dalla. No one hurts my wife.


    Upon hearing all that talk about those orders from Lord Gargon, the salt workers suddenly changed glares, and you could see their courage waving. To mess with the bastard's inn was one thing, but to mess with the guard was another. Norwell stepped back, fearful from Meldred's sword. But he was not quitting yet. -Horseshit. This man is tricking you, lads. Lord Alber does not give a shit for his bastard cousins. Why should he? -He smiled with those crooked yellow teeth. -Are you hearing this? -He pointed upstairs, to where Big Tom was kicking doors and shouting like a maniac. -Old Tom is going to teach your stinking friend about what happens to smirking wife-fuckers like him. He deserves a beating, that fucking cunt, always thinking he is better than us, always thinking he can rob us and spit in us. But NOW he's going to have what he deserves.

    So that's what this is all about, you thought. Norwell was one of Eddard's constant victims at the table, so what happened? He grew tired of being cheated in dices, cards and bones and resolved to snitch the bard's activities as a payback. You stared his all confident mug suddenly turn white as milk when the roaring voice of Tom burst up there. -PLEASE EDDARD, PLEASE SAVE HER! DON'T LET MY WIFE DIE I LOVE THIS WOMAN EDDARD!


    The dead man was staring you. Or he would be, if he had eyes. Those were long gone now, probably the work of gulls. But you could not stop looking at him. His face was destroyed, charred bones with chunks of burnt meat. What an horrible death. The Battle of the Whispering Wood was a massacre, with the northmen cutting through you just like knives cutting butter, but even that hell could not be as terrifying as the burning rain of green fire. Still, you could not forget the men in the woods. The men slowly dying under the trees. Cut, bleeding, broken. Some of them were praying for help, some for death. All received the last though. And you could still hear they crying. Even now you could still hear them.


    The rough voice pulled you from your thoughts. Master Errol was in front of you. He, completely soaked in the rain. You, dry and close to the smith's fire. -I said it's done, m'lord. -He pointed to the cart with the corpses. -Only three this morning. With luck tomorrow we'll find fewer, and if the Mother is good, this crap will end in a few days. M'lord. -Errol was a hard and undisciplined man that you're sure have murdered and raped his share during his youth. Now he is old, but still tough as nails. With your leave, the Master of the Port shouted the workers to pull the cart and got back to his business. You turned your back to the rain, entering the workplace of your friend.

    Polliver was seated, failing to cut a chunk of yellow cheese with his knife. Polliver was a big man, completely bald, strong and burly, with thick arms carved from heavy work at the anvil. But he was a mess since the Whispering Wood, where he was fighting at your side, and where he lost half his arm saving your life from an arrow. The wound festered, and the Lannister healer had to cut almost everything out. The fat piece of cheese was something you brought him from the castle. And of course you hated how you could do little to repay what he did for you. He was a good friend of you since you both lived in Bronzegate, and when you came to Greenwalls, it was only natural for him to come with you.

    -If I was Lord Alber I would hang this one in the first day. -He said about Errol, giving up the cheese and grabbing a chunk of bread before biting it. -Hey! You! Boy! What the fuck you think you're doing? -He shouted to one of his assistants, who was ready to put some red horseshoes on water. -What? Did you finished? Do you call that a finished work? I can see from here that it is still bent! You can't cool it like that you piece of shit! Do you want to break the horse's hoof? It can't be bent! Start hammering again! Don't you dare stop until this horseshoe is as straight as the cock you're going to kiss tonight!

    Polliver sat down again, with his face completely red. He was always an angry cunt, but you know this last year has been though on you two. -Balian, thank you for the cheese. -He was normal again, talking smoothly. He was just like that. -But you know what I need. What I want. -He looked at you. You know what he would ask. -Otto. My son. I want him with me. Please, Balian. Help me. He is a stubborn fuck, just like me, but I don't want him on the garrison. This fucking war is far from ending. I need him here, taking care of my business, safe. Not out there dying in the mud because one lordly decided to send him marching to death. But he don't listen to me. Maybe he'll listen to you. Or hell, if he don't listen to you too then talk to your sister, talk to Willem, talk to anyone who can kick him out of the guard. That is what I need, Balian.
    Last edited by Saturno; 08-04-2015, 06:39 PM.


    • #17
      Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

      The Bastard

      Hearing Tom pleading for Eddard's help filled Allyn with relief. Now these bloody saltworkers lost their own big bad leader, and stood there helpless and alone against his own wits and Meldred's fine sharp blade. Table has turned, and it was a good day.

      "It appears your friend sudenly befriended my good Eddard. Like I said you have two choices, lose a hand or move away from here. My brother, the Lord, is a busy man, and I just might take the justice into my own hands in order not to distract him from noble obligations he must fulfill daily." Allyn said and swiftly drew a stilleto, swiftly for a cripple at least.

      "This here is a sharp blade, I bet you never saw anything as sharp as it." Allyn gripped his walking cane and limped toward Norwell.

      "Hold him Mel, he has one palm too much" the bastard grinned, "It is about time to change that inconvenience".

      Allyn hoped they would disperse and run, but with Tom begging for Eddard's help, the three of them were helpless, and even if they did not run, it would be entertaining if they tried to fight them. Almost as much as if they shat their breeches and ran away.


      • #18
        Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

        The Fool

        Eddard smiled inwardly; it seemed as if he was going to keep his head attached to his neck after all.

        "Don't worry Tom, Dalla will be fine. This isn't life threatening, but she will be feeling delicate for the next day or so," he consoled Tom, "I have not yet had chance to look into what miscreant might have attempted this, but rest assured, I will find out."

        He patted Tom on the back, as he handed him a mixture; "Now, Dalla should sip this gently over the next few minutes to help her recuperate. I will let our gracious host know that Dalla is out of the woods and you are not planning to destroy his fine establishment. We will then be able

        Eddard sauntered downstairs, closing the door behind him, breathing a sigh of relief, to find the standoff before him.

        Eddard is mixing something to alleviate Dalla's sickness and hangover

        Hangover remediation: 3d6k3 13


        • #19
          Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

          The Soldier

          Balian looked at his friend and patted him on the soldier. "I will do my best, you know that. I will go and speak with Otto." Balian looks down and picks up the knife. Grabbing the hunk of cheese Balian begins to cut it into smaller chunks. "As for the cheese, it is the least that I could do. I owe you a debt that can never be repaid. If not for you I would have bled out and died in the Whispering Woods. After I was struck down and left for dead, it was you that found me. It was you that stood over me and took that arrow that was meant for me. I owe you my life."

          Standing up Balian moves over to the doorway and grabs his long axe that had been resting against the wall. Turning back and looking at Polliver, Balian nods his head and steps back outside into the rain. Moving up the muddy street Balian begins to look for Otto.


          • #20
            Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

            The knight

            Damn stag bastards!

            Austace passed his fingers in his wet hair, trying to make sense of the situation.

            - This lad had an arrow on his back before they release the hostages? - asked him cynically, while pointing his finger in the direction of Larry's corpse.

            Why in the Seven Hells, these boys thought the bandits would release the lad then? They pillaged Larry's weapons, but was that arrow there just out of brutality?

            Austace tried to think, but seeing that people around him waited for an answer, decided that was time for action, not for thinking.
            He heard the name of Beros Blount and made his opnion on the matter.

            I don't like the idea of making justice in foreign lands, but if House Blount lacks the muscle or the heart to deal with these vermin, it's up to me.

            - Let's go!- said Austace moving to his horse. - Once we find them, take care for the archers.

            Father, help me bring justice and Warrior lend me your strength when the time comes. This is just going to get messier.


            • #21
              Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

              ***The Heir***

              Riddles and teases. Alwyn thinks to himself. I have no stomach for this.

              "And just who would you suggest a potential loan might be taken from?" the heir asks. "I've no intention to put my House in debt unless I need to and the money can be made to breed."


              • #22
                Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                THE HEIR

                Mortymer looked like he could explode with pride. -Lord Wendel Wendwater. -He finally said in a low voice, a step closer from your table. -Young Alwyn, the answer was right under our nose this whole time. As part of my work I'm constantly dealing with our neighbors, their stewards, trade officials and merchant guilds, and between these men there are many rumors about Lord Wendel's coffers. Apparently his third son Walmon returned from his travels in Essos a few days before the Blackwater, and with a ship full with riches from the east. By what I learned, and it was not easy to find this kind of information, Lord Wendel's treasure was never so full.

                You remember Lord Wendel well. He often visited Greenwalls with his children, and he was a good friend of your late father. Or at least that was what everyone thought until the war came. Your uncle Balian told you about his cowardice in the field, and how his cavalry stood in silence as the wolves sliced through the ranks of the lions. He certainly could not change the course of the battle, as the defeat was obvious, but with one precise charge he could have saved your father's life and the lives of so many others, allowing the men to retreat in order. Wendel the Weak, you uncle called him, saying that if Jaime Lannister was not a hostage from the North, he would personally cut the man head from his shoulders. Since they return from the Riverlands, the lord hid himself in his castle and was never seen again.

                -He owes you, Alwyn. He owes your whole family. And he knows that, he knows that every man north of the Kingswood knows his shame. And he certainly fears the King's wrath. I believe we can use this in our favor. We can approach him as if asking a loan, and during the negotiations we could remind him of his debt to you. A blood debt. That you could graciously forgive, for gold. -He showed you the account books. -If the man has any remaining shred of honor, he would be obliged to help us, giving us enough gold to endure and thrive again. Enough coin to help your people, your land and your brother.

                THE KNIGHT

                While Willem quickly instructed Jasper to bury the dead, you faced the heavy rain again, running back to the fig tree. Meryn and Garth received you, the boy silent with Sugar ready in his hands, and Garth still scared. -He is really dead? Larry? But... but... -The guard gasped, unbelieving. Your silence and Willem's sad face was enough to shut him up. The four of you mounted again, riding in the rain now with you and Willem in the front.

                You rode and rode, hearing little beyond the strong windblown against your face, the constant clinging of the cold water in your helmet, and the occasional thunder in the sky. The rain was becoming a storm, you thought. The horizon was divided in two: the grey of the rain and the black irregular past. Sugar was starting to get weary, with her hooves getting stuck in the mud, when you finally saw the line of trees that divided the Gargon and the Blount lands. Meryn shouted, making all of you stop. -There! -The boy pointed to a small formation of rocks were a small band of men were reunited. -There they are! Our men! -Those rocks were in truth terribly old pillars sculpted by the First Men that lived in the Kingswood millennia ago. Maybe one day they were part of a bigger structure, maybe an altar, but now they were nothing more than big chunks of stone covered in moss.

                Getting closer to the guards, you recognized Buckets. He was a bit older than you, with pox-marked face and a huge round red nose. -Captain! -He waved his hand, walking towards your horses. -They killed Larry, Ser Willem. Just sliced his throat as if he was a fucking pig, damn stags. We followed them at a distance, until they entered the woods. Nine stags in total. Probably most of the band that is stealing from the folks this last weeks. It is good to see you, I was thinking about going back to the castle for fear of being ambushed.

                You looked to the other guards, waiting in the rocks. Lamprey was a lean, older man, with the looks of a fisher, not a guard. Samm was a young man, about Meryn's age and with wet hair covering his eyes. He was obviously afraid, looking nervously to the line of trees of the Shivering Woods while holding his spear. -How were they armed? -Asked Willem in a low voice. -Axes and clubs, but one of them has a bow, and he is good with it. Half of them were clearly men at arms, deserters for sure, the others little more than thieves attracted by the loot, Ser. But down there in the woods, I don't know. I don't think it is a good idea to go after them like that, Captain.

                Willem reached you, asking you discreetly, as he frequently did when divided by doubt. -What do you think Austace? Nine of them. Seven of us. They could be the whole band for what we know. Maybe we can even take them by surprise. But I think this is only possible with the best sword of the Kingswood. -He pointed to you. -So what do you think, my friend?

                THE BASTARD AND THE FOOL

                Eddard silently walked down the stairs without being noticed by Norwell and his friends, who now apparently are not so interested in fighting as they were moments ago. Muttering excuses and threats they retreated, stepping back and going outside with their knives. Norwell lingered a little more, fearful of Meldred's blade but angry enough to not move. That is, until he saw Eddard in the stairs. Then he raised a menacing hand and pointed to Eddard with contempt. -You watch yourself, Greybard. There may come a day you will not have your friends here to protect you, and when you least... -Meldred's sword sliced the air missing Norwell's nose for a finger. The saltworker jumped in fright and almost fell over his own feet, running outside in fear as Meldred threatened to run after him, stopping at the door. With a smile, the warrior sheathed his sword. -What? I was not going to hit him!

                Well, apparently it was finished. For now. Allyn stared the rain outside. It was becoming a storm, and that means the salterns will stay halted for at least the rest of the day. So the saltworkers will have a lot of freetime to plan their revenge. Or at least Norwell will. Tanda immediately started cleaning the place again, without questions. It was possible to hear Big Tom's muffed voice as he talked to his wife upstairs.

                THE SOLDIER

                Polliver waved his hand, dismissing your gratitude. -Alright, alright! You're acting like my wife, there is no reason to get emotional. Just bring my son, convince him to get off the garrison. If he is too stupid to comply, then talk to your sister, to Willem, to anyone, so they kick him out.

                Going out to the rain, you abandoned the heat and comfort of the blacksmith to have the streets. The small village was filled with people, refugees from the Riverlands mainly, desperate people received in King's Landing with closed gates. Many have come pulling carts, wains or wagons, and have been building small shacks to live this whole year. The population has tripled since the beginning of the war, so most of the faces you saw watching the rain in the windows and running from the storm were completely unknown to you. And that is not a pleasant situation.

                You walked to the sentry house in the heart of the village, where you probably could find Otto. The sentry house was a big cabin with heavy wooden walls and a base of stones, the oldest structure in the village. A pair of guards were watching the door steps, and you could see and smell that the interior was full with men. You walked in, dripping a lot of water, only to find yourself in a dusky and cold place. There were probably two dozen men in the sentry house. Some were seated in the two large tables next to the entrance, some were talking silently close to the windows, and a few young lads were cleaning the place, going in and out the back door, and a few were outside, under the big extension of the hoof, talking loudly and chewing sourleaf. The place smelled like sweat, old leather and oil.

                -M'lord, can I help you? -Said an older man when you entered. He was closer to the entrance, seated in the table, and trying to pierce new holes in a belt with a knife. You recognized him as Jared, one of Captain Willem trusted men. For what you could see there was no sign of both Willem and Otto.
                Last edited by Saturno; 08-28-2015, 03:22 PM.


                • #23
                  Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                  THE FOOL

                  Eddard bowed mockingly as the others fled from the den;

                  "I am of course your humble servant," he smiled, watching them leave hurriedly, before he turned to Allyn.

                  "Well, that was bracing and it appears that I owe you again. No doubt you'll come up with some task that I can help you with. You always do."

                  He looked back upstairs and sighed, "I'd best get those two lovebirds home and get back to the castle. I'm sure your brother will need my help with something."


                  • #24
                    Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead


                    "Gold could be useful, and Lord Wendel must somehow compensate us for the losses his cowardice has inflicted." Alwyn agrees. "But if he stood still to let the wolves eat our men, why would he have the honor to empty his coffers for us now? How many horse and foot eat from his tables? How strong are his walls? I fear that if he rejects our proposal it could mean we are needed to use force in order to back up our claim least our word is considered weak. Or is there some other way to ensure that he will not throw our rightful request in our face?"


                    • #25
                      Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                      The Soldier

                      Balian looks over at Jared as he speaks. Moving out of the doorway so as not to impede anyone Balian moves over to where he can speak with Jared in a semi-private conversation.

                      "Thank you Jared, actually you can help me. I'm looking to speak to Otto and Sir Willem. It's in reference to a request from his father."

                      Glancing around the room Balian catches hinself as he remembered all the times that he had spent doing the same preparations before a battle. Pulling himself back from the daydream, Balian sits down across from Jared.

                      "His father is gaving a rough time since returning from the war. The loss of his arm has only aggravated the situation. He wants Otto to step down from the garrison and to help him at his smithy.

                      The problem I see with that is that if he's half as good as his father at being a soldier then that's going to be easier said than done. Yet I owe a debt to his father that can never be repaid.

                      From one soldier to another, what is your opinion about Otto?


                      • #26
                        Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                        At least, time to finish up the porridge, Allyn thought.

                        "Oh, please Eddard, what are friends for other than protection and loyalty? All is for free, all is safe and sound when it comes to you and me and our friendship - know that. No need to return the favor." the bastard smiled crookedly.

                        When the castle fool started walking away, Allyn made a remark in a very easygoing manner

                        "Oh and, while you are there - in the castle - will you see if you can find out who transports food to the kitchens? It's for a bet, Meldred here and me seem to disagree who performs that function, and made a wager about it too."


                        • #27
                          Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                          Eddard gave Allyn a curious look and rolled his eyes. No doubt there was more to this request than Allyn was claiming. He'd get the answer and ensure that if they are asked to do anything, they would let him know.

                          "My thanks Allyn, Meldred and I will of course find out the answer to your little request."

                          He gave Allyn a friendly wave and walked back upstairs to check on Dalla and Tom. She would soon be in a state to go home and then he could get on with a few thing.

                          At least he was able to go home fully clothed.


                          • #28
                            Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                            Austace - The Knight

                            Austce's mouth twisted as he had disapointment in his face. He felt tense, but not for himself though.
                            Those men were as much soldiers as that drunkard this morning was a septon.
                            Those were the men he would be leading. But then again, they'll be fighting bandits.

                            -These stags were broken in Blackwater. - Said him him with a voice low enough to be heard just by the soldiers. - They are cowards and murderers. Each of you is a better man then they are. You were trained by Will, there's no way that you would be defeated by them. They are the ones running. Let's show them how we treat unpleasant guests!
                            5D6 = [3, 1, 1, 5, 1] = 11

                            Final result = 10(Damn! I hope they have low will! )

                            Austace turn directly to Willhem and said:
                            - Will, I'll go ahead with half the boys, you stay some meters back with the other half giving us cover. If you spot the archer scream the direction and wait for my orders. If he's close we will try a run for it, otherwise unless I say otherwise use the trees. The wind is in our favor today.

                            Following for the woods after it.
                            Last edited by Tyrondir; 08-17-2015, 08:29 AM.


                            • #29
                              Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                              THE HEIR

                              The rain outside turned into a storm as you listened to Master Mortymer's words. When inquiring him of his certainty about Lord Wendel's treasure, you noticed he almost anticipated your objection. -Precisely, young Alwyn! Any other day I would agree with you, and wouldn't put a second thought about this little proposition... but alas, your faithful servant here has good friends in Lord Wendel's lands, and from those friends I've learned that Wendel is fearful of repercussion from King's Landing for his actions in the war. Your uncle, Ser Balian, is probably the loudest survivor of the Whispering Woods to vocally expose Wendel's actions, and his words have spread deep through the smallfolk, reaching Lord Wendel's lands. His own people are calling him a traitor, it seems. So I believe the Lord of Wendwater is more than inclined to resolve this enmity between the two Houses locally, without the Crown interference, and to even accept a disadvantageous negotiation if this means the fading of his terrible reputation. -That was something new for you. You were always aware of your uncle's wrath towards the Lord of the Wendwater, and how your mother more than anyone suffered and hated Lord Wendel for his cowardice, but you would never imagine the Lord's own folk would turn against him, even if only in taverns, while drinking, and never in his face. Your father always told you that every lord's castle was as strong as the love of his people.

                              The plump steward looked over his shoulder, as to make sure you two were completely alone. -I've put some thought about those news, young Alwyn. It could be very possible for these associates of mine telling me this secretly by order of Lord Wendel himself. It could be this is his discreet way to make amends with your house without submitting to the shame of coming to your castle and ask forgiveness to your brother. Of course, he could never imagine we're in need for coin and that his purse could means our salvation!

                              THE FOOL

                              Allyn's protection has a price, you wondered. It would be easy for you to move a few pieces together and make some food sidetrack to the castle for Allyn's place. With that kind of high quality supply he could expand his business from simple gambling house to a major inn. Of course the obvious obstacles to this enterprise would be Mortymer and Master Symon, always lurking in the castle trying to stop any kind of leak. But the major problem is the risk. This could be a dangerous game for Allyn, a game he would not be prepared to play, as the penalty for such a grave crime would surely be hanging. Perhaps you could offer him something else in return for his help, and convince him that it is for his own good. Yes, perhaps.

                              Upstairs, your thoughts are interrupted by the massive Tom, who was carrying his moaning wife in his big arms. He was still wet from the rain, and his face was sad and angry. -This is not the end of it. I'll take care of my Dalla now, but we're going to speak again, you and I. -He said before going downstairs and leaving the gambling house. And he was right. Norwell's actions could not go unanswered. He would probably lay low for a while, but sooner or later he would come again after you. Maybe he would find Tom's ear again and set him up against you, maybe he would find a brute willing to sell his fists for a few coins, or maybe he would even meet you with a knife in a dark corner of the now bustling village. It would be probably good for you to stay inside the castle for a few days.

                              For your surprise, someone approached you silently while you were getting your stuff ready to go in your room. A dirty man, probably one of the group that was sleeping in the common room. He just tossed a piece of paper in your direction, and vanished, walking back to his straw bed with his friends. You didn't recognized him, but you could barely see his face under his messy beard and dirty hair.

                              THE BASTARD

                              Back to your porridge, you and Meldred watched the Grey Bard going back to his room and Big Tom walking down the stairs, holding his barely conscious wife in his arms, covered in blankets. He gazed you and your half-brother cautiously. -Dalla is to never step again in this place. -He said between hard pressed lips, waiting for your understanding, and then walked off to the rain. Tanda was closing the windows again, as the winds were getting stronger and stronger, and after a while watching you eat your porridge in silence, Meldred prepared to leave too. -Well, I'll take care of that business with the Maid. I'll come back with your coin, brother. Tanda, you take care of him. -He said with a smile, taking a cloak over the balcony to face the harsh weather outside.

                              You watched Tanda finishing cleaning the place, and later her sister came to help her with the cooking. Sooner it would be midday and the folk would come to eat. Many of the new mouths in town were hungry, and you found that you could charge them a considerable sum for even the simplest lunch, so there were Tanda and her sister cutting onions and preparing soup. Saddly it was difficult to buy more food, one more reason for you to find a breach under the castle's kitchen. You could even arrange somekind of arrangement for the garrison for them to eat daily in your establishment. You know Sour Symon was impossible to reason with, but Mortymer would see some sense in such proposition - without knowing he would be paying for his own food, of course. Anyway, this kind of negotiation should be made with Alber himself, as the hot-headed lord was more gullible in matters of trade than his silent young brother.

                              In less than an hour, your establishment turned from a gambling den filled with drunks to a small tavern, with folk trying to escape the storm and fill their bellies with Tanda's soup. They were mainly fishers, but there was a trio of woodcutters, a merchant with his servant, a pair of travelers and two Shelling guards clothed in green. Tanda's sister, Nelia, could not attend all of them, and so you went to serve mead for a few of the men. When bringing the guards some mugs of mead, you could not help but listen to their conversation with the merchant.

                              -...know where this man is staying, so all I need is men willing to finish this kind of work. It is not pretty, I tell you that, but I want his head for what he's done. I'm willing to pay you enough coin to bought this whole place if you bring it for me. -The merchant was obviously dornish, thanks to his olive skin. He was richly clothed, but his fine cloth was covered by the heavy soaked cloak he wore over his shoulders. His servant was also dornish, and stayed on his feet without moving the whole time at his side. A rich dornishman willing to open his purse was not a common sight, you thought leaving the mugs of mead on the table. -Wine for me. Water and a leaf of bread for the boy. -The dornishman told you, without even looking at you.

                              THE SOLDIER

                              -Ser Willer is burying them. The dead. Otto last time I saw was yesterday at night, playing dice at Allyn's place. -Jared waved his hands for the other men to leave the table, pointing the wooden bench to seat. He dropped the belt and sheathed his knife, listening your words carefully as other guards passed in and out the sentry house. -Aye, I know Polliver and his problems, Ser. -He told you, his face full of wrinkles. -He is a good man, and his work was good too, everyone here can tell you that. But his new boys can't do shit. This knife here is good only for piercing belts, see how it is already cracked? Bought from Polliver not long ago thinking it was as good as his iron once was, but it's already useless. Sooner or later will break, luckily inside a stag. -The guard showed you his knife. Indeed the blade was already dented, proof that the metal was ill-made. -Now Otto is another story. Ugly as hell but a good man indeed. Not very bright - he laughed - but a life around his father's forge made him a strong man, and good with weapons too. -A little more serious, Jared came closer. -If you want my opinion, Ser... take him away from the guard and the garrison will lose one of it's best swords to gain an average blacksmith. -He told you looking you in the eye. -But then, to have no smith at all as it is now, is even worse. -He laughed, realizing he was not being very helpful. -Well, there he is!

                              Jared pointed to outside, and from the rain emerged the smith's son. Otto had broad shoulders, big ears and a broken nose. His eyes were small and seemingly stupid, and he was already losing hair in his late twenties. His father was not a pretty lad, but Otto was even worse, gaining the title "Otto the Ugly" by the other men of the guard. His face was stern, as if he was mourning. One of the other guards shouted from far away. -So how were the dices, Otto? Won enough to visit Sassy Sara? -You knew that Sara was an expensive whore from the Red Garden, the brothel in the Wendwater land's famous for it's redheads. He shouted in response. -I must be missing something, because every night I try to reach one of the Red Roses only to wake up fucked by the Grey Bard! The garrison exploded in laughs. At least the man have a sense of humor, you think.

                              -Otto. -Jared called him. -Ser Balian wants a word with you. -The smither's son suddenly grew quiet and tense, only now noticing you in the room and making a reverence.

                              THE KNIGHT

                              Your words were met with uncomfortable silence by the men, looking at each other. Buckets readily gathered his things to follow you, while Garth was a bit more incredulous, trying to say something but unable to. Meryn stayed quiet too, as he was too obedient to object, but you could feel in his silence that he really wanted to go with you and Buckets, and not stay in the rearguard. Ser Willem glanced at you one last time in approval, before you went to the woods with Buckets and Garth.

                              Bolts of lightning crossed the sky in the horizon, and it did not take long for you to hear and feel the thunder in the sky as you and the pair of guards crossed the wall of trees that formed the beginning of the woods. Fifty feet behind you Willem was leading Lamprey, Samm and Meryn, and as you entered the woods the trees started blocking your view of them. Buckets, on foot, was right in front of you, while you was on Sugar, and Garth, right behind you, with teeth clanking, mounted on his brown horse.

                              It was darker under the tall trees, and you could hear the howling of the wind bending the woods with it's strength. A small stream blocked your path, with it's water spattering under the rain. The other margin was higher, with rocks covered with moss. These were Blount lands now, you thought.

                              -Ser Austace! -Buckets called you while crossing the stream, axe in hand. -Best to follow unhorsed, Ser-AAARGH! -His words were interrupted by the sound of wood cracking, and Buckets fell on the water, his shield pierced by a spear. A second spear crossed the air, coming from the rocks upstream and hitting the tree next to Garth, who screamed in fear. And suddenly you felt a punch in your chest, as if hit by a giant, and the world started spinning with the sound of shouts around you. You leaned back, holding the heels of your horse, pulling yourself back to the saddle, only to find an arrow nailed in your chest and more spears being thrown at your men. You're alive, so the armor stopped the arrow, but not completely: you feel the point in your flesh, you just can't feel the pain yet.

                              On the other margin, over a big rock, were three stags, one of them with the bow that shoot you, but at the same time a band of rugged men started charging downstream, coming from your left flank, with axes and maces in hand. Buckets was rising from the water to meet them with his damaged shield. Garth was to your right trying to control his horse, and you prayed that Willem and the others were coming to your aid.

                              [OOC: This first round was a surprise attack, with the bandits successfully hitting you and Buckets. You took 12 damage from the arrow that hit you, -7 from your armor to a total of 5 damage. You can soak in your Health or absorb with injuries. Now comes the first round of combat. There is no need for Initiative right now, consider that you act first, then the bandits, then your allies, unless you use Warfare (Tactics) to make your allies act first, then the bandits, then you. Willem and his party will only enter combat on the second round.]
                              Last edited by Saturno; 08-24-2015, 06:19 PM.


                              • #30
                                Re: (IC) - The Price of Power - Chapter 1: Whispers of the Dead

                                THE FOOL

                                He watched Tom and Dalla leave, feeling a little sorry for her getting caught up in Norvell's poor attempt at revenge. Last night would be the last time and there were other ladies who might deserve his attention.

                                Spotting the message that had been left for him. Eddard read the note, memorising its contents before lighting a candle and burning the contents. He gathered up his belongings before heading downstairs and moving up close to Allyn.

                                "Allyn," he whispered, "I think I know what you are planning about the food, but considering current circumstances, it may not be the best idea. Let me think on it and I'll see what I can do. There may be other opportunities afoot that could be used. I will send word and may have need of your talents to secure it."

                                With that, he set off back to the castle, happy to have a few guards between him and Norvell, even if everybody did tend to underestimate him.