• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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First Lieutenant
Feb 26, 2009
204
0



Introduction.
In order of a rewrite! All you need to know right now is that this AAR is based on a game I'm playing using Grell's amazing Westeros Mod - War of the Usurper modification for Crusader Kings, and partially inspired by the magnificent AAR 'Rome AARissen - a Byzantine AAR' by General_BT. My AAR will not aspire to be like General_BT's masterpiece, but it will try to stand on its own. It's a narrative AAR with no screenshots integrated into the narrative itself (but I will post amusing/interesting screenshots from time to time, or on request!). It exists out of multiple chapters that describe certain events that befell the Corbrays. All of which are, more than less, based on what actually happened in the game.

I began the game in the first scenario, Robert's Rebellion and I decided to play House Corbray, rulers of Heart's Home in the Vale of Arryn. A poor house, headed by an ambitious and arrogant man with little more than a blade made of Valyrian steel.

For those interested in settings: I play on cowardly/hard. I hope you will forgive the often crummy grammar and spelling. I try my best, but English is not my native tongue. Nevertheless, I do sincerely hope you'll enjoy this AAR! :)

As a final note, those who have not read the brilliant books/watched the amazing series. Have little fear for spoilers. This AAR begins about 15 years before the events of Game of Thrones, and everything goes batshit off the rails soon after. Up to and including chapter III (which hasn't been written yet) you might encounter canon characters whose lives turned out completely different afterwards. For example, Cersei Baratheon née Lannister died before the events of the books/series could even take place. I do ask my readers to keep the spoilers to themselves as well. ;)




Underneath the spoilers can be found a short description of the principal characters of 'A Conspiracy of Ravens'. The characters are in no particular order of relevance, they might or might not receive a Point Of View, but they are, generally, important to the narrative.

'Fields of Feasting'
Lyonnel Corbray.
Ruler of Heart's Home, bannerman to House Hunter of Longbow Hall and to Jon Arryn, King of the East. His short brown hair has a reddish glow, and his eyes have a violet colour. Some say there's a drop of Targaryen blood in the Corbray dynasty. Who knows? If so, it's been lost to history. Lyonnel is an experienced, but arrogant warrior who feels that life has been unfair to him. He fought in the final battle of Robert's Rebellion, twenty years prior to the events of 'Fields of Feasting'. He wields 'Lady Forlorn', a blade forged out of Valyrian steel.

Balor Egen.
The bald lord of Crown Crag, and best friend to Lyonnel. At first acquaintance, many mistake Balor for being dim witted and slow. A formidable fighter, Balor was the one who saved Lyonnel from certain death during that final battle of Robert's Rebellion. Like Lyonnel, Balor longs for glory and recognition.

Elyanna Corbray née Baker.
Lyonnel's wife. At first a marriage of convenience since Lyonnel needed heirs, their marriage soon turned into one of genuine affection. Elyanna bore Lyonnel many children, enough to guarantee the dynasty. She serves as Lyonnel's steward, her brilliancy with coin did not make Heart's Home the most wealthy of seats, but the Corbrays now make a tidy profit of their lands, thanks to her.

Dagos Egen.
Balor's eldest son. Was send as a fosterling to Lyonnel's court, where he quickly became best friends with Stafford Corbray. Dagos is considered a prodigy in all aspects of rule and warfare, and was always considered to be one step ahead of Stafford. Is destined to succeed Balor as ruler of Crown Crag.

Stafford Corbray.
Lyonnel's eldest son. His leg was crushed during when the horse he was riding fell during war games. It permanently crippled Stafford, who now lives in near-constant pain. The injury did not stop him from attempting to become a great warrior in his own right. At the start of 'Fields of Feasting' he is considered to be almost equal to his father in martial prowess, which considering his injury is an amazing accomplishment. He is considered just and fair, and a skilled diplomat.

Jon Arryn.
Warden of the East who fostered Neddard Stark and Robert Baratheon, and was the first to rise up in rebellion against the Mad King Aerys. Became a king in his own right after Rhaegar's Peace. King of the East, Jon Arryn has managed to stay out of the many small wars that seem endemic to Westeros. Except for a small conflict with Walder Frey of the Crossing, his kingdom has been peaceful for the last twenty years.

Ser Robin Alryc.
Captain of Lyonnel's bodyguard. A tall and burly man with long brown hair and a red beard. Served as Lyonnel's squire during Robert's Rebellion. Devoted and loyal to Lyonnel, Robin is the de facto leader during the campaign against the mountain clans.

'Little Lords'

Parmen Corbray.
Second son to Lyonnel Corbray. A boy with poor health and a crooked spine, he fell under the influence of septon Gaelyc after the death of his father and elder brother. Devout and pious, he still posseses the strong will of the Corbrays, but no longer cares for the trials and tribulations of the mortal world.

Rollam Corbray.
Youngest son to Lyonnel Corbray, and said to be his spitting image save for the colour of their eyes. Receiving religious education, although Rollam desires nothing more to take up the martial lifestyle.

Lyn Corbray.
'The Blonde Raven'. Fair haired and handsome. A nephew to Lyonnel Corbray who returned to Heart's Home after the former's death. Once considered to be one of the finest swords in the Vale.

Ser Patrek Ermethon.
A lean and towering man, clean shaven with short brown hair, sharp features and dark eyes that lay deep within the sockets. Fought on Lyonnel's side during the Battle of the Four Rulers as his sworn sword. Became captain of the household guard after Ser Alryc's death. Not a refined man, but looks can be deceiving.

Ser Artyr Daviros - courtesy of Knight Errant.
The master at arms of Heart's Home. A man of average size, with short black hair and a well-trimmed beard with streaks of grey. Boisterous, lustful, loyal.

Septon Gaelyc.
A very fat septon who's in the pockets of the Arryns. His influence over Parmen Corbray causes a great divide between 'loyalists' and 'royalists'. He appears to be raising Parmen in such a way to renounce his family's estates, and to hand them over to him.

Sandor Redfort.
The red headed captain of the guard from the Arryn contingent of soldiers currently stationed at Heart's Home to keep the peace. Solemn, dutiful, loyal. Deserved his spurs in the war against Lyonnel Corbray.
 
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First Lieutenant
Feb 26, 2009
204
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The blade tore the air apart with an audible sharpness. Like it sliced the air, it sliced his shield. He tried to back away, out of the reach of Valyrian death. Initially he felt nothing, but a strange sensation in his chest. Then came the pain. Then came nothingness. As the knight fell to the ground, the last he saw was his adversary being struck down by a warhammer. His head crushed to pulp in a fierce blow.

"Lyonnel! Lyonnel! By the Gods, old and new, wake up!" And he did. It took a while for him to realize where he was, for his last conscious memory was his preparation for his meeting with the Stranger. It eventually dawned on him that he was, indeed, very much alive and lying in a soft, comfortable bed in a tent that served as a makeshift hospital for the Lords. He was lucky, for the common soldier was usually left to die unless he had suffered only a scratch or flesh wound.

"I assume we won, Balor?" Lyonnel said to the man who stood by his bed; leaning on a bloodied warhammer. Lyonnel now recognized Balor as the man who had saved him from the Targaryen knight and had gotten him to safety. He now owed the lord of Crown Crag his life.
"Yeah, we did," answered the bald-headed lord. "The glory's all ours. Tough luck for you, to get wounded in the last battle of the war..." Balor said, his booming voice having a BLESSED quality.
"The last battle of the war?" Lyonnell asked, his voice still soft and weak.
"AYE! The Mad King died a fortunately timed death in King's Landing. Rhaegar is now king, and he bought off Stark, Baratheon and our lord Arryn for money and a recognition of equality. After only a year, the rebellion's over."
Balor patted his friend on the shoulder. The tall warrior glanced at the healers, who glanced back with equal ferocity. Although Balor had just won a battle, he did not win the staring contest.
"The healers want me off, so... I'LL BE FEASTING WHILE YOU SLEEP! HAHA! Before, I forget..." He took a package, of what looked like a sword wrapped in cloth, and placed it next to Lyonnel's bed. "You dropped your sword. You got careless, friend."

And with that, Balor walked off. Preparing for a night of drinking and whoring, while Lyonnell lay wounded. Wounded, but still alive.

~~~​

"Lyon, my love!"
She threw herself into his arms as he dismounted his stallion Raveneye. She was Elyana Baker and she was his wife. Lyonnel held her in his arms and kissed her, not giving a damn about the presence of his retinue, who were all wise enough to stay silent. He had not seen Elyana for months, for he had been called up by Jon Arryn for war the day after the day of their wedding.
"A crow told me you were wounded ... I was so afraid that you would die ... That I would never see you again ..." she said, her voice broken by tears and barely controlled emotion. Lyonnel smiled, held her tight and gave her a sweet kiss on the forehead. "I got better, and peace has been restored. I won't leave for war any time soon."

He took her inside, where she washed him with hot water and massaged him with fair, pleasant oils and clothed him in fine clothes. When they returned from their personal chambers, Lyonnel gave the order to prepare two feasts; one in the castle and one in the village outside of it. Peasants were to be offered twice the price of their products, and not to be forcefully relinquished of their goods. That night the mood in Heart's Home was festive. That night, Lyonnel and Elyana finally, truly consummated their wedding.

Nine months later, their first child would be born.

~~~​

It had been almost twenty years before Heart's Home had last celebrated a wedding. And it had been a good twenty years. Lyonnel had been able to keep his promise to Elyana. He had not returned to the battlefield ever since, but had spend his time improving his estate and with his wife.

Proudly he looked at his daughters, who all inherited Elyana's beauty. Lyonnel only had three sons, Stafford whom's wedding they celebrated today, young Parmen and Rollam, who was still only a babe. Leaning back in his seat, the ruler of Heart's Home let his gaze wander the hall. He watched as he saw his son make small talk with his wife Flemeth Lynderly of Snakewood. It had not been a marriage of love, but convenience. Lyonnel had told his son that love played no part of the game of thrones, but that they were not mutually exclusive. Love could come, as it had done for him and Elyana. Nevertheless, Stafford said the right things to his new wife and her father. The boy had always been a better diplomat than him, anyway.

No expenses had been spared for the feast. His good friend Balor's entire family had come from Crown Crag to participate in the festivities. Relations between the house Egen and the house Corbray had remained excellent throughout the twenty years. Many of Balor's sons had been send as fosterlings to Heart's Home, while a number of Lyonnel's daughters had travelled in the opposite direction. Balor's second son Patrek had wed his eldest daughter Mynia. Stafford and Balor's eldest son Dagos had been friends since childhood.

The party went on until early in the morning. Stafford and Flemeth had long since retreated to their chambers, as had Flemeth's family from Snakewood. The delegation from the Eyrie had already left. Elyana tenderly supported Lyonnel as they, too, left for their chambers. Old age was catching up with him.

Back in their room, she helped him out of his clothes and rubbed the stench of stale beer and smoke out of his skin with aromatic oils. She smiled, her eyes still twinkled with love for the man she had almost wed twenty years ago."Are you happy, my love?" she asked sweetly.
Lyonnel grunted an acknowledgement. He drew her to him in a warm embrace, and soon they slept.

That night the lord of Heart's Home dreamt a strange dream. He walked a path that forked into an infinite amount of different paths, but whenever he walked back the path had become a straight line. As he walked, Lyonnel passed events that never happened. Many were gruesome. He walked and he walked, navigating the forked paths seemingly at random. At some point the forks disappeared, and the path in front of him became straight as well. Although it was a dream, Lyonnel imagined that he felt discomfort. Knowing, deep inside, that there were few if any choices left to make.

He reached a crossroads. At the crossroads stood three ravens, silently chattering to one another as they saw him walk towards them, as if they were conspiring against him.
"We are the Warrior, Father and Smith," they said in unison, their voices razor sharp. "We are the Maiden, Mother and Crone. And when you are dead, we are the first you will never see, for the Stranger has made acquaintance and we pluck out your eyes."
There was a pauze, as if giving him space to speak. Lyonnel knew this was a dream, and in dreams there were no choices. You do, or you don't. He did not.
"Soon we will pluck out your eyes. Soon we will tear your heart apart with our claws. Tell us, are you happy?" Lyonnel did not want to answer this question. He did not want to be confronted with his inner most fear.
"No... I am not happy, he finally said. "I never died the warrior's glorious death. I never became a mighty lord. I crippled my eldest son. I tried my best to improve my estate, but fire and disease took its toll. I'm neither a Warrior, a Father or a Smith. I am a failure."
 
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First Lieutenant
Feb 26, 2009
204
0

CHAPTER I
1120-1123
FIELDS OF FEASTING




Lyonnel.
~~~​






A year had passed since Stafford's wedding and the dream of the forked paths and three ravens. Since then, Lyonnel had suffered these dreams on a regular basis. Almost every night he would walk the paths in the darkness, see futures that never were before being questioned by the ravens at the end of the path. The dream had meaning, it had made him question his life up to this point. Every time he had looked in a mirror Lyonnel had been faced with the cold hard truth. His brown hair with the reddish glow grew stale and grey, while his violet eyes no longer radiated youth. If he wanted glory on the field of battle, he would have to take it.

The mountain clans of the Vale had been growing aggressive in the past few years, raiding unsuspecting traders and settlements, raping and looting as they pleased. Rulers who bordered the clans' territories, like Lyonnel's friend Balor, did their best to contain them. Lyonnel would, he had decided, put a permanent end to the mountain clans of the Vale. During the winter he had recruited and trained his men and now, in early May, he would lead a host of just over two thousand souls.

"How do I look, son?" Lyonnel said while admiring himself in a mirror, as his squire helped him with his armor.
"Like a hero in the Age of Heroes, father," Stafford replied, handing Lyonnel Lady Forlorn. "But is this really necessary?"
The ruler of Heart's Home nodded solemnly as he sheated the Valyrian blade. "Yes," he replied, his voice stern and grave. "The mountain tribes have been a nuisance, and I've been growing fat and complacent. I once promised your mother that I would not leave her for combat for a while, and that while has been twenty years already."
Stafford sighed, as he sat himself down on a small seat. He grimaced, it had been years since his accident, but the pain in his leg had never seized. "You don't have to fight, father. Mother will die a thousand deaths, simply for fearing for your life. Ser Egen can take those pathetic creatures. Or else Dagos and I can swee-" Lyonnel had raised his hand, and Stafford wisely stopped talking.
"No. More. Of this. Balor Egen has granted me passage for two thousand men, and I will lead them, and I shall defeat and subdue the mountain clans," Lyonnel's voice made it clear that he would tolerate no argument. "You will stay and hold the fort. Nothing more, nothing less. Comfort your mother, spend time with your wife and daughter. Your time on the battlefield will come."


~~~​


"Damn this rain," captain Alryc spoke as he entered Lyonnel's tent and made a bow before his lord. "But, I bring good news."
Lyonnel beckoned Alryc to stand up and motioned him to pour himself some wine and to sit with the other commanders. "Please, good Ser Alryc. Do enlighten us of this news!"
He had been in a wonderful mood the last few weeks. Being on campaign amongst soldiers had lifted some of the darkness from his soul. Fighting a bunch of poorly organized mountain lowlifes was not the same as fighting a tyrant king, but it was infinitely better than organizing the construction of a harbor, then seeing it burn down, rinse repeat.
Ser Alryc was a tall man, with brown hair and a reddish beard. His belly revealed his excess love for roasted boar and wine, but Lyonnel knew out of experience that the man was physically more than fit for the job. During Robert's Rebellion Ser Robin Alryc had been Lyonnel's squire, but was knighted after Rhaegar's Peace. He had since then served as captain of Lyonnel's bodyguard.
"We have forced the Moonsgrey Clan into the valley below. There is a pass that leads to their fortified village in the mountains. That pass is their only escape towards their village. We hold the high ground, have them partially surrounded and have cut them off from their only escape route. Our army also outnumbers them 3 to 1."
A grin of barely contained excitement grew on Lyonnel's face als he held his chalice of wine, for a toast. "Let us pray to the Warrior for victory over these pathetic creatures. Let us thrust our swords through their highwaymen hearts, let us cut the throats of these lowly nobodies. Let us crush them once and for all. For this we ask your blessing."
They solemnly took a jug of their wine. Lyonnel could feel the warmth of the alcohol spread through his body, relax the muscles that had become strained by age. Tomorrow he would once again stand on the field of battle.

It had been too long.


~~~​


The battle had been short, but bloody. Lyonnel's infantry had met the warriors of the Moonsgrey Clan in the valley, while two groups of cavalry, one led by Lyonnel and the other by Alryc, had charged into the Moonsgrey flanks. In just a few hours hundreds of mountain clansmen lay dead, dying or wounded. Those who wanted to retreat to Moonsgrey village found that their retreat had been blocked.
"Ser Alryc, how many men do you reckon you need to... tie up loose ends?"
Alryc looked back, his face grim and dirty with spatters of blood and mud. "That, my lord, depends on what you want done with the enemy survivors."
"Beheaded."
"In that case... About hundred."
Lyonnel nodded. He would take the remaining troops to take Moonsgrey village. As he moved away from Alryc, the loyal captain was reminded of something and called him back. "Lord Corbray, before I forget. King Arryn has send a crow that he is coming to assess the success of your campaign. He can be here before noon tomorrow. What should be done if you have not yet returned?"
Lyonnel knew what this would mean. If King Arryn would arrive at Moonsgrey before the city had been duly subdued, he could negotiate any peace. A sly smile grew on his lips.
"Then you must stall his Excellency the King."


~~~​


The women of Moonsgrey cried for mercy as they were ravaged by angry soldiers crazed by bloodlust. Lyonnel did not stop them, nor did he encourage rape as a weapon. However, he was pragmatic enough to know that it would not be a good idea to stop his soldiers from ravaging women and looting homes. They had been without female companionship for over a month, and they were rather poorly paid. Women and plunder were the spoils of war, and no general should dare take it away from the men who did the dying.
Lyonnel had ordered all men above the age of twelve to be killed, for they would likely have participated in raids, thus committing crimes against citizens of the Kingdom of the East. Their trial by combat had been the battle hours before, which their champion had lost. The Gods wanted them dead, for all Lyonnel cared. He walked to the hall in which the clan's chieftain would have resided. Unfortunately, the chieftain had been slain in combat, which made it impossible for him to swear loyalty to Lyonnel. It mattered little. He sat down on the chieftain's seat, and had his soldiers summoned before him. It ment that he would have to temporarily interrupt his men, but he had to. With many of his soldiers and commanders assembled in the hall, Lyonnel began to speak.
"Men of Heart's Home! I led you from your homes to bring an end to the terror of the mountain clans. Today we have cleared part of the mountains of these pests. I hereby proclaim myself to be ruler of Moonsgrey, and I vow to bring civilization to these remote corners of The Vale. Yesterday we asked the Warrior for his blessing, and he has given it to us. For the Seven! For King Arryn! For Heart's Home! For yourselves!"

The soldiers cheered and gave Lyonnel three hurrah's. They then continued their pillaging until the early hours of morning, when Jon Arryn, King of the East rode into what remained of the now desolate Moonsgrey.


[Next update. More glory on the battlefield, but also betrayal!]
 

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First Lieutenant
Feb 26, 2009
204
0
I see this thread has been read 105 times. That's at least 90 different people than myself. Great! :)
I'm afraid I lied about the next update. First there'll be an intermezzo... Enjoy! Also, I wouldn't mind critiques or explicit, other than implicit readers. ;)


~~~


INTERMEZZO


the Crone


The invaders had ceased looting Moonsgrey. In the bloody and horrible confusion after the pillage of Moonsgrey, three women had managed to take the mutilated corpse of the last chieftain of the Moonsgrey Clan from the field of battle. One had been the chieftain's mother, the other his wife, the third his eldest daughter. They had carried the body on the back of a mule into the mountains, to a plateau of which the existence had only been known by the late chieftain's mother. The mule, an old poor and lame thing, carried not only the body but also as much wood as the three had managed to scavenge. They had lost everything, their son, husband, father. The daughter had lost her maiden innocence, too.

When they arrived at the plateau on the next day after the battle, dusk was already settling in. "A mother should not burn her son's remains," the chieftain's mother said; her voice hoarse of age. "You two was his body and prepare it for the pyre. I will make it."
"But mother," the wife replied. "You are old, and setting up the fire is hard work. Can you manage?" Her voice was soft, weak; breaking at the verge of emotional distress.
"I have given to the gods my father and my husband after him. I know how to build a pyre. Do as I say."

And so they did.

Moonsgrey funeral customs traditionally stated that the Gods would only take a soul at dawn, as the fire that carried it skywards became one with the light of the eternal sun. It was still a couple of hours before the sun was to rise, so they waited in an adjacent cave. The cave was adorned with crude images of past funerals, of great clansmen of the old days. The crone knew that they would have to return some day, to add to the drawings. She also knew that this was a man's task, so she could only hope that there would be a tribesman alive to paint the tale of the last free chieftain. If not, than he would never be immortalized on stone.

They had made a small fire in the cave to warm themselves. The elder woman sat in the middle, with her daughter to her right and her granddaughter to her left. The fire burned, the flames twisting and dancing; consuming the wood that fuelled it. Fire, like life, was self-destructive yet beautiful at the same time.
"Fridrika," the elder woman spoke to her granddaughter. "The mule carries a small pouch on its neck. Bring it to me."
The young Fridrika complied, she gently took the pouch from the mule's neck and gave it to her grandmother.
"Good. Things have changed. What I shall do now, I will teach you. We are of the same blood. You can learn. But now, watch." The grandmother opened the pouch, and gently shook part of its contents into the palm of her hand. It were herbs and leaves, of various plants, grasses and mosses. The grandmother then stood up, her bones crunching and hurting with old age, and leaned over the fire. She threw the herbs into the fire. Its flames burned and twisted, burning various shades of blue and green. She inhaled the thick black smoke that rose from the fire as best as she could.

Her vision began to blur, the images of past chieftains on the walls began to move and interact. The abstract image of a dragon became real, and so did the arrows fired by stick figures that killed it. She could see it roar, she could hear it hate in its dying moments. The flames appeared to burn higher; they began to burn up the wet rock of the cave; consuming the images. It then burned her daughter, and herself, but not her granddaughter. A voice, dark and as smooth as stone and gravel rose up from deep inside her, coming from a place where no soul dares to tread lightly.
"Grandmother? What is wrong?" she could hear the fearful words coming from Fridrika, but they came from far away; as if from another world.
"I see... A lady lost. Discarded, abandoned, left to her own fate ... I see the men from the lands of our invaders mourning their great chieftain, slain in combat ... I see a man, a warrior. Great and proud. He must become what he is, and he will. And this will be his undoing. I see revenge being exacted, but it will give peace to no man. I see ... that you, Fridrika, will bear a sun that sets the Mountain on fire ..." The flames died away suddenly, the inside of the cave once again covered in darkness. "I see nothing no more."

Slowly her vision became straight again, slowly the images stopped moving; returning to the way they were set on stone.
"It is done," the grandmother replied. "And it will soon be dawn. Let us weep for our son, husband and father. Let us weep for our people, and then never weep again. Let us give him to the Gods, to whom we all belong."

And so they did.
 
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unmerged(135995)

First Lieutenant
Feb 26, 2009
204
0
Lyonnel



Jon Arryn had not been pleased by Lyonnel's daring conquest of Moonsgrey. The fact that Lyonnel had handed without authorisation and consent from the royal crown had bothered the King of the East. Nevertheless, with the conquest of Moonsgrey accomplished as it was, Jon Arryn had invested Lyonnel with the new seat of Moonsgrey. To be forever and irrevokably part of the dominions of Moonsgrey unless the oaths of loyalty and fealty were broken.

Lyonnel sat on his seat of Moonsgrey hall, gazing intently into the flames of the fire basket. Grey smoke slowly drifted to the roof of the hall and out of the role that had been cut for this purpose. An exquisite fur mantel draped around his shoulders. It had once belonged to the chieftain of the Moonsgrey clan, and as such had belonged to Lyonnel's spoils of victory. Next to him sat his son Stafford. Lyonnel had called his son from Heart's Home to oversee the reconstruction and colonization of Moonsgrey. They both wore simple trousers and a black doublet, with a badge depicting three silver ravens pinned on the chest. Stafford looked troubled; his features locked in a scowl.

“I do not condone of your plan,” he said.

“You don't have to condone,” Lyonnel said; pouring himself a chalice of wine. “You have to obey.”

“King Arryn will never allow you to take the Scorched Vale. He already resented investing you with Moonsgrey.”

Lyonnel shrugged off the comment, taking a sip of his wine in stead. They were running low on wine, they would have to buy new supplies from Balor very soon. The fat baldheaded giant was getting rich off his conquests. He once again turned his gaze towards the fire in the fire basket, ignoring his son's presence. Doubt suddenly overtook his soul, his being. Would he push his luck too far by conquering the Scorched Vale? He would only do the kingdom a favour by submitting the clansmen to civilized overlordship. The raiding, the pillaging would end. Merchants would finally be able to travel freely and without fear of their safety from and to the Vale. He was doing the kingdom a service, and all he wanted was the recognition and these useless mountains as a reward!

“We will say that the clans of the Scorched Vale attacked us first, that in order to guarantee the safety of Moonsgrey we had to annihilate them as well. We will state that it was self-defence.”

“King Arryn will never believe it,” replied Stafford, the tone of his voice betraying the scorn he felt for such trickery and lies.

“He won't, but he'll never be able to prove it,” answered Lyonnel as he took the last sip of his wine, and carefully observed the silver chalice in the faint light of the fire. It crudely depicted scenes of long forgotten battles. It was crudely made, but it was obvious to all that someone had done his absolute best in crafting it. He then placed it on the table next to him, and immediately forgot about it. “You better get some rest, my son. Tomorrow we will ride for the Scorched Vale and soon you will participate in your first battle, and claim your first life. Between tomorrow and the end of the campaign there will be little time for rest nor pleasantries. You better get your rest now.”

Stafford rose from his seat, nodded an acknowledgement and left the hall quietly.

Lyonnel himself did not rest. Violet eyes stared at a specific nothingness in the fiery tongues of flame, and continued to do so long after the flames had died away. He was not a coward, but he dared not to sleep. The dreams of crossroads and ravens had grown more intense, more violent. Last night he had dreamt of fighting an army of ravens, who rode into battle mounted on crows. He dreamt how the crows tore through his army like a dagger through flesh. He dreamt how crows clawed out his heart, picked out Stafford's eyes and ripped the flesh clean off Parmen's and Rollam's bones.

He dared not to sleep, and as the sun began to stir behind the mountains of the Vale, he had not closed a single eye.


~~~​


Stafford.




Stafford did not know if war ever changed, but he certainly hoped he would. He and thirty odd cavalrymen were waiting in the woods on the slope of the mountain, watching the Battle of the Scorched Vale unfold. He and his men had been instructed by Ser Alryc to wait for the enemy commander to rout, and then to strike the routing army in the flank. A simple job, but it made sense. Neither his father nor Ser Alryc would give an inexperienced commander like him an important task that could possibly ruin the battle.

“Tweh goewf Sewf Alwycf,” one his companions said. A gruff, hairy man with legendary bad breath and less teeth in his mouth than fingers on a single hand. Ser Jorah Daeg was his name, and he had been in Stafford's father's service since forever. Stafford could not remember Jorah looking any different, ever being intelligible or even smelling nice. The knight was referring to the unfolding events on the field of battle.

The battle plan had been similar to the one used successfully during the Moonsgrey invasion. The infantry would meet the clansmen on the open field, while Lyonnel and Ser Alryc would both lead a host into the enemy's flank. Stafford and his men were tasked with cutting off the enemy route.

“Nof longf now.”

He was right. The clansmen had managed to hold their own against the infantry, as they had done in Moonsgrey. The infantry, mostly composed out of newly recruited and poorly trained peasants and vagrants had suffered most casualties. As they were doing now. It were the cavalry charges that broke the balance. Lyonnel had not yet begun his charge, but Stafford observed that they were taking up position. The clansmen comprising the left flank were wavering. It would be the ideal moment for Lyonnel to begin his charge. His father had come to the same conclusion and led his men into the enemy's right flank.

Chaos, the sound of metal cutting through flesh and scraping off metal; screams of fear and dying screams. Stafford's violet eyes saw how ravens, larger than the ones at Heart's Home, began to circle the sky above the battlefield, waiting for it to end and their feast to commence.

“The enemy routs!”

The call broke Stafford's chain of thought, and fixed it back on the battle below. The clansmen were broken, and ran as fast as they could for safety. 'So now I'll take my first life,' Stafford thought as he drew his sword. 'I had hoped it would be in a battle against an equal, not against scared villagers running for their life...'

“For king and country! For the Vale! For Heart's Home!”

And he led his men in the charge off the slopes, intercepting and cutting of the clansmen's escape. Stafford did not even look his first ever kill in the eyes, as he struck him from above; his sword cleaving the man's neck. This was not a battle, this was simple slaughter.


~~~​


Jon Arryn


“My liege, why would you believe a filthy criminal like this dog?!” Lyonnel was furious. After the battle of the Scorched Vale, Stafford had managed to capture the clan's chieftain, Shadrak, alive, with great danger to his own life. Lyonnel had tried to convince Shadrak to submit with bribery, promising the chieftain both gold and women. He had then tried to convince Shadrak through torture and abuse, going as far as to have his daughters 'taken' by Lyonnel's soldiers. The proud man had not relented, claiming that the Scorched Vale was neither Lyonnel's to receive, nor his to give. He had demanded to speak King Arryn, who was also the one who had to invest Lyonnel with the Scorched Vale.

So for the second time in less than two months, a host from the Eyrie had made the journey to the mountains of the Vale.

“So, chief Shadrak. You say you were attacked by Lyonnel Corbray, without cause or reason?” Shadrak stood before King Arryn, shackled in chains, clothed in rags. His beard was wild and dirty, his eyes full of hate.

“Aye.”

Jon Arryn nodded, his gaze wandering back to Lyonnel, observing the ambitious ruler from tip to toe. He did not trust nor like the lord of Heart's Home, Lyonnel Corbray was arrogant and ambitious, two traits that never bode well. The traits of men who would throw entire peoples into ruin, just to slight their budged ego. “And you, lord Corbray, say that this man attacked settlers from Heart's Home on their way to Moonsgrey, and the soldiers who protected them?”

“Yes. They were violently raped and murdered the women, hung and quartered the young ones and beheaded the soldiers.”

Jon's gaze went from Lyonnel to Shadrak, and back again to Lyonnel Corbray; resting his stare on the purple-eyed bannerman, who met his gaze with barely contained fury.

“Do you not trust the word of your loyal bannerman?” he scornfully asked.

The king arched a brow. Something had changed Corbray. Jon had always considered him a tool and idiot, but underneath the arrogance had always been an undercurrent of kindness and loyalty.

“I trust the word of loyal bannerman,” he simply replied; turning his attention back to Shadrak. “I want gold as compensation for your crimes, chief Shadrak. Can you pay?”

“A lot,” was the stoic reply.
“Good. The Scorched Vale shall remain to you and your clan. I reckon that the raping and pillaging has been avenged by lord Corbray's exploits, don't you agree; lord Corbray?”

Lyonnel was bursting with anger, but managed to grant his king a nod of acknowledgement.

“Then we are done here. Release Shadrak of the Scorched Vale and all other clansmen who are imprisoned. Corbray, I demand that you disband your troops, other than what is absolutely necessary to manage the settlement of Moonsgrey. That is all.”
 

Deamon

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Sign me up! I will always follow a fellow student from Zwolle, or atleast that's how I interpret the name.

And, it's a westeros AAR!
 

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First Lieutenant
Feb 26, 2009
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Awesome. :D

And I was indeed a student from Zwolle, lived there for over three years. Nowadays I'm more of a 'GroningerStudent', but that doesn't have the same ring to it, doesn't it? ;)

Hopefully I'll have another update today or tomorrow. The scene is being set for the final half of the chapter. Lots of interesting things will happen, I can guarantee you that! ;)
 

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Stafford


“If you can't be swift and nimble,” Stafford said as he parried his sparring partner's strike. “You have to be like the mountain. My feet are strong, I am unmoving; solemn,” he continued; thrusting the blade in a counter attack. “Yet I am unpredictable, vicious, imposing.” Stafford rammed his elbow into the face of a second sparring partner, who had tried to sneak up from behind. Spatters of blood flew out as the bone crunched and the nose broke under the impact. Stafford sidestepped, catching the other man off guard. “I am a killer, who can not be topped,” he finished, as he placed the tip of his blade against the man's throat.

“Well done, Ser Corbray,” the man replied, his eyes fixed on the pointy end of the blade. He knew that Stafford Corbray would not wilfully kill him during a sparring match, but when one stares into the face of death it's never wise to look away. Behind Stafford the other man tried to crawl back unto his feet, using his left hand to hold the broken nose.
“Bwfy the Sweffen Gohfs, Sewf Cowfbway...”

Stafford grinned as he sheathed his blade. He began to grow fond of fighting for two particular reasons. First, it made him forget. Second, he was getting pretty good at it. His father might not have won the Scorched Vale, Stafford had certainly won his father's respect. Especially his daring actions to catch chieftain Shadrak had been much appreciated. As a reward Lyonnel had his septon anoint Stafford with the seven oils and he had stood vigil at the sept. After that, Stafford took up active duty in his father's service as Marshal of Heart's Home. Only second to Lyonnel when it came to military matters.

“I'm sorry Ser Daeg,” Stafford said; giving the bloodied knight a helping hand standing up from the floor. “It's just that the two of you are getting rubbish!” He added as insult to injury; throwing Jorah Daeg a smug smile. “I'll give the two of you time to recuperate and, by the Gods, to get better at fighting me. Same time next week, same place.”

Stafford then beckoned for his squire, who had been watching the sparring contest leaning against a pillar. The squire, a plump young blonde boy, was a fosterling from a local noble. His plump face would tint rosy from even the slightest exertion. Certainly no warrior material. Than again, neither was Stafford himself. “Bring me a towel, boy. And my cloak, I'm going outside.” The young squire complied and brought both. Stafford used the towel to clear the sweat from his face, he then wraped the cloak around him. It was made of heavy velvet, trimmed with the fur of a mountain lynx. Underneath he once again wore a black doublet with matching trousers, on his chest were pinned two badges; the raven of his family, and a small sword that signified his position as Marshal.

No one tried to him as the young heir apparent made his way through Heart's Home keep. He saw them, averting their eyes as he passed them bay. He heard their whispers, behind his back. Stafford did not care, not at this time. He mourned.
October was passing and the sky above Heart's Home was a dark, menacing grey. It cried, like Stafford as he walked through the courtyard, through the gate and to the small memorial that stood underneath an oak, just off the road from the Eyrie to Heart's Home keep. The small memorial was little more than a rough representation of a woman holding a babe to her chest, carved out of stone. Beneath it lay his wife Flemeth and the son that had not been long for this world. He had died getting into it, she had died helping him. He cried, he sobbed, for Stafford had loved Flemeth dearly.

Two soldiers manning the walls of the keep saw him shake, heard him sob. They averted their eyes out of respect. Stafford, crippled to his leg since his youth, had won their loyalty and respect. Despite his handicap he had managed to become the most skilled warrior of Heart's Home. They saw his pain and through their love of him, they felt it too.

“You can't keep mourning her forever,” someone said from behind. Stafford looked around to see his father. “You'll have to find a new wife, father an heir.”

Stafford scowled. He was not in the mood for this. “You waited for more than thirty years.”

“Yes, I did.” replied Lyonnel. “But you will not. I have come to an arrangement with the most honourable Lord Walder Frey. He will marry his youngest granddaughter to you. The Freys will arrive in two weeks, the wedding will be in three. This is not to be contested. You can mourn Flemeth for the rest of your days, but you will squirt an heir into that Frey girl. I did not take care of Heart's Home, I did not conquer the Moonsgrey just so my mourning son will throw it away.”

For a moment Stafford reached for his blade, obscured from his father's sight underneath his cloak. His hand grasping the hilt so tightly that it hurt. For a moment Stafford imagined cutting his father's throat. For a moment he imagined how the blood would spill out of the gash, drops of blood spilling over the memorial to his wife. For a moment he wondered if it would entice a god or spirit to revive his wife and stillborn son. Only for a moment, before the fantasies faded.

“Would you be so cold, so calculating, so cruel if it had been mother; dead while giving birth to me? Would you then conquer the nearest broad, squirting new life into her?”

Old age might be catching up with his father, but he still struck fierce, fast and hard. The strike made Stafford bite his lip. Blood trickled from the wound, but the pouring rain washed it away.

“You will marry the Frey girl.”


~~~​


“Do you not want me? ...My husband?” She lay naked on the bed; spreading her legs as to entice Stafford to take her straight away. He stood on the opposite end of the chamber; still taking off his clothes.

“No, I do not want you,” he stoicly replied; not even throwing her a single glance. “I want my wife and my unborn son. I only married you because my father willed it. He only arranged our marriage to piss off the king by aligning himself with his most disloyal Lord, to forge an alliance on which rebellion can be build. Your father only married you off because in the whole of the Crossing there was not a single nook or cranny left where he could house his own progeny.”

Stafford stepped into the bed, rolled onto his side and fell asleep.


~~~​


It was early in the morning when the castellan of the Eyrie found a crow, cawing softly in the window. The message it carried with him contained some very bad news.
 
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Feb 26, 2009
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Small update. Shit will hit the proverbial fan after this one. :) If you like it (or if you dislike it, but have suggestions), please reply. It's great to see the number of 'times read' rising, but I do like to know my mysterious followers, haha!


~~~​

Jon Arryn



“So you say that Lionnel Corbray contacted the both of you in an attempt to conspire against me?” The ageing king read the letters Balor Egen of Crown Crag and Jon Lynderly of Snakewood had given him. The content of the letters made no secret of Lionnel's intentions. There were over twenty letters, detailing war plans, suggestions for assassinating Jon Arryn, hitlists of those who were to be executed after the seizure of power, detailed plans for carving up the kingdom between the houses of Corbray, Egen and Lynderly. Jon Arryn could hardly believe it. He disliked Lionnel Corbray, finding him arrogant, and stupid. However, Corbray was not an absolute fool, not so stupid as to so horribly incriminate himself.

Then again, it was Lionel Corbray's seal and signature underneath the letters. And he had been acting suspicious in recent time. Arryn had not forgotten how he had responded to his decision regarding the Scorched Vale, nor his son's marriage to a Frey. The fact that he kept regular exercises and war games with his host was also, at the very least, suspicious.

“He did, my liege,” replied Balor Egen; kneeling before the king, averting his eyes.

“At first we did not want to betray him, considering the familial ties between his and our families. We warned him to stop scheming, to submit to your wise and enlightened rule. Yet he did not cease, as you yourself can read, Lyonnel Corbray continued to send us plans for betrayal. Eventually we could no longer cover up his betrayal, his plans for kingslaying, for murder and rebellion, without coming into conflict with our loyalty to you,” said Jon Lynderly, a blonde squint-eyed man with a harelip.

“So we brought this before you, and ask forgiveness for not informing you before,” added Balor.

Jon Arryn sat on his throne, his gaze fixed on the letters. He read and he read, and then he read the text some more. His then turned his attention to his son eldest son Florian, and beckoned him.

“Yes, father?”

Florian was young, only seventeen years old, but blessed with strength of mind and body. He was anything that his late brother Robert had never been. A true heir and champion to the heir of Arryn. As the marshal of Jon's forces, Florian was dressed in full combat attire for formal occasions such as this. Literally a knight in shining armour.

“Send one of your men to Heart's Home to serve as my representative. Let him bring message to Lionnel Corbray that he is confined to his keep until further notice, and that he will be declared an outlaw and traitor to the Kingdom of the East the moment he steps out of his castle. He will be brought before me in one month's time, to stand trial on accusations of high treason,” said Jon Arryn with a stern voice.

“Ofcourse, father. I shall dispatch someone at once.”

With Florian immediately leaving the hall to send someone for Heart's Home, Jon Arryn once again turned his attention to Balor Egen and Jon Lynderly.

“My lords, there is nothing to ask forgiveness for. I myself have stood in your position, having to decide between loyalty to my liege and friendship. It is a grave choice to make, and the decision you have made is commendable. So rise, lords Lynderly and Egen. Rise and return to your homes. Be here for the trial in one month's time, for you will need to testify.”

Both lords thanked Jon Arryn for his forgiveness and blessed him in the names of the Gods. They left king Arryn's hall and rode for Crown Crag and Snakewood, only daring to laugh at the success of their machinations long after they had passed the borders of the Eyrie.
 

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Lyonnel



“Spies inform us that Balor Egen left a total of five hundred men to guard these two passes,” Ser Alryc said as he pointed at two places on a map. The map was old, and in a rather condition. It had seen heavy use, cracks and rippled ran through the representation of the Vale like entirely new mountains. An old wine stain that could easily be mistaken for a sea that turned Runestone into an island. “While he took the remaining thousand to... here,” he continued, tracing Balor Egen's path over the map with his finger.

They, Ser Alryc, Ser Daeg, Stafford, Lionel and two other commanders stood gathered around the table; gazing intently at the map. In their minds each for themselves tried to re-enact Balor's plan, his strategy.

“If we give chase, he'll lead us into the valley,” Stafford finally said, pointing to a valley on the map where the borders of the seats of Snakewood and Crown Crag met. “Where they will have the high ground and a numerical superiority.”

Ser Alryc nodded slowly, acknowledging Stafford's analysis of the situation. “But if we stay here, we'll be surrounded by Egen, Lynderly, Arryn; the lot of them. We'll be in an even worse position, against even greater odds!”

Stafford opened his mouth, as if he was about to counter Alryc's argument, but no word came out and he shut it again. The men once again observed the map and the pawns out of a chess set that represented Arryn and Corbray armies. The white pieces representing Corbray armies were horribly outnumbered: only two of them stood on the map, at the place where the real army was now camping. Arryn's armies were represented by the black pawns, of which six stood arranged on the old battered map. Some were still positioned far away, but they were moving closer.

Lyonnel bit his lip as he cursed himself to all the hells. He had declared war on his former friend Balor for his betrayal, resulting in a declaration of war from Arryn and Lynderly, and had marched for Crown Crag immediately. The letters that had incriminated him, the letters that had been signed with Lyonnel's seal, had been the work of Balor Egen. For twenty years Balor's children and he himself had been guests at Heart's Home, with enough opportunity to steal the seals that had no, poetically, sealed Lyonnel's fate. By declaring war on house Egen he had become what he had been accused of: a traitor. The situation was, however, not entirely hopeless. Taken together Arryn, Lynderly and Egen outnumbered Lyonnel, but on their own the opposing sides were more evenly matched. If a crushing blow could be delivered to Balor before Arryn and Lynderly gathered their bannermen, the situation would be a whole less bleak.

“Those guard posts,” Lyonnel said, turning to Robin Alryc. “Are they fortified in any kind?” The trusted captain shook his head.

“No, they might have dug themselves in, or constructed some makeshift walls, but they aren't fortified.

“What if we directly attack them?” Lyonnel suggested; looking at his commanders to catch a glimpse of their initial response to his plan. Alryc seemed to doubt it.

“Those are narrow passes, which can easily be defended by a larger enemy. Egen has them guarded by about five hundred men. They could withstand an army twenty times our size, because size matters little if you can only get about twenty men inside the pass, at any given time.

“There must be a way around it, though?” Stafford interjected, looking at both Alryc and Lyonnel. Again, Alryc appeared sceptical.

“The mountains are not impassable, but they are for an army our size.

A self satisfied smirk began to lift the edges of Lyonnel's lips. An idea had come to fruition inside his mind. It was a crazy idea, suicidal even. Only less suicidal than any other option.

“Ser Daeg, you will take five hundred of our worst troops, and hundred of our best and assault those guard posts. If you crush them, good. If you don't; keep them occupied. Stafford will take a host of five two hundred riders and take the long road around the mountains, in the direction of Snakewood. This will distract Lynderly and Egen. Ser Alryc, you will lead three hundred men into the mountains and flank those guard posts. Travel light, pack only what is needed.”

Ser Alryc's eyes began to twinkle, as he began to understand Lyonnel's plan.

“And I assume,” he said with a certain lightness in his voice. “That you will give Egen the pursuit he wants?”

The smirk transformed into a grin.


~~~​


Stafford



The peace of dawn was savagely ravaged by the cries of the dying. Morning fog rose from the ground as it soaked itself with the blood of the dead and wounded. Many had met the Stranger today, most of them hailing from Crown Crag. A glorious victory, an almost flawless victory. The kind of victory that would win the war, if the odds were not 3-1 against you.

“Marshal Corbray,” a soldier said to Stafford, bowing his head in greeting. “What is to be done with the enemy captives? Should they be executed?'
Stafford was looking at the death and desolation around him. It surprised him how easily a man adjusted to the presence of death and pain. During the rush of battle, you did not notice. After the battle, you did not care. His father's strategy had worked like a charm, with Egen's numerous forces guarding the passes into Crown Crag being something of a bluff. Yes, there had been more than five hundred armed men, but most of them had been poorly equipped peasants. When they were attacked from behind by Alryc's men, their resolve had wavered and they had died. Stafford had ridden to Snakewood, turning around and moving into Crown Crag from behind. His father had given chase, while never allowing himself to be tempted by Balor Egen's skirmishes. These different movements had resulted in hesitation from Balor's side, his eventual encirclement and the obliteration of his army. Balor and his son Dagos had managed to escape, but house Egen's participation in “Lyonnel's Rebellion” was over.

But there was more good news. Vardis Hunter of Longbow Hall had also risen up in rebellion against Jon Arryn, forcing the 'loyalists' to divide their attention. The odds were now quite evenly matched.

“No,” Stafford replied rather stoically. “The captives will not be harmed. Disarm them completely, and have a septon take them an oath of non-violence for the remainder of the conflict, and send them home. Kill the ones who refuse to take an oath.”

“But lord...”

“No buts,” Stafford interjected sternly, placing his hand on the soldier's shoulder and squeezing it tightly. “I doubt Egen has the weapons to re-arm them, and I don't want to shed more blood than is absolutely necessary, am I understood? We are warriors, soldiers. Not beasts. I'll say it again. Have a septon take the prisoners an oath of non-violence, kill only those who refuse, and send them on their way.”


The soldier acknowledged the order with a nod, and turned around to get to work; repeating Stafford's order against some others. The young heir took a look at the desolation around him. The screams had ceased, leaving only whimpers of pain. The dying were almost dead. He looked up, and saw the carrion eaters circle above the field. How many more battles would there have to be fought, before all of it was over?
 

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First Lieutenant
Feb 26, 2009
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Perhaps it's fun to know which in game events I integrated into the narrative.

Friendships. The friendships between Lyonnel/Balor and Stafford/Dagos actually happened.
The sending of fosterlings. Perhaps this is mod-specific, but this is the first time ever in CK that I get send so many children from other rulers in the realm. Heart's Home must be a healthy place to grow up. Interestingly, most of the fosterlings send to me end up being the Westeros Mod's equivalent of a prodigy. Any one any idea how that could be?
Stafford's accident. The moment I decided to give him a military education, he received the 'lame' trait. At his peak (I've advanced so far that all participants are already long dead, so don't read these things as spoilers. ;) ), he had a martial ability of 12. Not bad!
Conquest of Moonsgrey. In the Westeros Mod, Moonsgrey and the Scorched Vale are barbarian tribes, against whom you don't need a claim.
Arryn's forced peace with the Scorced Vale. The bane of any CK player: your liege making a shitty peace that cuts you out of everything.
Lyonnel's public "excommunication". Jon Arryn was, at that time, the 'High Septon Controller', so he was definately behind the excommunication. It took me some ingenuity to fit this into the narrative, haha!
Lyonnel's strategical insight. I got the rare event (at least, I rarely ever get it!) which gives your commander +1 in martial because of tactical brilliance on the battlefield.

And there are more events, but revealing those would be a spoiler. ;) There will probably not be an update today, hopefully tomorrow. :)
 

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First Lieutenant
Feb 26, 2009
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Septon Georg



The flickering flame of the candle shone brightly, yet it did not lit the room enough to overcome septon Georg's poor eyesight. He could barely read his own handwriting! He had tried, but the room was too poorly lit to see what he had written. Today's events had deeply shocked Georg. He had seen history being written. Today's events were of such importance that they had to be transcribed for posterity immediately, so Georg rose from his chair. His bones creaking as they carried the septon's immense weight. A man of small stature, he compensated his lack of height in size and roundness. Georg was, quite simply, a fat man. He waggled to a large cupboard at the opposite end of the chamber, opened the doors and took out a candle and candle-holder. The septon then closed the door and waggled back to his chair and writing table, sitting down carefully.


Panting heavily from the exercise, Georg lit the new candle by keeping it close to the one which was already burning. When the fire took hold, he placed the candle made of red wax into the holder, and turned back to his writing.

In the 305th year after Aegon's Landing, the Battle of the Four Rulers took place. In the field were assembled the mighty hosts of our rightful and most beloved King of the East Jon Arryn and his most trusted and loyal lord Jon Lynderly of Snakewood. Opposing the king's rightful rule stood the traitors Lyonnel Corbray of Heart's Home and Vardis Hunter of Longbow Hall.

The battle began in the first hour after dawn. The traitors together commanded over four thousand men, king Arryn and Lynderly held command over about five thousand men together. Both sides had an equal numbers of mounted fighting men.

For the first three hours the battle waged with no clear outcome. All commanders manoeuvred their men into better positions, while the cavalry engaged in multiple skirmishes with one another to lock the enemy into an inferior position. The battle was chaotic and fluent, but it appeared that our most benevolent and wise king was leading his men to victory. In the hour before noon the Gods decided to grant victory.

The traitor Lyonnel Corbray led his personal guard around king Arryn's left flank and engaged him in personal combat. First the traitor Lyonnel Corbray cowardly killed the king's noble warhorse, making it collapse and trapping our king underneath it. He then dismounted his horse and cowardly, cruelly delivered the killing blow; killing a man who could not properly defend himself.

With the death of the king, Jon Lynderly decided to retreat. The Battle of the Four Rulers was won by the rebels, but the war was far from over.



Georg took the piece of paper and read what he had written, giving a nod of satisfaction with his work. He put down his quill and blew out the candles. Tonight he would mourn his king with fine wine and finer women.


~~~​


Dagos Egen



“Lord Corbray has refused to pay the ransom,” Dagos Egen said to his father, who sat seated on his throne. Dagos had participated in his father's name on king Arryn's side in the battle, and he had managed to capture Stafford Corbray. The heir to Heart's Home now sat locked in the darkest, deepest dungeon Crown Crag had to offer.

Balor Egen had not fought on his king's side due to a heavy fever he had caught during the weeks Crown Crag had been laid siege to by Lyonnel's forces. It pained Dagos as he gazed upon his father's person. Where once had seated a mighty, healthy if somewhat obese lord, there now was a withered, ashen grey shadow with little life left inside.

Dagos instinctively knew that his father would not live to enjoy the fruits of his own plot against Lyonnel Corbray. It had been Dagos who had 'supplied' the signet ring used to forge the letters years ago, during his stay as a fosterling at Lyonnel's court. It was he who had mimicked Lyonnel's handwriting. In fact, Dagos himself was as much part of the plot to bring down house Corbray as Lord Lynderly and his father.

“And Stafford Corbray has requested the king's justice, and a trial by combat.”

The sickly lord snorted and laughed, the laugh transforming into a sick cough. “Of course the fool won't pay,” he said, his voice sounding nothing like before. “That would mean he could not pay his soldiers, which means they will desert, which means he will lose the war...”

Dagos nodded in agreement, he himself had arrived at the same conclusion. Lyonnel was arrogant enough to gamble on victory in the war, and would assume that the heir to a noble house, even a traitorous one, would not be killed. A tame wolf was more useful than a dead one, after all.

“Father, what to do with Stafford Corbray's request?”

Balor looked at his son, his eyes deep inside the sockets. His beard turning grey, with the hairs falling out. Hatred was what kept him alive, hatred was what would keep him alive.

“Yes...” he said, coughing, wheezing and panting. “Such is his right, but we were never able to give it to him, as he violently tried to escape. An escape during which he, sadly, died. Do you understand?”

Dagos acknowledged by giving his father a nod and left the hall. As he descended down the bowels of Crag castle his mind was with the olden days, the times Stafford and he had played, learned, hunted together.

Less than a hour later, Stafford's head stood displayed on top of the gate to Crag castle, his hair waving in the wind, the crushing despair of betrayal etched in his eyes.
 

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First Lieutenant
Feb 26, 2009
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Lyonnel



Shackled and in rags did Lyonnel stand before Florian Arryn, the new King of the East. The circular hall of the Eyrie, seated above and before him. His gamble had failed. After the Battle of the Four Rulers Lyonnel had fought Florian's armies twice more. Eventually though, even though the ruler of Heart's Home had won multiple glorious victories, one loss caused him to lose the war.

His violet eyes were locked with those of the young king. Only seventeen years old, Florian had led his host into battle, eventually defeating his father's murderer in combat; and had even managed to take him alive. Lyonnel had tried to fight on to the end, he had seen Alryc and Daeg being cut down in their last stand beside him. Lyonnel had sacrificed his oldest son in a futile gamble to keep on fighting, to extend what had been inevitable. Hatred and self-confidence which had once radiated from his eyes had faded into nothing.

Lyonnel averted his eyes, fixing his gaze upon his bare feet. Resignation had taken over. He did not expect mercy.

“You killed my father,” Florian said; his tone colder than the harshest winter. “You killed my father,” he spat, literally, into Lyonnel's face. The broken lord let it drip. “He was trapped underneath his horse, with no way of defending himself. And you killed him.”

Silence. Lyonnel did not speak, he did not look. He just waited for the inevitable, for it to be over.

“Your pathetic attempt to fight the Vale cost you your son's life. Stafford was a good person, he did not deserve to die for your sins! Your rebellion, your small, bruised and hurt ego caused hundreds, thousands to die. Speak, you lowly man, is your arrogance so great that it was worth all this? To ruin the lives of many?”

Lyonnel looked up at Florian, his features unchanging; unfazed. “No,” he finally answered. “It was not worth it.”
It was clear that this confession did nothing to lesson Florian's pain or anger. He leaned back in his throne and stared into the great nothing for a moment, thinking.

“My father rebelled in order to save two innocent young men from an angry, mad king,” he finally said. “I will spare your youngest sons and your wife. Your son will remain the ruler of Heart's Home.”

Lyonnel sighed with relief, and looked down once more. At least his name would live on.

“But I will execute you. You are a kingslayer and a traitor, a monster unfit to live. However, I will grant you one mercy you did not offered my father. A quick, honourable death,”

Florian turned his attention to one of his guards, and beckoned him to come.

“Ser Greatheart, slit the traitor's throat and make him fly.”

Lyonnel barely felt the sharp blade cut his flesh, until after he was already soaring through the sky. Falling towards the ground, he imaged seeing three ravens flying alongside him.

And then, nothing.


~~~​


This concludes 'Fields of Feasting'. The second chapter will tell (parts of) the story of what happened in the ten years that followed 'Fields of Feasting' and treat the lifes of Lyonnel's youngest sons Parmen and Rollam as they grow up without a father, in a court that's split between two factions who are willing (and going) to murder one for power.

That, or we could skip most of that and skip straight to what happened after those ten years. :) Any preferences?
 
Last edited:

unmerged(135995)

First Lieutenant
Feb 26, 2009
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Seems there's not much interest either way... I'll see what I will do. Updates will be slower the coming week. :)
 

unmerged(135995)

First Lieutenant
Feb 26, 2009
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@Aetherius, you may!



This map represents the political situation in Westeros ten years after 'Fields of Feasting'.

The purple at the top is the Night's Watch, the big grey blob is the kingdom of the North, which is still being ruled by Ned Stark! The light blueish realm is the kingdom of the Riverlands, the darker blue is the kingdom of the East. Encircled is the 'space' where 'Fields of Feasting' took place (to give you an indication of the scale). The dark red in the eastern half of Westeros is the kingdom of the Iron Throne, still ruled by Rhaeger Targaryen. The lighter red at the opposite end is the kingdom of the West, ruled by Tywin Lannister. The green, yellow and orange kingdoms are the Reach, the Storm Lands and dorne.

The Storm Lands are ruled by Dontos Baratheon (Joffrey was never born in this timeline), Robert's eldest son. Robert Baratheon died in "1122", which it seems was a bad year for rulers.

Fun to know, Jon Snow lost his 'bastard' trait and is now ruling a seat up north. Cersei, the bitch queen of the 'Game of Thrones' series, died young. Tyrion is also already dead in this timeline, but not before he got married and fathered a daughter!
 

Aetherius

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In most of my parts,Cersei marries with Farman and Tyrion becomes the lord of Castamere ^^ .
This is North's vassals in the Reach and in crackclaw or independant rulers ?
Do you read the books ? With the close release of ADWD,you NEED to read the books !

ps : Sorry for my possible bad english,I'm french ;) .
 

unmerged(135995)

First Lieutenant
Feb 26, 2009
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I've just started with A Game of Thrones. In a few weeks I hope to have enough free time on my hands to read the others as well!

The greyish parts like Crackclaw Point and Longbow Hall are independent rulers. There's, sadly, no different color to differentiate completely independent rulers. In another game I've seen Tyrion become "king" of the West. :D
 

jmberry

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Not to sound nitpicky or anything, but some screenshots of the characters would be nice.
 

Davisx3m

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The more screenshots the better!