• 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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Part III: Arya

“Lords, please, this is not a feast, this is a war council!”

The Greatjon snorted. “Not a feast, aye?” He took a bite of his chicken. “Then what do you call it?” he asked, half-chewed chicken falling out of his mouth. He turned to Arya. “Bring me more wine, girl!”

“Do not call my daughter ‘girl,’ Lord Umber! She is a Stark, and your king’s sister,” Catelyn angrily interjected. Inside, though, Arya knew, that her mother was appalled that she had insisted on continuing as cupbearer, at least for this feast….no, war council; it was simple, really – she simply wanted to be around the action, not sewing with needles or doing boring things like that.

“Well excuse me, Lady Stark, but that does not affect the issue at hand – my cup is empty!” Lord Umber roared.

Robb pounded the table with his cup, shattering the glass base. “Enough! I let you dine from Lord Tywin’s kitchens, and you all sit here like we’re at a wedding feast! WE ARE AT WAR, PEOPLE! No more chicken, no more lemon cakes, and especially NO MORE WINE!” As if to emphasis his point, Grey Wind stood and growled. The room fell silent.

“But Your Grace,” Lord Bolton intervened. “We have already defeated Tywin Lannister and captured Harrenhal. King’s Landing is ripe for the taking – there is no need to rush.” A few lords muttered their agreement.

Robb shook his head. “How can you be so naïve? My lords, we did not defeat the Lannister armies – we won at the Whispering Wood, then simply deceived them into moving so far out of the way they are irrelevant…if we keep moving. And Lord Tywin is still a factor; in fact, we don’t even know where he disappeared to. King’s Landing is not an easy city to capture, let alone before reinforcements arrive. Our business is not yet finished. AND YET YOU ALL SIT HERE STUFFING YOUR FACES WITH CHICKEN!!!”

One second passed. Then another. And another. Tension filled the area. Then the Blackfish stood up.

“Tywin Lannister has fled. A boy sits the Iron Throne. King Stannis is marching north from the Stormlands. King’s Landing has never been more vulnerable…and yet I do not think we can take it. Not by force. Not with the Tyrells on Joffrey’s side now.”

img_2306951_620.jpg

With nobody drinking any wine since her brother forbid it, Arya sat down next to her mother and Lord Karstark near the head of the table. “Then why should we go to King’s Landing next? Surely there’s a better destination?”

Her mother ordered her silenced, but Robb just nodded. “I’ve been wondering that myself, but I cannot think of anything. Now, if we had the support of the Vale, we could conceivably assault Casterly Rock and Lannisport, but…”

Mother shook her head. “My sister has refused to answer any of our pleas for help. I fear we will get nothing from there.”

The conversation dragged on for hours; back and forth they went. No, we don’t have the numbers to take King’s Landing. But wait, the people will surely rise for us. Aye, but could we hold it? Whose side is Dorne on? Questions, questions, and more questions – but never answers; at least, never answers that did not breed four more questions. Arya left for an hour and returned to find the discussion literally in the same place as when she had left; they were just going in circles, and her brother had clearly had enough.

Finally Lord Umber stood. “So let me get this straight. We have two options. Number one – we attack King’s Landing. And apparently that’s no good; at least not head on. Personally, I think you’re all being a bunch of real – ”

“Get on with it, my lord.” By now, Robb sounded defeated.

“Yes, Your Grace. Anyways, so option one is out. And number two, going after the Westerlands, is supposedly even worse.”

“Aye, it would stink,” Brynden Tully said. “Number two really stinks.”

“Haha,” Arya giggled. “Number two stinks.” Cat whacked her in the back of the head and ordered her to behave “like a lady.” As if Arya cared.

Just then the envoy who had traveled to King’s Landing returned, dejected. “They declined the offer, did they not?” her mother asked. The boy nodded.

“Well, he has been to King’s Landing. Tell us, please,” Roose Bolton asked, “news of King’s Landing.”

The boy bowed his head. “Aye, Your Grace, my lords. The capital is in shambles. The Imp prepares a formidable defense, so the blacksmiths say – a defense concentrated on Stannis’s fleet and army, not yours. They do not know of Tywin Lannister’s defeat yet, although they surely will soon.”

“Is that all?”

“No. The people…..famine rips through the city; people are dying by the thousands. Hundreds upon hundreds of supplicants pound upon the Red Keep daily, begging for bread, but Joffrey and Cersei just send them away. On good days. When the people are unlikely, well, Joffrey had decided to practice his marksmanship. With people. His people.”

Robb just smiled and sat back. “I have an idea.”

Robb-Stark-game-of-thrones-31026206-1366-768.jpg
 
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King in the North!

Thakingindanorfthg

King in the North !

Very original guys :D

Good AAR. seems that you will be following the TV show as main guideline, right?

In the last post the images don't show up, at least for me, only links appear. Should I assume that was unintentional?

Thanks for noticing that I'll make sure to fix it. And...well i haven't been consciously using the show but I guess I have lol. Basically my policy is that if I like a certain scene from either the books or the show and I can build off it, I will. So far, well the series is fresher in my mind, and those Arya/Tywin scenes were some of the best imo
 

Nikolai

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Robb has an idea. That is good. He seems smarter in this story than in the original.:p
 

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It wasn't that he was dumb. He just had the trusting trait in the books ;)

Not to mention both "Lustful" and "Chaste," as well as "Honorable." A recipe for disaster.
 

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Part IV: Tyrion

“Nothing, Lord Varys? Are you sure?”

“Absolutely. My little birdies tell me that Stark’s army just…vanished.”

That makes no sense, Tyrion thought. Armies don’t just disappear into the air. “Well maybe they snuck past your ‘little birdies.’”

The Spider shook his head. “Impossible, my lord Hand. My little birdies see all. The army just disappeared.”

Tyrion-Lannister-tyrion-lannister-32356393-800-534.jpg

“Well, then that is a big problem, isn’t it. Stark armies in the north, Stannis’s army in the south; it’s bad enough when you’re surrounded by armies you can see. How are you supposed to defend against an army you cannot?” Tyrion was sure he knew the answer to that, but he voiced it anyway.

Varys smiled at him. “Tell me, how do you look in black?”



“SILENCE!!! SILENCE YOU IMBECILES!!! I AM YOUR KING!”

King’s Landing had seen its fair share of riots, especially the past few weeks, thanks to the hordes of refugees from the Riverlands and the south and the massive famine. At this point, it didn’t seem like anyone outside the Red Keep had had anything to eat or drink for the past few weeks besides malnourished rats and ever-fewer slices of stale bread (although a decent number of the most recent newcomers were better than most). Still, by far this was the largest and most hostile – over fifty thousand men, women, and children filled the city squares and surrounded the Red Keep, yelling for food and shelter.

“BE GONE! DISPERSE! I AM YOUR KING!” Joffrey was on the verge of hysteria. He turned to Sandor Clegane. “Dog, bring me my crossbow.” The Hound just glared at him, then silently leaned down and handed it to the young King.

“Good,” said Joffrey, nodding. “Good. Time for some hunting.” He picked up the crossbow and looked over the crowds. “Who shall die first? Oh….her. I want her.” He pointed out a girl in the crowd; she had dark auburn hair and a pretty face – at least, it would be a pretty face, if not for the scarred body, or the mud-caked face, or the blood-matted hair, or the malnourished frame; she looked to be about sixteen. “Bring her to me. Clean her up first; I want her fresh.

“And Sansa Stark. Bring her to my chambers; when I am done here, I will have her – and afterwards we shall see if she needs to take lessons from my Queen.” Meryn Trant nodded assent and left to do the King’s bidding.

“Now where was I? Yes, time for the crowds to disperse.” He aimed his crossbow and fired into the crowd, splitting the skull of a crippled, old sellsword.” As he reloaded, he screamed at the crowds. “DISPERSE YOU DOGS!! SWALLOW IN YOUR MISERY!! LISTEN TO YOUR KING!! BEGONE! STARVE IN SILENCE! I AM YOUR KING!!!” He fired again. “THE KING!!!”

joffrey-204.jpg

A young man in the crowd stood up and yelled. No, not a man – a giant, tall and well-muscled. “The King. Yes, the King. And what is he doing while his people starve and look to him for guidance? He bloody hell shoots at them, and picks out the choicest girls to fill his bed. But no more. NO MORE!”

The man motioned to someone else in the crowd, another giant like himself – clearly older, but even bigger. The new man was at least seven feet tall and built like an ox, certainly stronger than the Hound. The two of them approached the gate and tried to lift it together, grasping it from the bottom. That was when Tyrion noticed the older man’s hands – on his right hand, there were only three fingers.

“Joffrey,” the dwarf said. “Go to your chambers. Sandor, stay with him, and wait for me to come get you. Now.”

When they had gone, Varys joined Tyrion on the balcony overlooking the crowds. “Concerned over a little riot?”

“This is no mere riot.” Tyrion pointed at the castle gates, where the two men, aided by the crowds, broke through the steel bars and opened the gates. “I believe that man over there is the Greatjon.”



Hours later, Tyrion was brought in chains outside the Red Keep for an audience with the victorious Stark boy.

The battle was a rout – thousands upon thousands of Northmen (for all the so-called refugees closest to the gates were Northmen in disguise) stormed the Red Keep while the population of the capital turned on Lannister forces and the gold cloaks. Within two hours the fighting was over, the King and the royal family captured, and most lords killed; the only small council member to live was Tyrion, who surrendered quickly.


The Northern King looked him over. “What happened to your nose? Sword blade cut if off?”

Tyrion shook his head. “Lord Umber ripped it off; he did the same with Joffrey’s $%#@.”

King Robb smiled slightly. “Ripped, you say? And Joffrey’s manhood, too. I hope he has a good explanation for torturing my prisoners.”

The Greatjon pointed to the top of the keep. A bloody good one he had, although I had nothing to do with it, Tyrion thought. All thanks to that vile creature who until a few minutes ago sat on the Iron Throne, who could not resist one last sadism before the fall of the city.

The Northman’s face changed from a look of confusion to one of complete revulsion before finally settling on fierce anger and determination. He drew Ice, which was recovered by Lord Karstark from Ser Ilyn.

Tyrion tried to back up. He spoke rapidly, and his heart beat even faster. “It was not me, I did not do it, I would have stopped him, It was all Joffrey, I knew nothing of it.”

“Too late,” was all that the King of Winter would say, raising his Valyrian steel sword.

Out of options, TYrion shouted, “I WANT TO TAKE THE BLACK!”

“My lord father was offered the same choice. You will share his service with the Watch.” He swung the sword.

The Imp was dead before he hit the ground.
 

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Wow. Tyrion.:(
 
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Nooooo not Tyrion

Wow. Tyrion.:(

Boohoo. Remember, in this part of the AAR, he's the enemy.

Poor Tyrion. Robbis quite different in this timeline respect to the cannonical one: bothe more cunning and ruthless... which is an odd combination.I think he and Balong would take along quite well.

So I assume the macabre spectacle at the top of the wall means also the end of poor Samsa?

Bingo. I thought about including a screenshot, but I trusted that you guys would figure it out.

Wow ... I don't actually know how to feel about this update. It was good but what's happened is ...

Will be interesting to see how things develop after I finish mourning.

georgemartin.jpg
 

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Part V: Catelyn

“Announcing the Lord Stannis, Lord of the Stormlands, who styles himself King of the Seven Kingdoms, Lord of the Andals and the First Men, the Chosen One of R’hllor, Azor Azai, Lord of Dragonstone.”

To Cat’s left, Queen Roslin yawned. “Send him in,” she said. Eager as she was, she was still just a young girl, Lady Stark noted, and was greener even than her younger son Bran when it came to governing. The light from the stained glass windows was rapidly dimming; they had been there since they broke their fast early that morning, with only an hour’s recess for their midday meal. Tiring work it was – for the most part, not difficult, only tedious. Until now, of course. Of course Stannis would come in the evening, when the day – and their patience – was at its end.

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The Lord of Storm’s End and Dragonstone entered, flanked by the Red Priestess and the Onion Knight. “I’ve come for my throne, thank you very much. Would you please get out of it?” He glared at Roslin, who shifted in her seat and looked at Catelyn.

Ser Davos stepped forward. “My apologies, Queen Roslin, Lady Catelyn; I hope both of you are well, and King Stannis and I congratulate Robb Stark on his victories against the pretender and bastard-born Joffrey Lannister, who falsely styled himself Baratheon. It was a great sight to see the heads of all traitors atop spikes above the Red Keep.”

As smooth with words as he is with ships, the former smuggler was. “Well, unfortunately my daughter Sansa’s head sat there before, where Ned’s once sat and Joffrey’s now stands; fittingly, they all sit on the same spike.”

“Where is the Tyrell girl, if I may ask? We did not see her head at the gates,” Davos noted.

Roslin shook her head. “No, you will not find it there; my husband has sent her head to Mace Tyrell her lord father, to warn him what happens to those who side with monsters.”

Stannis styled. “Yes…her ambition to be queen ultimately killed her. Now, back to the point, I am King of the Seven Kingdoms and demand you to hand the city – and rightfully the North – back to me.” The Red Priestess tapped him on the shoulder and whispered into his ear. “Well, yes, I know, you’re right.” He cleared his throat. “I mean, I request that you hand over my capital city, and thank you for providing my faithful citizens with food and drink in their hour of greatest famine.”

Well, now, there’s the problem. Roslin sat forward in the throne. “Well, my lord – ”

“Your Grace,” interjected Ser Davos.

“Ser Davos, Lord Stannis, and Lady Melisandre,” Roslin continued. “My husband and I have no ambitions on the South and do not even desire to rule as King and Queen over all of Westeros. We are willing to recognize your claim as King on the Iron Throne, but nothing else. Both the people and the local lords native to King’s Landing and the lords of the Crownlands have declared for the direwolf and bent the knee to the King in the North. The Great Sept is yours, and we will grant you use of the throne room for coronations and major events, but beyond that, you may not take up residence and make your capital in King’s Landing.” She leaned back in the throne, crossed her legs, and looked down upon Stannis.

She already sits like a Queen, Cat thought. And thinks like one, too. Not many in the Seven Kingdoms have the audacity to speak up against a man like Stannis Baratheon. Still, it wasn’t an unfair deal for the brother of the dead king – his army was outnumbered even by the garrison left by Robb when he returned north to deal with Balon Greyjoy, thanks to his defeat at the Battle of the Blackwater at the hands of the now-dead Imp and Ser Loras Tyrell, no lords paramount as of yet recognized him as King, and his treasury was exhausted.

Stannis stepped forward. “This is an outrage!! No pretender and his whore shall – ”

Ser Davos clamped his hand over his lord’s mouth. “What His Grace means to say is that we deem your terms honest and fair, and as such we accept them.” He turned to Stannis and, meaning to whisper so that they could not hear, and failing, reprimanded him. “Do you want to see your head join the bastard’s on the spikes? They have literally every advantage over us!”

Roslin smiled. “Very well. Dearest mother-in-law, when shall we hold the coronation of our friend Stannis Baratheon, King of the Five Kingdoms, Lord of the Andals, and Protector of the Realm?”

“In a fortnight, I say, to give the cooks enough time to prepare a feast and for invitations to be sent. I must apologize to the King Stannis, however, that our Robb will not be in attendance. The King in the North and of the Trident and Lord of the First Men is returning to Winterfell with his army to engage the armies of King Balon Greyjoy, who falsely claims himself King in the North by right of conquest.”

With that, Queen Roslin motioned to the two of them and said. “You may go. Guards, bring in the next guest, and by the gods he better bet he last.” Obviously displeased, Stannis stormed out, followed closely by his companions.


The herald returned and announced that only one more supplicant was present – Oberyn Martell, Prince of Dorne, special envoy for Prince Doran Martell. Roslin ordered him in.

The Red Viper entered. “Ah, my Queen Stark, you do look especially beautiful today. Would you care for some wine?” He pulled a flask from his bag and offered it to her.

Catelyn did not trust him. “Do not play games with us, Prince Oberyn. What are you hear for?”

Oberyn looked at her. “Lady Catelyn, my greatest condolences for your deceased husband; never since the death of Rhaegar Targaryen have I met a man equal to Lord Stark in honor and justice.” He opened the flask and took a drink. “Do you not trust me, my lady? Haha, I would not trust me either if I were you.” He walked around the throne room, admiring the halls.

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The two women shared a worried glance, unsure of where this was going.

“You want me to get to the point I am sure. Well, I thank you, and my brother thanks you. Why? Never before have we met anyone else who shares my love of dead Lannisters. And while justice has not been served in full for my dear, deceased sister, you have done us a great service.”

Cat smiled uneasily. “I am glad that you are happy, my lord.”

“We would like to seal the deal – you have a daughter, we have a son. My brother, in recognition of our gratitude, would like to unite our two families in marriage, Lady Sansa to Prince Trystane.”

Lady Stark cringed. “My daughter Sansa is dead, Prince Oberyn. As the city fell, Joffrey raped her, killed her, and put her head atop the Red Keep.”

Oberyn stopped in his tracks. “My deepest apologies, my lady, I did not know. I am glad that justice has been served for your daughter and that her death has been avenged.” He approached the widowed mother. “Remember, Dorne stands with you.”

The room stayed silent for a few seconds before Roslin spoke up. “Arya, however, is still unbetrothed, and is closer in age to your Prince Trystane. How is that for a match?”

“I do not have any objections to this, Your Grace. What do you say, Lady Catelyn?”

“She is not a proper lady, I fear. She is rude, despises etiquette and the duties of a lady, and prefers to play with swords and bows in the yard than working on her needlework or her studies.”

The Red Viper just smiled. “That is no object; I raise my daughters to be just like her. She will like Dorne greatly. And Trystane,” he laughed, “is the type of boy who could use a tough girl like her. Thank you, my beautiful ladies, and good night.”


Roslin stood. “Good. What’s for dinner? I’m famished!”
 

Nikolai

Basileus Romaion
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Jun 17, 2001
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Dorne is a good ally to have on your side.