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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

JimThePocket

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This will be my first AAR, motivated by the contest posted by the Game of Thrones mod team.

We'll be starting as Balon Greyjoy in the Clash of Kings scenario, with the 'historical' POD being that he actually possess a shred of common sense.

Index

Chapter I: Bargain
Chapter II: Clash of Kings
Chapter III: Lion's Lament
Chapter IV: The Great Reaving
Chapter V: Fire and Blood
Chapter VI: Dawn of the Dwarf
Chapter VII: Kraken's Gambit
Chapter VIII: God of Many Faces
Chapter IX: Drowned God's Hall
Interlude: Lords and Kings
Chapter X: The Kraken's Daughter
Chapter XI: Salt and Smoke
Chapter XII: Harren's Revenge
Chapter XIII: Blood of my Blood
Chapter XIV: Kings of Ruin
Chapter XV: Teeth of the Lion
Interlude: The Lands of Westeros
Chapter XVI: Consider that a Divorce
Chapter XVII: The King of the Trident
Chapter XVIII: Lair of the Wolf
Chapter XIX: Invaders at the Gates
Chapter XX: The Lion and the Bear
Chapter XXI: Of Flayed Men and Finery
Chapter XXII: Ice and Blood
Interlude: Five Kings
Chapter XXIII: Poems and Plots
Chapter XXIV: Rook's Reaving
Chapter XXV: The Iron Prince
Chapter XXVI: Sins of the Father
Chapter XXVII: Wrath of the Kraken
Chapter XXVIII: The End of Iron
Chapter XXIX: Pay Iron Unto Treason
Chapter XXX: Plucking the Rose
Interlude: Four Hundred AL
Chapter XXXI: Pay the Turnip Price
Chapter XXXII: The Desert and the Deep Blue Sea
Chapter XXXIII: Fingers and Flames
Chapter XXXIV: Red Priests and Rebels
Chapter XXXV: Fire and Iron
Chapter XXXVI: Shadow and Steel
Chapter XXXVII: Storm of Wrath
Chapter XXXVIII: Farewell to Madness
Chapter XXXIX: Dead Marshes
Chapter XL: Iron Storm's End

NB: If you're having trouble seeing the image attachments, it's a consequence of this thread getting a lot of views, which creates a bandwidth issue with photobucket. My bandwidth resets on the 4th of each month though, so just have a look later.

This issue should only affect chapters V-XXII, as I switched image hosting sites. I am converting the affected chapters as best I can, but it's slow going.
 
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JimThePocket

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Chapter I

I am Balon Greyjoy, Lord Reaper of Pyke and Lord Paramount of the Iron Islands, but you must surely already know this, reader, for all who dwell within reach of the sea have heard my name, and know to flee when they see the sails of my Ironborn, come to reave and pillage.

My captains know me better, of course. They know me as a skilled commander, brave, proud, and terrible in my wroth. They know I do not suffer fools without chastisement, for what Ironborn would?



They know and they remember. They remember when I was a King. Nine years ago my godly brother Aeron placed the Driftwood Crown atop my brow and proclaimed me Iron King. I strove to cast off the yoke so freshly stolen from the Targaryens by Robert Baratheon, but the Great Stag proved too strong, his lapdogs too numerous, and I was cast down, forced to bend the knee once more. My two eldest sons died for my hubris, and my youngest, Theon, my last boy, was taken from me to dwell with the Wolves of the North, leaving only my daughter, Asha.

But Robert Baratheon is dead.

A boar, they tell me, did the deed, but how it was done matters little. Robert is dead, his brothers both claim the crown for themselves, and the Wolf fights the Lion over the ruins of the Riverlands. My daughter has grown to be more a man than half my captains, and my son has returned to me at last.

But the Wolves have made him soft. He stood before me, dressed as a whore in finery he did not buy with blood, and spoke of making common cause with Robb Stark, promising a crown of my own if we helped this 'King in the North' gain his independence. My first instinct is to curse him for a fool, remind him of our words; "We Do Not Sow." and yet...and yet...my thoughts turn to the history of the Ironborn when last the old ways held firm and we were a terror feared by all the kingdoms. Those days died with the coming of Aegon, and why? Because one kingdom cannot stand strong against the others, Robert proved that to my sorrow. So long as the lands stand united beneath the Iron Throne the old ways can never return, but if the kingdoms can be split, divided, weakened...if the Iron Throne can be undone...




I tell my son to send word to his 'friend'. The Young Wolf shall have our aid.

For now.
 
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BlackBishop

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Awesome! And thus the chain of events that eventually lead to the infamous Red Wedding is broken. Eager to see where you go with this.
 

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Chapter II

My course now committed to war, I send ravens throughout the Iron Islands, calling the captains to muster at Pyke. They are all too eager, and when full accounting is made more than thirteen thousand Ironborn stand ready to board the Iron Fleet and fall upon the prideful Lions of Lannister. I take command of these men myself, with the aid of my stalwart brother Victarion and Dunstan of House Drumm, wielder of the ancient Valyrian blade known as Red Rain.



All of Westeros stands open before the masters of the sea, and I must choose my target with care. Lannisport is close, and a rich plumb indeed, but Robb Stark has marched east, and Tywin Lannister has pursued him. I know that is is the clash in the Crownlands that will be the decisive meeting of this war, and so it is there I must go. However long the journey.

We make good time, though we miss the first clashes of the war. We are rounding the arm of Dorne when word reaches us that the Young Wolf and Lord Tywin have met in battle near Rayonet. The battle would prove costly to both sides, but ultimately the Wolf vanquished the Lion and set him to flee south with his tail between his legs. We celebrate by offering a Westerman thrall to the Drowned God.



Anxious not to lose our chance at plunder, we push our ships as only Krakens can. Eluding the ships of Stannis Baratheon, who had claimed dominion of the Stormlands after his brother Renly's death and now fought his own war against the Lannisters, the Iron Fleet arrived in Blackwater Bay, where we learned that Lord Tywin had raised fresh forces the Northern onslaught and camped around Kings Landing. Sensing the opportunity for glory, I ordered my men to fall upon the wounded lion, and we put him to rout. The Lion himself ran from my challenge to personal combat, and all now know him for a coward.



With Tywin's forces scattered and the Tyrells battling Stannis the Young Wolf was quick to join us, and our combined forces took Aegon's red city with fire and sword. Mine own men seized the royal family as prizes of victory, handing their captive Stark girl back to her brother. She might, perhaps, make a fitting bride for my feckless son one day. Certainly she has cause to think well of Ironmen, who freed her from her captors.The Baratheon children and their Lannister kin would not share such goodwill. Robert Baratheon took my sons from me, and now I have taken his.



I walk to the harbour of Kings Landing, and before my Captains am once again anointed with salt and water, mixed this time with the smoke from Robert's burning city and the blood of his butchered bannermen. For the second time my brother places Driftwood Crown atop my brow. For the second time, I am a King.



 
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JimThePocket

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Awesome! And thus the chain of events that eventually lead to the infamous Red Wedding is broken. Eager to see where you go with this.
Cheers dude! Our rebellion is over. Time to decide what to do with Cersei and family whilst watching how Stannis fares in his war....
 

Pande

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Looking good! And I didn't even know that event chain existed for the Iron Islands, that's pretty cool.
 

JimThePocket

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Thanks guys!

You know, looking at Balon up there I can't help thinking the crown in his portrait is a bit ostentatious for the Ironborn. The model used by the North and the Wildings might be a better fit.
 

DisgruntledLemming

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Thanks guys!

You know, looking at Balon up there I can't help thinking the crown in his portrait is a bit ostentatious for the Ironborn. The model used by the North and the Wildings might be a better fit.
Agreed. Looks too regal for the Ironborn.
 

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Chapter III

I stand with the Young Wolf besides the Blackwater, two kings bearing witness to the death of a third. Stark wanted to end the boy himself, take his head off in the Godswood as retribution for his father, but it was my Ironborn who dragged Joffrey Baratheon from the Iron Throne, and it is to our God that we shall send the boy. Victarion hauls him through the streets like a lamb to slaughter, past a population split between joy at the hated Lion's downfall and terror of their conquerors, as it should be. The boy begins to kick and squeal as Victarion takes him through the surf to our brother Aeron, but the tirade is soon silenced by the water's embrace.



Our war now won, we leave the city to whatever fate may befall it. I take Joffrey's brother Tommen, himself a King now of a sort, and his mother with me back to Pyke, to guarantee the Lion make no further attempt to subdue me. The wench, Cersei, is possessed of a foul temperment, but she is fair enough to look on. I may make a salt wife of her.

As we leave, so too do the Northmen, taking Theon with them. I command him to return home, but he is evidently too enamoured of the Young Wolf, and he refuses me. At least in his defiance he shows some backbone. I send Aeron to watch over him in Winterfell, and to speak well of me to the Young Wolf. Aeron is an odd creature, but he speaks well when he has mind to, and I may yet need the Stark boy.

The Stag and the Lion fight over the scraps we have left them, and the Stag proves victorious. Stannis Baratheon vanquishes those few Lions and Flowers that survived our wrath and takes the Iron Throne for himself. I bear little and less love for Stannis, we have not forgotten Fair Isle, but I am pleased regardless. Tywin Lannister could, perhaps, have held the kingdoms together, but all they shall have from Stannis is death and blood, whilst we shall surely profit.



We arrive back in Pyke rich with the spoils of war. Now, at last, we can begin to undo some of the damage wrought when I was forced to kneel. I give orders for the walls of Pyke to be repaired, stronger than before, and as word spreads my Iron Islanders flock there, building fresh homes in the protective arms of the Kraken.

Within months I hear great news indeed. Tywin Lannister, broken by defeats at the hands of Wolf, Kraken, and Stag, has gone to his gods. Word is he simply lost the will to live on and withered away. His stunted son takes the Rock for his own, and I know that wherever he is, Lord Tywin is screaming in impotent rage. This brings smile to lips, one that widens when I tell Cersei the news and call for my bard to play 'The Rains of Castamere'.



My enemies broken, I take some time to enjoy being King, and watch as the greenlanders fall to war again. Stannis seems to face insurrection at every turn, whilst Edmure Tully, chaffing under fresh rebuke from Robb Stark, sets the Riverlands to war with his nephew. On Pyke we hunt and feast and laugh at the fools.

Several years pass this way, and we grow stronger whilst our foes destroy themselves. It is during this time that I finally tame the Lioness I stole. It was a night given to the Storm God when I walked into the chambers where Cersei now dwells. She hates me, I know, but the Ironborn take what they wish. Still, she seemed more accommodating than I'd truly expected that evening. A good salt wife after all.



Of course, men as strong as I remain virile to our dotage, and it was not long before Cersei's belly began to swell with child. The months passed, and she bore me a pair of twins, girl and boy like she and the Kingslayer had been. I let her name the girl, which she calls Amarei, whilst the boy I give the name Dagon, in honour of my ancestor who made the dragons tremble.





I spend some time learning to be a father once more, though I can tell that my daughter Asha is not well pleased. She still thinks to rule after me, and Theon is competition enough. It is not long before I tire of the business; I am growing too old to have any patience left to me.

It is my brother that suggests a fresh course for me, away from nagging women and ambitious children. I take his words to heart and call the Iron Fleet to muster. The Iron King will reave one last time....

 
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Man I really got to read/watch a Game of Thrones. Saw the pilot episode, but could disinterested at the intro and turned off the T.V. One of the more stupid decisions I have made! :p

In any case I am liking this AAR! It's well written with a sexy, sexy title!
 

BlackBishop

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Don't you fall for that foul temptress, Balon Greyjoy. Don't you do it! lol, great update.
 

Pande

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Joffrey drowned and Cersei an impregnated saltwife? I approve!
 

postm00v

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As much as I despise the Ironborn, the fact that you drowned Joffrey pleases me. Theon Turncloak should not be allowed to rule though!
 

BlackBishop

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I actually pity Theon. He is torn between the two worlds of Iron and Wolf, not to mention the horrible torture he endures by the bastard of Bolton.
 

JimThePocket

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Don't you fall for that foul temptress, Balon Greyjoy. Don't you do it! lol, great update.
Hah, In his defence Balon's own wife is crazy and hates his guts, but then pretty much everybody hates Balon.

Joffrey drowned and Cersei an impregnated saltwife? I approve!
Had to be done! :D

As much as I despise the Ironborn, the fact that you drowned Joffrey pleases me. Theon Turncloak should not be allowed to rule though!
I actually pity Theon. He is torn between the two worlds of Iron and Wolf, not to mention the horrible torture he endures by the bastard of Bolton.
Theon in this reality has been Robb Stark's most loyal bro, but I'd rather he not be king as I've had no input into his development. My options do seem limited though, as Asha won't marry anyone and my kids by Cersei are still Lannisters. There's always Euron, but lord knows what he's up to.

If I get the option to legitimise Dagon I might try switching to Elective to simulate a Kingsmoot, though that would require a bit of a popularity boost for old Balon first. As I said, everybody hates him, 'cause he's a jerk.

In our next update: Balon's wacky adventures in Slaver's Bay!
 

Deaghaidh

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IMHO, the Iron born don't get their fair share if they join Robb. Even if you occupy Casterly Rock, you have to give it back when the war ends, not fitting at all for Iron born.

Still, I approve of Jeffrey executed and Cersei reduced to a Salt Wife. And here's hoping you pillage the hell out of Slavers Bay.

Any sign of Dany? The on isn't married yet, and a Dragon crossed with a Kraken would be a fearsome beast indeed...
 

JimThePocket

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IMHO, the Iron born don't get their fair share if they join Robb. Even if you occupy Casterly Rock, you have to give it back when the war ends, not fitting at all for Iron born.
Agreed. I'm hoping Stannis will start another mega-war so I can have a crack at the Westerlands. I do have Lions of my own now.

Still, I approve of Jeffrey executed and Cersei reduced to a Salt Wife. And here's hoping you pillage the hell out of Slavers Bay.

Any sign of Dany? The on isn't married yet, and a Dragon crossed with a Kraken would be a fearsome beast indeed...
She's still in Qarth, mooching about. I'd like her to marry Theon, but he won't leave Winterfell because he likes Robb so much. If Balon dies and Theon takes over she'll be top of the list.

I normally try to avoid marrying Dany during 'serious' games as it can be a bit game-y when the story is considered, but I guess it's easy to explain for the Ironborn given the whole Victarion/Euron thing and the fact that you can actually go to Slavers Bay yourself.