• 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
Update 0: "...I think I need to make this an AAR."

GreatWyrmGold

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So, I started playing the mod as Renly Baratheon, shortly before his shadowy night. I wasn’t planning on making it an AAR, so the only screenshot I took for a while was this one when I bribed Tyrion to assassinate his nephew:
Everybody Hates JJoff.png
From HBO's new hit sitcom, Everybody Hates Joff
(Which, by the way, was a decision made when I assumed the shadow would be there sooner or later and wanted to remove non-dynastic heirs ASAP. I then forgot about it until someone discovered my plot. And for those who care, the other three people plotting with me are Varys, Littlefinger, and someone named Eustace Brune.)

Things of note that happened early on: Sansa got executed almost immediately, because I guess the Hound took off the day he was supposed to tell her not to piss off the Joff; Tywin caught the Brothers Without Banners, but Beric killed I think Ser Blunt in trial-by-combat and was released; and I beat my big brother at war. Not much happened, just a couple battles and Brienne of Tarth starting to siege Rainwood but being interrupted by the end of the war. Oh, and possibly because of the starting date, the Riverlands didn’t become part of the Kingdom in the North.

Anyways, the point when I decided to make this an AAR was when, early in the seventh moon of the 299th year after Aegon’s Conquest, I saw that Daenerys was attacking the Seven Kingdoms early. I was pretty sure she was somewhere around Qarth at this point, leading to the natural question of “You and whose army?”
Dany-Aeg.png
Now that I think about it, I'm surprised I haven't seen this ship more in the fandom.
...is that fAegon? That’s him! And Dany’s the one with the crown! Probably because she owns the crown.
Dany Crown.png
I don't remember this crown (which Dany got in Qarth back in book 2) appearing in the show. Which is a shame, because it would look awesome.
And also the dragons. They might be a factor.

At this point, her holdings are one castle in Pentos (Sunrise Gate), meaning she has a bit over 4,000 levies, mostly heavy infantry. However, she also has almost 13,000 event troops of unknown type (probably the Golden Company??), for a total of almost 17,000 troops. That’s far more than Stannis had, or for that matter Aegon the Conqueror...but the first Aegon’s dragons were adults. Also the Seven Kingdoms of his time were divided into several squabbling kingdoms and not united under...oh.

Political Map.png
The Seven Kingdoms, plus the Crownlands, plus Stannis, plus the arbitrary bits that broke off from their parent kingdom.
Also either Dorne or the Riverlands. I can never remember which is the odd province out.

Interesting notes about Dany’s court: Aegon tamed Viserion, Rhaegal is free, and two of her courtiers died the day she declared war. (Probably because they were High Valyrian yet not Targaryen, a contradiction that the game can only sustain so long.)

And while I’m on random useless trivia: Dany’s primary title is Princess of the Iron Throne, from her father, but Aegon’s is Khal, because he’s husband to the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea (the titular title Daenerys held at the start of the game). On random but mildly useful trivia, while Dany is quite inclined towards Renly, Aegon is precisely neutral about his existence...so it’s a good thing that he won’t be sitting the throne should the Targaryens be restored.
DanyOpn.png
AegOpn.png
Ladies in charge: A handsome king's best diplomatic prospect.

Oh, right, and Lord Guncer Sunglass of Sweetport Sound got A. imprisoned by Stannis and B. attacked by Master Moreo of Tyrosh and his aggressively blonde mane. I got an event saying it was my duty to defend him, so I declared war. Specifically, I declared “I’ll get around to you eventually, but first I need a throne.” My attitude strengthened once I realized Guncer wasn’t one of my vassals—hes a Crownlander who didn’t declare for any particular king, but the Tyroshi are raiding for slaves.

1591592115452.png
On my priority list, this ranks somewhere between "order victory peaches" and "apologize to Stannis".

Anyways. Let’s focus on the state of the Great Houses at the time when Daenerys Stormborn declared War.

  • King Renly Baratheon, the obvious true king now that Stannis was forced to give up his claim, is gathering armies in Griffon’s Roost, with plans to march on King’s Landing. He wants to have a son, as does his lovely wife Margaery, and she’s been waiting out her pregnancy at Storm’s End basically since the Storm’s End siege was lifted; we’ve got a 50/50 chance of getting the heir business sorted out soon. His brother Stannis is hiding on Dragonstone with his family.
    • King Joffery Lannister-Baratheon is a right bastard as usual, having accumulated traits like Torturer, Cruel, Craven, and...Rebel Leader? Cersei is acting as his regent, which might be why Tyrion is willing to assassinate his double-nephew; Jaime is training troops in King’s Landing, but wants to be regent. Lord Tywin is sailing an army around Claw Cape; he wants to become exalted among men. The Mountain is leading troops at the Twins. Another Lannister army is on the west coast, just north of the Reach.
  • King Robb Stark is leading troops through Hornwood for some reason. I guess he didn’t have his armies gathered properly. His brothers are safe in Winterfell, his half-brother is leading the Night’s Watch while the Old Bear is in hiding, and his sisters are gone one way or another. On an unrelated note, there’s a girl named Arya in Harrenhal.
    • Lord Paramount Mace Tyrell is re-raising his levies; he didn’t realize we were going to attack King’s Landing right after we dealt with Stannis. He wants to see the Tyrells rule the Iron Throne; if something happens to Renly before his heir comes of age, they technically will! He somehow got over 5,000 troops on Dragonstone, but doesn’t remember how, so they’re stuck there. Maybe that’s why Stannis is in hiding.
  • Lord Paramount Hoster Tully is helping his grandson secede from the Seven Kingdoms; no clue what he’ll do after that. He wants to see the Tullies on the Iron Throne; good luck, pal. The Late Lord Frey is sitting everything out, as usual.
    • Lord Paramount Robert Arryn is nominally helping his king (Joffery, by the way) defend against the Starks, but not me or Dany. His mother is teaching him etiquette.
  • Prince Doran waits for the right time to strike. He wants to become a Paragon of Virtue. Princess Arianne has married...Prince Oberyn?!? And Quentyn married one of the Sand Snakes?* I knew the Martels were close to the Targaryens, but I didn’t expect them to imitatethem!
    • Lord Paramount Balon Greyjoy isn’t at war with anyone, surprisingly...probably because his brother is trying to usurp his title. (Despite being just off the Pentoshi coast.) That might delay his kingly declaration. Surprisingly, Asha is at home; Theon is in the North, gathering armies in Silvereed (just northeast of the Neck). Balon wants to tame a dragon. I wonder if he’ll drop Dany a letter, and how hard she’ll laugh at it.
  • The Old Bear asked the Realm for help defending against some wildlings, but nobody came. I don’t know what they’re worried about, they’ve got a big wall in the way. They’ll be fine. Walls make everything great, right?
*Sarella Sand. I don’t remember her coming up much in the books?

I’m not planning to regularly give detailed status updates on everyone, every time, but I’ll try to keep up with major events. If there’s anyone you guys want me to keep an eye on, or to actually keep track of every update, let me know.

Alright, let’s get a list of all the kings who have been in this mess:
  • King Joffery Lannister-Baratheon, the Crowned Lion, the Bastard Bastard.
  • King Renly Baratheon, the Clever Nickname Pending.
  • Ex-King Stannis Baratheon, the Ignored King, the Twice-Denied
  • King-in-the-North Robb Stark, the Young Wolf
  • King-Consort Aegon Targaryen, Stepfather of Dragons
(I spent way too long trying to think of a good nickname for Renly, and the best I could come up with is “the Young Buck," and that's too obvious. I'm hoping I defeat enough kings to justify calling him Kingsbane in the AAR, but he's only decrowned one so far.)

All right, we’re up to the standard five (Stannis met defeat before Dany declared war, but canon!Renly died before canon!Balon named himself king, so that tracks). I wonder if any others will rise in this clash of crowns?


Alright, that should be enough backgroundy stuff. Let’s get to the vaguely in-character narrative—one that plays with time and distance almost as strictly as the later seasons of Game of Thrones, but with even less idea where it’s going!


«—¤—ʘ—¤—»


King Renly Baratheon sat in his council chamber, his mind elsewhere. Margaery’s pregnancy had caused her so much difficulty; how much longer would it last?

council1.png
council2.png
Do you recognize any of these names? That’s fine, I don’t think any of them are significant characters.

“Shall we begin?” Lord Edric Kellington asked.

“We may as well,” Renly sighed. “Well, Edric? Any new news on the seas?”

Lord Edric was a skilled battlefield commander of few other talents, but Storm’s End owed him some boon, so he was named Master of Ships when Renly claimed his crown. As the Stormlands had no fleet to speak of, Edric’s duties were largely limited to reporting on enemy fleet movements.

“Aside from Tywin’s fleet by Crackclaw, there’s a Lannister fleet and an Ironborn one by Estermont. The Lannister craft number forty-five, but the Ironborn fleet numbers two hundred fifty. Luckily they’re headed south, but the Lannister ships are headed north. If the Lannisters are sailing troops from—”

Maester Jurne cleared his throat.

Renly nodded. “Thank you, Lord Admiral. Ser Bonifer, how long until our main force is ready?”

The pious knight served as the king’s primary general. “The force at Griffon’s Roost will march within two weeks—some thirteen thousand of our own, one in eight ahorse, plus about five thousand remaining from Lord Tyrell’s host. The levies around Storm’s End will take near a month to organize, but number another six thousand men. All combined, they will equal the Crownland armies. The Tyrells have another thirty thousand, but gods know when they’ll be ready to attack King’s Landing.”

“Be thankful the Lannisters need to send men to the Starks,” Lord Alaric Rogers grumbled, “else this war would be much crueler.”

“Thank both of you.” Renly considered what topic to bring up next, but nothing seemed terribly concerning, particularly when his heir—

Maester Jurne and Lord Barth Cafferen, King Renly’s Master of Whispers, spoke at the same time.

“A raven—”

“Littlefin—”

A lord, even a minor lord like Barth, obviously had precedence over a lowborn maester. “Proceed, Lord Barth.”

“Littlefinger has sent word from King’s Landing. The Imp has found a large number of potential conspirators, who presumably wish Joffery harm or are firmly on his side. Ser Osmund Kettleblack and his younger brother, Ser Denys of Dalston, Lady Taena of—”

“How many total?” Renly asked.

“Eight, including Lady Payne, a septon, and two servants,” Lord Barth said quickly. “With the Spider and Littlefinger on our side, the false king is not long for this world.”

“It shames me that we must do this to one I thought of my blood,” Renly said, “but the child is in truth a cruel abomination.” Renly was only truly confident on the boy’s cruelty, but Renly did not think Stannis likely to lie like this unless he was truly desperate—and even were he, Renly saw little gain for him, unless he was merely being vindictive towards the Lannisters. “I hope the bloodshed may end there.”

“As do we all,” the maester said. “However, I h—”

“There is more news,” Barth interrupted. “Lady Tanda of Stokeworth has been doing some skullduggery. Aside from somehow convincing Joffery to let her take Varys’s place on the high council—”

“No doubt why he was so willing to off the boy,” Bonifer said.

“—she has started a faction seeking to put young Edric Storm on the Iron Throne.”

Renly smiled. “Well. Another thorn in Joffery’s side, and if he doesn’t have her head mounted on a pike when one of her fellow vipers reveals this to him, she should be easy to drive off when I take the throne. Are there any further concerns?”

“None, your grace.”

“Excellent. Now, Maester Jurne, I believe you were speaking of a raven?”

Jurne repressed a sigh and nodded, removing a piece of parchment from his sleeve. “One from your brother. A message sent to ‘whomever now rules at Dragonstone,’ informing them of the imminent return of the so-called true queen of Westeros.”

The table fell silent.

Renly sat straight. “Who is this ‘true queen’?” For once, there was not an ounce of levity in the king’s voice.

“Daenerys Targaryen, known as Stormborn, the Mad King’s youngest child. She calls herself the Mother of Dragons, and claims to have three. One is her own, one was tamed by her husband Aegon Targaryen, sixth of his name.”

“Of course,” Lord Hugh Grandison, the Master of Coin, opined. “If she can bring dragons to life, why not a cousin?”

“Nephew,” Septon Kyle corrected.

“Cousin or nephew, the child was slain by the Mountain. This tale is an obvious fiction. Stannis surely means to make our king look a fool.”

“Perhaps,” Renly admitted. “Yet perhaps not. Lord Barth, contact our three friends in King’s Landing and ask if they have heard of a similar tale. If Tyrion’s servants, Littlefinger’s merchants, and even the Spider’s ‘little birds’ have somehow missed three dragons and a reborn prince, then the tale is doubtless false.” Renly leaned forward. “Yet if not...does Stannis say anything of this queen’s intent?”

Maester Jurne looked down at the parchment once more. “Stannis mentioned something about her desire for revenge on those who killed her father and took his throne.”

Renly smiled. “Why, that would be the Lannisters. Eddard and Robert as well, to be sure, but it was Tywin who took King’s Landing, his son who slew the king, and his dog who slew Princess Elia and her children. Or child, mayhaps? Regardless, her grievances are with the Lannisters.” He leaned forward. “But I? I was but a boy during my brother’s rebellion, and took no part in it. Our only disagreement is on who should rule the Kingdoms. And one dragon for herself, a second for her Aegon...you said she has a third dragon, yes?”

Jurne nodded.

“I am curious what it thinks of me. As it happens, my great-grandfather was an Aegon as well.”

I imagine your brother is having similar thoughts,” Lord Edric said.
StannisDragon.png
There are a ton of random characters with this ambition...but only one dragon.
Lord Hugh sighed. “Only if these rumors are true.”

“Of course,” Renly said. “But if they are, I would like to speak with this Mother of Dragons. We ought to prepare a letter for her, inviting her to Storm’s End to discuss such matters.”


«—¤—ʘ—¤—»


Wow, that was a lot of prose just from unpacking a few days’ events and having Renly’s council ruminate on this AAR’s main divergence. I feel weird investing all of this narrative effort on something that I know will just be waved off with something like “She said she refused to sell her dragons” in the next update, but so be it.
 
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Update 1: A Tale of Two Battles

GreatWyrmGold

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Oh crap, this posted before I finished it and I didn't notice. Please stand by while I finish it.

Note: In-game, the events described in the following update took place over the course of slightly less than a month, mostly during the eighth month of 29X, and not in the order described below. As hinted at in the first post, precise chronology is not going to be a focus of this AAR...nor is a precise description of events.

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

Sitting in his solar, Renly pondered his bastard nephew, Edric. Stannis seemed awfully interested in the boy, for whatever peculiar reason. Perhaps he'd hoped to use the boy's resemblance to a young Robert to prove his point about the Queen's children? Passing queer choice, seeing how little Stannis resembled him. Was it just concern for Robert's only acknowledged son, since his heir wasn't of his blood? More likely, it was concern of his acknowledged son. Daemon Blackfyre was a bastard, too, yet he could gather support against Daeron the Good...and Stannis was no Daeron.

In the end, it didn't matter; Stannis had retreated to Dragonstone, and Edric was safe at Storm's End. But there were still worries there. Ser Penrose would likely be quite occupied for the remainder of the war, so Edric would need someone to watch and teach him when Penrose was unavailable. Septon Kyle was Renly's first choice, but as his sins became more widely-known Renly was forced to reconsider. Perhaps Ser Hoster would be a better choice. He was skilled at war, both tactics and fighting itself, and if Edric was like his father he would pick up both topics passionately. If so, the man would temper some of Robert's vices as well; Ser Hoster was quite able to control his various appetites.

All sorts of little decisions held King Renly back. He should leave for battle soon, but once he left Storm's End, he would be unable to manage anything at the castle. There never seemed to be an end to the doubts plaguing him, the reasons to put off leaving for another day or two. Two hundred forty soldiers were camped outside Storm's End, a small but quick force to bring him safely to the main host, ready to march whenever Renly was. But he wasn't.

An urgent knock interrupted Renly's thoughts. "Come in."

Elwood Meadows threw open the door. "Your grace, Lannister banners to the east!"

And so there were. Standing atop the walls of Storm's End, Renly could see a small army—perhaps four thousand—marching towards Storm's End. They were too far for him to make out the device, but the colors were clear—red and yellow on one side, black and yellow on the other. Either they had Joffery's personal sigil on them, or some dyer had made a terrible mistake. If any meaningful part of Renly's host were present, they would be easy to fight off...but they were not.

A brief battle ensued between Joffery's four thousand and Renly's mere hundreds, the outcome inevitable. Some escaped into the countryside; most did not. They began to set up a camp under the castle walls.

BadBattle.png
I don't understand the math here. All four types of enemy unit lost one each, but only three have survivor counts lower than their initial value, the total is -2, and they ended up with only one fewer total soldiers than they started?

—¤—

Why am I still here? Renly wondered. In one sense, the answer was obvious; he had neither the soldiers to break through the siege, nor any sailors capable of safely traversing Shipbreaker Bay. But there was the question of why he had been at Storm's End in the first place. Did any of the matters that he had been so worried about really require direct royal attention?

Or was something else tying him here? When he left Storm's End, he would not return until he had tasted victory or defeat. What could happen in his absence? What concerned him?

Was it fear that something might happen to his unborn child, the new prince or princess? But what would he do if it did? Renly Baratheon was a king, not a maester. Did he fear that the Targaryen princess would come to treat with him, find him absent, and...what, leave? Destroy the castle out of boredom? If she wanted to speak with him and he was away, she would likely either wait or follow him. No, there was no reasonable concern keeping him here. Only a nameless fear of uncertainty.

That, and the enemy army. Hopefully, it would not be too long; it had been weeks since they sent ravens to a few nearby holdfasts, from which Renly's own armies should have been contacted. If the ravens had not been caught by arrows or hawks, if the holdfasts could find riders, if one of Renly's enemies hadn't landed armies elsewhere to engage them... And still they waited.

At last, he saw the armies arriving. First his own forces to the north, then the mixed host to the west. Joffery's forces tried to pack up their camp and flee, but Ser Emmon lead a charge, forcing them to throw together some semblance of formation and fight while the rest of the army marched on them. Ser Emmon's army was less than six thousand in total and poorly-organized; his right flank collapsed before the first Tyrell forces arrived. The Lannister host were outnumbered more than two to one, but they had by this time managed to assemble a cohesive formation while Tyrell and Baratheon bannermen were trying to spontaneously coordinate before their formations collapsed entirely.

The battle was turning definitively against the Lannisters even before the rest of Renly's soldiers crashed into the enemy's flank. With a wave of fresh soldiers larger than the entire force they had been fighting, Joffery's forces broke and fled. But between the water and the armies, there was nowhere to flee.

battle2.png
battle2'.png
Victory is sweet.

Near dusk, King Renly and several of his advisors rode out into his army's camp. The business of cleaning up after the battle was not wholly completed—in particular, there were a number of men wandering the battlefield, giving mercy to the mortally-wounded or searching the dead for valuables. Nevertheless, there were matters he needed to attend to sooner rather than later.


Most important was learning of recent events, most of all in King's Landing. Once Joffery's army had settled into the siege, they shot down ravens flying to or from the castle. Doubtless there was much that they had not heard.

Renly's co-conspirators in the city had sent word. Littlefinger sought to become Joffery's regent, though whether this was part of some assassination scheme was unclear; needless to say, he had faced pushback for this, even from within their group. The Imp's suggestions had been recruited, aside from Lady Stokeworth's new maidservant (who had died of some illness) and Septon Harrold (who was delaying a response); even with these absences, they were confident they could find some way to end Joffery's reign.

"They mentioned one other thing," Ser Emmon said. "The Targaryen queen has issued a response of sorts to your request for an audience."

Renly frowned. "Of sorts?"

"She has landed an army in the Crownlands."

"With luck, she intends to ally with us against the Lannisters." Renly sighed. "I don't suppose any of you have felt particularly lucky of late?"

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

Geez. Writing battles is hard. Good on GRRM for pulling it off so well. Other hard things: Figuring out how to transition from one scene to another when you only have a barebones skeleton of data points to work with.
It doesn't help when you accidentally give yourself a tight timeframe to work in by posting the half-completed update by accident.
 
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Update 2: The best-laid plans of lords and men...

GreatWyrmGold

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You know how AARs usually have screenshots? I forgot. In the session where I played through this update and the next, I only thought to take one. I took more afterwards, but screenshots I can take after the fact will obviously be more limited. Sorry about that.

Oh, by the way, this update also compressed about a month’s worth of events into a few distinct points. That’s not an intentional habit—the amount of time compressed into distinct points will vary some between updates.

Anyways. On with the update!


«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

“I don’t suppose any of you have felt particularly lucky of late?”

The night was silent, and full of possibilities. Few seemed hopeful.

“I feared not.” King Renly Baratheon glanced around the command tent—not his own, far smaller and sparser, but it would do for what they came here to do. “Where have these Targaryens landed, precisely? And what are they doing?”

Ser Emmon’s squire held a broad, crude map of the Crownlands in front of him. In the candlelight, Renly could almost make out the coastline.

“From what we heard,” Ser Emmon explained, “she landed two thousand men-at-arms at the mouth of the Blackwater, lead by a Jorah Mormont.”

“From the Night’s Watch?” Manfred Dondarion said in confusion.

“No,” Renly said quickly, “I believe that’s Jeor Mormont. Jorah...a cousin, I would assume?”

Ser Emmon shrugged. “I know little of the Northern houses. I’ve heard that this Jorah was exiled for enslaving some poachers, and that he now works for the Targaryens, but little besides. In any case, these two thousand went south to siege Langward Hall rather than end their lives on the walls of King’s Landing.”

“Just two thousand, though,” Ser Bonifer said. “Odd.”

“And just footmen,” Emmon clarified. “Her cavalry must be elsewhere.”

This lead to a discussion of the four remaining kings’ armies. Aside from the two thousand at Langward Hall, the Targaryens had near fifteen thousand soldiers and three dragons in unknown locations. Joffery had slightly more soldiers in the Crownlands than the Targaryens, but the bulk of Lannister power was fighting the North in the Riverlands. As for the true king, between Stormlands and the Reach, King Renly could call on near fifty thousand...though at the moment, Renly had only about half of his soldiers with him.

“In short,” Ser Emmon said, “we should have little reason to worry, so long as Tywin remains in the Riverlands.”

“What we know of the Riverlands is sparse and out of date,” Lord Barth objected. “It would not surprise me if Lord Tywin had sent reinforcements to his grandson when he heard the Targaryens had landed. And we know so little of where the Targaryen’s army is.”

“Or their dragons,” Renly said. “Do we at least know how big the dragons are?”

“Smaller than Aegon’s,” Lord Edric said. “Else I imagine we would have heard of them long before now.”

“I don’t think we can say anything for sure,” Barth said. “We need more time.”

“Luckily,” King Renly said, “we also need time to collect some wayward Reachmen. Instead of going straight north, we’ll head west to collect the Tyrells. Hopefully the Targaryens land more men, so they and the Lannisters can fight each other before we finish off the victor.”

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

Ellyn opened the letter. It looked like orders for some Stormlands merchant working for Lord Baelish, but Ellyn knew it contained an encoded message for the king. When Ellyn wasn’t cleaning some corner of Storm’s End or running errands for someone, she was in charge of encoding and decoding messages for Lord Barth.

It took a few minutes to list all the letters which were part of the message, then most of an hour to turn that string of letters into comprehensible words, with punctuation marks breaking them into sentences. Lord Barth didn’t like when she added extra words to make the sentences work, so she left them as they were.

All court Lanns hide finger. Regent dog lead king’s guard. King plan goes well.

Ellyn didn’t know how to handle the next sequence of letters. It was a list of names, most of which she didn’t know well enough to unravel. She thought she could pick out Ser Ilyn Payne, Dyre Den, three kettles, and something about the moon. Lord Baelish mentioned that one of the new names was in hiding with the Lannisters.

Justice for the King.png
This is the one I remembered to take during the actual session. (Plot power is 4% higher as of the end of the next update, thanks to Harwin. You'll see why he joined when I write that part up.)
And yeah, we managed to recruit Moon Boy. I don’t know how he’ll help, but hey, the more the messier.

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

One thing I left out due to the previous section’s framing device is that Littlefinger got married to Wyla Drinkwate, the daughter of a Dornish count. I guess she reminded him of Catelyn, and it’s not like Sansa’s around for him to creep on anymore.

I...don’t know how to describe this next bit in character. So I just won’t bother.

When playing CK2, you often think about the marriages and whatnot you want various characters to have. When playing in Westeros, you often think about major characters from the series in your vicinity. (And occasionally elsewhere.) So I was thinking about Brienne and realized she was unmarried, which is a problem; women have a limited amount of time to produce heirs, and she’s the only child of the House of Tarth, so she needs an heir. But canon!Brienne wouldn’t want to go too far from Renly.
Say, I know a character who generally stays near Renly and won’t be getting married on his own (for both character and he’s-in-my-court reasons). Loras marrying Brienne would work; since they’re both part of the Rainbow Guard, they’d naturally both be near Renly. Loras gets a beard, Brienne probably gets an heir eventually, everybody wins!

Around the time I realized that this marriage would get screwed up if either Loras or Brienne joined the Kingsguard (once I won the Iron Throne, of course), I got a message from...um...Mr. of Tarth. (I don’t have the game or the wiki open right now, sorry.) He was mad that his daughter and heir was in a non-matrilineal marriage, so I changed that at his request. My bad!
My first thought was “I wonder how many Tyrells I’d have to kill to make Loras heir to Highgarden”. (Hey, it’s CK2.) Luckily, I had my army screen open at the time, so “Wait, where did Brienne go?” was only my second thought.

Yup, the happy could had both left my court and gone to Tarth. Which, aside from being exactly the opposite of why I hooked those two characters up, took away my best dang commander in the middle of a war. And I’m playing on Ironman mode, because I kinda default to that when I’m not planning to cheat. (Hey, I like not having a bunch of autosaves cluttering the save game list!)
Brienne isn’t willing to come to my court, because she likes her dad too much. I don’t know if there’s anything I can do about this.

GoodIdea.png
It seemed like a good idea at the time...

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

A messenger wearing the red and yellow of House Fossoway knelt before Mace Tyrell.

“You have news from the front?” the lord asked.

“Yes, my lord. From King’s Landing.”

“Speak it then, I’ve got an army to lead.”

“Lord Bennis Fossoway fought a battle at White Sword Tower against King Joffery,” the messenger said.

“Oh? And how did the battle go?”

The messenger was silent for a moment.

WhiteSwordTower.png
Somehow, losing this battle counts as Mace contributing 85% of the war effort. (Maybe it counts incomplete and failed sieges, which Mace admittedly has more of.)
“The survivors should be rejoining your host.”

“Mm. That went poorly. I had no idea the Lannisters were organizing already.”

“Scouts suggest they were preparing to fight another enemy who was already in the Crownlands.”

Mace Tyrell’s first thought was the Young Wolf, that he had somehow broken through Tywin’s army and marched on the Crownlands. The second was that Stannis had returned, either to aid his brother at last or to pursue his claim once more. Or perhaps Beric Dondarion had raised another army?

“What enemy?”

“Men from the east, apparently, sellswords and dark-skinned soldiers and gods know what else. They follow a Northman and swear allegiance to a woman they call Stormborn. Strange ships were spotted, landing what we assume were more of her followers.”

Mace’s king had sent a raven to a holdfast near where Mace Tyrell was expected to be. Their estimates were off, far enough that the lord of the holdfast assumed every lord in the region received such a letter just in case. No rider was ever sent.

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

I’m sure something this update went as intended.

...We’ve got a lot of support for that plot! No events firing, since Joffery’s in hiding and will remain there for the rest of the war, but still.
 
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Update 3: Marching while Things Happen Everywhere Else

GreatWyrmGold

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You know how I said updates wouldn’t always cover a month? This one has two months of scattered events compressed into a series of vignettes!

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

Dalbridge leaned against the wall of a hut. “Qhorin?”

The Halfhand looked up from whetting his sword. “Hm?”

“Do you ever look at where you are, and wonder how you got there?”

“Do you mean this village in specific, or being in the Watch generally?”

MoralVictory.png
I’m not sure when any of this happened. Maybe I should pay more attention to the north.
“Right now? Mostly the former.”

Qhorin nodded and stared into the fire. “...Don’t know why I asked. Can’t give a good answer to either one.”

“I mean, I know we’re here because we’re fighting Wildlings. That’s obvious. And I know why we’re not going back to Castle Black.”

Qhorin nodded again.

“...I wonder if Mance’s captured it yet.”

Mance in Castle Black.png
...Well, the Watch captured a random chunk of the Haunted Forest, so there!
“He must’ve. He’s over the Wall, isn’t he?”

Dalbridge sighed. “Yeah.”

Qhorin glanced up at the Wall. He could almost imagine he saw a banner flying over Castle Black...though he wasn’t sure Mance Rayder had any banners to speak of.

“Wonder if the lords down south will send any help.”

“Doubt it.” Qhorin started sharpening his sword again.

“Lord Eddard was always kind to the Watch, though. Wasn’t he gonna be the King’s Hand or something?”

“He’s dead.”

“Then his son?”

“We can hope, but I hear the realm’s busy with some other wars.”

“Over what? What could possibly be more important than defending the Realm itself?”

«—¤—¤—»

“A message from Storm’s End came,” Lord Edric said. “Apparently, both Littlefinger and the Kingslayer want to tame a dragon.”

Ser Bonifer sighed and weighed his options. On one hand, he was interested in the goings-on at court, and Edric Kellington was in direct correspondence with Lord Barth. The war-council meetings mentioned the strategically-relevant information, but so little happening there actually mattered to Renly’s cause. On the other hand, Edric would likely only mention whatever gossip he was personally interested in. Unfortunately, that rarely included what Bonifer cared about.

“Interesting,” Bonifer said, trying to think of a way to guide the conversation. “There’s only one dragon left, though, isn’t there?”

“Quite,” Edric said. “I imagine Littlefinger’s got better odds of taming the dragon, and not just because the Lannisters locked themselves up. Ah, that reminds me of something dreadful their king did. You remember Beric Dondarrion’s men? The ones who went out to get the Mountain?”

Ser Bonifer nodded. “They were captured by Joffery’s men, weren’t they? I—”

Edric had no intention of letting the knight get a word in edgewise. “Joffery set one of the Northmen Stark sent with him free. Hole-in or Hulling or something.”

“Really? Some plan of the Imp’s, I’d imagine.” From all the horror stories Bonifer had heard, he couldn’t imagine anything the Crowned Bastard was less likely to do. But his uncle had been trying to mend the bridges Joffery burned, and the Starks—

“I doubt it. At the very least, I’m sure putting out Harlin’s eyes was the boy’s idea.”

“What?”

HisNameIsHarwin.png
In case you’d forgotten, Joffery is a dick.

“Joffery let the man go free, after taking his eyes. Barth didn’t say what Hullon did after that, but I cant imagine he went too far, what with the blindness.”

“Ah.” Bonifer tried to think of a response, any response, but had nothing.

Lord Edric blinked in surprise. “Sorry, did I disturb you?”

“No, no, nothing like that,” Bonifer said, waving his hand dismissively. “I’m just surprised that King Robert’s son could be so monstrous.”

“His alleged son,” Edric reminded him. “Besides, he seems to share some of Robert’s passions. War, for instance. Have you heard what’s going on with Stannis?”

“With Stannis?” The man was a heretic and strung up on what he thought was owed to him, but the last Bonifer had heard, he was holed up on Dragonstone, not bothering anyone.

Before Edric could explain, a page ran over. “Lord Kellington! Lord Hasty! The king needs to speak with you!”

¤—

A scattered collection of lords, knights, and councilors gathered in King Renly’s command tent. Apparently, important news about the war had reached Renly’s host, and he wanted to discuss it immediately.

There had been a battle near King’s Landing, fourteen thousand Targaryen warriors lead by a Dothraki and Mormont’s two thousand infantry against somewhere between three and four thousand Crownland levies. Needless to say, it was less of a battle and more of a slaughter; the battle was too far from the city walls for the Gold Cloaks, siege engines, or whatever else the Lannisters had planned to have any real impact. Joffery’s troops lost more than a third of their numbers, while the Targaryen force took scarcely any casualties.

I can’t show you anything about battles I didn’t participate in, unfortunately. If I get access to such information after I beat Joffery, I’ll try to remember to post it here.
But if you care, the Dothraki was Jhogo.
“Apparently,” King Renly said, glancing at a letter, “the Dothraki did something the dragon princess didn’t like. He was demoted, with Barristan Selmy and some Pentoshi being made commanders in his place.”

“The Dothraki is a Dothraki,” Ser Emmon Cuy pointed out. “There’s no end of crimes he might have done in battle. I’m amazed she let him lead the army in the first place, especially with a knight like Barristan the Bold at her side.”

The king ignored him. “This isn’t ideal. We had hoped the Lannisters and Targaryens would have similar-sized forces in the Crownlands, so they would bleed each other’s strength before we had to fight one. But if we can reach King’s Landing with our full force before more Targaryen troops land, we should be able to crush them.”

He gestured at the map. “There are two problems. One is that we’ve just reached the Reach, and marching to the Blackwater might take longer than crossing the Narrow Sea, if the ship were fast enough. Reinforcements could easily be arriving before we know it. The other is that the Tyrells aren’t here, as we expected them to be. They have fifteen thousand upstream of the Targaryen army, and near six thousand more trying to catch up.” Renly sighed in irritation.

“Your grace,” Ser Bonifer said, “might I suggest—”

“Yes, we’ll be marching on the Crownlands as soon as possible. Reachmen or no Reachmen.”

Ser Garret Flowers, commander of the Reachmen marching with Renly, coughed politely.

The king glared at him. “You know what I mean.”

The king was clearly under great stress. Was it the upcoming battle? The dragons? The problems with his wife’s pregnancy? An abstract notion of his plans coming apart around his ears?

It mattered not. If Bonifer didn’t ask, the question would nag at him.

He broke the silence. “Your grace, I was speaking with Lord Edric when we were summoned. I believe he mentioned something about a war involving your brother?”

“You could call it that,” the king said, less grumpy. “A bunch of ships, mostly Myrish, showed up to Dragonstone, hoping to take some slaves, and somehow King’s Landing got involved. I wonder if Littlefinger needs my brother’s fleet.” He glanced at the letter again. “Says some Pentoshi Magister joined in, too. Perhaps that’s what’s bleeding the Lannister strength, but aside from that I don’t see if mattering much.”

Ser Bonifer smiled. “I am glad to hear that. I hope they drive those slavers back into the Narrow Sea.”

«—¤—¤—»

“...may be willing to give you the third dragon if you give her Storm’s End. It would anger Stannis, but he’ll never be your friend and should always do his duty.”

As Renly considered Lord Manfred’s...audacious suggestion, he heard a rider galloping up the hill behind him. A messenger from Storm’s End, not one he recognized. “We’ll need to continue this conversation later. That looks important.”

“It likely is. If nothing else, I’ll see you at supper.”

Renly slowed slightly as Manfred veered off to find someone else to speak with. He was alone for a moment, giving him time to wonder what news the messenger was bringing, and to dwell on the implications of the last news he’d received.

At last, the messenger caught up. “Your grace, a message from Storm’s End!”

“Catch your breath,” Renly said flatly. “You rode for weeks to reach me, the news should keep a few minutes.”

“Thank you. Your grace,” he added after a moment’s hesitation.

Renly swore the messenger didn’t wait a whole minute. “It’s the queen, she’s had her—your child. The prince. She named him Loras.”

LittleLoras.png
Yes, naming Renly's kid after the Knight of Flowers is kinda dorky. It seemed sweet when I did it.
“We discussed that before I departed,” Renly said. “We’d call the child Loras if he were a boy, and Elinor if a girl.”

“I...I see.”

“Sorry that I can’t muster much enthusiasm today. I’ve been dwelling on dark events and dark possibilities.”

“...The dragons, your grace?”

“Not exactly. Tell me, have you heard what happened to the Young Wolf?”

“The—the Stark boy?”

“Yes, that one. He died in battle, killed by one of the Kingslayer’s knights. A Prester, I think?”

NewKingslayer.png
He’s on the wiki. Forley’s most notable canon traits are being boringly competent, losing to Robb twice, and looking like an inkeeper.
The messenger failed to keep confusion off his face. “That’s good for us, isn’t it?”

“The Starks were never our enemy,” Renly said, “only the Lannisters’. When this war started, I had hoped we could come to some kind of peaceful agreement once I held King’s Landing and the Lannisters. But now, I won’t just be dealing with a young man who needs to avenge his father. Do you know who the next Stark is?”

“N-no, your grace.”

“Another Brandon Stark, King in the North. There were twelve before him, which makes this Brandon the thirteenth of his name. Appropriate, isn’t it?”

The messenger kept riding, not sure what to say.

“I hear he fell from a wall or something when Robert visited Winterfell. When he wakes up, half his family is gone, never to return. Robb was killed in battle, Eddard and Sansa were killed by Illyn Payne, and I don’t want to know what Joffery did to Ned’s younger daughter.”

“What do you mean?”

“She and Joffery got into some kind of fight on the way to King’s Landing, and he lost. I met Sansa, and I can’t imagine she did anything to offend Joffery. If he executed her anyway, what would he do to a girl who humiliated him?” Renly sighed. “There’s surely a reason they haven’t admitted to whatever fate befell her.”

“It can’t be that horrible,” the messenger protested.

“I wouldn’t be so certain. I’ve heard Joffery killed a knight for drinking too much on his nameday. Joffery’s nameday, I mean.”

The messenger had nothing to say to that. After a moment, Renly continued. “That poor little boy in Winterfell. It’s just him, his mother, and...I think Stark had a fifth child?” Renly shrugged weakly. “I’ve never been that far north and Starks rarely come south. There’s time yet for something to happen to them.”

The king stared at the crest of the hill ahead of him. “I wonder what this Brandon will be called. The Broken Wolf? Brandon the Luckless? Will he even live long enough to earn such a title?”

“Is everything well, your grace?”

“No. This war is a mess. Dragons sail across the sea, the few allies I’ve scraped together are scattered across a thousand miles, and every day makes it less likely that I’ll be able to restore peace to the realm without destroying one of the Great Houses. The innocent die, their murderers hide beyond the reach of anything that could be considered justice, and half the realm sits silently, watching to see what king triumphs. I’m starting to see why Robert drank so much.”

The king and the messenger rode side by side in silence for a minute.

The messenger broke the silence. “I have other news, your grace. None of it is urgent, but some may lift your spirits. Would you like to hear it?”

Renly considered the question. “Later. I should be able to see King’s Landing from that ridge. If what I see is good, I might be in a mood to receive good tidings. If not...” He laughed hollowly. “Well, I’d rather not ruin the good news like that.”

“Of course,” the messenger said. “When should I return?”

“I’ll summon you. Go take care of your horse and...I don’t know. Rest or enjoy yourself or something.”

The king rode on.

I hope little Loras doesn’t face the same as that Brandon.


At last, King Renly reached the crown of the ridge. He saw King’s Landing in all its splendor and squalor. Much had changed since he had left, from the black scars left by some horrific fire just outside the walls to half-built towers just downstream of the city. Of course, the biggest change was the army besieging the city—the near twenty thousand who the dragon queen had rallied. Only…

“That looks like more than twenty thousand,” Renly said to a nearby freerider. He tried to inject some humor into his voice, make it a jape, but he couldn’t muster the humor.

“Aye,” the rider grunted, “ah, your grace. We reckon there’s more like thirty thousands. Haven’t seen the dragons, though. Not that I’ve got close. Think ol’ Ser Bonifer’s commanded some to get a better look?”

“I’m glad to hear it.”

The freerider nodded. “Folks with keener vision say there’s something odd about the ships out there in the bay. I say a ship’s a ship, but what do I know? Never been to the sea before now.”

Renly squinted at the bay. “There’s certainly more galleys floating there than I expected. Thank you for the informal report.”

The freerider shrugged. “As you will, your grace.”

Renly trotted out in search of Lord Edric. He knew more about ships than anyone else Renly could think of.


The dusk oranges had begun to tint the sky by the time Renly and his master of ships reached the ridge. Having previously explained what he had already learned, Renly cut straight to the point. “I don’t suppose you see what’s so odd about those ships?”

Edric raised a far-eye and squinted at the horizon. “Hard to say for sure, but…some of those ships look like the sorts of cheap ships you’d expect a king with no kingdom to use, but there’s also plenty of richer-looking ones. The sails...definitely from someone powerful in the Free Cities. Myrish or Pentoshi, I’d wager.”

“The slavers,” Renly said.

“All the Free Cities have slaves,” Edric pointed out. “Well, not Braavos, and Pentos technically forbids slavery, but—”

“The slave raids on Dragonstone. Some Targaryen supporter used them as cover to sneak at least ten thousand soldiers across the Narrow Sea without us or the Lannisters suspecting a thing. Damn.”

Renly reviewed the troop numbers. Mace Tyrell had fifteen thousand in Bramsfort just upstream from King’s Landing. Renly lead a host of more than twenty-one thousand. Once the last of the Reachmen caught up to their lord paramount, the force would number just over forty-two thousand—near half again as many troops as the Targaryens.

Victory was likely. Not assured, especially if the dragons were old enough to be used in battle, but likely. But would that end the Targaryen threat? Would they find another ten or twenty thousand willing to join them? Seven forbid, would Dorne follow the new dragonlords? And even if the Targaryens fell, Tywin still had tens of thousands in the Riverlands, and the North was unlikely to fall into line just because the Young Wolf was dead.

There were many battles yet to fight, that much was clear.

The State of Things.png

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

I’ve found a guide to removing ironman from a save file, so that I’ll be able to cheat Brienne and Loras back into my court...something I didn’t realize when I named Loras Baratheon. Well, hopefully I can stop people from getting Ser Loras and Prince Loras confused!
The bigger problem seems to be that I can't get the game to recognize the save file as a save file...which might be related to my computer not recognizing it as one. Despite me adding .ck2 to the file name.

zip.png
Hopefully I'll be able to edit this post with a cheerful "I fixed the problem yay!" soon.
 

dark_melancholy

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Brienne isn’t willing to come to my court, because she likes her dad too much. I don’t know if there’s anything I can do about this.
Time to kill Brienne's dad? :D

Good to see the AGoT mod is still creating bonkers Five Kings stories. Had a lot of fun getting up to shenanigans as Stannis back in the day (I shadow-assassinated Renly, sorry :p ). Now you just have to stop the Targaryen power couple and their dragons and you too can marry Cersei and fight Tyrion in a duel! Easy!

For your technical difficulties, do you have "hide file extensions" turned off? So the file in question was called FightTheTerrors.zip before you renamed it?
 

GreatWyrmGold

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Time to kill Brienne's dad? :D
I guess that would work? He's pretty low on my murder priority list, though.

For your technical difficulties, do you have "hide file extensions" turned off? So the file in question was called FightTheTerrors.zip before you renamed it?
I don't think so? I mean, I can see the other .ck2 files' extensions. I can't find that option, though.

I managed to solve the issue, though, and even have a decent chunk of the next update written. (Didn't realize I hadn't posted this yet.) So, um, I'll be posting that once it's done.
 
Update 3: The (Wrong) Battle of the Blackwater

GreatWyrmGold

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As mentioned, I sorted out the save stuff. Hurrah! And it’s not Ironman anymore, so I can do all sorts of sleazy stuff, like turning off Fog of War to see what’s going on in places beyond my own backyard.
fow1.png
The tables have been turned.
(I mean, I already mentioned that. But now we can see them, so we know exactly what’s going on.)


fow2.png
Are you sure this is the way to the Wall?”
Hey, who’s the navigator here?”
Stam, before he got eaten by a shadowcat.”
The answer is ME!”

fow4.png
Remember how the lords of Westeros organized their armies in just one or two places in the books? Not here!
Wait, why is the Vale marshaling troops?


fow3.png
...Auntie Cat will be very cross with you, Sweetrobin!

fow7.png
Also, why did you land four hundred men in Pinesend? Sure, it’s like a thousand miles from the nearest Stark army, but what’s the point? Are you playing reaver? Do you maybe want to try taking Winterfell?

fow5.png
Speaking of reavers, the Greyjoy brothers are finally discussing their differences. I don’t expect their war will last too much longer. Wonder what Balon/Euron will do then.

fow6.png
Tired of waiting for the Myrish to show up for their raid, Stannis takes the fight to Myr. Whatever keeps him out of trouble, eh?

wtfow.png
This one isn’t relevant to anything, but I noticed it and there’s nothing you can do to stop me from showing it to you!
Aside from not opening this spoiler I guess.

Oh, also I got Brienne and Loras (the knight, not the prince) back to my court. Yay! They can participate in the big battle!

Anyways. Back to your irregularly-scheduled AAR. I’ve made it standard to specify the timeline of events, so...a bit over a month? A month and a half, I guess? The battle alone is more than two weeks, because CK2 handles battles that way no matter how quickly they go in ASoIaF.


«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

It was here. A massive battle to decide the fate of the Seven Kingdoms. Renly thought he would be fighting it against the Lannisters, not against the Targaryen bogeyprincess Robert had always worried about, but here he was. He would defeat the army, putting Byford to siege.

Renly’s host had split into two parts while they waited for the last Tyrell soldiers to reach the Crownlands, do avoid overtaxing the lands around Langward Hall. Perhaps they shouldn’t have waited; those last soldiers made camp upstream of the main Tyrell host, and showed no signs of preparing to march on King’s Landing.

It had taken two weeks of marching, slowed by poor coordination, but the whole Baratheon host was present at last, ready to fight the Targaryens. Mace’s army should arrive soon, he thought. Any moment now, I’ll see their banners coming over that hill.

No such luck. Moreover, the Targaryen force was readying for battle outside the walls of King’s Landing. They would soon have to fight, outnumbered three to two.

battlebegins.png
You know, there are places in King’s Landing other than White Sword Tower to fight battles.
Also, this looks bad.

Where the hell are the Tyrells?

«—¤—¤—»

“Lord Vyrwel!”

Igon glanced up at the scout. “What is it?”

“There’s a Lannister army just to the northeast, marching our way! It looks like they just fought a battle, but they’ve recovered enough to move on!”

“Good heavens,” Igon said. “Think we’ll be able to beat them? If Renly’s men meet us, perhaps?”

“Probably,” the scout said, “but I don’t think they’ll be able to.”

“Oh? Why not?”

“They’re fighting a battle at King’s Landing, sir.”

Vywel’s mouth hung open. “What, really? Without us?”

«—¤—¤—»

The battle was chaos. Stormlanders and Reachmen clashed against soldiers from across half the known world. Banners fluttered in the wind, knights and lords struck at foes with their shining weapons, and the air was filled with the screams of dying men. Renly had observed battles before, but this was the first time he personally participated in one. He could perhaps see some of what Robert loved about battle, but had no taste for it himself.

King Renly’s host was holding. Against all odds, Renly and Loras had broken through the Targaryen center, sending Mormont to flee...but their left flank was barely holding the line, and the Pentoshi had collapsed their right. Renly was holding them off for now, but soon the left would collapse...

BeforeTheyArrive.png
I caught this screenshot immediately before the Tyrells started being counted. They were technically in the province, but hadn’t been counted as part of the fighting yet. So that’s another day added to his tardiness, but he’s still well ahead of Lord Frey.

All of a sudden, he heard warhorns behind him. The rest of the Tyrells had come! With the reinforcements, the Targaryens were outnumbered and the Baratheons’ collapsing lines stabilized.

Soon, the battle was all but settled. The Targaryens were routed, and Renly’s host was pursuing them, hoping to inflict more casualties or capture valuable prisoners. Renly himself had his eye on a fat, well-dressed man who had been in the back of his army before it lost cohesion; likely it was the magister who he’d heard came with his troops. He was fighting the merchant’s guards, cutting closer t—

Fsk.png

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

I couldn’t think of a good way to work this into the narrative, but Stannis burned the lord of Sweetport Sound. I’m not sure when Stannis caught him, but apparently he needed to sacrifice somebody. So now I’m defending a different Lord Sunglass from slave raiders who have yet to arrive. But I had to specifically tell him that I would, even though my brother torched his dad.


This was a bit of a short update, for obvious reasons, so have an epilogue I was outlining in case I couldn’t fix the save file. It’s not what’s going to happen, and some of it
can’t happen, but eh. I had fun writing it.
Renly defeated Daenerys in battle, driving them away from the capital with assistance from the defenders of King’s Landing (who largely preferred Renly over this new dragon-queen). Afterwards, the Baratheon and Tyrell armies attacked the city. Despite casualties from the Imp’s wildfire, the attack was ultimately successful and Renly captured the Iron Throne...along with several Lannisters.

Meanwhile, Tywin Lannister died fighting the armies of the North in the Riverlands. Some say Grey Wind, the wolf who followed Robb Stark everywhere, tore out his throat; others say Jon Umber crushed Tywin’s skull with his own golden helmet. The remaining Lannisters largely surrendered or fled, but a few left for Rosby to protect Prince Tommen.


As Renly’s men prepared to handle the last of the Lannisters, the Night’s Watch was attacked by a legion of the dead, lead by monsters from ancient legend. They escaped to Eastwatch and sent desperate pleas across the Seven Kingdoms and Free Cities. The first allies to arrive were a fleet from Dragonstone, accompanied by several Myrish raiders, a couple of Pentoshi warships, and three dragons.

King Renly elected to take the warnings from the Night’s Watch seriously, as he couldn’t imagine them allying with wildlings for no good reason. He marched north, meeting up with the northmen and what Lannisters he could scrape together (lead by Tyrion Lannister, who swore fealty to Renly shortly after news came down from the Wall). Unfortunately, they met a mixture of wildlings, Night’s Watchmen, more Northmen, and assorted soldiers from Essos and the Narrow Sea.

The Others had breached the Wall, and already made it as far south as Winterfell; The King in the North, Brandon Stark, had escaped, but few others did. The massive army found a spot to make their stand, and began to fortify it. As they did, one last set of allies arrived—a massive pack of wolves, near a thousand in number, lead by a massive she-wolf. Some claimed to see a young girl among the pack, but none claimed to approach her.

The final battle against the Others was fierce. The Others fielded the walking corpses of man and beast alike. Daenerys unleashed her dragons, who burned any masses of the dead and their masters before they were shot down. The living tore at the wights on the front lines. Some used arms of dragonglass or Valyrian steel to cut down the monsters with ease, others hacked them to pieces or pinned them with spears for the wolves to maul.

Countless men died before the battle was won. But the battle was won.

The North wouldn’t recover for generations; the Others had savaged most of the region, and the occasional wight had been separated from the main force. Brandon agreed to swear fealty to King Renly in exchange for his aid, and Mance Rayder was given the Dreadfort (as Roose Bolton and his bastard were among the casualties). Renly joked about giving Storm’s End to Daenerys for her dragons’ sacrifice, but only long enough to see Stannis’s reaction; instead, he gave Storm’s End to Stannis and Dragonstone to Danaerys, along with the title Lady Paramount of the Narrow Sea. Other lands and titles belonging to the slain were distributed among the valorous, and the realm slowly began to heal.
Also, it’s BS that the battle was credited to Mace Tyrell even during the part when he only had 5,000 troops in it. Even though he wasn’t leading any troops, and hence the army was denied a morale boost. Uuugh.

On the bright side, I think I’ve figured out how Mace had 85% warscore contribution!
 
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Update 4: 50%

GreatWyrmGold

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“My Lady!”

Lady Shyra of Wendwater glanced up from her book. “What is it, Maester Tancred?”

“We have grievous news from the front lines. King Renly faced the dragon-king and his Myrish lackeys in the field.”

Shyra jerked to attention. Everyone in the Seven Kingdoms knew the three-headed Targaryen dragon had returned to Westeros, and heard tales that their dragons had returned in the flesh. If these tales were true, and the dragons had burned Renly’s army as Balerion and Meraxes had burned Argilac the Arrogant’s… “Are we lost, then?”

“Not as such,” Tancred reassured her. “But King Renly took a blow to the head from one of the slaver’s soldiers. He has neither died nor woken.”

“I am needed at court, then.” Lady Shyra was far too composed to let her pleasure at the news show. It was a tragedy that Renly had fallen, of course, but it was a tragedy that would give her power at court.
LadyRegent.png
RegelAmbition.png
I don’t remember why I picked her as designated regent. Maybe she asked nicely.

“Well. Aside from that, how did the battle go?”

“We won,” Tancred said. “Many of our men died, fled, or were grievously wounded, but the army still numbers over thirty thousand. Reports of enemy casualties are...inconsistent. The most reliable sources say most of them survived the battle.”
BattleEnd.png
NumbersLie.png
I don’t know what the battle-end screen was on about. There were more than 7,920 soldiers in each of the two armies sent at us, and nether was reduced to anywhere near a quarter of its original size.

“That is unfortunate.”

The maester shrugged. “The armies are broken and scattered. The men from the Free Cities flee southwest, but the dragonlords and their followers flee west, towards opposite ends of the Reach.”

Lady Shyra smiled. “Then it should be easy to pursue them and crush each individual force.”

Tancred frowned. “Not at this time, no. The army is remaining to siege King’s Landing.”

“What? We’re going to let the Targaryens gather their strength?”

“The Targaryens are not currently our primary enemy,” Maester Tancred said. “The Lannisters are. Once we’ve dealt with them, we can focus on the dragonlords.”

Shyra was about to voice an objection, but Tancred cut her off. “With all due respect, my lady, the lords of the realm are unlikely to listen to a woman’s military counsel. If you believe they should abandon the capital to the Lannisters and hunt down every Targaryen supporter in the Reach, I recommend you go to court and make your case to Ser Bonifer.”

Lady Shyra sighed. “I suppose you have a point.” It sounds like the king’s men have decided that the lion-king is a greater threat than the dragon-king. Maybe I could convince them otherwise, but it would be a waste of my time and effort. I shouldn’t waste my first, maybe only, chance at court on something like this.

“I suppose I should make for Storm’s End with all possible haste.”

«—¤—»

By the time Lady Shyra reached Storm’s End, several reports had come from the front lines.

Lord Lothor Staunton of Rook’s Rest, on the northern shore of Blackwater Bay, pledged himself to King Renly’s cause—or at least his war on the Lannisters. He marched fifteen hundred men-at-arms to the nearby castle of Crown Keep and put it to siege.

One of Joffery’s commanders had marched fifteen thousand Crownlands troops south towards King’s Landing. When they saw the size of King Renly’s host, they marched around the city and made for the Stormlands, where they started sieging the first castle they came across.

Nine hundred men from Sweetport Sound were marching down Massey’s Hook. Their destination was unclear.

The lord of Bitterbridge withdrew from the war effort. Their reasons were unclear, and Mace Tyrell accepted this for some unknown reason.

Tywin Lannister seemed to have given up on fighting Renly, focusing his efforts on Bran Stark.

Finally, it seemed that ravens were flying from Eastwatch-By-the-Sea ad the Shadow Tower, requesting aid from the Seven Kingdoms. The fact that none came from Castle Black raised some concerns, but the wars between kings could hardly be abandoned so easily.

So much going on. So many unknowns. Could any of these people be trusted? Could Shyra take their apparent motivations at face value?

How the king—any of the kings—coped with this kind of paranoia, Lady Shyra couldn’t imagine. Perhaps they just ignored it. Perhaps that was fine, if they had only their own kingdom to lose. But the Seven Kingdoms were not Shyra’s; she was merely watching over them for King Renly.


«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

To clarify: Bitterbridge suddenly separated from the Reach, with no sign of an independence war or anything, and Tywin just...dropped out of Renly’s war. I don’t know why either of those happened, but I won’t complain.

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

“Lady Shyra?”

Shyra started at his voice, jarring the table she was standing at and knocking over the figurines representing the armies around the Stormlands and Crownlands. She saw Lord Barth of Fawnton, King Renly’s Master of Whispers.

“What is is, Lord Barth?”

“The council has been discussing something you might want to hear about.”

“Does it relate to anything important?” Shyra gestures at the map. “Reports of dragon banners in the east and Lord Tywin’s men moving to support Joffery’s siege. An explanation for the lesser lords’ unusual army movements. Anything?”

“No.” Barth picked up a figure which had fallen on the floor. A small boat, representing the Myrish slavers attacking Dragonstone. Or maybe the Tyroshi ones that were supposed to be attacking Sweetwater Sound. “It is about your regency.”

Shyra narrowed her eyes. “What about it? Have I not done everything asked of me?”

“I have no complaints about your regencies, my lady,” Barth said. “But Lord Hugh does.”

“And what complaints are those?”

“That you are not him.”
Regel Plot.png
Everyone wants to be the power behind the throne. Well, the power standing in for the throne in this case.
Barth quickly filled Shyra in on the plot designed by the Master of Coin to remove her from office, casting her from the council before she set foot in King’s Landing. She would not hear of it.

“Surely this sort of covert plot to usurp such a critical title granted by the king is a form of treason?” Shyra asked. “Surely, there is some form of punishment that Lord Hugh should be subjected to?”

Barth frowned. “Well, technically, yes. But you could hardly imprison such a high lord without assent from the council.”

Shyra glowered. “And why wouldn’t they?”

“About a third of them wouldn’t want to disrupt the Small Council,” Barth began.

“And replacing me wouldn’t be a disruption?”

“Not to say that they support Hugh, but they wouldn’t support you. Another third would be concerned by what seems like an attempt to weaken powerful lords. And the remaining third would simply be more swayed by those two groups than by you.”

Lady Shyra frowned. “Very well, then. Thank you for your counsel, Lord Barth.”

Not that Shyra could just let this lie, of course. No; she would need to find something she could do with her power as regent…

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

Lord Hugh Grandison was late to a Small Council meeting. He could hardly be blamed for that; for some reason, nobody had remembered to inform him. He would like to imagine that this was a simple mistake, but that seemed unlikely. Lady Shyra had taken a peculiar distaste to him over the past weeks; it wouldn’t surprise him if she had intentionally “forgotten” to send for him. The sooner I can get her removed from her position, the better.

When Hugh entered the council chamber, he realized why he had not been summoned. “Good day, Lady Regent,” he said. “Might I ask who the man in my seat is?”

“This is Ser Clifford Swann,” Lady Shyra said, gesturing to the knight. “He is now serving as the king’s Master of Coin. Ser Clifford, this is Lord Hugh of Grandview.”
Clifford20.png
Mediocre knight, excellent accountant.
Hugh frowned. It was obvious that Shyra had replaced him with this mere knight simply to remove him from power. But why would she choose this Ser Clifford? House Swann was a Stormlander house, to be sure, but his nephew, Ser Balon, was one of Joffery’s most loyal knights; his loyalty could hardly be certain. And how could a mere knight be more qualified to serve on the Small Council than a lord like Hugh?
Hugh16.png
Kicking out a would-be regency thief has some upsides.
“Thank you for your service, Lord Hugh,” Shyra continued, “but it is no longer required.”

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

The gates of King’s Landing opened at last. Mace Tyrell’s siege tactic of feasting outside the walls worked better on a city ruled by a craven child than on a castle manned by Stannis Baratheon. Ser Bonifer noted that the only men-at-arms surrendering to King Renly—or rather, to his bannermen—were the gold cloaks of the City Watch and a gaggle of sellswords. No knights, no Lannister red cloaks, none of the savages the Imp supposedly recruited. He sent a handful of freeriders to check on the Red Keep, to see if they surrendered along with the city.

Fishmonger’s Square was short on fishmongers at the moment, so Ser Bonifer took it for a temporary command post—just for however long it took to find a better place in the city. Hopefully that was only as long as it took to receive a formal surrender from whoever was running the castle. If fortune did not favor them, they would remain for a day or two at most, just long enough to find a suitable inn or the like.

As he was waiting for a report from the freeriders sent to the Red Keep, messengers from the small force upriver came riding up the River Row. The Targaryen army had regrouped, albeit without the Pentoshi, and were marching towards King’s Landing. Meanwhile, several hundred of Tywin Lannister’s soldiers marched to Joffery’s force in the Stormlands, and they reversed direction towards King’s Landing. The force upriver was marching to Bramsfort, in hopes that the king’s army would be able to support them against whichever pretender’s force stuck them first. As Bonifer was considering this, one of the freeriders returned, reporting that the Red Keep was still held by the Lannisters, and that their guards shot the other freeriders when they approached the keep.

Unfortunate. It sounded like there would be more battles, ones which would need to be fought before King’s Landing was secure. Another consideration. They would need to find some way to keep the city under the king’s control while their strength was elsewhere, or else they would need to go through this again in a few weeks, with more lost to battle.

The sooner they could defeat one king, the sooner they could handle the others. The fewer kings they fought at once, the safer their true king would be.

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

I’m sorry, I don’t know how to properly dramatize this battle. It’s been weeks, I just want to finish this update and the next one and get back to the gameplay part.

King Renly’s army marched to Bramsfort, though the smaller army had since retreated to the Reach to avoid the Lannister army marching north. Naturally, Renly’s army wins, because they outnumber the Lannisters more than two to one.
Bramsfort.png
"This is where it ends." "No, this is roughly the midpoint."
Lord Alyn Elesham of the Paps, islands just off the Fingers, swears fealty to King Renly in the wake of this battle, which gave Renly enough warscore to end the war. All the King’s Landing Lannisters are imprisoned, of course. Oddly enough, while I can’t ransom Joffery to Tywin (yet), I could ransom him to Lord Eon Hunter.
JoffRansom.png
Who is this guy and why can I sell Joffery to him?
Two kings down...two to go.
NextFoe.png
Next time, on Wrong Five Kings Z...
I guess three kings if you count Renly’s incapacitation.

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

I couldn’t find a way to work this in organically, but the Sweetport Sound soldiers marched down to Storm’s end and started sieging a trade post there. Because apparently the Tyroshi decided the best place to set up a new trade post was the capital of someone they were actively at war with!

To wrap up the update, let’s bring up some evidence that this timeline is, indeed, a needlessly dark one:

Brynden the Blackfish died of cancer. One by one, the biggest names in the North(/Riverlands) are dying off. (I noticed this when Brandon the 13th inherited his armor. Not sure when he’ll use it, but I think it’s kinda sweet. And probably in-character for him to ignore the Tullies who ignored him for passing on his armor.)

Point two is that Tywin Lannister gave the Mountain a new bride. This might seem like a minor point, until you remember how he treated his previous wives.
MountainsBride.png
That poor girl.
Finally, Gendry was imprisoned by Joffery at some point. I’m not sure when—was he coded in the Brotherhood more than a book early, or did his mom’s men hunt him down? In any case, Joffery’s loving treatment of his subjects has clearly affected Joffery, judging by his newest trait.
MadBull.png
At least he still has both his eyes!
Speaking of Joffery, let’s remind everyone that he never married Margaery, so no you-know-what, so he doesn’t face any punishment beyond losing his crown and dignity. Also, it means Sansa doesn’t get rescued by her Florian, but...that was already kind of a given.

Hopefully I can finish the next section in less than two and a half weeks.
 
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vandevere

From the Great State of Denial
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Interesting. Keeping an eye out for this...
 
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GreatWyrmGold

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Sorry about vanishing for a month. I haven't even touched the document I was writing up the next update in for three weeks. Part of that is general life circumstances and a lack of motivation to do anything, but I think part of it is how the AAR went.

The big one is how Renly got conked on the head and taken out of action. That deprives the narrative of its protagonist, which makes it less interesting to write (and, I assume, to read). Lady Shyra isn’t the same; I’m not invested in her, I barely know her, and despite my best efforts she’s little more than a lens through which to show/describe how the kingdom is being run.

The war with the Targaryens isn’t very interesting either. They’ve got one holding in Pentos and I don’t have much in the way of a navy, so I’m mostly stuck with just smashing their army with mine. Which is, uh, not very interesting to play and really not interesting to write.

GRRM is great at writing battles, partly because he’s great at writing but partly because he can actually decide what specific things influence a battle. For instance, Tywin planned for the mountain clans to rout and for the Northmen to pursue them into a trap, but he underestimated the “savages” and they broke through the Northern lines instead. That’s a very clear, specific cause and effect. CK2 doesn’t really have that; it’s more about what happens around the battles, and what the battles make happen, than the battles themselves.

Worst of all, I think, is the question of what I do after defeating the Targaryens. Do I immediately try to bring the Starks to heel? (It looks like Joff lost them at some point.) Do I wait around for the War of the Dawn and hope I don’t get there literally just a couple days before the Others surrender? Do I just bum around, watching the canon characters die off and prepare to play medieval politics with their descendants? None of this seems very interesting. Maybe it would be more interesting if Renly was conscious?

Anyways. My plan is to post everything I wrote before starting this introduction (plus a bit of polish and conclusion for the one bit), then a more prosaic summary of everything that happened between then and when I stopped playing. (Though a lot of it was already kinda prosaic...) Then...I dunno. I’ve been wanting to try an AAR where Arya takes over Harrenhal, let’s see if that works out. (If Arya goes into a coma I’m ragequitting the mod.)

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

A quick review of things happening beyond our little stretch of Westeros:

The Night’s Watch has returned to their own lands. Unfortunately, Mance took Castle Black in the meantime and is sieging the Shadow Tower.
TakeItBack.png
I’m not sure how any of this works outside game mechanics. Does this represent Mance crossing the Wall and then sieging a tower with no other defenses?

Anyways. The Myrish have finally begun the “raid” part of their “slave raid”. Can’t tell if waiting for Stannis to leave to fight Myr was a cunning scheme or a logistical accident.
Slavers.png
Finally, there are reports of dragons in Qarth. But that would be ridiculous.
RhanFromHome.png
Now nobody gets a dragon :(

«—¤—¤—»

Alright, now for a mechanical discussion of the current war.

The first battle with Daenerys wasn’t part of any war, so we’re starting off with nothing on the war-scoreboard except the occupation of Byford. The Reach’s army disbanded the instant we beat Joffery, so they’re going to be absent for a while. Not sure how to represent that in narrative, so I won’t. On the bright side, I can scrape together a couple thousand Crownsland troops, who are rallying at King’s Landing.

«—¤—»

In other mechanical news:

Loras becomes Lord Commander and, for a time, Only Member of the Kingsguard; he remains married to Brienne for a surprisingly long time before the game notices something’s up. Prisoners are handled; Tyrion, a longstanding collaborator with Renly, is released; the unimportant Lannisters are slowly ransomed. (Mostly to Tywin, who’s eventually willing to buy back his double-grandsons, but Kevan Lannister needs to chip.) Cersei, Jaime, and Joffery remain in my dungeons, partly because of their importance and partly because Tywin can’t afford to ransom his children. Which is going to come up again because I didn't notice that I mentioned this twice until I was tidying up the post right before posting it.
RenlysEnemies.png
Lady Shyra apponts Ser Robar Royce (one of Renly’s Rainbow Guard) to the Kingsguard. Now we just need five more.

There’s a new Grand Maester in town. He showed up briefly in A Storm of Swords; he’s the archmaester with yellow-gold raiment.
GrandMaesterRyam.png
He can’t be worse than Pycelle.
Lord Benedar Belmore of Strongsong (in the Vale) rejoins the Iron Throne (you know, mechanically), despite his nickname of “the Arrogant”. On a similar note, the Trident (Freys included) rejoins the North, which—combined with the fact that I’m not at war with them—suggests I’ll have to deal with that at some future date. Sadly, Book!Renly’s offer of Robb styling himself King in the North while still bending the knee to the Iron Throne doesn’t seem to be a possibility.

I’m open to advice on what I should do about that. Fight a war as soon as I’ve dealt with Daenerys? Wait to recover strength, then fight such a war? Try for an alliance that turns into a personal union with some CK2 shenanigans? (Will this AAR even be interesting for that long? It’s leveraging canon characters pretty heavily—once they’re all gone and the Others dealt with, it’s just generic CK2 imperial stuff.)

«—¤—¤—»

If Renly was awake, maybe I could have turned this into a series of Small Council meetings. But he’s not, so...I guess I could have had some Lady Shyra moving-in stuff, but I don’t have as good a grasp on her personality due to her barely existing in the actual books.

Let’s give an overdo look at this regent of mine.

Lady Shyra Errol is listed as one of the nobles who supported Renly, but seems to have died some time between ACOK’s beginning and when Stannis took Storm’s End, since there’s a Lord Errol with Stannis. We don’t know anything about her book-successor, either not even how they’re canonically related. (For the record, in-game they’re mother and son. Which they probably are in-canon, but it doesn’t seem to be stated anywhere.)

Right, now let’s see what our Shyra is like.
TheShyra.png
I should have done this last update.
A flamboyant schemer, yet temperate. Proud and ambitious, but honest. Her current ambitions, aside from the generic “I’m gonna be someone dammit” ones I established last time, seem to be focused around family and prestige. So, she wants the voice in court/on the Small Council to promote the prestige and interests of House Errol and herself. Sort of like Tywin Lannister, except more honest and less pragmatic.

Good to know for the next time I write her. (Which turned out to be never, oops.)

«—¤—¤—»

One last detail before we start: They were appointed one at a time over the next several months (stretching into the next update*), but I’ve got a full list of Renly’s formal Kingsguard. It includes all of the Rainbow Guard except Brienne and Bryce Caron: Loras, Robar Royce, Parmen Crane, Emmon Cuy, and Guyard Morrigen. Also on the Kingsguard are Merryn Trant and Rickard “Silveraxe” of House Fell. The former should be a familiar name to ASoIaF fans (which I imagine is anyone here); the latter is uncle to the Lord of Felwood.

Now we’re ready.

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»


It was time. Sixteen thousand men-at-arms had gathered in King’s Landing. With the others they should gather along the way, they should have enough troops to face the Targaryen army. Bonifer was more than ready to enter the field of battle once more.

Yet there was one obstacle. Near a thousand of those men were under the command of a Ser Theodore from the Reach, and he refused to leave.

“The Targaryens are on the attack,” Bonifer explained again. “Between the hundreds of Dothraki screamers near Rosby and the thousands of Essosi soldiers to the west, the Dragon Queen has more than enough fighters to wreak havoc on the Crownlands. With our armies scattered as they are, they can easily pick off scattered soldiers as they try to form up. You remember the incident at Hayford, yes?”

“I heard the reports, same as you,” Theodore said. “Yet my orders from Lord Tyrell are clear. I was to march to King’s Landing and gather with other troops from the Reach.”

“Is Mace the king?”

“Are you?

“I was granted high command of the king’s armies by Renly himself. I speak in his name, from that appointed position, much as you speak in Lord Tyrell’s name.”

Theodore smiled slightly. “I believe that is a no.”

Ser Bonifer’s patience was running low. “There are no enemies in King’s Landing—”

“Save the Dothraki in Rosby.”

“—and a great many elsewhere! The walls of King’s Landing can withstand a handful of horse-lords, Theodore. The enemy is to the west.”

“Not all the enemy,” Theodore said. “We’re fighting Pentos, not just the handful of soldiers they threw at us.”

“We are fighting the one magister who wants the Targaryens back on the throne!” Bonfier shouted, his temper finally getting the better of him. “We’re not fighting the rest of bloody Pentos!” He turned away angrily. “You had best hope the king feels merciful when the war is over.”

Ser Bonifer stormed off, trailed by his squire. “We march today,” he told the boy.

“But what about Ser Theodore?”

“Leave him.”

“But—don’t you think that’s a bit hasty?”

«—¤—¤—»
Jaime Lannister was frustrated. On one hand, he was in a tower with Cersei, nearly unsupervised. On the other, Joffery was with them, and their tower chambers weren’t nearly spacious enough to escape that petulant child. Jaime was starting to remember why he had avoided spending time with the queen’s children. Joffery was worse now than he ever had been, spending months drunk on royal power before having it all stolen from him by a comatose uncle.

One day, the tedious irritation was broken by the arrival of one of Renly’s councilors, Edric something-or-other.

“I have good news for Cersei,” he said. “Your uncle Kevan has paid your ransom. It seems your lord father has been struggling of late.”

Jaime wasn’t surprised. War was costly at the best of times, and between the wolves attacking around the Crag and Renly capturing half a dozen Lannisters when King’s Landing fell, this war would be all the worse. All the gold in Casterly Rock would be worthless until it was mined, and if Father’s coffers were truly drained, it could be quite some time before he could afford a literal king’s ransom.

“Hold on,” Joffery said. “I have some gold left over from when I was king! I should be able to pay my own ransom! I want to get out of here.”

The councilor nodded. “Mm. I’ll talk about it with the king himself. If he agrees, I’ll let you out myself.”

Joffery smiled an idiotic smile. Still, he was less unpleasant happy than angry. Jaime didn’t dare point out that the king physically couldn’t agree.
KevanRansom.png
JoffsRansom.png
I checked his character profile thing, Tywin is basically broke from war and ransom. This is sad.
Also, I couldn't find a way to work it into the narrative bit, but apparently Cersei is actually bedridden with cancer. Which sucks, I hope Tywin hasn't had to fire his maester.

«—¤—»

Hayford.png
I might not have narrative framing anymore, but I still have screenshots.
There was a battle in Hayford. A bunch of Tyrell troops ignore it and go to King’s Landing. Gee, thanks.

The Targaryens massed on our left flank, so disproportionately that they outnumber us everywhere except our right. Luckily, Loras is on our left; unluckily, somehow nobody’s leading the right.

Partway through the battle, I decide to let Archmaester Ryam tend the soldiers’ wounds, which boosts morale. (I didn’t bother to write down if this was a decision or an event or what.) I don’t know if this applies to ongoing battles, but I’d like to think it does, and I definitely would have written it that way.

We won the battle, of course. Our warscore is finally positive. Renly’s armies went for Rosby, then Byford; Mace’s stick around in King's Landing.

Also, about 600 Reachmen (including Mace Tyrell) are trying to siege Pentos. It’s not going well, but at least they’re trying. (Incidentally, I wonder if this is why Tyrell's troops are all going to King's Landing—so the Arbor's fleets can take them to Pentos more quickly? They're not doing a great job if that's their plan, but it's the best one I can think of to explain their bhavior.)

«—¤—¤—»

I wrote down some irrelevant military details that nobody cares much about, but which would have been a decent buildup for the big, update-concluding reveal...
LION!!.png
I know my chickens aren’t hatched yet, but if I had to count them, I’d say there’ll be another queen down soon.
(Which probably contributed to me feeling like the war wasn’t that interesting, come to think of it...)

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

I was going to end the first update here, with a bit of gossip about canon characters. For instance:

  • Catelyn Tully wants to adopt a lifestyle, now that her remaining sons’ realm is at peace.
  • Queen Margaery is overeating postpartum, and her king isn’t awake to do anything about it. This might be related to the fact that she declined to use a wet nurse, and/or the fact that her Difficult Pregnancy trait didn’t go away despite no longer being pregnant (I checked with charinfo, and then removed it).
MargStuff.png
  • Daenerys’s remaining bloodriders were removed from command, replaced by Ser Duck and Jon Connington.
  • Hoster Tully is appointed as his grandson’s advisor, which seems nice. When I noticed this, though, I also noticed that Edmure rules Harrenhal, which is less nice.
  • The Hound was made commander by his brother...which means he’s back at Fang Tower. Poor guy.

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

There was a small battle at Rosby. It was an obvious rout, but still worth a little warscore.

The Main Targaryen troops regroup and turn back to the Crownlands, before settling in for a siege at Mosborough.

In Byford, which the Targayens had sieged IIRC (look it’s been like a month since I’ve played and my notes for this section were three sentence fragments), some Reachmen un-sieged it on their way to King’s Landing. Renly’s main army arrives in Byford at about that time, and started marching on Dany’s men.

«—¤—»

Another decisive battle arrived. Barristan the Bold lead the Targaryen center as Loras leads ours, and he does quite well...but their flanks are lead worse or not at all. And there’s more! Illyrio, who was at the battle for some godsforsaken reason, was killed!
Illyriover.png
This one’s filename is “Illyriover.png,” because I like puns.
At this point, the remaining Pentoshi do their best to just leave the battle and war. It’s not their fight, after all!

Needless to say, it was a crushing victory.
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That’s basically the last thing I played. Well, the last significant thing.

«—¤—¤—»

I was planning to play a little more to flesh out the update, since two battles isn’t much, but that didn’t happen...so let’s skip straight to the rest of the gossip I accumulated.

Something relevant to Renly:
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This is part of why I’m reluctant to just turn on the wolves once I’m done with the dragons.

Harry the Heir is banished for reasons I was not informed of, and promptly joins the Maiden’s Men in Volantis.
The Tyroshi slaver who was nominally raiding us for slaves was caught by someone from Lorath.
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The Mountain had the Hound marry a random peasant girl who happens to be named Lysa. A month later, he imprisoned him. So, um, the Hound’s doing just great I guess.

«—¤—ʘ—¤—»

So that's all he wrote. Sorry. It just didn't work out.
Let's see if I can get that Arya thing to work without un-Starking Sansa...
 

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