The Greenmire Gambit

The Sojurn to Kingsroad

Having accepted an invite to a royal tournament in King’s Landing, the members of House Murrayn and Lord Cynric Martoyk spent the next two days gathering items, attending to affairs, and setting things on order for departure.

The night before the party was to depart Greenmire Hall, Oswain Murrayn had a very vivid, very terrible dream. He envisioned several farmers and their families toiling in their fields on a warm Spring day. Suddenly one of the farmers left his work and pointed to the horizon to roiling mass of black clouds in the distance. Just as the other farmers began to take notice the storm was suddenly upon them, causing all the workers to drop their implements and attempt to flee. But it was in vain. The storm clouds descended directly onto the fields and appeared to be breaking apart. That is when Oswain noticed they were no clouds at all, but a mass of crows that had overwhelmed each of the farmers. They began tearing at their eyes and flesh as the farmers screamed in agonizing pain with their last breaths. Almost as quickly as the crows arrived they began to scatter. As they took back to the air Oswain noticed red and white in their plumage. As the low sun’s light struck the birds sailing away Oswain knew they were not crows at all, but swordbeaks.

Crow storm

The next morning the party loaded all their items onto the river barge Lord Cynric arrived on several days earlier, and began poling upriver. The travel proved to be excellent and was a welcome break in the late Spring/early Summer storms that gave the realm its name. Around noon on the second day of travel the party arrived at the docks of Lord Cynric’s Left Eye Hall. The group enjoyed a rest under the hospitality of Lord Cynric’s roof for the evening, while Cynric himself set about the difficult task of informing his only child and daughter that he was commanded to find a match for her or a wife for himself.

Usually a loud, brash, braggart, Cynric was always fumbling and nervous around his daughter Corynne. Corynne declined her father’s invitation to attend them to King’s Landing citing the need for someone to run the affairs of the house beyond the oafish Haryld the Harrier, one of Cynric’s old pirating subordinates and makeshift lieutenant. Corynne had explained to her father that he’d always been worried without cause when he avoided finding a bride for the sake of protecting her feelings, and at this point it was just a lazy excuse for him to hide behind. If he felt the need to make a match for her, then she trusted his judgement. Otherwise there was plenty of dangerous land and lethal fauna around the Greenmire to explain away the disappearance of a flowery, be-silked lordling that she herself didn’t approve of.

The next morning the party departed Left-Eye Hall and continued their westerly direction upriver to towards the course of the Greenmire and the Kingsroad. The Greenmire flowed flat and easy with the respite from the recent rains, but the next day gray clouds threatened yet only a sprinkles developed. Ser Merik’s squire, Johan, decided to take it upon himself to play a jape on gloomy Karl Grheyson. After offering to clean and adjust his armor he convinced Karl that he needed to bathe in the river behind the slow moving barge. Shortly after Karl jumped in Jonah appeared at the back of the boat, and with a startled expression claimed that there was a lizard-lion swimming up right behind Karl. Karl could sense something behind him in the water. Terrorized and nude, Karl sprang back onto the deck of the flat barge while everyone else in the group had a good laugh. When Karl scanned the water all he saw was a harmless half-submerged log floating by. Karl punched Jonah quite hard for the jape.

Greenmire source

A little after lunch the next day the group pulled ashore near the origin of the Greenmire as it was too shallow to travel any further by river. A short trip down a well worn path later and they were on the Kingsroad, and heading North towards King’s Landing. After a few hours travel they noticed an abundance of crows perched in the trees just off the road up ahead. As they moved a little closer they began to smell the rot of something dead on the wind. After a small debate the group took it upon themselves to investigate the source of the smell, and after moving a few yards into the woods they came to a clearing directly under where the crows were circling. They saw a grizzly scene, a pack of a dozen wolves fighting over the remains of several men. The lean and hungry looking wolves quickly took notice of the approaching party, and as the party began readying their weapons the largest of the wolves lifted his crimson muzzle from the freshly gutted innards of a fat man. The large wolf growled menacingly, and the remainder of his brethren slowly sunk back into the woods encircling the group.

Oswain, Merik, Karl, Jonah, and even Lhoomar quickly reined in their increasingly uneasy mounts. Lord Cynric, who was less adept at the handling of a horse, quickly dismounted with his wiry Bravossi sword at the ready. The large wolf saw this as a sign of weakness among the group and quickly moved to attack Cynric, along with several of his pack who darted out of the woods in a flash. The wolves snarling and jaw filled lunges were quick, but Cynric expertly moved like water in between and around each attach. With so many wolves gathered in a single area Karl and Ser Merik made short work of ending several beasts in single blows. Oswain and Jonah were able to wound and slow several other wolves while Maester Lhoomar stayed towards the back and made sure the group was arrayed in a defensive but opportune formation. Wave after wave the wolves came at them, but finally, when seven wolves had been hacked apart brutally, the remainder quickly turned tail and fled into the woods in fear.

Each of them took a minute to catch their breath and began about surveying the scene. The wolves must not have been the first to discover the five dead men, as the it looked like crows had gotten each of their eyes before moving on to the rest of the faces. The wolves came only recently as only one or two men had been torn open or were missing limbs, but none of the men were left with any distinguishing features. Cynric noted that along with weapons scattered around these men appeared to be strongly built, and deduced they were swordsmen of some kind. Maester Lhoomar added that each man appeared to have died where he was laying, and with the nearby burned out fire and weapons still in their scabbards, they were slain without struggle- likely ambushed while at camp.

Cynric noted the unusual stag-shaped hilt of one nearby sword. When he pulled it from it’s scabbard it had shown signs of recent use with dried blood still caked on it. He decided to keep the sword, but the group found nothing of value on the bodies. Oswain decided that the bodies should be disposed of properly, but the ground was too hard packed and rooted for graves, and there weren’t enough stones within searching distance for cairns. Oswain suggested a pyre, but Ser Merik cautioned that the fire be monitored until it burned out, lest they burn down the local lord’s woods.

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