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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Summoned to the Royal Tourney

Early one warm Spring morning Maester Lhoomar arose and prepared to go about his usual day’s business. Eagerly awaiting his customary breakfast of bacon baked crisp and lightly toasted plain bread, he quickly set about his morning activities. As he climbed the steps to tend the ravens he noticed a new, larger bird perched near the one of the rookery windows. A bit of parchment attached to the raven’s foot with ornate ribbon confirmed his deduction that this bird carried a message meant for his master from a distant locale. However, as he approached the bird to retrieve the message the raven nervously shuffled down the perch closer and closer to the nearby window. Either due to the raven’s own nervous instincts, or due to Maester Lhoomar’s fumbling hands, the raven darted out of the window and flew off before Lhoomar could retrieve the rolled parchment.

Messenger Raven

. . .

A few days later the gatekeeper of the venerable Left-Eye Garrison entered the hall to find his master Lord Cynric Martoyk pouring over shipping schedules. House Martoyk had recently acquired a dubious, but thus far highly profitable shipping contract with the detestable House Chaney of Silverset Hill. The contract increased the typical number of shipments House Martoyk made by nearly 2 for every 3. An equally sized increase to the population of smallfolk on Martoyk lands accompanied the new contract as labor demands for sailors and longshoreman had gained. The small but highly experienced Riverwraith fleets were able to handle the rise in demand, but the wear on his ships was distressing Lord Cynric of late.

The gatekeeper informed Cynric that an elaborately dressed messenger had arrived and requested an audience with the lord of the hall. The messenger was carrying the a yellow banner with a prancing and crowned black stag- the royal banner. The messenger entered the hall and proclaimed to be in direct service to his grace King Robert Baratheon. His duty was to deliver a message downriver to Lord Erving Murrayn of Greenmire Hall, and he requested river transport and safe passage from Lord Cynric.

The messanger, named Lawrence Cartwright, demonstrated rolled parchment with an unbroken royal seal. Lawrence explained that the message was essentially the announcement of a royal tourney to be held in King’s Landing several days from now. Raven’s were sent bearing the announcement to all noble houses of invite, but when the raven bound for Greenmire Hall inexplicably returned still carrying the message the King commissioned a messenger to personally deliver the news due to his personal interest in seeing House Murrayn attend. Lord Cynric agreed to the request and surmised that it would be in his best interest to accompany the messenger downriver. In a few hours Cynric and Lawrence were aboard a river barge taking the familiar route down the Greenmire branch of the Wendwater River towards the hall of House Murrayn.

Greenmire River

When they landed the messenger was escorted directly to the interior of Greenmire Hall to meet with Lord Erving. Lord Cynric spent a few minutes catching up with his friends and collegues Oswain Murrayn, Karl Grheyson, and Ser Merik Volmark of the swordbeak house, but very shortly thereafter they were all summoned to the great hall.

Lord Erving explained explained that the message was indeed an invite to House Murrayn to attend a royal tourney. Erving had anticipated that such a tourney may be in the near future due to word spreading throughout the realm of the recent birth of the King’s second royal son. The King, who was never one to lay by an occasion for celebration, would obviously commission a grand tourney for this event, and Lord Erving had already been planning House Murrayn’s attendance whether or not directly invited.

The invitation had thankfully arrived, and the message also detailed King Robert’s direct interest in House Murrayn attendance after hearing word of their men-at-arms skill in a recent tourney that his brother Lord Renly Baratheon had attended. Lord Erving read between the lines that King Robert would not be outdone in grandeur by his little brother’s tourney. The King would also would have great sums of royal coin wagered on houses of his home realm to backup his constant boasting of the fighting mettle of men from the Stormlands. The more houses of any standing from the Stormlands would increase the King’s chances of one of them winning the whole thing. Lord Erving used his conventional excuse that he would not be in attendance with the rest of his house due to his advanced age and the need for someone to stay behind to run affairs. He then began to issue commands and reveal his plans for those of his house that would be going.

Erving tasked all his house’s men-at-arms to enter every contest they could. Increased participation meant increased odds at House Murrayn claiming a title in one of the challenges. For Ser Merik and Karl Grheyson he gave the additional reasoning that a win by one of the two would grant Lord Erving a clearer path to issue them lands, and a knighthood in Karl’s case. Such an action would enable him to create an additional banner house to integrate his martial forces across his lands a little better. Further, sending an anointed knight and a common man-at-arms as the house’s best challengers would protect them from any sort of oppositions antics that might jeopardize the chances of one type of man or the other. In Karl’s case it would give the house a chance to embarrass the sons of houses of higher nobility, and would thereby increase House Murrayn’s acclaim.

The lord emphasized his interest in his house besting House Wendwater at every opportunity. House Wendwater’s beneficial location in the Crownlands meant that they swore fealty to his grace directly. Erving’s time spend isolatingly rebuilding his house over the last several years meant that their enemies the Wendwaters had ample opportunity and time to sweeten themselves to the royal court unabated, and now was a chance to break some of that. To that end Lord Erving had set the hall’s smithy, Duke Silver, to hammering out arms and armor that would make the house’s men appear gallant in all their livery, and aid them in their events.

Duke Silver

Lord Erving relayed the reasoning behind requesting the service of Maester Lhoomar for his house from the Citadel. Said by some to be one of the brightest young minds the Citadel had ever produced. The last few months evaluation by Lord Erving, however, found Lhoomar to be highly skilled in the reference and recitation of libraries, but underskilled in putting written knowledge into practice. With several realms noble houses all gathering at King’s Landing, there would undoubtedly by a gathering of all those houses’ maesters at a Conclave held by the Grand Maester in service to the King. This would be an opportunity for Lhoomar to join with others and discuss, debate, compare notes and observations, and partake in the sort of long-winded conversations that maesters enjoy. In particular it would give Lhoomar an opportunity to hear the insights of maesters in service to Murrayn’s enemies.

Erving began with Lord Cynric by thanking him for providing protection to Oswain during their last journey, but for this trip to King’s Landing he had other matters for the old pirate lord to attend. Erving expressed distress over Cynric’s daughter, and only heir, the young lady Corynne’s lack of a marraige arrangement. If anything ill should befall Cynric then the rights to House Martoyk might spark a suitor war. Erving had never made it a command of his vassal before, but as of this hearing he commanded Lord Cynric to increase his efforts to find a match for himself and attempt to produce a male heir. Otherwise, he commanded Cynric to find a match for Corynne. The trip to the royal capital provided an excellent opportunity for Cynric to increase his visibility, not to mention the tourney event and warm weather would mean that King’s Landing would by swarming with noble ladies. Erving finished with Cynric by threatening that if he couldn’t ensure the future prospects of his house then Erving would do it himself- through the fumbling quill of Maester Lhoomar.

Lord Erving addressed his only son and heir last. Erving had barely spoken to Oswain since his return from the Buckler’s recent tourney and wedding, and it was because he was greatly displeased by his son’s actions there. Oswain had, among other things, agreed to a marriage arrangement between himself and Autymn Wendwater, the youngest daughter of House Wendwater. By joining the two houses Oswain had removed any chance for Lord Erving to take back House Murrayn’s ancestral lands, that the Wendwater’s currently occupied, except through some kind of scandal or treachery. Lord Erving had spent his entire life struggling to remove the supposed disgrace of his house caused by the fabricated actions of his father by House Chaney. Erving certainly didn’t want to tear all of the work he had done by suddenly becoming the lies that House Chaney had falsely spread about his family. He commanded his son to go to King’s Landing and make all appearances sound. To joust on behalf of the honor of Oswain’s betrothed. To seek out the High Septon and the royal office. With any luck, or even divine intervention, perhaps someone would challenge Oswain’s for Autymn’s hand, or a high office would not give blessing and the joining could be undone. Lord Erving also reminded his son that he would be carrying the house’s name and banner at royal court in Erving’s stead, and to be vigilent of anything foul afoot by the Chaneys or Wendwaters.

Lord Erving closed the gathering by reminding the all of the house’s words- “He Who Wagers, Triumphs” -and let them depart to begin their preparations for departure. Later, Maester Lhoomar expertly affixed a message indicating House Murrayn’s intentions to attend the royal tourney to a raven, and sent the bird on its way to King’s Landing.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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