This is an odd place to begin play reporting, since we’re several sessions into our campaign of A Song of Ice and Fire, based in the world of George R.R. Martin’s books. It was also the last session for at least a month, as the GM has some other obligations that will keep her busy on our gaming nights for a bit. I’m tempted to write up a back story, to bring my readers up to date, but I don’t think I will. I’ll just do a quick introduction of each of the PCs, and then get into the thick of things, breaking to explain events from past sessions only when necessary. More information on this campaign can also be found at Out of the Night, We Still Come! (which is a blog set up by me for our GM).
One of the great things about SIF is that players are encouraged, even expected, to create their own minor house. We did that, and ended with a very old house that’s fallen on some very hard times. The house is named Straasa, and our motto is “Out of the night, we still come!” which suggests the tenacity that is fairly characteristic of this house. By the end of house generation, both our Population and Wealth traits were ridiculously (and dangerously low). Are lands are technically part of the North, but only barely. Our keep, Castle Swampstone, lies in the swamps just north of the Riverlands, near the Saltspear. Here’s a brief rundown of the PCs, who make up the majority of the major players of House Straasa:
- Dayne Straasa: Dayne is the second-born son (age 18) of Straasa’s Lord Benton. The elder son, Conrad, was killed some time ago, so Dayne is the heir apparent. He’s led a pretty easy life so far, but with the ailing health of his father, he’s started to involve himself more and more in house policy and politics, and, despite some early fumbles, shows the promise of real leadership (if he can stop biting off more than he can chew). He’s recently become engaged to Lady Saryah of House Wyl, in Dorne. The wedding is scheduled to occur in about 8 months.
- Ser Vaughn Straasa: Dayne’s younger brother (age 17) who has only recently returned to Swampstone. He had been fostered with House Wyl of Dorne, and the relations he built there (with help from the soon-to-be-described Alec Straasa) led, in part, to Dayne’s engagement. Vaughn returned to Swampstone as an annointed Knight, quite an accomplishment for a man as young as he is. There’s been some tension between him and Dayne, as Dayne tried to determine if Vaughn posed a threat to his position. Dayne’s engagement offer was accompanied by one for Vaughn as well, to Lady Saryah’s bastard cousin, Norie Sand. Vaughn is quite interested in Norie, but also quite unsure of himself around women (or at least her), so little progress has been made in that regard.
- Ser Alec Straasa: 38 year old brother to Lord Benton, and therefore uncle to Dayne, Vaughn, and their young sister, Amelinde, Alec is an older, experienced warrior, and master of the bow. He fought in Robert’s Rebellion, as well as Greyjoy’s Rebellion, and has built himself quite a reputation. With Benton’s ill health, Alec has taken up many of the duties of diplomat for Swampstone, travelling throughout the Seven Kingdoms on behalf of Straasa.
- Anton Snow: Anton is the 15 year old bastard son of Alec Straasa, the one stain of dishonor on Alec, as far as Dayne is concerned. Anton only came to Swampstone a few years ago, and quickly became the target of Dayne’s temper, whether or not it had anything to do with Anton. Needing some role within the house, he joined the scouts that patrol the outlying swamps, and has proved himself among them. While a bastard, he does have some recognition due to his father’s reputation, which sometimes leads to expectations that Anton is not comfortable with. Anton is the most sexually experienced of the young PCs, but lacks any sense of commitment to his “conquests.” He’s recently upset a washing girl he was sleeping with when she was cast aside in favor of a visiting girl from Greywater Watch, Moira Reed.
- Ser Samnys of Tyrosh: Samnys is a hedge knight who has sworn his service to House Straasa. He was a fighting comrade of Alec Straasa during Robert’s Rebellion, being present during the battle wherein Alec was knighted. Beyond this, Samnys is rather veiled in mystery. He has taken up the position of master-of-arms in the household. He is responsible for providing basic training in sword and shield fighting techniques (among other, more stylized ones) to the young lads of House Straasa.
- Tabin Reed: An eleven year old boy from Greywater watch, who’s been living at Swampstone for a couple years. Usually seen with his owl, Verris. He’s known to be quite infatuated with Amalinde Straasa, youngest child of Lord Benton. He seems to have inherited some of the quirks of the Reeds, though he is still learning how to use them. Three of his cousins are currently visiting him at Swampstone. Moira Reed, her brother, Boan, and their younger brother Llyr.
Last night’s session picked up where we left off: at a tournament being hosted by Walder Frey. The first day had concluded with three victories out of three events for House Straasa: Tabin had quite dramatically and impressively won the squire’s event (meant to be a farce) of capturing an angry boar; Anton won a footrace; and Alec had dominated the archery contest. The joust was scheduled for day two, and the grand melee for the third day.
Tabin had had a vision, which he interpreted as meaning that Norie Sand was in danger, and probably going to be raped. Desmond Yronwood, rival to Vaughn for Norie’s affections as well as other things, was the likely culprit. And Tabin had forseen his own death at the tournament, though he oddly looked a few years older. To try to prevent this, he went to Dayne and Anton. Tabin signed on as Desmond’s squire. Dayne requested that Anton be placed in charge of Norie’s security. Officially accepted as such, Anton was still kept out of the loop much of the time with her personal guard laughing at the thought of needing Anton watching over her (it also didn’t help that Anton was quite distracted by the spectacle of the tourney, and his interest in Moira Reed).
That night, there was much drinking and celebrating among the Straasa camp. Desmond invited young Tabin to drink in celebration of his victory, and Tabin had too much (remember, he’s 11, and this was his first time drinking at all) and passed out. Anton spent the evening celebrating his own victory, with Moira by his side.
The next day, Straasa made a mediocre showing at the joust. Vaughn defeated the undefeated Ser Jacen Mallister during an early round, but didn’t advance far beyond that.
In the evening, it was learned that Norie Sand had disappeared the prior night, and had been found in a ditch, beat up and (assumed) raped. Tabin’s older cousin, Boan, was found dead. This was a moment of perfect execution by the GM. Boan had been described over and over again, as looking like Tabin’s twin, only a couple years older. Tabin’s vision showed him his own death, at this tourney, but looking a few years older, which confused him. When Boan’s death was revealed, there came that moment of realization that Tabin didn’t see his own death, but that of Boan!
I can’t remember if the melee the third day got cancelled, or if Straasa just withdrew in order to deal with everything else. Dayne met with Lord Royce of Runestone, a distant relation. Lord Royce revealed that he was responsible for sponsoring Vaughn’s annointment, and wanted a return on his investment. The meeting did not go well, and tension rose on both sides. Boan’s body had been found in Runestone’s camp, and Dayne reacted poorly to Royce’s manipulations of Dayne for things that Dayne would have gladly given had he only been asked. All in all, Lord Royce, powerful as he is, seems to be a prime shadowy enemy for Straasa.
The house has seemingly rallied around Boan’s death and Norie’s violation, and as we ended the night, the party has split into at least three pieces to investigate all they can.
The next session will be in October sometime, and eight months or so will have passed in game.