Chronicle of House Blackfish

The Old Ways Awaken

She woke, for the first time in what seemed like an age she could see without the constant haze and light headedness. Turning she almost fell from her bed as an apparition stood in front of her, could it be, surely not, she mused. In front of her, she could have sworn, stood her maid, but surely her eyes still deceived her as she wore a large sword strapped to her back, as they wore in the days of old. The maid spoke “I’ll fetch the Maester now that you are awake and draw you a nice warm bath”. The voice still sounded like her maid and the face fits, but what is happening here. She shook her head and rose from the bed, climbing into her freshly drawn bath, the waters instantly refreshing her and taking away the grime of a week spent in dream sleep. As she bathed the flap of the pavilion opened and in strode her Maester, “My Lady wishes to speak to me”.

She turned with a start and in her most authoritive voice said to the Maester, “Tell me everything, leave out no detail, I want to know what has been happening here.” The Maester told her all and with the telling the morning wore on and she knew at once that she dared not become ill again……………..

The breakfast meeting went well, Lady Blackfish thought, though the memories of the first few hours of her morning still lingered fresh in the front of her mind. At least the tactical decisions taken by her knights seemed to be sound, though that could have been down to Ser Robert also having been ill the past week. She couldn’t help noticing Sally’s looks at Ser Ethan, however, she must have a word with that girl.

It was decided that they were to head for the holdfast of Grassy Vale and the seat of House Meadows, a minor house of the Reach. The journey was long and arduous travelling the old road by the Blue Byrn, but finally they reached Grassy Vale. In front of her she saw a small castle set by the banks of the Blue Byrn, the banner atop the castle revealing a border of flowers of many colours and varieties on a background of green, the arms of House Meadows. A small group of riders could be spotted leaving the castle gate and riding towards her.

Selecting Ser Robert, Ser Ethan, Lord Wyl, Ser Roland Storm, Ser Humphrey Wagstaff, Ser John Wylde and Donnal Hardy to ride forward with her banners, to greet the riders, they set forth toward them. Meeting halfway the lead rider of the opposing group stops her horse, her companions following suit.

“Lady Blackfish, I presume, your visit is not entirely unexpected, as my Maester says a number of your ravens, bearing messages, have taken roost in his tower. Welcome to Grassy Vale, I am Lady Lysa Meadows, may I present my husband Olymer Tyrell and my master at arms Ser Randolph Meadows. If it pleases you I can offer you and your captains bread and salt as well as accommodations in the castle, your men however will have to camp outside. I will have Ser Randolph ensure that they are well fed and watered.”

So she offers us hospitality does she, mused Lady Blackfish, then I must in turn be courteous, but also wary, for I do not know the woman well. “Lady Meadows, your hospitality is indeed kind and I thank you, may the old gods look over you and your kin. May I present Ser Robert Hogg, knight of my baggage train, Ser Ethan Seahawke, Ser Roland Storm, Ser Humphrey Wagstaff, Ser John Wylde, Donnal Hardy, my master at arms and Lord Wyl of Dorne.”

On seeing Lord Wyl, Lady Meadows turns, smiles and says “Lord Wyl, it has been too long, you must visit more often. Your visit is also not a surprise, two of your banner lords arrived yesterday.” With that she turns and leads the entourage into her holdfast……………………………

Lady Blackfish sits in her chambers attempting to unravel the web of deceit that seems to be wrapping itself around her, can she no longer trust anyone, is no one safe. The questionings and the punishments begin……………….

The feast held in her honour was a moderate affair, compared to the sumptuous banquets upon which she dined in Kings Landing, the entertainment somewhat lacking, but little was she to know that the evening’s entertainment had only just begun……..

She awoke to her maid shaking her, for once she was relieved to see that the foolish girl had not got that hideous sword strapped to her back, perhaps she had listened. The door burst open and in stormed Olthar and Gerrard, swords in hand, rushing to protect her. It was only now that she could hear the muffled sound of sword upon sword from the room next door, but that was Ser Roberts room. Shouting at Olthar and Gerrard to find out what was going on, they ignored her doing what they thought was best, putting themselves between her and any possible assailants. Taking matters into her own hands she reached for her sword, the lightness of its blade initially startling her, the memories of ancient kings momentarily flooding through her mind. Shaking off the mental assault she moves swiftly to the door, forcing her guards to follow her, as she heads to the noise of sword upon sword.

At the door to Ser Roberts chamber, two whores, frightened and startled were clinging each other in a state of shock, barging past them she opened the door, to a dreadful scene. Ser Robert, obviously the worse for drink, was trying to hold off a merciless flurry of blows from his cohort Victor Mallory. What has that drunken sot been up to now she initially wondered, but then she saw it, this was no play fight for Ser Robert was grievously injured, left arm missing from above the elbow.

The rest is now a blur, though she remembers the outcome, Ser Robert dead, felled by a number of hideous wounds. Victor Mallory also dead at her own hands, and Ser Roberts brave squire, Neil, heavily wounded………………..

That was last night, this morning she finds herself standing in the courtyard of her hosts castle, whip in hand, for today she must mete out justice and she must do it herself, for it is the way of the old gods. In front of her strapped to a cartwheel, one of her servants, Bowen his name, and justice she must give him, for he is guilty of deceit……………………

Before she lifts the whip for the first strike, she looks over her shoulder towards the castles, small and rarely used weir wood. There she sees the casket holding her mother’s brave knight Ser Robert, whom she must soon send to his ancestors. Stood at the head of the casket in full battle armour stands a knight, sword drawn, point to the ground, hands around the hilt. Only a long black cloak serves to keep him warm, the symbol of a diving Seahawke emblazoned on his back. She knows he will stand there unmoving, without sleep, without food, nor water, for he stands vigil until the day that Ser Robert departs, it is the way of the old gods……………………

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Of the First Men

Of the First Men
The road we travelled on was one of the old ones, probably from the time of the First Men. It continued to wind its way through the Kingswood and we made our way southwest on the way to Grassy Vale, and the lands of House Meadows and Lady Meadows.
The plan was to commandeer boats and travel down the Blue Byrn to Longtable, where we would receive a friendly welcome from House Merryweather.
There a small party would be sent north to BitterBridge and the Rose Road to meet with the 2,000 strong force seen heading southwest along it. An advance party would also head downriver to Cider Hall, the seat of House Fossoway.
Our force would rest at Longtable awaiting the outcome of the meeting on the RoseRoad, but with an advance force possibly awaiting at Cider Hall, it would be as safe as we could be.

At some point along the road, Maester Erryk Rudolfus advised that it would be best to guard the not inconsiderable incomes of House Blackfish in the baggage wagon. Hiding in plain sight, were his words. Ser Robert Hogg was charged with this most honourable task. Of course, only the most important of Lady Elspeth’s entourage know of this plan – to the force on the road it’s just a baggage train. Hurray Loddard is the driver of the wagon.

A few days later, things took an unexpected turn. We made camp nearby to an ancient barrow of the First Men, a short ways off the ancient road. That night, Maester Erryk Rudolfus took it upon himself to investigate said barrow, armed with only paper, quill and ink, rather than a sword and shield, as most right minded folk might be likened to do. With him he took Sally, Lady Eslpeth’s maid, and Bowen.
Some time passed before Bowen emerged and asked that two heavy urns be removed from the barrow, which the Maester seemed interested in. He probably would have wanted to remove the statues down there as well, but seemed satisfied in making lots of notes about them instead. 2 castle forged blades were also found. It does seem slightly odd that Sally seems to be riding around with one on her back, but as Lady Elspeth is suffering from a fever she is probably just trying to protect her Lady as much as possible.
The other blade is now in the possession of Lady Elspeth and House Blackfish, a veritable if small boon to the houses fortune. Pray that the Seven may look upon us kindly in such ways in the future. I’m sure those of the North would say that the souls of the First Men are watching over us. Let us hope that they are not The Others.

We came out of Kingswood and a small force riding under the peace banners. Our scouts had already told us the following things:
The existence of this peace force.
That the King had departed North for Winterfell.
That the all roads now lay open to the RedFort.
And that the 2,000 strong force has now turned around and is heading back to King’s Landing.

The peace force delivered a letter which the Maester confirmed as bearing the true seal of King Robert.
King Robert has said that the matter of accusations and murder should be resolved locally between the Dannets and Blackfishes et al. The King, the Lannisters and Tyrells were no longer involved in the matter. King Robert did hope that not too much blood would be spilt.
We now West to our Home Lands, the Shield Islands, where we plan to take the Dannets and their allies and build a strong base in the west. Other Houses will learn not to tar House BlackFish with accusations and hearsay.

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Ravens from Maester Erryk Rudolfus

Raven to the Citadel -

To Lord Mace Tyrell. The fishes follow the stream that flows west to the home ground. May the birds speak freely with them at the grassy valley.

Raven to the Red Keep -

To the King – Shield Islands are under siege from House Lannister aided by House Dannett and House Luges – Lady Elspeth Blackfish.

Raven to Wyl -

Shield Islands need aid. Send 200 knights and 1,000 footmen to Southshield. Time is of the essence. “We guard the way.”

The note has the seal of Tygor Wyl

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The End of Episode 1
Episode 1

Lady Elspeth Blackfish frowned, how dare the king imprison her, like some common peasant, and after all her family had done to protect the king’s family, during the last rebellion. That man has no honour, she thought to herself. Surveying her surroundings she realised that she was not being held in some common dungeon, but a high lord’s guest chamber within the Red Keep itself, perhaps her overnight stay may not be as uncomfortable as she first thought. Her mind wondered off into thinking why Lady Iris Dannett chose to reveal herself on the final night of the tourney and how she could think of accusing House Blackfish of the murder of her brother, Adham.

Lady Elspeth looked around the room and was grateful for the company she had at that moment. Over by the fireplace paced Ser Ethan Sehawke, knight of House Blackfish’s banner house, a hint of anger at his lady’s imprisonment, showing upon on his face. Ser Ethan is a brave, but somewhat reckless knight, who never thinks twice about defending her honour. Stood on the opposite side of the fireplace, Ser Robert Hogg paints a different picture of an anointed knight, ageing and somewhat rounded about the middle, the jovial knight takes his drinking and whoring, as seriously as his killing. However she remembered the final departing words of her mother, “Elspeth you will have need of Ser Robert before the end, don’t ever forget that”. Also in the room is Tygor Wyl, the hedge knight from Dorne, who upon revealing his true identity swore fealty to House Blackfish; Bowen Farmer a faithful servant of her house; Victor Mallory, one of Ser Roberts hired hands; Jeremy Mantlet, former squire to Ser Robert, now come of age and a hedge knight in his own right; Neil Rivers, bastard son of Ser Robert and his new squire and finally there’s Sally, her maid, whom she suspects might be a little more intelligent and cunning than she initially gave her credit for.

“Lady Elspeth” a voice spoke to her, “My Lady”. She shook herself out of her daydreaming, realising that stood before her was Bowen. “My Lady, there are some strange noises coming from the other side of the door”. Shaking herself from her torpor, she stood and motioned for her men to be ready for anything, noticing that Ser Ethan was already close to the door, sword in hand. Suddenly the door burst open and in strode two men she instantly recognised, Donnal Hardy and Lonas, two members of her bodyguard, assigned by her liege lord, Mace Tyrell. Donnal strode purposely over to her and she could not help but notice the fresh blood dripping from his and Lonas’s swords “My Lady, come quickly, we have to get you out of here, fell deeds have been committed this night and your safety is no longer guaranteed by the king”. Brushing away her questions for more information, Donnal and Lonas escorted her to the door of the chamber.

On reaching the door she gasped, lying on the floor in the corridor were several bodies, all draped in gold cloaks. How dare the king only protect her with mere gold cloaks she mused and then noticed that the rest of her bodyguard Ryken, Gerrard, Olthar and Aester were all present, swords drawn and dripping with blood. Forming a protective ring around her, they moved down the corridor, descending a flight of steps and into the courtyard of the Red Keep, the rest of her retinue warily following. The courtyard of the keep, strewn with the bodies of dead men, proved eerily quiet, though the sounds of sword on sword could be heard in the far distance. Fell deeds were indeed being committed this night and within the king’s own keep, she could not help but notice that the dead men wore a combination of gold cloaks, red cloaks (Lannister’s the queens own guard), and the symbol of House Arryn, the king’s hand.

She crossed the courtyard, hemmed in by her ever watchful bodyguard, who led her through a door on the far wall, where they picked up flaming torches and led her on a deep descent into the myriad of tunnels that lie beneath the Red Keep. The journey down was long and uneventful and eventually the descent stopped and she made her way forward through a long dark tunnel, water glistening on the roof. Finally after what seemed an age she began her ascent and then she smelt it, fresh air ahead, the tunnel opened into a wood and there in front of her stood fifteen men on horseback, swords drawn. This was it she thought, captured again.

Then she realised that these men all wore the same uniform, that which her bodyguard wore, it seems as though there is more to Donnal than meets the eye, she mused. Donnal spoke “My Lady, we are in the Kingswood, the tunnel has taken us under the Black Water Rush. These men are members of my company; we have a camp just inside the Kingswood.” At that moment the sound of horses being ridden hard could be distinctly heard and out of the woods ride a party of over twenty men, the leader of which dismounts and speaks to Donnal. He nods to the man and sends him over to address Lady Blackfish. “My Lady, Donnal begs me to give you my report. We have rescued your Maester from the Conclave; he is with my men over yonder. That is not all, on our way out of Kings Landing we picked up grave news, the king’s hand, John Arryn is dead.” Again the sound of horses ridden hard interrupts the man’s report and another twenty plus riders enters the small clearing. The leader dismounts and begins to walk to Donnal, but he motions that the man should pass on his report to Lady Blackfish. The man approaches “My Lady, we have rescued as much from the tourney grounds as we could, we burnt the rest. It was not easy obtaining bodies that looked like you and your retinue, but after the fire it will be difficult to tell anything other than maybe the sex and rough build.” Too much information at once, what is going on here, something stirs and Lady Elspeth Blackfish is being dragged along with its momentum.

THE CAST

Cast Member Role Player
Lady Elspeth Blackfish Heir to House Blackfish Ben Miller
Ser Robert Hogg Master of Arms – House Blackfish Nathan Phillips
Sally Maid to Lady Elspeth Blackfish Danny Herbert
Bowen Farmer Retainer – House Blackfish Lucy Forrester
Victor Mallory Hedge Knight – House Blackfish Shane Mitchell
Jeremy Mantlet Hedge Knight(ex squire) – House Blackfish Narrator
Erryk Rudolfus Maester – House Blackfish Narrator
Ser Ethan Seahawke Anointed Knight – House Seahawke Narrator
Michael Kraft Hedge Knight – House Blackfish Narrator
Neil Rivers Squire – House Blackfish Narrator
Tygor Wyl Hedge Knight – House Wyl of Dorne Narrator
Mary Hen Servant – House Blackfish Narrator
Donnal Hardy Mercenary – House Blackfish Narrator
Ryken Mercenary – House Blackfish Narrator
Gerrard Mercenary – House Blackfish Narrator
Lonas Mercenary – House Blackfish Narrator
Olthar Mercenary – House Blackfish Narrator
Aester Mercenary – House Blackfish Narrator

KILLED IN ACTION (Or those who did not quite make it)

Cast Member Role
Bert Woods Servant, killed in ambush on way to Kings Landing
Gilbert Roose Squire to Ser Ethan Seahawke, killed by the Grey Men
Ser Joris Landseer Anoited Knight, killed by the Fox Knight
Lord Clayton Archay The Fox Knight, killed by Victor Mallory
Adham Dannett Heir to House Dannett, poisoned by Lady Elspeth Blackfish
Lord Bryn Blackfish Heir to House Blackfish fell to his death while climbing
Ser Gennady Shanin Anoited Knight killed by Tygor Wyl in the Grand Melee
Iris Laneer Whore of Ser Robert, mother of Neil Rivers, murdered
Rog Thanders Merchant, murdered in Kings Landing
John Arryn The Kings Hand, head of House Arryn
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