Salt And Iron
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This game uses the Song of Ice and Fire system, with a few house rules (as listed there).
- All items in Chapter 7 that cost A Dragon Or More (for Standard of Living).
- The group's original House Creation rolls and allocation.
Maester Nazir was summoned to the Broken Sanctum, a hole in the wall known in the dangerous southside of Bloodstone Port, known for clandestine meetings. (Its odd design, two floors with a gap between, makes it almost impossible for others to eavesdrop on those above.) Along with Rhya, he brought "the twins" (Tagoes and Croll) for protection, who did indeed scare off some thugs, and then stayed downstairs (and ignorant) while father and daughter went up. There, Jasper Church, discreet underworld negotiator to the elite, grilled them until he felt he could trust them, and then made an offer.
He was here on behalf of Sylvie Harte, who was due to marry Kevan Manning (heir to House Manning) in 10 days. Sylvie wanted Lord Artur Manning to have a lethal accident right before the wedding, so that Kevan would be Lord Manning as they marry. Kevan was not to know about this. (Nazir was familiar with the two houses, which until recently had been at each others' throats. Lord Manning had made several concessions to end the violence, and this marriage would seal the peace; his death would probably not change that.) She offered 150 gold dragons for his death and another 150 after the wedding, once she controlled the house's finances (Nazir argued this up to 200 & 200), along with the promise of an unofficial alliance and future together.
Jasper added that the Great Hunt right before the wedding day was probably their best bet, as there were boar in the woods, but it was up to House Brax how to proceed. Also, that part of the deal was giving Sylvie a dose of lethal poison as a Plan B in case they failed. He handed them wedding invitations and departed. (Meanwhile, "the twins" dealt politely with a drunk idiot in the bar below, though when he threw a tomato at Croll he lived to regret it.) The family found Cyrus at the docks, filled him in, and then spoke to Lady Kitzia, who agreed that this was worth pursuing.
Upon careful study of the area (via books), they decided that their best plan was a multi-pronged approach to the hunt. They would pour alcohol on the right roots and berries to get the boars drunk, have Rhya stay in the woods to anger the boars further, and obtain and convince Lord Manning to wear boar pheromones to draw the boars toward him.
The delegation (the PCs) took a single warship with 20 Impalers (house guard) to Castle Helmcrest, home of House Manning, on the south coast of the Stormlands a few hours east of Weeping Town. A young porter, Timmot, had their things brought inside (the sailors and Impalers were expected to camp outside at the docks) and bid them to enjoy the evening's party and feast in the outer castle yard.
- "The twins" got into a sparring match which embarrassed many locals but let Tagoes befriend Ser Damen Jayna, an older tourney knight. After, Croll intimidated a servant into fetching him some real drink, not this watered wine crap.
- Rhya found some outsiders playing Nine Men's Morris in the dirt, and bonded with Lady Marlena Grayson, who similarly preferred commoners to most other nobles.
- Eyla joined the bridesmaid party, which was dominated by Lady Celece Foler, a "bridezilla by proxy" who was determined for her friend Sylvie's wedding to go the way she planned.
- Cyrus found Lord Elras Colton, who had been an ally during the Greyjoy Rebellion, about two drinks away from passing out (which he shortly did).
- Nazir simply circulated, listening carefully for rumors. These included that Darren Manning (Kevan's younger brother) was in love with Sylvie, that one of her retainers was in love with Sylvie, that Lord Manning had sued for peace thanks to a vision of his death from the gods, and that House Brax was only here to attempt to improve their reputation.
When House Harte officially arrived, Sylvie spoke with Nazir and Eyla in private, who were deliberately vague about the plan (not trusting her) and gave her a dose of Basilisk's Blood. Meanwhile, everyone else was at the feast. Rhya realized that the brandy Croll had acquired would be perfect for inciting the boars, so when she sat down with him to share it, she poured it almost all off into her old bottle and then slipped away before Croll went back for another drink. (Fortunately, he was drunk enough by now that he just got confused and called for more wine.) Cyrus sat at a table with Ser Etan Hogg, Ser Timothy Kranst, and Ser Johnathan Vale, and was drawn into their attempts to one-up each other and argue about a variety of things, including whether this wedding would bring peace and who would find glory on the hunt; Timothy and Cyrus in particular did not get along.
As Nazir and Eyla returned to the feast, a very drunk Ser Halyen Wynn began coming on to Eyla heavily, ignoring her rebuffs and explaining how he was the warrior who had turned the tide of the Battle of the Trident itself. She couldn't get rid of him, so she talked him into proving his manhood in a fight with her cousin Tagoes; they had simple fisticuffs in the entryway to the great hall, drawing a small crowd as Tagoes avoided the stronger knight's grapples and laid him out with a broken nose. Ser Kevan Manning approached and, after hearing the story, apologized sincerely that this happened and offered to make it up to them if they needed anything in the future.
As the feast continued, Lady Sylvie slipped away during the main course. Rhya stealthily followed, and spotted her throwing up; upon careful study, she realized that Sylvie was pregnant! She shared this with the others (minus "the twins") and Eyla was convinced that Ser Kevan wasn't the kind to bed his fiancee early but would learn more. The next morning, Eyla spoke with a group of servants (including Timmot, who was clearly sweet on her) and managed to learn first that Ser Kevan never sneaked into Sylvie's room at night (as many couples do), and second that Sylvie always has Ser Etan Hogg guard her, above all other knights.
As she learned this, the others were in the forest long before the hunt would begin. After some difficulty (and Tagoes stumbling into poison ivy), they found the best spot. Rhya dosed the boar food with alcohol while Croll grappled a female boar, but then (understandably) freaked out when Nazir put on a leather glove and went to extract the pheromones. After some fast-talking, Croll allowed it, and the house had a soaked sponge and unpleasant memory. Rhya stayed behind (to rile the boars later) while the others rode back and had Eyla convince Ser Kevan that he and his father should wear the pheromones to ensure a prosperous hunt. (This was actually quite difficult, as Kevan felt like it was "cheating," but she was persuasive.) Nazir explained to Tagoes that he must guard Ser Kevan (intentionally not mentioning that Lord Artur).
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