Peril at Kings Landing
The current Lord Jolvan is a descendent from Teamus, who lived after the beginning of the Andal Invasion 6,000 years ago. Teamus joined the King of Winter in successfully stopping the Andals at Moat Cailin during their attempt at invading the North. Shortly thereafter, legend has it that Teamus got the best of the Mykal Bolton in a card game, able to foresee the outcome with the mythical greensight. He was steadily losing all night to Mykel Bolton, but finally won a large amount of their land on the eastern coastline. It is said Teamus won after removing his eye (a precious gem) with a dagger and using it as a wager, with nothing else left to his name. The current King of Winter had to take a hand in the matter, and awarded official land deeds to both houses, honoring what had transpired in the card game. Since then there has been enmity between both houses, Boltons accusing Teamus of trickery, and Teamus cutting Boltons off from access to the sea.
Legend has it that the first Teamus was an orphan of the north who saw the green dreams. Never known by any other name, Teamus one day arrived at the Winterfell castle looking to enlist in the garrison. Since the Andals were in the process of conquering the 6 southern kingdoms, and most of the Stark army was helping to repel constant attacks at the neck, most anyone willing to fight was enlisted, trained, then sent off to battle.
Teamus quickly proved to have an uncanny knack for fighting multiple opponents at once and had natural leadership. For this reason, he was often given command of small garrisons that the Starks periodically sent to the wall to augment the Night’s Watch defenses. He led several excursions north of the wall to disband Wildling camps or towns. Casualties were always minimal and the plundering was always bountiful, if the troops were to be believed.
Soon rumor began to spread that, since every expedition returned with random soldiers gloating over their new gains, Teamus must have hoarded riches beyond anyone’s imagination. There was much debate over where the treasure was, since he held no lands and repeated attempts to rob him, both in person or by ransacking any room where he might be staying, resulted in either no discovery of loot, or the death of the thief.
When the Crannogmen called for the aid of the North to repel a large Andal invasion, Stark recalled all his troops from the wall and sent every man south to the neck. At what would eventually be called the Battle of Moat Cailin, where the Andals were finally repelled for good, Lord Stark, King in the North, was momentarily captured in a clever ambush just outside the main battle. Teamus found and rescued the Lord Stark, killing 5 Andals and one traitorous Northman. It was in this rescue attempt that Teamus lost his eye and would forever after wear an eye patch.
As a reward, Teamus was named to the new personal guard for the King of the North (the original 5 having perished in the ambush). He was the only member of the guard not to be from a banner house to House Stark. The other members of the new guard included an Umber, a Karstark, a Mormont, and a Bolton. Teamus developed a kinship with the king, which Bolton resented. Mykal Bolton had actually been the Lord at the Dreadfort when he accepted the appointment to the guard, unlike the other three banner-men, who were all younger brothers to the Lord of their respective lands.
A time of general peace ensued and warriors were not as in-demand as they had been. Eventually talk began to turn from Teamus’s incredible valor on the field of battle to his mysterious wealth that no one could ever find. Around this time, the popularity of a new gambling card game also began to spread throughout the north. Many claimed that Teamus had invented the game, though he merely acknowledged that he learned it in his youth. The gambling game was a variation of similar games in the north and used the same cards.
The cards were numbered 1-13 and came in 4 suits (Wildlings, Others, Giants, and Children) and different combinations of suits and numbers were ranked in power based on how rarely they occurred. In the Teamus variation of this game, three cards were dealt to each player, 2 face-down and 1 face-up. A round of betting was allowed. Then two cards common to all players were dealt face-up in the middle. Another round of betting was allowed. Finally, the last card, often called the “Riddler” card, also common to all players, was dealt face-up in the middle. The final round of betting was allowed and then all remaining players revealed their hands. Players were allowed to use any of their six cards (3 dealt to them and 3 common cards in the middle) to make the best 4-card hand. Some games in Winterfell would go on for days, with tired (or broke) players stepping out and fresh players jumping in.
At one point, during one of these epically long games, there came a hand in which only Teamus, Mykal Bolton, and Lord Stark were involved. Each player had received their three cards, the Double Commons had been revealed, and each was betting prior to the “Riddler” card being revealed. King Stark checked and Bolton went all in. Teamus, not having the cash to cover Bolton’s all in, famously rose and said, “I see your bet, and I raise you my eye.” Then he drew his knife, raising it as the crowd backed away in apprehension, and lifted his eye patch.
Everyone immediately saw the glittering of jewels and gasped as he pried his knife into the sparkling eye-socket and dislodged a ruby about as large as an actual eyeball. The King folded as Teamus dropped it onto the table in front of him, looked at Bolton, and said, “I don’t think you’ve quite got me covered. What else can you put up?”
Mykal eyed the ruby lustfully and, though custom frowned, he yelled, “I wager the First and Last,” referring to the land lying between the First Men, a mountain range bordering the lands of Bolton and Karstark, and the Last River, another natural boundary bordering the same lands.
“That’s not yours to give away,” cried a Karstark noble in the crowd.
“Hold it,” cautioned King Stark, “neither house can provide documentation of either boundary for the disputed lands. Both houses have fought over the land for so long that no one can live there and it does not produce.” Looking at Teamus, he continued, “I’d rather have the land cultivated and the port open for trade under leadership I can trust.”
To Mykal Bolton, he said, “Since the land cannot belong to both the Boltons and the Karstarks, it must belong to neither, and land that belongs to no House, belongs to the King in the North. The land is not yours to wager, but I will cover your bet. If you lose this bet, I will sign papers allocating the First and Last to Teamus and delineate clear boundaries. If you win, the ruby is yours. But,” he said, stopping the Karstark just speaking out, “if you lose, and Teamus is awarded the lands, this pot, including the ruby, will go to the Karstarks.” He turned to Teamus, “Agreed?”
Both players revealed their cards and everyone gasped when they saw that Bolton had all but won. Unless the “Riddler” card was a 13 of Wildlings, Teamus would lose the game he was credited for inventing. The King turned the “Riddler” face-up; it was the 11 of Children!!!
Just kidding, Teamus won, was granted the land, and told to begin a colony that could produce for the North.