The party regroups at their tent. Jerick shows them a sealed letter with presumably the Fox Knight’s sigil. However, none of them can read it, as their literate members are sequestered. They decide to gamble and present the letter at the trial, not knowing what is in it, and head to bed.
Ironz: Ironz is put into chains and taken to the first level of dungeons, which lie below the Red Keep. The cell itself contains a high narrow window, some used dirty straw and unclean rushes, and a bucket in a corner to serve as a privy. Niter grows in patches on the wall. A guard has placed in the front of the cell, and there are some manacles on the wall. The guard motions to the manacles, looks at Ironz and says “Thems are for if you are rowdy, so be a good boy and keep it down.” He closes the door of four-inch-thick grey wood with iron studs set into walls made of the same pale red stone as the rest of the red keep. You hear the audible click of a lock. Ironz attempts to pick the lock, and is unsuccessful without tools. He then howls like a madman until he is chained to the wall.
Mason: Mason enters the room, and some bedclothes have been provided, along with clothing for the next day. Hot water has already been drawn into a bathtub. The room is very richly furnished, and is part of a large round, so it has no windows, just a door to the outer walkway (which is locked) and the far end coming to a wedge of the round pie. There is a book case to the left, a bed to the right, and candles everywhere.
He takes the book as Varys indicated. He sees a glint of metal in the bookcase behind where the book was. It appears to be a latch of some sort.
Mason flips the latch. He slowly lifts the latch, and the bookcase starts to swing towards him. It eerily makes no sound. He sees a small alcove, and a wooden wall in the stone, with a latch mechanism on it, except he sees it from the opposite side, as well as some hinges. The latch is on the same height as the latch on your book case.
Mason flips the second latch and the wall slowly opens outward, and some light shines through. You keep expecting to hear a creak of hinges, but someone obviously keeps them well oiled. Instead you hear low singing and humming, with occasional sobs, it is a sad song…. You enter the room, and see that you have stepped from behind another bookcase. Glancing around, you see a room very much like yours, except the bed has the clothing of a woman on it. You turn to see the tub near the bed, with someone in it with their back to you, someone with long blond hair! She seems to be singing to herself, but her song is very, very sorrowful.
Mason clears his throat, and Iris turns around, shocked and crouching in the tub, looking around for a weapon and threatening to scream for guards. Mason attempts to quiet her, but fumbles, and she screams bloody murder. He heads back into his room the way he came. The guards are heard tapping on the wall, then come next door to question Mason. They obviously think Iris is a nutcase, and withdraw.
Fifteen minutes later, Mason enters the room again, successfully calms down a fully clothed (and armed with a poker) Iris, and explains to her that his house is innocent for the most part. He suspects Ironz of the crimes, and guarantees that if Ironz is found guilty, he will be punished for it. Iris tends to believe Mason, but still has her guard up.
The next day:
You enter the Red Keep the next morning and proceed to enter the throne room through impressive doors of oak and bronze. The room runs north to south and has high, narrow windows in the eastern and western walls, so it shines with sunlight throughout the day. A tall door that acts as the king’s personal entrance and exit sits at the far end of the room, behind the throne.
The room is massive, large enough to accommodate upwards of a thousand seated people, and even more standing. However, there are barely a hundred gathered today. Many are smallfolk who are fans of Alix Maple, pages sent by nobles too busy to attend, and a few other notable individuals. Since it is common knowledge that everyone is required to stand when court is in session, that is enough bother to keep many of the passing curious away. Excepted from this requirement is the king, his family, and his small council, and today is no exception, as the small council has already gathered, as well as Queen Cersei. King Robert has yet to arrive.
At the head of the throne room, on a raised platform with narrow stairs, is the seat of power for the Seven Kingdoms, the Iron Throne. Using the flaming breath of his dragon, Balerion the Black Dread, Aegon the Conqueror ordered the beastly chair forged from the thousands of swords surrendered to him during the War of Conquest. The swords weren’t fully melted down to create the throne, so it’s pointy, uncomfortable, and dangerous – sitting back in the throne is impossible. Mad King Aerys cut himself on it so often that his court called him King Scab. It was Aegon’s opinion that no king should sit easily upon a throne, and the Iron Throne reflects that idea perfectly. That the chair is said to have killed a man serves as a reminder of both the chair’s significance and mystique.
In the front and center of the room on one side near the court are Mason and Ironz,who is ironically in irons, with two gold cloaks guarding him. His artisan’s garb seems out of place, here, and it looks unkempt with bits of mold and straw clinging to it. For once, he is not touching himself, unable to being chained hand to feet. On the other side of the room are Iris and Hayes. All are standing, and Hayes is talking to Iris in hushed tones. She seems to be not there, looking placidly at the wall as if considering something.
You take your place in the front row, and sit behind Mason. The high council, or what still is left of it, hardly reacts to your entrance.
Members of the party look around:
Small Council: The first chair on the left is empty, and it belongs to the Hand of the King. It is rumored that he has taken quite ill as of late.
Grand Maester Pycelle is seated next, and appears to be sleeping, his ostentatious chain glittering when he stirs.
The next chair is empty as well, and belongs to Lord Stannis Baratheon, who has disappeared without leave. Rumor is that he is on a secret mission for the king.
Next is Lord Renly Baratheon, Robert’s younger brother and Lord of Storm’s End. He holds the position of master of laws on the small council, and looks as dashing, handsome, charismatic, and full of smiles as ever. He appears to be playing with a royal goblet, now empty, while waiting for his brother to arrive.
Next to him is Lord Petyr Baelish, the master of coin, in front of him several bags of Gold Dragons. His small stature, and the fact that his family holdings are the smallest of the Fingers, have earned him the nickname “Littlefinger.” He was appointed by Jon Arryn, and his seemingly magical ability to produce coin out of thin air has made him indispensable, particularly given the king’s talent for spending it. He is slouched, looking bored, and making small talk with Renly.
On the end is Varys, an eunuch nicknamed “the Spider”, the master of whisperers and the king’s spymaster. He’s said to know everything worth knowing in and around the Seven Kingdoms and beyond, and many attribute his information gathering from “little birds” an almost magical ability.
The final member of the small council, not seated, is Ser Barristan Selmy, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. He stands in front and to the side of the Iron Throne. The legendary Barristan the Bold, widely considered one of the greatest living knights of the Seven Kingdoms and, in spite of his advancing age, Ser Barristan is still a formidable man. He served King Aerys, but he accepted Robert’s pardon and became Lord Commander under a new king. He stands ready, looking ever vigilant.
Cersei Lannister, not a member of the small council, sits in a small wooden throne next to the Iron Throne. She is the sole daughter of Tywin Lannister. Her marriage is one of political expediency, to strengthen the ties between House Baratheon and House Lannister. Some people wonder, though never aloud, where her loyalties lie. Her golden hair, green eyes, and curvaceous form make her a great beauty, and she uses her looks and her charms to their full advantage. She appears to be making catty looks of disapproval at Iris, who is completely oblivious to it.
The crowd gathered:
Tygor Wyl, one row behind you, seated patiently and alone.
On the opposite side, you see a heavily bandaged Edan Ward, sitting with Maester Ferris. Behind them are Naton and Marita Hunter, Marita still dressed in black. Naton is armed, and looks back at you with a frown. (Awareness check 12) Marita appears to be making eye contact now and again with someone seated behind you.
Behind them, but much farther back and near the center aisly, is Ruben Piper and his three sell-swords. Behind Tygor a few rows back, is Lady Orlanna, her husband Shreeve (who is asleep), and their daughter. Syrio Forel is seated behind them, and on the far left side of the same row is Maiyo Vierro, looking very sober.
You are shocked to see Neil Rivers bounce up behind Tygor’s row, and wave while saying “Hi father!! It’s me, Neil! I’m glad you locked up that mean old cook of yours, he really scared me when he trapped all of us in that hole! Thankfully, one of the gold cloaks later let us out, I know you sent them!! I’ve been trying to get to see you, but you’ve been hard to find, ya know? Anyways, I brought you a coin purse I lifted from deaf guy, here! This place is pretty big, huh? Bigger than any room I’ve ever been in. Can I sit with you? Is that your friend there? Where’s your cat? I heard you had a cat. Is it a fat tom? Some fresh mouth said you had a shadowcat, but I told him that he was daft. I started to box his ears, but he… ”Neil just keeps talking and talking and talking. Jerick motions him to be quiet, and assures him that the cook won’t be coming anywhere near him.
The rest of the attendees are unknown to you. You notice several gold cloaks in attendance, standing at the doors and scattered among the walls.
The room falls silent as the King enters, and everyone stands. Once the King sits on the throne, Cersei and the Small Council sit as well, but everyone else remains standing.
“I, King Robert, do announce this council in session. I regret Jon Arryn has taken ill as of late and cannot be present (the king does really look like he regrets that). Let the records show that Lord Stannis is not in attendance, which should allow this case to proceed in a timely fashion. (At that, Renly laughs). The case presented today, is the charge of murder at House Teamus on two counts. Joshua Latneau, and Langley Woods. Accusers are House Latneau and House Hunter, respectively. Before we continue on with the accuser’s proof, the council has some evidence of its own to present. Grand Maester Pycelle?”
The venerable Maester takes his time standing up, and addresses the hall. “My lords. Many visiting maesters and myself have spent most of the night investigating the dagger held by Ironz, and we have found that the phial contains a poison most foul. All tests confirm that it is most likely Tears of Lys, or something very similar. A very costly poison, and only obtainable in the Free Cities.” The old Maester then ponderously sits down.
“With that evidence presented, I now ask the accusers to present any persons or things which support their claims.”
Iris stands up. “Thank you, your majesty. I would like to say that when I was at the Jade Spring singing, Mason Teamus and Hayes visited us. I returned a note dropped by Mason to Alix Maple, which did not make any sense to me. But the more I thought about it, the ‘tears’ mentioned in the note so vaguely must have referred to the poison ‘Tears of Lys’. The person who wrote the note was obviously not from here, and spoke in the manner of the free cities, referring to “a man” when speaking of himself. I now see my error, as Alix Maple (she points at Alix) is also from the free cities, and most likely the supplier of the poison, whether unwittingly or no. However, he seems too honorable of a man to poison another, so I believe Ironz to be the actual murderer, for he is vile to look upon, unable to keep his hands from himself. He looks like one lacking of honor to use poison, though I shudder to think of him as my family’s cook. As for the cheldarro, this is a known Braavosi, er, drink, and also circumstantially incriminates Alix Maple. This is all the proof I have, your majesty.”
King Robert addresses Mason, “Did you drop such a note, and do you have it on your person?”
Alix gives the note to Mason, who presents it to Renly. Renly reads it aloud, and it mentions Marita, and seems to be from a denizen of the Free cities. Alix Maple denies it is him, but due to his WSL (Westerosi Second Language) issues, has problems processing his responses, making him look all the more guilty.
Littlefinger speaks up “This is very conclusive, my lady, but then, how trustworthy is the word of a runaway or a woman who tells lies for a living? I have spoken with courtesans before, and I find they are more likely to tell me what I want to hear than what I should hear. I am much more interested in hearing what Mr. Hunter has to say.”
At this, Iris flushes, and appears shamed. The King ignores the comment, and asks Mason how he pleads for his part in the murder of Joshua Latneau.
He then asks Ironz if he pleads innocent or guilty for the charge of poisoning Joshua.
He then turns to Alix Maple, and asks him if supplied the poison that killed Joshua, or supplied the poisoned cheldarro which was delivered to Joshua’s tent.
“I did not.”
“Very well,” says Robert, “I will forego the charge of the murder of the smallfolk until this specific matter is resolved. Hayes Hunter, please speak your charges.”
Hayes steps forward. “Your majesty, the council, I have made some mistakes in my time, but associating myself with House Teamus was probably my greatest mistake. I can only assume that this ‘Tears of Lys‘ is a very expensive item, more expensive that the finest wine, and that there would be precious little here in King’s Landing. I also notice, that the house that stands to make the most money from the tournament is House Teamus, not to mention the rumor that they made quite a sum betting, specifically against the men who have died. They were seen entering Chattaya’s, making custom goblets, and throwing gold dragons around like they were coppers. Therefore House Teamus must be responsible in some way. I asked myself, but for what motive for killing Langley Woods? I can think of none, except to ensure that my sister stay single for someone else. Iris mentioned the note in broken English of the free cities, perhaps Alix Maple had designs to marry Marita, he has the look of a lech, or perhaps a power move by the young and not-so-naïve Mason? Was it coincidence, that of the 49 participants in the Grand Melee, Langley faces off with the aurochs over there, who everyone knows does everything that Jerick Teamus tells him to do. Jerick has the look of a schemer about him, perhaps he was setting wheels in motion for the benefit of himself and House Teamus. Perhaps it was just to mock my brother, Naton.” Hayes sits down with the slightest of smiles. Naton appears to be considering that he was taken for a fool, and seethes with rage. Marita looks menacingly at Hayes through dark eyes.
King Robert looks to Mason, and asks him how he pleads for the charge against his house for plotting to murder Langley Woods.
He then asks Alix Maple if he had any romantic designs on Marita Hunter.
“I did not, your majesty.”
He then asks Eckhard if he was told by Jerick to engage Langley Woods first in the melee. Robert, sensing a weak member of the house, asks Eckhard if he has any knowledge of these murders and the charges made.
“Duhh, no sir.”
King Robert finally asks Jerick if manipulated Eckhard, or anyone else in the party, to work against Langley Woods or House Hunter.
“No, your majesty.”
King Robert stands up and addresses the hall. “Now I will let the defendants speak for themselves.”
Mason interrupts. "Your majesty, on the subject of the Latneau smallfolk, I have come upon this sealed letter from the Fox Knight, a known enemy of the crown, addressed to “Lord Hunter”. After the seal is inspected, Renly reads it to the assemblage. Before he is finished, the king asks it be given to him to finish reading in silence:
Because of the debt I owe, I have done as you wished. I offer this brief account of my actions as proof that the debt between us has been discharged in full.
Upon receiving your instructions, I engaged the services of several sellswords who frequent the free houses along the kingsroad. Scum who supported the usurper during his rebellion. I suspect only one other than myself proclaimed allegiance to the rightful king, though I confess I’m uncertain how true his loyalty was and how much he simply aimed to picked fights with the rest of our party. Such a cantankerous and quarrelsome cur I’ve never before crossed paths with.
Having hired this rebellious scum, I commanded them, per your instructions, to raid a farm on the outskirts of Latneau’s lands near Teamus borders. As you suspected, Latneau had not bothered to place any of his swords around this homestead. The raid was over before it began. Some of my hired swords took regrettable liberties with the women before putting them to the sword, despicable behavior that made my latter instructions easier to carry out.
I smeared the shield you sent me with a farmer’s blood and left it amid the carnage. Latneau’s men are sure to find it and place blame where you hoped. I take no joy in the slaughter of innocents. I don’t specifically recall the name of house Latneau among the usurper’s forces, but surely they fought alongside their lord Stark. Thus, I take comfort in the knowledge that these smallfolk were the enemies of the true crown.
I should add that I acquired the items you requested as proof of my deeds. If the courier does not deliver them to you with this letter, I suggest you put him to death immediately.
The farm was poor, but my mercenaries seemed satisfied with their plunder. I know you won’t approve, but I decided to recruit my fellow loyalist as my accomplice in the final part of this mission. I offered him the combined pay of all the others (and the opportunity to shed rebel blood), and he readily accepted.
We set up camp, and as my band of thugs, rapists, and murderers lay sleeping, we slaughtered them to the last. My compatriot swore an oath to the seven that he would reveal nothing, and he departed immediately with his earnings. You will be relieved to know that I told him I was a member of the house you wished to see blamed. So if he does tell tales, they will at least be the right ones.
I am currently heading back from the kingswood and have secured the services of a lad who aspires to be just like the kingslayer when he comes of age. He fancies I’m on a special mission from the kingsguard and knows better than to break the seal. If it is broken, I again suggest you have him questioned and then executed, as you see fit.
I trust my debt is now paid in full, as I cannot in good conscience remain allies with a man who would lick the boots of that fat lech from storm’s end, whose stinking carcass now corrupts our rightful king’s throne.
No doubt if you need to contact me again, you will augur a means to do so, but I ask you to respect my privacy hereafter. You have purported yourself a true friend of the Targaryens, and I would be loathe to lift my sword against you.
Go with the seven
At this point, a complex intrigue begins, with four victory points needed.
Hayes vs. Mason to convince Robert of the complete innocence of their house. Mason fails to do so. Robert is convinced that House Hunter is innocent of all accusations.
Naton vs. Jerick to convince Littlefinger that the opposing house is guilty. Although Naton’s station demands he gets more airtime, Littlefinger is convinced that House Hunter is guilty of something.
Edan Ward vs. Alix Maple to convince Barristan Selmy who is the murderer of Joshua Latneau. Alix squeaks out a victory by winning over Selmy. Alix proves to Selmy that the Hunters poisoned Latneau.
Lewyn vs. Iris Latneau to convince Varys that House Teamus is innocent of the crimes against the Latneau smallfolk. Lewyn spends a destiny point before Iris quits the intrigue. The letter Jerick bought convinced her of House Teamus innocence.
Marita vs. Eckhard to convince Renly of the guilty party of Langley Woods death. Marita easily convinces Renly that House Teamus, and particularly Eckhard, is guilty of Woods demise.
Ironz vs. Maester Ferris to convince Pycelle of the dagger’s ownership and the contents of it. Ironz (as well as Eckhard) is in an awkward situation, so they have an extra +3 ID to overcome. Sadly, Ironz fails to convince anyone of anything.
The council meets afterwards, and cannot decide on the fates of House Teamus. Jerick & Hayes see an opportunity and meanwhile engage in conversation with Cersei, who is left in the throne room while the council argues. Jerick wins her over, and she whispers into the King’s ear. The end result is House Teamus is cleared of all charges, House Latneau drops their, and House Hunter is found guilty.
This enrages Naton Hunter, who challenges Alix Maple to a duel to the death to decide the innocence of their houses. Alix looks at him stupidly, but Eckhard steps forward. They then meet in the yard, and Eckhard punches Naton in the face, killing him instantly. Hayes looks on and smiles.
Results of the trial:
House Teamus is cleared, collects their hard-earned winning from the tournament, and are dismissed from the throne room.
The Hunters are found guilty, Hayes then deflects the blame to Marita and her lover “Ptek”. He is put in the dungeon at the request of House Teamus to be sent to the wall. King Robert sentences Marita to life in the septry. However, the party learns that during the night, there is a daring rescue of Marita, and she disappears.
House Teamus refuses to escort Shannin or Hayes to the wall. But at the pleadings of Iris, agree to escort her back to the Latneau house. “Can you forgive me? Because, I am in need of an escort back to my father’s lands…” She looks at Mason with her soft eyes.
Mason forgives her.
Tygor Wyl shakes Lewyn’s hand. “Thank you, Lewyn, for your part in helping me reclaim my father’s sword, and avenging his death. I suppose there’s nothing left for me but to return to my homeland. Perhaps I’ll find a lord in need of my services during this time of peace. Or if I’m lucky, I’ll be able to pursue my father’s lands and have them returned to me, but I keep no illusions of that ever happening.”
Lewyn makes an offer to Tygor, that he could apply to be a sword sword of Lord Jolvan, which is a step above being a hedge knight. Tygor agrees.
Syrio comes up to Alix “You fought well in the melee, young Alix. You have earned my respect. I urge you to do earn the respect of your family as well in Braavos. I believe the answers to what happened here may lie in the free cities as well. I salute you!” He salutes Alix, and quickly departs.
A young man of about sixteen with dark hair and a dagger in his belt approaches Ironz. “Hello, Ironz. My name is Jonah. I just want you to know that I know what you did that night. That city watchman is scared, and is in hiding right now, frightened that he might be made an accessory to your crime. I have been watching you, because I see you also are quite rich. I think it will take 1 gold dragon to keep me quiet.“
Eckhard carries a large keg on his shoulder. “Jerik! Look! Some kids in rags gave us some wine! Tonight we celebrate!” One of the barrel comes off, with a foot in it’s place, and our jumps Neil Reivers. “Daddy!” He runs and hugs Jerick. They reluctantly ‘adopts’ Neil, and agrees to let him squire for Eckhard, who is not a knight.
We leave the party packing up and getting ready to head North.
House Teamus receives 2 Glory Points.
Characters get experience & 1 DP (which can be used to add a benefit or remove a drawback)
End book 1.