James Steller

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About James Steller

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    Head of House Steller, serving King Stannis I Baratheon

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  1. The Red Wedding, according to GRRM himself, is a combination of both those events. They both contain elements that are used in the Red Wedding.
  2. Yup. One of the Red Wedding's inspirations. Figured I'd go full Scottish for this one.
  3. Imagine you’re the head of a Noble House in the North (imagine that it’s been around for as long as the others). You are 40 years old yet still hale and fierce. You have six surviving children. They are Keir (17), Edain (16), Ivor (14), Ailsa (13), Kester (9), and Ishbel (7). It has been a cruel winter, lasting five years. You lost your wife, your mother, your sister, your heir and your two youngest sons to winter sickness. but the snows are finally melting, and spring is upon the North. However, the North is in a fragile position. King Barclay Stark is a boy of 15 years (his father and elder brothers died during the winter). And already, his first spring as King in the North looks to be a perilous one. No sooner are the winter snows nearly gone, but Lord Robert of House Cambell, a powerful house whose seat has been Moat Cailin for almost eight hundred years, has fortified the remaining ten towers of his huge but aging fortress to overthrow the Starks when they are weak and unprepared. Lord Robert has sent ravens throughout the North, declaring that former kings can have their realms again. Lord Robert names House Glover, House Bolton, and House Umber as sympathetic to his cause, declaring that the Starks are ruled by a boy king and have betrayed the North by welcoming Andals to rule the White Knife. The Starks and their allies have taken immediate action. Lord Angus of House Glover rode to Winterfell to declare that Lord Robert does not speak for him, but the young King Barclay has arrested and imprisoned Lord Angus to ensure House Glover’s loyalty. In response to this, Lord Ranulf Bolton has closed the Dreadfort and stayed inside, refusing to be a prisoner but also refusing to call his banners as a sign of maintaining his allegiance to House Stark. Seeing this as a threat (and also as an opportunity for more power) the Karstarks have taken charge of the prominent settlements on Bolton land. The Umbers, meanwhile, have not seen the wisdom in Bolton’s strategy, and have loudly protested the arrest of Lord Glover, insisting that he did no wrong. Lord Lachlan Umber has declared his banners and insists that his loyalty needs no proof with prisoners, and that if House Stark has need of his men, he will march as a free lord treated with honour. Winterfell has sent word that the Umbers must stand down at once, but it remains to be seen what will happen further. You yourself worry that the suspicious King Barclay will question your loyalty next due to your family’s traditional hatred of Andals and their agreement with House Cambell on House Manderly. Your family has always deeply resented House Manderly since they first arrived during your grandfather’s lifetime. Your family once ruled the Wolf’s Den thousands of years ago, and now the Manderlies have established a large, prosperous town known as White Harbour. The actions of Lord Robert and King Barclay have caused much unrest in the realm, but it hasn’t disrupted talks that you were having with other houses regarding your children’s futures. Due to the winter, negotiations were halted in favour of survival, and now that war is already upon the North, it is essential that your new heir be wedded as soon as possible. Lord Willam Flint of Flint’s Finger has offered his daughter to wed Keir, offering to ward your youngest surviving son, Kester, at his keep. Your brother-in-law, Lord Hendry Locke, offers his youngest sister to wed Keir, as her previous fiancé was killed during the winter. Lord Locke’s dowry offer is larger than that of Lord Flint. In the meantime, Ser Niven Tallhart wishes to engage his daughter to Keir, while promising to wed his son and heir to Ailsa when she comes of age. Edain, meanwhile, has come to you in strict confidence to say that he has impregnated the daughter of your master-at-arms, Shug Lightfoot. This is a grave insult to House Lightfoot, your bannermen, and now Edain is a panicked youth, worried about what will happen if the truth is discovered. Prior to all this, Lord Angus Glover was suggesting that Edain marry his daughter and heir, which would make Edain the new Lord Glover, but with Lord Glover currently arrested, you worry about what marrying Edain into that family will suggest to King Barclay about your allegiances. A second marriage offer came from Lord Sawney Hornwood to wed his daughter, though House Hornwood is currently a much disgraced house. In the dead of winter, Lord Sawney and his brother got into a drunken argument, and according to Lord Sawney, he was forced to kill his brother in self-defence. Witnesses confirmed this story to be true, yet the curse of kinslaying has tainted House Hornwood regardless. Your third son, Ivor, spent the winter away from home, being fostered at Barrowton by Lord Ellar Dustin. He just arrived home today, with good news and bad. Lord Dustin has grown fond of Ivor and wishes to take him on as part of his household guard when he grows older, and Ivor is now betrothed to Lord Dustin's niece. However, Ivor has discovered that Lord Dustin wishes to resurrect the reign of the Barrow Kings, and has said that now seems like the perfect time to do so, given the disunity of the North. Joining your house in marriage to the Dustins would be a treasonous action if they rise in rebellion, yet you have already done so much to cultivate a friendship with that House that any action taken against them will definitely lead to a dangerous feud. Ailsa has also been the subject of several offers. Prior to the end of winter, Lord Ranulf Bolton was interested in wedding her to his son and heir, thought it was only a few generations ago that they rebelled against the Starks, and the Northmen have long memories. By contrast, the young lord Gavyn Karstark wishes Ailsa himself when she flowers, though you know such a match would earn the enmity of House Bolton in turn, given the Karstarks' current actions on Bolton land. A final offer comes from the young and handsome Lord Erskyne Slate. Once petty kings, the Slates have fallen on hard times, though even you can find no fault with Erskyne's reputation, his courteous demeanour and gentle way with Ailsa. There is also a terrible dilemma facing you right now. In the aftermath of the winter, your two youngest children are very ill and require medicines from Essos which are beyond what you can afford. Surprisingly, Lord Torcuil Manderly offers to pay for your children’s medicines on the condition that you engage Keir to his daughter, lead your bannermen alongside his own to defeat Lord Cambell, and then, if your House is awarded any lands as a reward for defeating House Cambell, you must yield said rewards to House Manderly. What do you do? Note to administrators: This is purely a hypothetical scenario, not a game. It's meant to illicit thought and discussion rather than awarding a win or loss.
  4. In hindsight, it might have been a better conflict if the risk had been one's only son who was on Tarth.
  5. He would do it in a way that seems like an accident, that can't be traced back to him. It would be his word against yours, and with all the instability, King Morden might accept Tarth's excuses to avoid losing more nobles than he already would.
  6. Sorry if I didn't make it clear enough, but Lord Tarth is still on Tarth, with your cousin. He will kill your cousin if he gets word of the coup's failure and/or your betrayal. And your cousin is an innocent of any plotting. Basically, your cousin is a dead man if you don't help Reynol succeed. Your honour vs his life. My attempt at a Ned Stark dilemma in AGOT
  7. That seems an unfair judgment to make of the Stormlords. They've never openly rebelled against the Durrandons/ Baratheons like the Boltons or Royces or Freys or Reynes have done in the past.
  8. That sounds impressively contrived, Claude. A new high for you.
  9. Imagine you're the head of a Noble House in the Stormlands (assume that it's been around for as long as the others). Your father and elder brothers were killed in battle with raiders from the Reach, leaving you as the sole living male to carry your family name. The only other members of your family are your eldest brother's widow, Briony, her 5-year old daughter, Saren, your 13-year old sister, Falia, and your beloved 16-year old cousin, Bryce, a squire serving Lord Lothor Tarth on his island. King Morden III Durrandon is old and has no natural sons, so he is holding a tourney outside of Storm's End, for all the second and third sons of his nobility to earn the Durrandon name and wed his daughter, Alynne Durrandon. You were dreaming of this opportunity, having loved Princess Alynne from afar since you were a boy, but now with the deaths of your father and brothers, your new elevation to Lord of your House has ironically prevented you from competing for what you seek. Nevertheless, you have brought your family to the tourney, despite the turmoil of the last few months. Briony harbours a bitter grudge, believing that her daughter should have inherited instead of you. She has hinted that you should renounce your lordship and let her daughter inherit your castle and lordship (Briony knows of your long infatuation with Lady Durrandon, and you know she uses it for her own purposes, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have a point). Despite this, Saren is the subject of several propositions. Lord Lyle Swann has offered to betrothe her to his infant son and heir, while also suggesting you could wed his 13-year old daughter, Cassandra, when she comes of age (these two offers can either be accepted or rejected together: no choosing just one). Meanwhile, Lord Estermont offers to betrothe Saren to his own son and heir, pointing out that a marcher lord's keep is in constant danger from the Dornish (given that Lord Swann has had two sons die in Dornish raids already). In the meantime, Falia is also receiving attention from the Stormlords. Lord Justin Dondarrion suggests to you that Falia could wed his 15-year old son when she comes of age, but while Lord Dondarrion is an honourable man, his lands are frequently raided by Dornishmen, which means Falia's life would never quite be free from danger. Lady Brysha Connington, ruler of a very wealthy house, offers her own son to wed Falia when they are both of age. The problem is that the Connington heir is a child of eight, and is also blind in one eye. Finally, Lord Steffon Errol offers to wed Falia to his second son, who is a young squire to a knight who is in King Morden's household. The last proposition is the darkest in nature. King Morden's bastard son, Reynol Storm, has come to you quietly in the night with a plot to depose his father and take the throne as his son. He claims to have Lords Cafferin, Grandison, Penrose, Toyne, and Tarth on his side, and they have brought many of their bannermen to the tourney to assist Reynol in his coup. Your task will be to arrange the murders of Lords Caron and Swann, the two lords most loyal to King Morden. When the takeover is complete, Reynol assures you, he will wed Falia to Lord Toyne (as he has already sworn to marry Lord Grandison's daughter), and you will have Lady Alynne Durrandon as your bride. Fail them, or give them up, then Lord Tarth will hear word of it and, regardless of what happens to him or Reynol, he will first take a brutal revenge against your cousin, whom you have loved like a little brother. What do you do? Note to administrators: This is purely a hypothetical scenario, not a game. It's meant to illicit thought and discussion rather than awarding a win or loss.
  10. Heh.
  11. Pretty sure you answered the wrong topic, friend.
  12. Imagine that you're the head of a Noble House (assume that it's been there for as long as the others). You are 18, newly knighted, and unmarried, with the rest of your house consisting only of your elderly mother, Arien, and your 15 year old sister, Dora. It has been a devastating year for your house. First, your oldest brother was drowned at sea during a storm, along with his beloved, when they were sailing back to the mainland from the Shield Islands. Then your elderly father died of a broken heart when he heard the news of his son and daughter-in-law's death. Then your uncle was killed during a small tourney at Old Oak, and finally, your last brother was killed by Dornish raiders while he was visiting his foster family, the Peakes of Whitegrove. Now you are the Lord of your house, and while the fields of your smallfolk are prospering, you must act now before good fortune turns even further against you. Now that you have become the head of your family, it is important to take a wife. Several lords have come forward with propositions: Lord Gram Costayne has offered the hand of his only daughter and heir, meaning that your children will inherit two keeps instead of one. While she is your age and comely, she lost her sight in a childhood accident, and would thus require special care for the rest of her life. Lord Tobias Grimm offers his younger daughter, once she comes of age. This is after his older daughter had previously been wed to your brother before they both drowned. You found the Grimms to be a surly lot, though he remarks that your father promised him the hand of his heir, which now means you, and he seems quite eager to uphold your late father's word. Lord Magor Ball, related to House Tarly by his grandmother's blood and by marriage as well, offers his own daughter, a homely girl, but with two brothers and an older sister married to Lord Varner with five children already, a promising sign. However, Lord Ball is very poor due to a bad harvest and a local pestilence which wiped out a part of his smallfolk. Marrying into this family has been reason enough to turn other houses away, as family honour would mean marrying such debts as well as the girl in question. Lord Guilin Florent, a wealthy man, offers his younger sister to be your wife. Though it has been proven that the Florents are powerful and fertile, the Florent woman is ten years older than you and already a widow. Finally, Lord Wilimar Fossoway suggested his youngest sister to your hand, partly because he was friends with your oldest brother, and knows you to be a man of honour. However, your own sister urges you to reject the Fossoway girl, whom she despises for being snobbish, conceited, and quick to anger. In the meantime, your sister is receiving marriage offers as well: Lord Ball offers his son and heir, though this would be contingent on you marrying his daughter, and he also requests a generous dowry from you. Ser Tolman Norcross, serving his first cousin, Lord Florent, wishes to marry your daughter. It is a daring request for him to make; House Norcross is a newly made knightly house, and Ser Tolman is the grandson of a hedge knight and the son of the previous Lord Florent's bastard daughter. However, you are aware that Lord Florent will not like it if you accept his sister but refuse his cousin. Lord Milo Gracefield, an old man, offers to wed Dora to his grandson and heir. He asks for no dowry, only for hand of your mother, to comfort an old man in his final days. It seems a fair request, but he is also a glutton, fondling servant girls young enough to be his grand-daughters when he thinks nobody is looking. You know your mother will wed him if you ask it of her, but would you send your own mother to the wedding bed? Especially one which she will share with this man? As you decide who your wife will be, a great tourney has been announced, hosted by King Fastred Gardener at Highgarden. All the lords, great and small, are invited to attend and/or participate as they see fit. Honour and chivalry push you towards participating in the tourney and winning renown, perhaps the chance at a better marriage offer, but your mother weeps and wails and urges you not to die and leave her bereft of sons. What do you do? Note to administrators: This is purely a hypothetical scenario, not a game. It's meant to illicit thought and discussion rather than awarding a win or loss.
  13. If I suddenly found myself in the body of Aerys at the beginning of Robert's Rebellion? But it's too late to spare the Starks from getting killed? If that's the case, I would bring Rhaegar home as soon as possible, in chains if necessary. I would execute him and send his head to Robert Baratheon as proof. I would then immediately announce my abdication and give the throne to Prince Viserys. Then I would throw myself from the tallest tower in the Red Keep.
  14. Very touching answer.
  15. Imagine that you are the head of a Noble House on Blacktyde in the Iron Islands (assume it's been around as long as the others). You have been bannermen to House Blacktyde for as long as can be remembered, and you have all been ruled by House Hoare for almost as long. Your rock wife died of a fall from her horse, and your youngest two children drowned of an illness, leaving you with your two surviving children: Sigvard (17), Celsa (16), and Torvi (12). But the Hoares are no longer on the Iron Islands. King Harwyn, known as the Hardhand, conquered the Riverlands, and crowned himself King of the Isles and Rivers. However, he spent the rest of his rule keeping the riverlords in their place. Now it is his son, Halleck, struggling to rule his new territory from Fairmarket. And it is clear that he is not the man his father was. In the last five years, his assault upon the Vale ended in disaster, and the Storm Kings won a victory over Halleck's forces when he attempted to expand his empire into the Stormlands. In the wake of this defeat by the Storm King, several houses in the Riverlands have taken it as a sign to rebel against the Hoares. King Halleck raised a royal command to rally his bannermen to the Riverlands, but many of those still on the Iron Islands are reluctant to do so, given King Halleck's faltering reputation and their divided opinions on owning land rather than simply raiding it. Lord Kauko Blacktyde is no supporter of King Halleck; he hosts a large number of Drowned Men at Blacktyde Castle, despite King Halleck's outspoken disgust for the Old Way, and his banning of Drowned Men in his court. Lord Blacktyde has privately confided in you that he is planning to raid the Reach instead of sailing to the Riverlands to help in what seems to be a lost cause. If you go raiding, you can hardly be blamed for having missed the message when it arrived at your homes. There is a problem with this arrangement. Your uncle and nephew had sailed to Westeros for a piece of land in the Riverlands. Now word has reached you that their heads were found hanging from a tree outside Fairmarket with fish stuffed into their mouths. You have not seen your relatives for over a decade, but blood and insult calls for blood, and your King demands more swords. Your bereaved aunt is also in the throes of grief, seeking vengeance for her child and husband. In the meantime, you are clashing with your eldest son. Sigvard converted to the Seven at a young age, and he frequently clashes with the Drowned Men who live under your protection. Much to your own fury, he much prefers fishing to fighting. However, on the other hand, he is very well liked amongst your smallfolk, as well as by the other lords of the Iron Islands who worship the Seven (few as they may be). Much to your surprise, Halleck's own cousin, Harald Hoare, has suggested that Sigvard wed his daughter when she comes of age next year. You yourself had been talking to Lord Harlaw about his daughter marrying Sigvard, but you know Lord Harlaw hates the Andal faith as much as you do. By contrast, Celsa is getting no marriage offers, though she is the child who makes you most proud. She worships the Drowned God, follows the Old Way, and even serves as a warrior on one of your ships. She has been eager to go raiding with Lord Blacktyde, but today you have discovered that this is because she is having an affair with Lord Blacktyde's youngest son, Torstein. While all this is happening, Torvi is being courted by several lordlings. Ser Hal Gardane, the head of a knightly house on Orkmont serving the Hoares, has suggested that his heir could marry Torvi when she comes of age. Another offer comes from Lord Gunnar Tawney for his youngest son, newly a captain of his own ship, though you have heard that Tawney's son is a drunk. At the same Lord Meldred Thorhall, head of a minor house serving House Greyjoy, has just lost his wife in childbirth, along with his first child, and is now seeking a new wife. He is interested in Celsa, though you know that Celsa will resist any marriage offer. All the same, Lord Thorhall will be joining Lord Blacktyde's raid, and a rejection will cause trouble, especially if Celsa's lover (and possibly future husband) is also part of the raid. What do you do? Note to administrators: This is purely a hypothetical scenario, not a game. It's meant to illicit thought and discussion rather than awarding a win or loss.