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. This is pre-Baratheon, but either Durran or a name that starts with "Ar" in the Stormlands.
  2. The Blackfyre Rebellion is like Robert's Rebellion: frequently talked about, never experienced directly, which gives it a layer of mystique and awe. It's actually why I don't want a story about either event because then they'd be dragged down and the aura would be gone. It might be exciting, but it wouldn't live up to the hype it's gotten over the years.
  3. Okay, so... you could have suggested that Jaime kills Robb in battle rather than Robb agreeing to fight him in a duel AFTER he's been captured. I'm going to go with the former scenario because the latter would never happen. If Jaime succeeded in killing Robb, then the Stark cause is doomed. Admittedly, Jaime would probably be slain soon after he got Robb. But that also means that Tywin loses his ideal son, which means he'll be motivated to wipe out the Starks once and for all. Ned and Sansa are both killed by a vengeful Cersei when she finds out what happened to Jaime, and Catelyn and the other Northmen retreat back home to cut their losses. Tywin turns and deals with Robert's brothers one way or another. It really depends on what happens. Assuming that Stannis still has Renly killed, Stannis probably won't hurry right into the Battle of the Blackwater given that Tywin would have arrived back in King's Landing. The Tyrells would ally with Tywin since they hate Stannis and Stannis, like the North, would be on the losing end of the war. It would just be a matter of time before Stannis dies, the Starks are wiped out, and the North is forced to choosea new lord paramount.
  4. Well in the books, Robb sends Cat to Renly because Renly has the bigger army by far. Plus Stannis clearly wasn't interested in letting the North go independent, so Robb was basically trying to find any allies that he could muster. Renly and Balon were wild cards to him. In this scenario, Robb is only Lord of Winterfell, not a King in the North, so Stannis has no reason to hate him. Plus he's putting himself and his Northern forces under Stannis' command (and presumably Edmure is doing the same with his riverlords). This gives Stannis a force large enough to at least fight the Lannisters, though Renly is still very much the wild card here. Balon Greyjoy seems like he'll strike regardless, but he'd have much less success without Theon's idea of taking Winterfell. Presumably Robb wouldn't try to make an alliance with Balon if he's following Stannis's orders, so Theon stays by his side. Even with the Hornwood crisis, the North would be able to rally against the Ironborn if Bran and Rickon are alive and well in Winterfell. Robb doesn't break his marriage contract, which means the Freys have no reason to betray Robb. But anyway, with Robb and Edmure supporting King Stannis, it tips the scales in Stannis' favour against Tywin and the Lannisters until Renly arrives with his hundred thousand men. But that's what Melisandre's shadowbaby is for.
  5. If Robb (and Edmure) both commit their regions to Stannis, then Robb has no need to send Theon to the Iron Islands for allies. He probably still sends Catelyn to ride south and meet him. Stannis now has the Royal Fleet close to King's Landing, but also two regions at his command. Granted, the Riverlands have lost much of their strength by now, but all the same, it gives him a much stronger position since they've trapped Tywin. Renly still declares, and still has the Reach (and most likely the Stormlands), so Renly still has the numbers. He'd probably still move slowly and let the other forces kill each other off, but Stannis might not go to Storm's End. What also changes is Stannis' dependence on Melisandre. Does she predict Robb and Edmure declaring for Stannis? If not, then she loses a lot of credibility. If yes, then she continues to stay by his side and maybe use her magic on other targets instead of Renly and Penrose. The biggest changes would be that Theon doesn't go to the Iron Islands (the Ironborn might attack Tywin given how vulnerable the Lannisters would be), and also Mance Rayder might succeed in breaching the Wall. Either way, the North would be invaded by at least one army, but Winterfell would be unconquered so the North would have a rallying point to defeat any invaders.
  6. If he wins against the Freys, he would have a respite due to him seizing their supplies. Winterfell is definitely another story, though. I can imagine Stannis winning by having the Northmen turn on House Bolton when Stannis arrives. If Ramsay rides out to recapture Theon and gets killed by Stannis somehow, that would also be a serious blow to Roose's position (since he'd be without an heir until Fat Walda gives birth).
  7. Balon was mad, just like most of the Greyjoys.
  8. Crownlands= Baratheon of Dragonstone (yes, it counts!) Dorne= It feels cliche, but I have to go with House Dayne of Starfall. We don't know as much about the Dornish houses as we do about, say those in the North. So when you have such characters as Arthur Dayne, Edric Dayne, and even Ashara Dayne, it's hard to compete with that. Iron Islands= Hmm, I guess I'd go with Blacktyde. Baelor was one of the smarter of the Ironborn, but unfortunately it got him killed by Euron in a tragically ironic fashion. North= Manderly. They have the most interesting backstory, along with one of the most interesting characters of the whole series. Reach= Tough call, but I'm going with House Fossoway of New Barrel. Jon Fossoway seems like a decent man, and Raymun Fossoway heroically defied all expectations to support Duncan in the trial by seven. Riverlands= Admittedly, I like all of the Blackwoods except for Bloodraven, who I really think comes off as an unlikable, even villainous, character. But that said, the rest of the Blackwoods (and their backstory) more than makes up for Bloodraven. Stormlands= I'm going to go with House Dondarrion. Beric proved to be an enduring character, not just because of his multiple deaths. He faced the horrors of war but refused to let them turn him into a monster, and he fought for a noble cause if ever there was one. I'm hoping that he isn't the last we see of House Dondarrion, especially if they're anything like him. Vale= Royce, by far. Yohn Royce alone would win this place, but there's also his sons Waymar "Dance with me" and Robar Royce. Not to mention their fascinating family history. Westerlands= Another tough call, but I'll go with House Banefort. Their backstory is eerie, and I just wish we got to see more of their house in the series, because what little we get of Quenton Banefort seems promising.
  9. 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.
  10. Yup. One of the Red Wedding's inspirations. Figured I'd go full Scottish for this one.
  11. 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.
  12. In hindsight, it might have been a better conflict if the risk had been one's only son who was on Tarth.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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.