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. Stormlands Noble House Scenario

    Imagine you're the head of a noble house in the Stormlands (assume it’s been there for as long as the others). Your keep is within a day’s ride from Storm’s End. You are an old man, but still robust, and one of the most respected noblemen in the Stormlands. Your family consists of four children by your first wife, one son by your second wife, and one illegitimate grandson. -Your eldest son, Norran, was fighting with King Axyl, leading a third of your bannermen. As of now, many of them are wounded, including Nestor. He is in a stable condition, but it will be a long time before he and his men return home. -Your middle son, Cadfael, is at Blackhaven, squired to the younger brother of Ser Loius Dondarrion. -Your daughters, Stiorra and Selene, are at your home, along with Nestor’s bastard son, an infant boy whom he took in when the child’s mother, a cook’s daughter, died of a sickness. -Your youngest son, Gillis, is a tall and strong lad, but slow-witted. He is also quick-tempered and suspicious of laughter, as he has gotten used to the notion that any laughter is at his expense. As a result, he is a sullen youth, and you worry that nobody will take him as a squire. It has been a hundred years since the Storm Kings seized the Riverlands for their own. The Storm Kings rule more land than they’ve ever done. And as a result, power and wealth has led to many seeking to claim it for themselves. The old king Axyl Durrandon and his only son, Alastor, have successfully suppressed an attempted uprising by a number of riverlords, but at the cost of both their lives. Now there is a crisis of succession, in which you are involved, having been one of Axyl’s most trusted advisors. Axyl’s daughter, a tall, warlike woman named Alys, is riding south to Storm’s End, intending to crown herself Queen. Axyl indulged his daughter by allowing her to learn how to handle weapons, and she often sat in during lessons of war. Some say she is a fitter heir than her brother ever was, while others denounce her as an unnatural freak. Some even whisper that she has no interest in men, given that she keeps a special bodyguard of women who have learned how to wear armour instead of dresses. While taking shelter at Stonedance, Alys has sent you a coded message in secrecy. She knows that she has enemies throughout the Stormlands, who insist that her cousin, Bex Durrandon, is plotting to seize Storm’s End for his own. She is aware that he has always lusted for her, and has heard of a plot to have her ambushed, and brought bound and gagged to their wedding bed, only for him to make her a prisoner in her own home. She urges you to make for Storm’s End, take command of the garrison in her name, and hold the castle against Bex’s forces while she coordinates those houses loyal to her and decides whether to come south by land or by sea. In return, she will betrothe herself to Gillis, so that she may continue her family line with a man whom she can rule through. By sheer coincidence, earlier that day you found that a man had snuck into your chambers, wearing a mask. You didn’t recognize his voice, but he said that he represented Bex Durrandon. As far as Bex is concerned, Axyl was only ever a good king because his younger brother, and Bex’s father, gave such good advice. Now that Axyl and Alastor are dead, the storm lords will not follow a female Durrandon. Initially visiting his mother’s family at Rain House, Bex is now preparing forces. However, the masked man wouldn’t say whether it was to march to Storm’s End or sail to Massey’s Hook to openly engage Alys in battle. He merely asks that you go to Storm’s End and hold it for Bex Durrandon until he arrives. In return, Bex will marry Stiorra and name her Queen. In addition to that, he also promises to find good marriages for your sons, and even offers to squire Gillis personally. Even as you think on this strange visitor as you burn Alys’ letter in the fire, you think on the situation. Due to garrisons required to keep the Riverlands in line, as well as the hundreds of soldiers killed to achieve her father’s pyrrhic victory, Alys is in a precarious position. You know she can count on the support of the marcher lords, but you know from Cadfael that they are currently preoccupied with the Dornish, who are trying to come north and seize land from the Durrandons in the wake of King Axyl’s death. She can also count on Tarth, Estermont, the Masseys, the Farrings, and Fells. Bex, meanwhile, can call upon the Darklyns, Bar Emmons, Morrigans, Bucklers, Toynes, and Errols. You don’t know about everyone else, but you imagine they will side with whomever they think will win. You are not as close with Alys as you were to her father or brother, and she is a woman in a man’s world, but while Bex is an accomplished knight, you have heard stories of cruelty that make you wonder if he is any more worthy for Storm’s End than Alys. But before all this began, you had issues concerning your children. Cadfael has sent a letter, which is approved of by his master’s older brother, Lord Lyle Dondarrion. He requests reinforcements to help the marcher lords repel the Dornish raiders, and in return he will marry Selene. This would strip you of resources to protect your holdings if war does break out between Alys and Bex. But on the other hand, revealing how close the Stormlands are to war before it happens would cause the powder keg to explode. Other suitors for your daughters have contacted you in the past several days. Lord Ebsenor Tarth, having lost both his sons in the Riverlands, is in need of a new heir, and he asks to wed Stiorra, and he promises to squire Gillis to one of his best knights. However, you know that this generous offer will only be valid if you support Alys’s claim. The young lord Manfred Toyne, a handsome and rich man, but also one of Bex’s closest allies, wishes to marry Selene. It goes without saying that you can only marry Stiorra to Ebsenor or marry Selene to Manfred. But not all offers are fuelled by taking sides. Ser Clive Woolley, head of a knightly house sworn to you, lost all but one of his sons keeping Norran safe. His last son is nearing manhood, and you know that he is in love with Stiorra. The old and laconic Ishamel Connington wishes to marry Selene to his son and heir, a courteous young man though very homely in appearance. Lord Connington has heard of the upcoming succession crisis and, knowing that he can join you and share in the spoils of turning the tide for whomever you choose, offers to provide reinforcements, in the form of his heir leading half his bannermen to be commanded by you as you see fit. What do you do, and how do you run this household? Note to the administrators: I assure you this is not a game, this is strictly a hypothetical scenario that is entirely subjective and up to each person who answers.
  2. ASoIaF cliche about siblings

    So he went to the one place that was more desperate for reinforcements than he was?
  3. ASoIaF cliche about siblings

    Renly was a disloyal brother who was seen as unfit to rule by pretty much everyone who wasn't sleeping with him. Olenna Tyrell, Maester Cressen, Donal Noye, Ned and Cateyn Stark. He was a pompous man who was only in it for himself. Stannis, meanwhile, nearly died defending Storm's End for his brother, and did his duty no matter what. He has his flaws, sure, but frankly, I find him (A) one of the most fascinating characters of the series, and (B) one of the only ones I'd actually feel comfortable seeing become king. He defended the realm from a threat that nobody acknowledged, and rather than bother trying to play the game of thrones, he's concerned with defeating the Others at the Wall. He's earning his kingship through deed and action. Stannis is a truly just man, and that terrifies people like Cersei, Varys, and Littlefinger. Again, he's hardly a perfect man, but if he was, he wouldn't be as interesting. He's done bad things, but who hasn't in this series? Even Arya's becoming a trained murderer. Murdering Renly by shadow-baby ranks high among Stannis' crimes, but the ones who cry hardest about that always seem to ignore the fact that Renly was going to slay his brother anyway. Stannis just became a kinslayer before Renly had the chance to do so.
  4. Who will kill Jaime Lannister

    I agree. Tyrion coming back at the head of Daenerys' army to take vengeance on his family and usurp Casterly Rock for his own is what I hope happens. Tyrion's taking enough crap from them, it's high time he lives up to his family's unofficial motto.
  5. Best group of Small Council

    Hand: Davos Seaworth Grand Maester: Luwin Master of Coin: Willas Tyrell (a rich man won't be as tempted by bribes) Master of Laws: Eddard Stark Master of Ships: Paxter Redwyne Master of Whisperers: Tyrion Lannister Lord Commander of the Kingsguard: Balon Swann By the way, I'm assuming that Stannis is king in this scenario.
  6. Reach Noble House Scenario

    Imagine you're the head of a noble house in the Reach (assume that it’s been around for as long as the others). You and your wife are newly middle-aged, with all three of your children in or entering adulthood. You are hosting a tourney on your lands, and many great lords of the Reach are in attendance. Lords Alaric Hightower, Henri Florent, Meryn Peake, Garse Tarly, and most prestigious of all, Prince Gordan ‘Grey-Eyes’ Gardener, heir to Highgarden, and his two younger brothers, Ferric and Lanval. Already famed for his nobility, Prince Gordan is still recovering from a broken leg suffered while battling the Ironborn, but his brothers entered the tourney. The tourney has been a resounding success so far, and men already hail this as the best tourney they have attended in many years. Your bountiful food and plentiful ale seem to flow unceasingly, and the bards sing new songs of the many great jousts that have taken place. But some things are happening which trouble you greatly. Your eldest child and heir, Marlo, has proven a disappointment at the jousts. Starting off well initially, he was unhorsed by Ser Oscar Inchfield. Former servants to House Manderly, they historically turned on their masters when the Peakes drove them out and became landed knights for their actions. Your son’s early defeat is embarrassing, even if Ser Oscar is shocking all by stubbornly refusing to be defeated by anyone who challenges him thus far. Only six knights remain for the final lists: Ser Oscar Inchfield, Ser Timo Peake, Ser Robert Ball, Ser Isek Fossoway, Prince Lanval Gardener, and your second son, Lidole. It is Lidole who is covering himself in glory rather than Marlo (who was usually thought to be the better jouster than Lidole). He unhorsed both of Lord Hightower’s sons, as well as the young Marcher Lord Tarly himself. However, he is due to face off against Prince Lanval in his upcoming list. This marks a troubling conflict. Marlo as approached you and insists that Ser Oscar got lucky. He asks you to force Lidole out and give his armour to Marlo so that Marlo may regain some glory in defeating a Gardener prince. You know that some would see this as self-serving, while Lidole’s reputation would suffer greatly as a result, but Marlo is your eldest son, and if all goes well, he will rule your house. The bards would love a great song of redemption about Marlo triumphing in disguise. Not to mention, you were in negotiations to wed Marlo to Lord Alaric’s eldest daughter, Ira. Alaric resents that House Hightower had to give up their crown to the Gardeners, and he would love to see the Gardeners knocked down a peg or two. However, earlier in the day, Lidole confided in you that Prince Lanval approached him last night and says that regardless of whether Lanval or Lidole emerges triumphant against the other, he will nominate Lidole to join the Order of the Green Hand. This is a high honour which has never before been awarded to a member of your family. Lidole bowing out of the tourney to give his brother the chance to regain glory through trickery will surely destroy that chance for a nomination. Meanwhile, your beloved daughter, Pamela, is a noted beauty even amongst the daughters of other great lords. She is being courted by several available bachelors. Ser Robert Ball has publicly vowed to crown her queen of love and beauty if he wins the tourney. However, this hasn’t stopped Ser Isek Fossoway, Robert’s bitter rival, to directly ask you for your daughter’s hand in marriage. Isek's courtesy and good manners can't hide the fact that he is not favoured to win this tourney, though you certainly find him a more likeable man than the highly favoured Ser Robert Ball. Even as these high-ranking knights talk of Pamela’s beauty and her grace, you see that Pamela herself has eyes only for one man: Ser Oscar Inchfield. Ser Oscar is the lowest-ranking knight still in the tourney, and his remarkable talent as a jouster is angering the great lords even further. His reputation as an honest and true knight cannot be denied, and he seems determined to redeem his family name and divorce it from the means by which they first gained their status as a knightly house. Based on how she talks of him and their interactions, you know Pamela’s heart has already been won (the fact that he defeated Marlo, whom she has never gotten along with, seems just the cherry on top). As good of a man as he is, you also know that choosing Oscar will offend House Ball and House Fossoway. Meanwhile, as you and a couple of your bodyguard walk back to your castle, you suddenly overhear a woman sobbing. Behind one of the tents, Prince Ferric Gardener is in the process of assaulting Becca, the youngest daughter of your brewer. She is a sweet child of fourteen whom you’ve known since she was born. Pamela helped her take her first steps. But any action taken against a prince of Hightower will be taking a grave risk to yourself and your family, even if it is justified. There is a chance that Ferric’s brothers may condemn Ferric’s actions, or there is a chance that they will take his side out of loyalty and defend him. This could also affect your children’s futures. What do you do, and how do you run this household? Note to the administrators: I assure you this is not a game, this is strictly a hypothetical scenario that is entirely subjective and up to each person who answers.
  7. Why there is not Baratheon POV chapter in asoiaf

    And yet it's more appealing than over half the 'main' storylines.
  8. Why there is not Baratheon POV chapter in asoiaf

    Touche. Though she didn't start out as a monarch, it was part of her character arc, and maybe her being a POV will signal that she won't stay a monarch forever? We'll see, I suppose.
  9. I challenge you to justify supporting the Others winning

    To be fair, the First Men went out of their way to wipe out the Giants and the Children of the Forest before they were basically forced to make a pact with creatures that they couldn't just stomp under their boots. Then the Andals gleefully conquered both those cultures while feeling like they were completely justified in doing so. The Targaryens swooped in and decided they wanted to rule millions of people, whether they liked it or not, and had no qualms about burning thousands with dragon fire. Each ruling class exploited the classes beneath them, and the meanest of humans viewed all animals as theirs to lord over. And I say that as someone who likes to eat meat; I'm as much of a hypocrite as anyone else, and I'm aware of a food chain that exists in the world, and I still think humans cross lines when it comes to those food chains and whatnot. But that said, if you do think that a superior species has every right to do what they want, then congrats, you're rooting for the Others to win by default. My point is that the Others aren't that much different from humans. They're doing the same things that humans would be doing if they could get away with it. You're telling me that we wouldn't summon up our enemy dead into zombies if we had the technology to do so? Even as people read that previous sentence, I'll bet some of them nearly salivated at the thought of having command over a zombie army at their beck and call. Face it, Agent Smith was completely spot on about humans being a virus. And when a bigger virus comes along and destroys us, it'll be no different from us wiping out millions of species because they were in our way. Again, that's not to say I don't hate all humans, or that nobody in the books is likeable. It's just a case of my cognitive dissonance acting up.
  10. Why there is not Baratheon POV chapter in asoiaf

    I thought GRRM wanted to avoid making kings into POVS. Hence why Euron, Joffrey, Tommen, Robert, Renly, Stannis, Robb, Mance, and Balon aren't POV's. And once you look at the Baratheons in that category, the only ones left to choose from are Myrcella (in name only) and Shireen. Admittedly either one would have been great. Shireen would have given us amazing insight into Stannis' character. But personally I would also have loved a Stannis POV. He's one of my all time favourite characters of the books (even after the show completely destroyed his character).
  11. Iron Islands Noble House Scenario

    Hahaha thanks for that.
  12. If Robert only had to worry about the Stormlands (plus the Crownlands, then I imagine he (A) wouldn't have been given Cersei as a bride, and (B) he would have probably just abandoned his responsibilities to go fight in Essos like he mentioned to Ned. He was never going to be a good ruler. Also, Stannis wouldn't have gotten Selyse as a bride either. More likely he would have gotten a Crownlands noblewoman, like Falyse Stokeworth, or a Stormlady like Mylenda Caron or Ravella Swann. He also would likely have become ruler after Robert either died young or left to do something else. Which means that without Aegon's dragons, his small army would face a united front of Crownlands and Stormlands led by Stannis. Or hell, Robert leading that front would have been enough to drive Aegon back too, if it weren't for those dragons. That's the only reason Aegon got anywhere beyond Dragonstone.
  13. You meant that sarcastically, but looking at pretty much all of our history, I think there is some merit to the notion that nobody can truly be trusted to have any kind of power over their fellow human.
  14. Iron Islands Noble House Scenario

    Assume you weren't in the room when they were born, and nobody told you which son was born first. Who would you pick?
  15. Iron Islands Noble House Scenario

    You know, I would actually love to see that play out. The idea of a noble Andal family coming to the North as a refuge is interesting on its own, but a noble Ironborn family? After all the crap that Theon Stark and so many other Starks had to go through to protect their western coast? I assume that the Starks wouldn't kill a man under a flag of truce, but I also doubt they would welcome those men into the North. Not unless they had something valuable to give the Starks. The Manderlys had to build White Harbour. What the hell would an Ironborn have to have to do?