James Steller

Crownlands Noble House Scenario

16 posts in this topic

Imagine you're the head of a noble house in the Crownlands (imagine it’s been around for as long as the others). Your father, mother, older brother, sister-in-law, and uncle died of asickness which plagued your lands three years ago, leaving you to assume lordship. That leaves you, your widowed aunt, your wife, and your elder (illegitimate) half-brother as all that remains of your family.

Aegon the Dragonbane has been dead for over six months now. His young son, Daeron, has been declared the new King of the Iron Throne. And already, he is preparing for war with Dorne, to finish what his father’s namesake never could.

Messengers have come to your hall, ordering your house to join its bannermen with the King’s Royal Host at King’s Landing within the next three weeks.

You have never fought in a war before, though your father fought during the Dance of the Dragons. Though he survived it, he would need milk of the poppy to sleep without nightmares until his dying day. Your aunt’s husband came home without a leg and half his arm, causing him to become a brooding drunkard of a man.

As you inwardly ponder your decision, three men step forward to serve as castellan while you are away fighting in Dorne (two days ago, the elderly Ser Corlys Hale choked on his supper and you have yet to replace him).

First there is Ser Corlys’ youngest son, Donuil. While his older brothers were knighted and will march with you to war, Donuil was a sickly youth who never showed promise for warfare. Ser Corlys would have sent Donuil to the Wall or the Citadel were it not for his mother, who loved him and didn’t want to send him away. Now he is a quiet man with a remarkably practical mind that lends itself to numbers and words equally. However, he talks with a lisp, has no charisma and will need a number of loyal knights to stay at home and enforce his decisions. This will mean going to war with an even more depleted household guard.

Secondly, there is Maester Garrett. He has received the education that Donuil was denied, and is known as a very knowledgeable man. However, you are convinced that his loyalties are not yours. Your father and uncle both fought for Princess Rhaenyra, while you know that Garrett was not only educated in Oldtown is said to be a bastard son of House Redwyne. The Hightowers and Redwynes both fought for Aegon II. Garrett officially claims no loyalty as a master, but your father always distrusted Garrett and kept him at arm’s length, warning you time after time that Garrett may very well have fought against the blacks before fleeing to the Citadel when Aegon II died. You have no proof, and Garrett would certainly deny anything you accuse him of, but would you trust him with power over your house while you’re away?

Finally, there is Belwar. You have known Belwar for many years. His father was Brullen, master of horse for your house. He fought alongside your father during the war and even saved his life at one point. Since then, Belwar has received an education similar to yours in gratitude. He has been assisting his ailing father at his post for the last two years, and it is clear that he will become Master of Horse when Brullen dies. However, you know that Belwar could also serve as a temporary castellan if you go. He has lived in the shadow of your family all his life so he knows how to ape the ruling class. He has also spent a lot of time with the smallfolk, so he knows their plight, and he is very popular amongst them as well. However, his common birth will mean he will command almost no authority from minor lords and knights who would object to taking orders from the son of upjumped peasants.

Privately, your aunt urges you to avoid fighting if you can. You are young, and you don’t know if your wife will give birth to a boy, or even a healthy baby at all. And even if she does, the child will be vulnerable and she will be alone in looking after your house. And if she remarries or names a regent, they will be a threat to the continuation of your family line.

Surprisingly, your half-brother agrees with this sentiment and offers to lead the host in your stead. You and he grew up together, as your father wanted all his family together, and if there is any hostility in him regarding his illegitimacy, then he hides it well.

That night, your wife quietly begs you not to listen to your aunt or your half-brother. She is paranoid that if you stay behind and let your brother lead the host, he will win great glory in Dorne, and men will mock you across the Seven Kingdoms for avoiding the war. She urges you to lead your host to war, and take your half-brother with you. If he does not die in battle, arrange his death to look like he died, as she suspects him of wishing to supplant you. Personally, you know that this would amount to kinslaying.

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.

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13 minutes ago, James Steller said:

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.

I'll play this forum game. Have the secks with my wife until she is pregnant. Go to war with my brother, making sure to impregnate as many women on the road to dorne as possible so I will have a backup heir(s), then I will go  fight, with my half brother leading the van and then I will name him castellan after our glorious victory  and if he crosses me, I can have him executed after inventing some bullshit deal and everyone will believe me as he is a traitorous bastard  

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Posted (edited)

Is this hypothetical house one of the stronger or weaker ones in the crownlands? How many men can I field? How many knights?

I'd pick Belwar for castellan, it's a position that needs loyalty more than birth. I'd probably knight him before I left so he has more authority.

My half-brother gets three choices, leave my lands and never return, take the black or have a hunting accident.

I'd go to war myself to demonstrate my authority to my vassals and my loyalty to the crown, wars are a good opportunity to forge links with other houses. I'd be very cautious with my safety knowing I have no heirs.

Edited by Cataldo

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1 minute ago, Cataldo said:

Is this hypothetical house one of the stronger or weaker ones in the stormlands? How many men can I field? How many knights?

You're in the Crownlands, not the Stormlands. You're a noble house comparable in size to houses like Stokeworth, Rosby, or Hayford.

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I'll go to war, and I'll take my half-brother with me. He can lead the vanguard to his heart's content, until a Dornish arrow takes it out.

I'll leave the Hale boy in charge, with an extra guard of knights to make sure that people listen to him. I also take Maester Garrett with me to tend to my soldiers, even as I have my wife send for a new maester, since the old one will not come back from Dorne alive.

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Leave my wife as castellan with the head of the household guard. Kill the traitors. Ignore everyone else. Show up in KL like I'm supposed to while taking my elder brother with me and giving him command of unit suited to his skillset.

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I'd appoint Belwar as castellan, though not before having him knighted so as to increase his authority a little bit, and I'd leave a decent garrison whose loyalty I can trust to support him. Loyalty means more than birth, and lowborn men understand the problems faced by the common folk more than highborn do.

I'd got to war myself and take my half-brother with me, though not for the purposes of killing him off. I'd be the commander of my troops, but he would be my main adviser and lead the troops on the field. Before we leave I ask King Daeron for his legitimization and name him my heir. If we both live through the war, then I'd give him a small keep on my lands and a position within my household; master at arms, captain of the guard or perhaps he could eventually become castellan himself. If he dies in battle then I have him buried with the rest of our family. If I die and he doesn't then I am safe in the knowledge that the house is in the hands of someone I trust.

I would use the Maester for nothing more than his healing skills. I would not have him in council meetings and I would warn Belwar not to involve him in the running of the house all that much.

I'd give the Hale lad some job or another to reward his family for their loyalty. One of his brothers can be a personal guard to me and the others can have small commands of their own.

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Posted (edited)

Ok, lets do this.

First, I need to go myself. While war can be deadly I need to prove myself, becuase even if I don´t win glory I need to show my soldiers who they are following (as well as possible plunder and rewards from Daeron. I am certain that I have a border to someone that needs "adjustment"). I am of course going to command from the reserve as much as possible. And even if I die, I am sure there exist relatives. And I will of course spend some quality time for many days before leaving with my wife, so there should a possibility that there will be more members of my house when I am done, ;).

Secondly, I feel that neither candidate have exactly what I need and I feel unconfortable leaving so much power to three so untested individuals, yet they all have partly what I need. So scrap Castellan. I am lord and do as I please. And what pleases me is a council with said three individuals, my wife and my aunt. One vote each. Then they can bicker among themselves and their eventual intrigues will be directed against each other and not the existance of the house. In general I want Donuil to be trained by the Maester (btw - that Blackfyre accusation doesn´t bother me as long as he doesn´t use it against my house) and Belwar as a lowborn advisor. The house have lost too many members to bicker and I need to make people to work together. I tell them so before I leave. And I will evaluate their positions, choices and individual votes when I get back.

Third, my new council is getting special instructions to help my wife if I die and she is with child. That is, she is regent and my last will would be that they assisted her with said task. And she is of course forbidden to remarry. Not that it matters in theory because her claim to my seat is weak. But people do get strange ideas.

Finally, I take my half-brother with me. I have no reason to distrust him and if he is yearning for glory then I won´t stop him. Of course, that mean he will need to protect me on the battlefield and take the greater risks. But I am not seeking his death. Besides, he still need to be legitimized and he can´t both arrange my death and show bravery on the battlefied, can he. So, I am leading. He is getting command of a suitable unit (a melee-based one).

In general, rumors and bullshit seems to run rampart in my family. And you will never get anywhere if you choose inaction and listen to gossipers. But luckily they seem to be more focused on eachother. Which mean they are unlikely to all be against me and on the same side.

Edited by Protagoras

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I leave my wife in charge, with Donuil and Belwar as her advisors. I take Maester Garrett and my half-brother along with me as I lead my levies to King's Landing. I send for a more trustworthy Maester to tend to my wife when she gives birth. Garrett never comes home with me, and while we're in Dorne, I suggest to Daeron that he might consider my half brother for a Kingsguard should a spot open up.

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Isn't Ser Bronn of the Blackwater now the de facto Lord of Stokeworth? Lady Tanda of the many meals served to entice suitors to Lollys now dead, the older daughter and heir Lady Falyse and her husband now dead (thanks to Cersei), the younger daughter Lollys inherits, so that makes her husband Bronn the consort of Lady of Stokeworth... And given that Lollys is a "lackwit" (probably an intellectual disability caused by a difficult birth), Bronn rules the roost. Maybe Cersei was right to worry about him.

The interesting thing is whether Bronn would have any loyalty to Tyrion, should he (Tyrion) ever return to Westeros. My guess is, if Bronn sees an advantage to himself, he'll go with Tyrion again, citing their old "friendship".

Lord Bronn of Stokeworth will only look after his own advantage. Maybe his sons', if he impregnates Lollys soon enough once or twice.

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17 minutes ago, talvikorppi said:

Isn't Ser Bronn of the Blackwater now the de facto Lord of Stokeworth? Lady Tanda of the many meals served to entice suitors to Lollys now dead, the older daughter and heir Lady Falyse and her husband now dead (thanks to Cersei), the younger daughter Lollys inherits, so that makes her husband Bronn the consort of Lady of Stokeworth... And given that Lollys is a "lackwit" (probably an intellectual disability caused by a difficult birth), Bronn rules the roost. Maybe Cersei was right to worry about him.

The interesting thing is whether Bronn would have any loyalty to Tyrion, should he (Tyrion) ever return to Westeros. My guess is, if Bronn sees an advantage to himself, he'll go with Tyrion again, citing their old "friendship".

Lord Bronn of Stokeworth will only look after his own advantage. Maybe his sons', if he impregnates Lollys soon enough once or twice.

This is just a scenario. It's not meant to take place during the books' timeline. It takes place just before Daeron I's invasion of Dorne.

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39 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

This is just a scenario. It's not meant to take place during the books' timeline. It takes place just before Daeron I's invasion of Dorne.

My bad, I didn't understand OP's scenario the right way. Apologies. Please, do carry on!

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Oh, James is back, nice. 

Word of advice if you would be so kind to spare few seconds to read, don't be so stiff about "game" designation and move to the other forum. Cluttering main subforum with scenarios can bother people who talk about serious stuff there, like arguing over what does direction of swaying blades of grass in page xxx tells us about upcoming Tyrell civil war and whether it is symbolism for fragility of human existance or bad ecological policy of previous US administrations. I jest, but it is still far better to be classified as game and moved, then to be classified as fanfiction and deleted, amiright?

Now for the scenario:

Should I go to war against sly treacherous snakes of Dorne, while my blood is boiling in the heat for some snot nosed whelp who somehow got in his head he is Aegon the Conqueror come again, of course not. Besides one should never trust a wife that wants him to go away, that is not good marital response and it is bound to end with husband dead. I take send the least amount of men I can pull off without having royal trebuchets park in front of my walls, For that meager force pick the weakest, most incompetent and least loyal soldiers I have and make my bro the commander, if he forges the bond with the men he leads and they raise him on the shield, he will have subpar force unfit to do any damage. Next I manipulate and pressure my most untrustworthy vassals to go all in on the campaign, while counseling closest allies to hold on some of the army. Then I fill out the ranks with fresh recruits that will get the training from the best of my soldiers I held behind. 

When the war effort goes south, and it will inevitably go south since I have read about First Dornish War in the books, I go to the King's Landing to inform pragmatic Viserys Targaryen, Hand of the King, that neighboring lords and their regents are increasingly fretting about the young and inexperienced king who managed to mire the realm into the pointless war, and who are aiming to use the chaos to settle old scores, so they need some new dose of King's Peace, and who has the army to enforce it, why what a coincidence, I do, and the reward, nothing, my lord Hand, iron mine here, village over there, mill on this river and that, all that belongs to me by right anyway, but the traitors usurped from my ancestors.

 

 

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I see my duty here clearly as perpetuating the family line, and unfortunately that means staying at home and having lots of sex with the wife. I will send my older half brother off with my troops, as I need him to command in the field, though I make sure that he has a few loyal men by his side. If he gets overly ambitious... well, accidents happen.

I send Donuil off to the Citadel with a bit of coin and my best wishes. His family loyalty has earned him that much

I keep my maester as close as my father suggested, and have a eye to replacing him at some point. He may be good at healing, but accidents happen with all this very sharp weaponary around.

I try and get my aunt remarried, building a bridge with another house.

And if my wife is seeking to get rid of me, I have a tower cell, and childbirth is a dangerous buisness

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Posted (edited)

To only reason I would pick up a sword and leading troops is when it's about protecting my smallfolk,because that's my duty and they generally lack the means to protect themselves. Going to Dorne to kill innocent Rhoynar doesn't sound like protecting my smallfolk. In fact it sounds like jeopardizing them since my family line is not secure.

So I won't answer the King's call to arms personally, so much is clear. And truth be told I don't know whether I'd want to sacrifice my half-brother to t Daeron's meat grinder either, particularly if I'm close to him.

If I'm not completely mistaken all the king can really ask of me when he calls his banners is to provide a token fighting force for him. So that's all that white haired incest spawn gets for his stupid conquest, maybe with some fake apology about our lands have suffered da wave of disease and how much I regret about not "being able" to send more men.

As to who gets to lead it.... Well as I said I wouldn't want to sacrifice a family member because the King wants his damn Dornish lemon cakes. However it depends on why and how much the half-brother wants to fight (does he just want some "action", does he hope to win land in Dorne?). So the first thing would be to have a talk with him, find out his motivation for wanting to go to war and try to dissuade him from doing so. If he thinks it's glory and adventure, I'll remind him of what that "glory and adventure" made of our father and uncle.If he thinks it's his duty I'd argue that his first duty is to help protect and manage our home and our people, not to go fighting on some stretch of sun-backed rock. If he hopes to win his own stretch of Dorne, well then there would be little I could offer to dissuade him from that, expect maybe some sort of position within my domain, which might or might not be enough.  

Hopefully that will persuade him to stay, in which case Belwar gets to lead the troops. He sounds competent and has a good relationship to the smallfolk, so I can have confidence that he won't sacrifice the lives of my man to win any "glory". If not I'd send both him and Belwar. 

The last thing to consider would be how fast I can set aside that paranoid harpy who has just suggested to murder my last remaining brother and who apparently cares more about what the seven kingdoms think than what i think, for a better wife. Enjoy being a Silent Sister, honey! 

Then get a new wife and make babbehs with her while Daeron gets murdered by the Dornish. Which allows me to manage my lands and actually be there as my sons grow up to teach them.

Edited by Orphalesion
typos

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