Snow in the North

Smell Their Fear
GM Update, Game Three

Blood. I can feel their blood. Hear their hearts. Smell their fear.

First attack in the night was bad, they were too strong said master. Pups were able to break through but their flames not able to cook our meal. Strong, they faced us, killed my kin, drove us back. They would pay, said master. Especially the Piglet, too bold.

More came out, out from the flames. Man and child, town and wild. They talked, they fought, they cried, they left. Old Crow was scorched and bleeding, Fox scratched from the long sticks. They bundled the wild ones onto the foals, set off on the path, through snow, through night.

Master said leave them, wait. Watch. Watch blood slowly cool, fear slowly build.

Something warm saves them from the snow. The simple one, barn bound, cries out weakly so we show him what strength is. AWWWWWOOOOOOO!

They rest and eat and safe. Quiet now. And then a ripple, something strange. Something forgotten, something strong. Yes, that is what we seek. Why did it wake?

With the dawn comes more pups. In the woods and along the trail and new kin ready to run. Here they come now, Fox up front, riding fast – too fast for some kin! We take a bite of foals, slow some down, along the path to which there is one end.

Ending time now, trap is sprung, we have hunted many times in these woods. Pups with darts along the front, pups with sticks along the side, kin from behind but not enough. Fools spread out, Piglet and Crow in the snow, Fox quickly surrounded, Boar the butcher on the path.

Master and I watch, wait for blood.

Kin and pup alike not strong enough, time now I say. Master agrees, we howl and enter. Blood, hearts, fear all around. Death is here.

Master and Piglet, me and Old Crow. Around we circle. Master sticks piglet and he squeals with rage, pulls IT out. Why? Why? Why? No no no! I leap and knock him, he drops IT, they wrestle. Master has IT now – steady now master! Take care!

Hot pain – a bite from Crow! All attention now, Master fine but Fox and worse Boar are closer. Crow steady behind the metal wall, but one slip is all it takes…

Now. Now! Throat. Teeth. Blood – sweet blood. Spilling and falling and tangled in the snow. Old Crow gurgles, dinner soon.

Victory this day, just as Master said.

Then – Boar! On me, nowhere to – pain again! Slowing. Master?? Where?

Boar again! NO!!

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Burning Barn! Save the Horses!
Allaric Hull

What have I gotten myself into? I was just looking for a place to rest up for the eve and grab a meal and some ale… wherever I go, I always tend to find some sort of trouble.

The young woman seemed to have some sort of monster as a baby, a deformity… possibly, but horrible. As I gather my breath and allow the noble woman to tend to my wound, I hear a commotion from the barn.

All I can think of is my good friend Jasper, my trusty horse… the one truest friend in the world…

As I exit the inn and head for the barn I see a fire catching towards the back of the building. I hurry to Jasper to loose him from the stable but as I turn the entry to the barn is filled with an evil looking wolf. I free a few more horses as the wolf advances on me, I prepare for an attack.

The wolf and I circle each other, the wolf lunges but I parry the attack off of my shield and strike it with my sword, cutting the beast down to the bone of its shoulder, it falls into a heap pouring blood from its wound.

I head out of the barn, the smoke is starting to burn my eyes. Before me stands a group of men, Northmen by the looks… they are working with the wolves. The men at the back of the barn are still throwing fuel on the fire, but a group of them are assaulting the tavern… looking for something, the baby?

We collapse our defense around the tavern back door, the noble’s group brings a chest out and places it at the bottom of the stairs. The men look greedily at the chest and advance on our position. We manage to fend off the wildmen and the wolves and they slink slowly into the darkness at the edges of the wood… a look of menace and determination on their faces.

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Rolle's Thoughts Adventure 2
The chest

Ok I need to get outta that room and breath…I don’t know what these crazies are up to. Maybe some wolf cult. I think it’ll go out and get some fresh air. First maybe I’ll go find out what they have locked in the basement. Picking the lock is a simple matter, it seems really that they just have some serfs locked in the basement. Maybe not the worst thing in the world, but maybe these folks can give us some more info on these people. Before I can get much further into that though …wait what is that something is harassing the horses, probably more damn wolves.
We rush out to find some more of those fur clad people around the stable. They look mean but they aren’t trained fighters. Good thing too because there seem to be a good number in the woods. We dispatch this group and some wolves. They keep up the pressure though, after their first pushes fail, they get it in their mind to burn us out. Of course Ruthermont killed that warped little baby. It seemed that is what they were looking for, so maybe they just figure we’d all be better dead at this point. There seemed some connection between these wolf men and the baby. Maybe they raped the girl and it’s there warped little baby.

The siege of the in inn continues and eventually they break into the inn main room. The Chest! Perhaps there is more than one thing here they are after. I’ll be damned if I’ll let them have it easy. I manage to make it in there and there are 3 of them. I’ve already been stuck so I don’t think I can take all 3. I distract them while getting into position asking them what they want. They respond with some group poem about the wolf king but I’m only barely paying attention as I get my hands on the chest and head back behind the bar.

I manage to make my way outside. In time to see a face-off. It looks like “Joel’s Character who doesn’t have a profile on the website” and Ruthermont are facing off against another huge wolf and a guy who looks like a chieftain. I drop the chest and jump into the fray. We scrap for a bit with no serious blows landing. The chieftian steps back and we all tense. He backs off another two steps into the swirling snow and says. You’ll never leave these woods alive.
Shit he could be right. As I breath in the cold slightly smoky air. So many thoughts, what is in the chest, is it worth risking my life for. That’s gonna have to be one hell of a reward. I can probably get Lyle and I out of these woods, but no way to sneak out a group this big. Am I willing to leave them all to die. Death to these wolf lovers is going to be an ugly one.

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Attack in the Snow
GM Summary of Game Two

This is the Inn that Wyl built.

Wildlings

These are the wildlings, huddled and thin, that lived in
the Inn that Wyl built.

Baby

This is the baby, fanged and deformed, that never met
the wildlings, huddled and thin, that lived in
the Inn that Wyl built.

Wolf 04 bandits

These are the bandits, shaggy and armored, who came for
the baby, fanged and deformed, that never met
the wildlings, huddled and thin, that lived in
the Inn that Wyl built.

Burning barn

This is the barn, engulfed in flames, torched by
the bandits, shaggy and armored, who came for
the baby, fanged and deformed, that never met
the wildlings, huddled and thin, that lived in
the Inn that Wyl built.

Wolf 03 dire

This is the wolf, sleek and evil, eyes lit by
the barn, engulfed in flames, torched by
the bandits, shaggy and armored, who came for
the baby, fanged and deformed, that never met
the wildlings, huddled and thin, that lived in
the Inn that Wyl built.

Wolf bandit leader

This is the man, fierce and calm, who commanded
the wolf, sleek and evil, eyes lit by
the barn, engulfed in flames, torched by
the bandits, shaggy and armored, who came for
the baby, fanged and deformed, that never met
the wildlings, huddled and thin, that lived in
the Inn that Wyl built.

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Obscenity to Both The old Gods and the new
Lanna's thoughts

I have seen many things – learned much from the Maester, but I never thought that when I left the South for this endeavor, I did not expect I would see likes of which would offend even the tree gods these northerners still bow to. The Seven bless this place for there is evil about.

Little is clear as to what is happening yet but I am getting ahead of myself. I must say that Damon has proved to be gentleman enough as a companion. He is rough with the common folk, and I have found the need to occasionally try to repair some of his toungue’s damage. All in all, I cannot complain – his sword is as sharp as his toungue.

I am studied, and I did not expect the wolves to attack us as they did. Two riders on horses wouldn’t seem a likely choice for a wild animal to attack… but something is very strange with the wolves here. The “child” is a great concern… I hope for guidance as to what to do with this situation.

The two common men seem amicable enough. Lyle and Rolley have base desires, which I was able to use to convince them to come with us (money), but my opinion of them has warmed.

This tavern is cursed. I, at first, felt they were commoners who were unreasonable and not used to dealing with nobility, but it turns out that they did have a lot to hide.

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Really, the mutton is quite good.
Damon Ruthermont

I don’t know why I do these things for father. The next time he has a notion to have anything brought to or said more than a day’s ride from the manor I’ll make him send Jarret or Willem. Both of my useless brothers would benefit from a trip or two into the world.

At least the company has been decent. I can think of many companions who are worse on the eye than old Hawthorne’s daughter. Carries all the graces, as well. Not that I’d expect less – not from that family – it’s just always a surprise when someone else actually fulfills their promise. I might wind up not having to do everything myself on this god-forsaken trek into nowhere.

Fair enough, the company HAD been decent. I’d been trying not to think about them so thank you for bringing up a sore subject. I have to wonder, really, if those two had anything to do with the fate of the soldiers we came across. From what I could see there were more than wolves fighting with those men, and they showed up most “conveniently”. They certainly jumped on their writs quick enough,once the idea of coin came up. I have a mind to make sure they get as little as possible for their trouble (they sure as hell aren’t getting a slice of whatever’s in this box). And if that one-eyed, hog-faced, mutt-blooded, imbecilic piece of horseflesh looks at Lanna like that again….. well, it has another eye to lose. At least the little one can keep his teeth together.

You know, this really wouldn’t be a bad tavern whatsoever if it weren’t for all the bloody screaming. Seriously, the mutton’s quite good. If you want to dress up meat, look to an old peasant woman. They spend so much time needing to make shit meat edible that when they have something nice like this it can really shine. Are you sure you don’t want another bite? You’re looking a bit peaked. Ale? No? Suit yourself.

Where was I? Oh yes, the screaming. Do you think it will ever stop? How bloody long does removing a child from a woman take? Speaking of blood, there’s quite a lot of it on the floor. Oh, right. That’s yours. Inconsiderate of you. That little girl is going to have to clean it up and that’ll be a messy job. But then, you did try to keep Lady Hawthorne from performing her noble duty. And you HAD THE FUCKING GALL TO RAISE A BLADE TO YOUR BETTER. So I guess I have to expect that your brains would’ve fallen out of your skull sooner or later anyway.

Ah well. Where is that girl? This glass won’t fill itself….

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Rolle's Thoughts Adventure 1
What the hell is that (I hope we didn't eat people)

It’s nice to be in the warmth of the tavern with Lyle and my new companions. Heading toward reward could this night get better. Lyle is a good man to have at your back and I’ve learned I can help keep him out of trouble just by talking when he shouldn’t be. It’s a team that has worked well so far. I generally don’t like nobles and knights but they do tend to have access to gold and if they can be inclined to help you, well that can’t be bad. Even the wolves didn’t make the day that bad. That one was big, I’m sure some would think him a bad omen but a stab to the neck and he was finished like any other.

So now we’re enjoying a good dinner at a nice place. Something gets my attention, like it often does, why’d they turn down the nobles help with the baby. Then after the scream I poke around the kitchen a bit, where they aren’t preparing food. Something is definitely up…I need to get upstairs. I hope they didn’t feed us people.

The screaming going on in the room is awful, something is going on in there I know it. A quick slice from my sword and the door is open. Oh my God fur and baby shit…what is that…are they feeding the baby to some baby wolf.

This freak show is over!

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A warm place next to the fire
Alaric Hull

Winter is coming.

The first snows are already sticking and the light of day grows shorter. The roadside tavern looks to be pleasant enough and I am in need of drink and some food.

The place is well tended and it seems to be a family affair with a few locals enjoying a fair smelling meat and bread meal with a few root vegetables as garnish. A family at one table and a couple of local bumpkins who fancy themselves as soldiers in the corner.

A rather large hearth surrounds a crackling fire and there appears to be a nice place to rest my weary legs right on the right side of the stonework.

A young woman greets me as I place my shield down next to me and begin to take off my gloves.

“Good evenin sir, may I get you some food and drink?” She says in a pleasant manner, but with a tinge of unease in her voice. She looks at my battered shield and the sword hanging at my belt. I give her the briefest of a tight lipped smile and nod my head in agreement to her question. “Ale sir? And food?” She asks. I nod twice in agreement, she leaves as I settle in on the hearth with my back to the stonework, the heat from the fire caresses my face and warms my bones.

The two thugs look me over attempting to menace me with their stares, I look at them and smile, again my usual tight lipped attempt at a pleasant outward appearance. They continue to stare for a bit, but I turn away as the young woman returns with my food and drink. I press some coin into her hand and wave off her attempt to make change, closing her hand around the full amount and patting her closed fist.

The food is hearty but as usual, I have no idea how well it is prepared. I chew for a long while making sure that it is good and punished before I attempt to swallow. Washing down the mash with a draw of the ale, was that a bit of bitterness I feel on the back of my throat?

For an hour I sit comfortably with my back to the hearth and enjoy the warmth and he feeling of a full belly. The doors to the tavern open and a small group of men and a woman enter, looking about at the patrons before making their way over to a table in the back of the room.

The thugs watch them closely. The woman looks to be finely dressed as does one of the men, a bodyguard of sorts? The one in the full mail suit looks like he’s ready to do battle as does the one with the maul.

The group talks with the bartender/owner for a bit and I hear mention of dead soldiers and wolves in the wood.

Winter is coming.

A young woman appears from the back and the awkward young man who is the busboy sit at a table for a meal before she heads upstairs for the eve. The woman of the party that recently arrived talks for a brief moment with the young woman and I notice that she is pregnant and ready to burst. The busboy looks onward with a proud look upon his face.

The room settles in, the family that was here when I first arrived has left and the tavern is quiet. The scream cuts through the silence like a knife and the bartender runs up the stairs with the barmaid. The party of travelers stand up to investigate and the thugs stand to block their path.

Damn, why does this always happen when I just want to sit and rest? Some of the party heads quickly up the stairs, I stand to go and see what the commotion is all about, my curiosity getting the better of me.

I run up the stairs to see a fight breaking out in a room at the back of the inn’s sleeping quarters. I head back to try and stop the bloodshed. The thug from downstairs attempts to slash one the travelers with his blade, but I am able to parry the attack and knock him out with the flat of my blade. It is then that I realize I left my shield by the fire. Damn.

I feel the blade pierce my left side, damn it, why do I always forget my shield?

I slump to the floor and pass out briefly and awake at the end if the fight staring into the face of the traveler woman, I try to tell her.

“Winter is coming” but all that comes out is the strangled sound of my toungeless voice.

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Lyle's Thoughts
What a wierd day.....

What a day…

Rolley & I made good time that morning, that is until we heard the wolves…..as usual Rolley ran face first into the fray without scoping the whole picture…..he’ll learn someday just like I did – the hard way.

Those wolves were odd – not to mention the fight that attracted them. Not that I care about possible wildings..but the lord and lady we helped were an odd traveling companion. Lord Damon seemed a bit uppity like more nobles who never faced a true fight at first, but he seems to be able to hold his own – just don’t tell him I said so. Lady Lanna has many hidden assets – and not just the ones to warm ye….she is the type to smile at ya while someone drives a dagger into your back. Best to keep her on your side…which reminds me to bring up the King’s edict on dead men and their possessions to the Lordy; as they teach to kids “Dead man found cold on the road, he who finds him keeps his gold” that box is Rolley’s…but then again that’s his fight. I have to remember what happens when you don’t mind your business…

The inn…och I wish we never entered that damn place….

The food was good, too good as was the ale. That stranger who seemed to observe everyone made me twitch – caught him sizing us up once. And the way he moved, I’d bet a gold dragon he had water dancer training if ever I saw one, or maybe he’s been to Dorne. I’d love to have him at my side in a fight….I was hoping to have a game or two with him to see where he was headed, what good man doesn’t like a bit o’ gambling? But that cow of a girl just had to pop her grapes….damnest thing I ever saw. The old gods must be abandoning us….can’t say I blame them given the events of the past few months. Gods, what a few months….maybe traveling with these folk will make me forget….

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Cast of the Scalded Raven Tavern
GM Summary of Game One

Wyl Porther
Wyl Porther is the owner of the Scalded Raven Tavern. He is a strong man, a former solider by the look of it who has made his home in the deep wood. When you first met him he welcomed you warmly to his inn, and made sure you were served good food and strong spirits. By the end of the day he was attempting to keep you from the bed chamber, but is now collapsed unconscious on the floor after a beating by Lyle.

Sybell Porther
Sybell Porther is Wyl’s oldest daughter. She is a lovely young woman, blond with rosy cheeks and bright eyes. When you first met her she was obviously pregnant, sitting down to dinner accompanied by her partner Ronnel. By the end of the day she was covered in blood and screaming, having just given birth to a monster. She is now passed out in the bed, the life draining from her cheeks.

Ronnel Buckwell
Ronnel Buckwell is Sybell’s partner. He is a weasely young man with shifty, darting eyes and lacking any obvious work ethic – its hard to see what Sybell sees in him. By the end of the day he was flat on the floor, first attempting to wrestle away from Lanna then getting beaten down with the edge of Alaric’s blade.

Anya Porther
Anya Porther is Wyl’s youngest daughter, in her early teens. She is a polite little thing who helped served the main meal, all of the time staring at Lyle’s huge scar. By the end of the day she is almost catatonic with shock and fear, terrified at what happened in the birthing chamber and the violence that followed.

Old woman
Nana, whose full name is Hattie Overton, is grandmother to the girls and helps Wyl run the Tavern. She served the food and was sure to keep the drinks full, then went upstairs to help Sybell when she went into labor. By the end of the day she is coated in her granddaughter’s blood and holds a tiny, twisted, furry figure, holding it out to you in horror.

Matthar
Matthar is a local woodsman and companion of Wyl’s. He is lanky, unkept and dressed in chain, and favored a shield and axe which he kept by the fire. He made some inappropriate comments to Lanna then started a staring contest with Lyle. By the end of the day Damon had corrected both of those behaviors by staving in his head with his warhammer. He lies dead on the tavern floor.

Jaremy
Jaremey was the other companion of Wyl’s. More quiet than Matthar, and perhaps more sensible, he was solidly built and grabbed a spear when trouble occurred. He chose not to press the issue with Lyle but was the first to chase the party up the stairs. By the end of the day he was in the upper hallway, confused by the commotion in the bedroom but more concerned with Lanna’s stern reproval to not meddle in the party’s affairs. He lives.

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