…thus our party departed from Wagstaff hall tasked with swearing young Ser Humphrey Wagstaff. into the King’s Guard. The next leg of our journey takes us into Grandison lands, the last pas guarding the entrance into the Kingswood. From my recollection, House Grandison maintains a sizable army of at least 700 strong, and blessed with many sons. One, in fact, noted enough to become a sworn brother of the King’s Guard before being replaced by the Kingslayer, Ser Jamie Lanister. Given such martial might, our arrival went unchecked for many leagues before we came upon an abandoned hamlet, which aroused no interest in my person until Ser Oisin of Carmayar —renowned as (or perhaps notoriously know as) the Dreadbow — noticed a lack of farm appurtenances. This aroused his ever-curious, natural investigativeness, and he began to track the smallfolk. This culminated in the investigation of a trail of livestock droppings — which he assured me was quite comparatively “fresh” — leading to the mountains due north-west, as the human trail became washed out due to rain. He also noted that the fields had been harvested, and the granaries were half-full; though I failed to make the connection of what that had to do with the situation.
Steward Clancey Fortale, not to be outdone, concluded that the hamlet — estimated at approximately 500 souls, with 125-200 males of fighting age (one has to wonder at his remarkable head for numbers) — had left in an orderly and organized fashion, due to the pad-locked doors and general orderliness and “cleanliness” of place.
We decided to investigate this matter, sending the rest of the party ahead to Grandison Castle, keeping only three of Clancey’s bodyguards as the Dreadbow tracked down the smallfolk. Uncharacteristically, Dowager Lady Steadwater decided to join our little diversion. Curiously, the smaller trail joined with another trail and culminated upon what might have looked like a small army’s march. Towards dark our splinter party decided to return to the hamlet, rather than risk injury to the horses by trekking through the mountains at night.
Though I only managed to piece the account together later, for I had been awoke only towards dawn in mid-decision, the events transpired as such: Clancey, roused in the night by his bodyguard, quickly removes his armor, thus awaking Lady Steadwater, valiantly sneaks out into the middle of the night to investigate reports of a large fire in the distance with only one bodyguard. Lady Steadwater wakes up Ser Sebastian Steadwater who wakes up Dreadbow who decides to follow Clancey. They both return to report a 5,000 strong peasant army camped out a distance from us, preparing for a large scale action of some sort.
After debating possible options, of which I volunteered my services as a courageous hostage/diplomat/bait, Ser Oisin daringly snuck into the encampment alone, and, evading the drunken sentries, managed to capture a smelly peasant by name of Bill Weatherson. From interrogation, we received news that peasants Burnt Bell, and more importantly Ted Weaver had incited a revolt against Lord Grandison’s new taxes and managed, somehow, to levy a mass peasant army on the march to Castle Grandview!
Thus alarmed, we rode at the break of dawn to deliver warning to Lord Grandison! As we came upon the town and the garrison, the lack of militia could not be more obvious. Where had the respected Grandison men-at-arms dispersed to? Upon entering the castle, young Lord Wesley Steadwater greeted us with a new companion, a Dornishman by the name of Darrius Korrah, on a quest to find his lost half-brother Afif. The reception at Grandview Castle by our host was suitable for our station. We informed the Lord of his uprising, dragging Weatherson out to meet his justice. The loyal man had responded to his liege lord’s summons, and had sent the majority of his troops, including his sons, to Renly, leaving him with only at most a hundred men left in garrison. While negotiations ensued I could not help but admire the fine collection of pikes behind the Lord Grandison. Their long sharp points and fine thick shafts so transfixed my attention that when our gracious host asked for reward for putting down the revolt, I could not but ask for only the honor and pleasure of possessing such fine species of spear-craft. My companions, on the other hand, negotiated for artisans for Steadwater as proper payment for the task.
Given the rest of the day to wander about, I decided to go gauge the garrison’s readiness for a peasant siege. I bested the solider, though barely. I feel quite pleased that the realm of Westros offers many fine examples of martial competencies: our lands should be safe from conquest with so many fine warriors of all quarters that I’ve met thus far on our mission for the King. On a side-note, I noticed Ser Sebastian shares an identical red whip mark on his face as a solider in the garrison. Apparently, the solider had gotten into a fight with a rather snappy laundry-woman. Their collective self-esteem seems to be less than somewhat usual. The Dreadbow investigated the town; Lady Steadwater the highborn ladies. Collectively we were able to gather that Grandison is very loyal to Renly; possessed well-trained fighting men; and levied the taxes in order to feed and support the army as it answered the Call.
During dinner Lord Grandison seemed strangely distant, and non-committal. Even Clancey’s famed silver-tongue could not elicit further disclosure from him, beside a rumor that his neighbor Wesington (an elderly gentleman in his mid-30s) has forsaken the Seven and began to worship some sort of fire god from across the Narrow Sea. He also has yet to muster his troops to march for Storm’s End.
On the morning of the next day, we embarked on our diplomatic mission accompanied with two Grandison pages and a scribe. Lady Steadwater prudently decided to remain at the castle. We found the disorderly peasant army easily enough marching down the road and asked to speak to their leader, Ted Weaver, a well-dressed and well-spoken artisan, whom we met with two rather unpleasant pain-clothed smallfolk, one a hefty looking peasant (Hefty Smurf), another an angry looking peasant (Grumpy Smurf). Negotiations were conducted inside of a tent made of sewn bedspreads which could scarcely keep out the rain. I, on the other hand, decided to delve into the hearts and minds of the smallfolk by chatting with them as they drank themselves into a stupor, while I observed my willful temperance.
Suddenly, Weaver appeared before me and asked about smallfolk relocating to my lands. The shock of the whole situation, not to mention the heat of the day, overwhelmed my senses at the moment, but I told the man as honestly as possible the disposition of the management of Danien and Rimchruch, and the good sense of my Lady Wife Ethel. Weaver seemed pleased and started to tell the amassed crowd about our happy arrangement…
When peasant treachery ensued! In the blink of an eye, Ted Weaver was no more, his throat perforated with a crude dagger by the angry peasant beside him. Cries of ‘They killed Weaver’ rang through the crowd, and while both Clancey and Darrius tried to both intimidate and calm down the increasingly panicked crowd, the Deadbow, still mounted, audaciously decapitated the murderer with a single arrow, spraying blood onto the faces of an awestruck crowd and the head flying into the mob behind. Taking cue from Ser Oisin, though admittedly still slightly confused as to the situation, I drew my greatsword, Celebron, charging the last peasant still standing and halved him. From there the farce erupted, as smallfolk broke through the protective lines of our guerrillas and bodyguards, the sheer mass of 5,000 souls pressed upon us. The Dreadbow who had remained mounted, quickly managed to clear a path for himself. Clancey Fortale managed somehow in his plate armor to endure the trampling feet and the slaughter and carnage around him as his bodyguards did the best they could, Alfred and Elric giving up their lives, to turn away the on-rush of the peasant mob. Darrius and his companion kicked and fought and tried to shout commands to our men, while Sebastian almost met the fate of his brother under numerous feet. For my part, each swing of Celebron sprayed so much blood and peasant innards that afterwards I had enough peasants on me to make several sausages.
And so, despite 40 men killed, two dead body guards, two dead pages, one dead scribe, and the loss of all mounts, except the Dreadbow’s war-trained destrier, we ended the Grandison Peasant Rebellion…
We walk, gloriously, to collect our reward.