Sansa Stark, Queen in the North, Season 6 GoT Fanfic

“No, we aren’t going to Castle Black. I’m tired of running to other people, asking them to save me.

“We’re going to rally the Mormonts, the Umbers and the Manderly’s and the other great houses of the North and we’re going to turn the Flayed Man into a dead banner with no family left to fly it. And after that, we’re looking south towards the Frey’s. And after we have their castle at the crossing, we’ll start thinking about King’s Landing.

“I can tell you one thing, I’m going to look each one of those bastards in the eyes when Brienne ties them down and takes their heads – just like dad taught me.

“And if you don’t like it, Theon or Reek or whoever-the-fuck, go back to the Iron Islands or if you have the stones, go take the Black.”

Traditions of the Swordlords: the Murk

To the west of the Riverlands is another Swordlord with his own charter to worry about. Swordlord Grahl has been a peripheral NPC, father of Squire Irenka, first mentioned in this blog post. He has two other daughters with him. He married a matriarch of a local swamp clan to strengthen his ties.

Now his daughter is a knight who has given birth to a demi-goddess, her home has been sacked by orc and he has rallied the Murk-folk to support his neighbor. He will join the effort to take back Spearpointe after its fall. It was time to think about where he is coming from and who he is bringing with him.


The Murk-folk are a group of quasi-feudal swamp tribes. They pray to their own fickle swamp gods, a few sword saints and sometimes they are known to call on the Dragon Gods. In the troll-haunted swamps, you call on whatever works.

Once they prayed to one of Erastil’s siblings but he died centuries ago during a war with the Brevosi that ended in blood and dragon-fire (oddly, I made that up BEFORE Erastil died). That sibling was said to have given them the gifts of slingstones, axes and druidic magic in the same way that Erastil gave the Riverlanders the bow, spear and hunting.

A few tribes claim to be “descended from the Sword-Crowns” and some worship that descendant as Rostlanders would pray to a Sword Saints. Swordlord Grahl has married into one such tribe and they see his sword as a holy relic, a tether to their proud, lost heritage.

Their highland tribes in the nearby mountains are their constant rivals with feuds often nearly becoming wars until cooler heads prevail.


Note: The above image is from NYPL’s Digital Image Collection.

Misspent Youth on Tabletop Season 4

Misspent Youth is a game where you get together with friends and create a dystopian antagonist so repugnant you want to take a pipe to its teeth. Players take the part of YO’s, Youthful Offenders and the GM is the Authority. The Authority ravages the world while dice sitting in the middle of the table, daring the players to pick them up and start shit and they will start shit. There might be consequences. It might go on the YO’s permanent record. They might die or worse – sell out.


When we used to demo this game at Gen Con, we’d play Blade Runner from the replicant’s POV.


To paraphrase the Misspent Youth text, Wil Wheaton and friends are going to play a fucking awesome science fiction game about friendship and rebellion; it is so much fun they might wonder why it isn’t illegal.


excerpt from The Military History of the Riverlands Swordlords by Norwich O’Ber


Sgt. Jitka is one of the few soldiers to have fought in every engagement of The Swordlord’s Westerly March. She dragged several comrades to safety, one out of the very maw of a Great Wolf during the Spearpointe Arrival.

She road with the Swordlord and caved in her share of orc chattel’s heads during the Sellen River Orc Drowning, chosen due to her limited experience on horseback at a time when riding skills were rare. During Spearpointe’s Fall she galvanized the Little Goddess’ Spears and helped them find a path for their deity to safety once the desperate call to retreat was sounded.

Her Lieutenants have held off on promoting her to sergeant because of how dependable she is on the scout and because she claimed she would bloody an officer’s nose to be busted down if she received her stripes, not wanting the responsibility. After the orc invasion the stripes and the responsibility that came with them could not longer be avoided.

I love this picture found for our Traditions of the Swordlords Pinterest board by Alexander “Minze” Thümer, had to write something about it from our Burning Wheel game.

Iron Gods: Starfaller slang

The BW games have been fun.

Swordlords is this weekend and we’ll play the first session of the orc attack. I’m re-reading my BW orc lifepaths and daydreaming.

Iron Gods is off to a nice start and we’ll play our third session not this weekend but the next.

I like how the games have this thin tether of connection through the True Swords but are very different. The techno-ruins in the Iron Gods setting (our own take on Paizo’s Numeria) give the game a very un-medieval modern edge. This allows me to use phrases that reek of modernity like fully boarded wizard. Renee started a Starfaller slang by naming the Technic League’s thugs apps, short for apprentices.

That little addition from Renee, who began the game as a Technic League wizard, really made the setting come alive for me. I started to fall in love with Numeria’s capital city, Starfall and its largest slum, Killbox.

I wrote a bit about it, hope you like it, here it goes!

Starfall’s slang is just another sign of how the technology scavenged out of the wreckage found all over Numeria and the Silvermount that casts a shadow over the city has effected the populace.

Starfallers like to shorten words sometimes stringing together words that have been shortened to create new words.

a-crim: Alpha criminal, a smart crimelord or up and coming thug.

app: Apprentice, what they call the Technic League’s guards and hired muscle.

b-star: Born Starfaller, someone born in the city.

crow: Crowbar, also the nickname of scavengers who use brawn over brains.

el-scav: Elite Scavengers, natural-born scavengers known for getting their crew’s into ruins and back in one piece and then some.

gapp: Gifted Apprentice, a proper wizard’s apprentice.

kill-crim: Killbox Criminal, also a petty criminal but sometimes the name of a hungry up and comer as Killbox is Starfall’s most infamous slum.

ref-star: Refugee Starfaller, someone who came to the city from somewhere else.

scav-del: Scavenging-Delve, a delve into Numerian techno-ruins.

un-con: Unity Convict, a criminal put into the Technic League’s Unity prison, usually a crime having to do with smuggling tech, stealing from a wizard or harboring an android.

one plus one.

Burning Minutiae

tl;dr: talk to you players;engage the system – ORC!

The Traditions of the Swordlords campaign has reached a point where the frontier nation has grown and now they are collecting taxes and founding a proper state (or as Janaki put it, “So they were getting colonized but now they are doing the colonizing?” Me, defensive, “NO!…maybe. Kinda, yeah.”). We made some big rolls and got some big things done and oddly, the players navigated clear of any internal war. It was a close thing and they made some smart decisions, some brilliant decisions and some lucky ones.

Good stuff.

We were starting to use our G+ community dedicated to just the game to write out to-do lists. Not wanting to play Crusader Kings 2 (a game I LOVE) at the table, I wrote told them an orc invasion was coming and after discussing it with them for a while and realizing there was so much to do before the orc impact, I wrote the following:

Here’s my idea.

Feel free to write any orc-invasion beliefs and set them aside.

One of Eliska’s left-over squires arrives on a half-dead horse that Bow-mother was attacked and decimated by wolf-riding orc. The refugees who could make it, made it to Spearpointe and the gates were closed. 3 pages made their way out and so far, she is the only one who made it to you. She says Baron Kucera reckoned there were about 100 wolf-riders.

Within the hour you will hear from Haps that someone set a fire on Spider Hill and it led to a few buildings there being burned down and whoever did it seems to have gotten into some kind of tussle with some soldiers and were driven off. He isn’t sure; he was keeping clear of it all but heard about it all second hand from merchants on their way down to Spearpointe to purchase more wool.


You get an Estate Management roll. Don’t have the skill? Roll unskilled and every two successes is a success (and take a test!). For every success you complete one to-do item before the orc arrive. Each item has to align with a pre-orc belief, so the max is 3.

Yeah, you can get shit done but how much you get done depends on how good your character is at administrating medieval fiefdoms. Roll the dice.

bakshi orc

Orc are coming!



Situation Mining: Shattered Star

Situation Mining: Shattered Star

I’m looking at the Players’ Guide to Shattered Star and it is an adventure where the players are called upon to retrieve an ancient artifact:

The Shattered Star Adventure Path draws near, and bold heroes are needed to track down the scattered parts of an ancient magical relic in order to save the land of Varisia from disaster.

The guide provides a sweet map of Magnimar, a city built in the shadow of ancient cyclopean monuments that cast shadows over entire city districts, leaving the slums in perpetual shadow. Huh.


The guide also provides details for the Pathfinder Society and the manor where the local chapterhouse resides, no doubt to welcome the gold rush of adventurers who will be coming to Magnimar to seek out the shattered star and be big ole heroes

Slums in perpetual shadow.

Incoming adventurers looking for artifacts, prestige and gold.

The players are vultures.

Forms: α. ME volture, ME vowlture, ME– vulture (ME fulture), ME voultour, 16 vultour. β. ME–18 … (Show More)
Frequency (in current use):
Etymology: < Anglo-Norman vultur and voutre, Old French voltour, voultour, voutour (French vautour), or Latin vultur, or < Latin vulturius. The Old French forms, like Provençal voltor, voutor, and Italian avoltore, avoltojo, represent Latin vulturius, while Anglo-Norman voutre, Spanish buitre, and Portuguese abutre are from Latin vultur.
In Maundeville (1839) xxii. 237 the form veutour is probably inexact for voutour.

a. One of a number of large birds of prey of the order Raptores which feed almost entirely upon carrion and have the head and neck altogether or almost featherless.
The American vultures belong to different genera from those of the Old World.

c1374 Chaucer Troilus & Criseyde i. 788 Ticius yn helle, Whos stomak foughles tiren euere mo, That highte volturis as bokes telle.
1398 J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomew de Glanville De Proprietatibus Rerum (Bodl.) xii. xxxvi, The vulture haþ þat name of slowe fliȝt.
1398 J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomew de Glanville De Prop

b. One of a number of thieves, reavers and rogues who make their living stealing the treasures and gold and artifacts from adventurers, tomb-delvers and would-be heroes.

“vulture, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, December 2015. Web. 2 February 2016.

Here are player-characters, natural-born vultures:

Muscle Character Sheet (switch his crossbow skill to firearms)

Write a belief about making your name ring out on the streets of Magnimar.

Write a belief about following Wolf’s orders and carrying out the heist just right.

Write a belief about what you feel about violence and what adventurers do to your neighborhood when they come back from their adventurers, drunk and rich.

Puppy Character Sheet

Write a belief about making your name ring out on the streets of Magnimar.

Write a belief about learning from Wolf’s example.

Write a belief about what you feel about violence and what adventurers do to your neighborhood when they come back from their adventurers, drunk and rich.

Wolf Character Sheet

Write a belief about leading the team and what leadership means to you.

Write a belief about setting up the heist and learning what you can before jumping out.

Write a belief about what you feel about violence and what adventurers do to your neighborhood when they come back from their adventurers, drunk and rich.

Here’s the punk-ass 1st level party that arrives in town full of condescending talk and hopes and dreams – The Bastards Adventuring Company. If you want to play a posse of adventurers, they will do well for that too:

Adventurer Fighter Character Sheet

Adventurer Ranger Character Sheet

Adventurer Wizard Character Sheet

Here’s the bad-ass party with the big score.

Elf Adventurer Character Sheet

Dwarven Adventurer

Adventurer Wizard Character Sheet (1)

Here are the Pathfinder Society’s own Vulture-Hunters. Yeah, this isn’t their first rodeo. If word gets out that thieves are taking down their Pathfinders in town, they are going to send these folk out and they mean business.

Elf Vulture Hunter Character Sheet

Human Vulture Hunter Character Sheet