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Thread: [AAR] Westeros Total War: AOPK: A Tale of 2 Lions

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    BerryKnight's Avatar Kings Guard Commander
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    Default [AAR] Westeros Total War: AOPK: A Tale of 2 Lions

    A Tale of Two Lions

    About:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Greetings everyone,

    I've played multiple Age of Petty Kings campaigns, whether its 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0. I've played most of the factions, but this time I wanted to do something different.

    Anyways, I will not be reloading, so if someone dies in battle that's just tough on me. Plus that makes the game a bit more interesting.

    Any questions are welcome as they will help me to improve in the future, and I hope this brings enjoyment, even a tiny bit to those reading.

    Lastly, I am unsure of how long this will go, but we'll just go along with it until it become uninteresting, shall we?



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    Age of Petty Kings 1.0 without any patches/updates

    VH/VH


    I



    The year is 2377 BC. Constant war is rife within the land of Westeros. Lords declaring themselves to be Kings, and paying a kings price in blood.



    The Westerlands is no exception. Since the time of Lann the Clever, The Kings of House Lannister have ruled unrivaled within the mountain passes. No other kings dared to defy them, until the day
    Kedran Lannister's greed, and ambition got in the great Houses' way.



    After the cruel act of Kedran Lannister, his younger brothers fled to the Reynes of Castamere. There King Burton Reyne housed them, but Devran fled further north to the Starks of Winterfell, fearing for his life.
    While Devran fled even further from danger, Lancen Lannister wed Burton's daughter. Following the marriage, Burton assembled his vassals, and proclaimed they would reclaim Casterly Rock in the name of the true king Lancen Lannister. And so the army began marching south to reclaim what the kinslayer had taken.



    No doubt Kedran had berated himself for such a mistake. Having let his younger brothers escape his grasp would surely cause more bloodshed, especially when his spies had told him that Devran had gone even further north, where no one quite knew...
    The main threat was Burton Reyne. With power, and wealth to match his own, and the valyrian sword of Red Rain to match House Lannister's valyrian sword Brightroar, the Reynes of Castamere would not be so easily defeated, as they had Lancen Lannister. Lancen knew of the Lannister's strengths and weaknesses, and now the Reynes would be able to exploit them. The Reynes and Lannisters have had a rivalry for decades beyond time itself, yet this time they had something that would sway the people...



    House Tarbeck to the South, led by Samwell Tarbeck King of the Borderlands, was moved by the happenings to the north, and saw the opportunities that lay ahead as well. With the Reynes leading an army south against Kedran the Kinslayer, King Samwell wrote to his vassals to move their men to Tarbeck Hall. There they would wait for the time to strike against the lowly Lannisters.

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    BerryKnight's Avatar Kings Guard Commander
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    Default Re: [AAR] Westeros Total War: AOPK: A Tale of 2 Lions

    II

    The time was nigh upon them. King Kedran realized that the only way to deal with the Bordering Kings was to face them head on. He gathered together all of the strength of Casterly Rock, and even went so far as to recruit sell swords.
    He then ordered his uncle Gawen, the Castellen, and next heir to the Rock to muster up a defense for the Casterly Rock. Kedran marched south to confront the forces of Samwell Tarbeck. The King of the Borderlands would pay dearly for treating with the likes of the crimson lions.

    Tarbeck Hall was a grand castle, and well-fortified upon hearing of the Lannister’s march. Prince Ralf Tarbeck had ridden off with a choice of riders in search of sell swords to assist them in the coming battle, as their banner men had not all gathered. The Kinslayer had hoped for such a thing, as his siege would draw the young prince back to home in hopes of freeing his father. A fatal error for both the father, and the son unfortunately.
    The final morning of the siege, Prince Ralf raced forth with his merry band of riders, and what few sell swords he could find. Mostly consistent of poor fellows, and a few pike men.
    Hearing of his son’s return, Samwell called the garrison to arms, and together the Tarbeck forces attempted a hammer and anvil on the invading Lannisters.
    Kedran was none too wise, but his cruelness lead him to go for the son first. A weaker force, as well that it would unbalance his father when the knowledge found him on the battle field. The Tarbeck King was slow lining up his troops for the battle, so much so that Kedran was able to shatter his son’s small army, and slay the boy as well.



    Samwell knew very well that the plan would fail if he continued his course, but his son’s death could not go unanswered. He would be avenged!
    The King of the Borderlands led his forces in the bloodiest battle their house had ever known. Both sides suffered losses, but at the end of the day, King Kedran had led his men to victory. No doubt King Samwell attempted to rally his routing men into a mad charge at Kedran himself. With most of Samwell’s forces outnumbered, they routed, and those who came back for the mad charge soon broke as their king became surrounded by endless lines of pikes.
    In his rage for bloodlust, Samwell rode headlong through Kedran’s bodyguards, in one last effort to avenge all that had been lost. Perhaps the mad king was attempting to route the enemy, perhaps it was vengeance he craved, or perhaps still… he could not live with the defeat that he had so bitterly suffered on this day.



    Kedran, enflamed by the wonders of battle, and seeing the King himself come duel, he brandished Brightroar, and proclaimed that they would compete in single combat, and that none would interfere. With most of Samwell’s men routed, or dead, the Lannister soldiers complied.

    Both kings charged at each other with the same spark, the same thirst for battle, as though they hadn’t quenched their thirst for decades. A rivalry between houses will soon brew about feelings of hate, and resentment, but much like that of House Reyne, House Tarbeck was always greedily looking to exploit House Lannister’s weaknesses, and today that would all change.
    With a great overhead cut, Brightroar clove through Samwell’s shield and the arm underneath. The Border King nearly fell from his horse after receiving such a blow, but he held fast, as if shaking off the fact he had just lost a limb. Though the slit in his helm, you could almost swear Samwell’s eyes had turned a deep crimson. Was it a sigh, or merely his own blood covering his eyes?
    It made little difference. As Samwell made for his next strike, Kedran caught the blow with his own. A high pitched ringing could be heard throughout the battlefield, even to those who still fled. Samwell’s sword had split apart into shards whilst Brightroar protruded from his abdomen.



    “And so, my sword has drunk the blood of a king. It will need to quench its thirst again.” Kedran withdrew his sword from the shattered body of a once proud man who then fell from his might stead. Alone, and bleeding, the once great Border King died.
    Following the battle, Kedran only added to the carnage by ordering all of his captives to be executed. If they fought against him in life, they could also do so in the afterlife. The few survivors who had managed to escape Kedran’s entourage had fled across the lands for their lives, fearing the cruelty of such a King. With no soldiers left around, Tarbeck Hall was left open, and rife for the taking. Kedran promptly ordered the castle to be sacked, so that the people who resided there would never again question that will, and might of a Lannister King.





    A heroic victory, for an utter defeat. Gawen Lannister, Castellen of the Rock stood on the border between Lannister, and Reyne Territories. Kedran had ordered his uncle to stay within the safety of Casterly Rock, but the brash, and ambitious uncle decided to not head his nephew’s words. Gawen mustered a sizeable force of soldiers from Lannisport and Casterly Rock, and promptly marched towards Castamere.
    Upon setting up camp, Gawen’s sleep was interrupted by a crisp whistling. Within moments of this ‘whistling’, men began crying out, and he realized that it was an ambush.



    Gawen rallied his men to arms, and ordered them into position. Through the brush, and trees they could not make out a single enemy, yet the arrows rained like chestnuts during a wind storm. Seeing no other option, Gawen ordered his men to march towards the source of the arrows. Upon the hill he was surprised to see a host of men, with banners bearing crimson lions upon fields of grey. The Reynes charged forth from their strategic position, and nearly broke the obviously outmatched Lannister force. It was all over once King Burton rode forth with Red Rain drawn, and led two distinct charges into the Lannister’s rear.



    Without any bowmen, Gawen was left to face the King of the West himself, and was horrified to see that his center was crumbling. Their longbowmen combined with their numbers, and king’s conviction was enough to send his own men running for home. Gawen knew that he could not return home with a defeat, especially since Kedran had ordered him against it… Outmatched, and having no other choice, Gawen fought King Burton himself till the very end, but was pierced by Red Rain a multitude of times before he succumbed to his injuries, and died upon his horse.

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    BerryKnight's Avatar Kings Guard Commander
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    Default Re: [AAR] Westeros Total War: AOPK: A Tale of 2 Lions

    III

    King Kedran was ecstatic at such an overwhelming victory, and claimed House Tarbeck’s seat of power as his own. A powerful blow that would surely silence any further aggression against House Lannister, yet his cunning cruelty advised him they would pronounce a new king of the Boderlands, and attempt to rise against him once more…

    No doubt a sizeable garrison would have to be left to retain order in the south, for the matter of Gawen’s defeat had finally arrived. A raven of black and blue, customary for especially bad news with House Lannister. Kedran was shocked that his uncle had not only disobeyed his orders, but was also killed in battle by King Burton Reyne himself.

    An outrage such as this could not go unanswered. Kedran roused the army, and told his captains to make ready to march on Castamere. He cared little if they lost Tarbeck Hall, for he captured it once, and he would do it again if necessary.
    Lannister Blood had been split, and vengeance would be swift. Kedran set to writing his youngest uncle Robert Lannister. He was the last man in the family he could trust, for he had retained the lordship of Lannisport since before he was born. While my father still drew breath, they say that Robert himself participated in the rulings of law, and rationing of the town’s granaries. Such a man could be useful, quite the opposite of Gawen. A string of distant memories struck him right then. Times of when his uncle had taught him how to ride a horse for the first time, how to swim, how to fish, and even sail upon the waves of Lannisport’s famed harbor. Another memory was when Robert taught him how to play chess. “The aim of the game is to capture the other player’s king. You need to be cunning, and sometimes a bit cruel to win a game like this, but victory will overcast the taste of bitterness, I assure you.” Kedran shook his head slightly, and curved his lip. While Gawen had been the stronger fighter, and taught Kedran everything he knew about being a knight, Robert had given him something more valuable. Each skill he taught him had a practical use, and went far beyond battle. A man with his responsibilities would have had no time to spare with his nephew, but he spent every waking minute either improving the people’s lot in life, or furthering my knowledge of the known world… The matter was settled.



    A letter was sent to Robert, containing the news that he would be the new Castellan of Casterly Rock, but he left out the most important part. Best if I tell him in person, Kedran reasoned. The second letter was sent to Lord Alyn Marbrand, instructing him that he and his son Rollam were to remain within Casterly Rock until Kedran arrived to relieve their difficult position.

    It was not a day before their departure from Tarbeck Hall that Kedran received word from Aly Marbrand that the Crimson King had marched upon Casterly Rock. Fearing the loss of his ancestral seat, Kedran assembled every mercenary that called him king, and promptly ordered them to move out. He would only leave men loyal to his own house to guard his newest prize.

    The army made better time with a compact size. Within a week they arrived in Lannisport, and Kedran immediately called for his uncle to meet with him privately. Once in his study, Robert shed his cloak of decorum, and dug right into the matter at hand.

    “My scouts tell me that King Burton is ever eager to take Casterly Rock. So much so that he has already built siege equipment, and hired a hefty amount of mercenaries to bulk up his army. Now I’ve been recruiting a few veterans from various taverns, and even the merchant’s wharf, and all for the right price of course. But we now have a sizeable force with your mercenaries, and with Alyn’s strength, we might be able to push that damned usurper back.” He paused, letting it sink in.

    “Would it not be better to let them attempt such folly? Castlery Rock is a fortress unlike any other in Westeros, aside for a few exceptions. They would need double the forces you say they have to take it.”

    “Yes my king, but if you were to deal a devastating blow to them, perhaps it would stave off any further conflicts for the time being. That way we could focus on destroying our enemies to the south…”

    “No! I sacked their great hall once, and I can do it again. House Reyne has challenged us for the last time. I will kill King Burton, his son, and my own brother… I will claim Red Rain as a trophy, and testament to our houses’ victories, and then I will slaughter any and all who inhabit Castamere. That will be a lesson that no Reyne will ever forget.” Robert went silent at his nephew’s proclamation.

    “Kedran, you are right. They need to be taught a lesson, but they can serve another purpose.”

    “Their flayed skin can serve us as a decent rug I suppose.”

    His uncle could not help but laugh heartily at that. “What I meant is they could be used to fight off the Ironborn raiders from the sea if we have any further problems with our neighbors. The lords to the south will not forget how you slew both their king and prince, and the Blackwoods will see an opening as we are fighting enemies on multiple fronts...”

    Kedran smiled. “Uncle, you are wise beyond my years, and I appreciate your advice, but think on this. The Riverlands have always been at odds. The Blackwoods and Bracken’s rivalry will not end anytime soon, as well the Great House Mudd will no doubt attempt to subdue its banner men from such foolishness as this… Every fool is a king, and every king is a fool. Wouldn’t you agree?”

    “You seem to be an exception nephew.”

    With that statement, Kedran felt his choice was without a doubt the right one. He looked at Robert squarely, and said, “I’ve known you for so long uncle. You are a kind, just, and wise man. For there is a shortage of such things in my kingdom, and I would be honored if you would help me, by becoming my sole heir until the Gods grant me a son of my own.”

    Speechless, Robert took Kedran’s hand, and shook it. The look of sheer determination, and pride shown through both men, and they understood each other perfectly. With Robert’s acceptance, Kedran bid him to make ready his men, and prepare for a battle that would shape their family’s history for generations to come. Robert simply laughed, saying that Kedran had already done that.

    As his uncle departed, Kedran knew not whether he meant his act of kinslaying, or that of defeating the king and prince to the south. He left the study, and those dreadful thoughts as well. Another time he would dwell on them, but his family’s honor had to be defended.



    Sunrise. A time of life, and warmth. A new day. Rebirth for every living being. This sunrise was particularly special, for it symbolized the memorial of many hundreds who would leave this life.
    King Kedran Lannister led his forces followed by Prince Robert Lannister’s own men. Together they drew up the battle lines. Within the hour Burton Reyne took up their challenge, and issued his own gauntlet. Alyn, and his son were filled with hope and pride that their King had come to their rescue. Such dire times were upon them all. They sallied forth from Casterly Rock to attempt a Hammer and Anvil against the Crimson Lion, but he saw this, and charged headlong through Marbrand’s lines. His men were all the more encouraged by his ferocity, and bravery. So much so that when Kedran arrived to provide the hammer, Burton’s forces remained stone cold, and emotionless as they held the line. Back to back they fought two sides, whilst their king went for the head of the snake.

    Burton never ceased his forward motion. His men broke through the lines of pikes, swords, and bowmen until they were upon the young Rollam Marbrand’s small bodyguard. The fifteen year old was barely a man, and having little to no experience in battle stood little chance until his father raced in to save him like a wish upon a star. The Red Lion battled both father and son. A duel that lasted for mere minutes, yet seemed to be in an entirely different universe. Time stopped, and their moves danced before them. Red Rain flew like a humming bird, blocking, or parrying one sword, then the other. Occasionally King Burton would make a strike at either Marbrand, but nothing quite broke their defenses.

    All at once both blades caught on Red Rain without warning. Seeing an opportunity, Burton pushed past Rollam’s guard. Alyn struck Burton from behind, but the man was deranged, and filled with a bloodlust for battle. Shaking off what felt like a slight tap to his back, Burton clove through the heavy mail that veiled Rollam’s sword hand just as a knife cuts through butter. The boy’s screams were audible throughout the battlefield.

    Clutching the stump of his arm, Rollam went on to dodge a stroke or two from Red Rain, whilst his father raced back to his side. The Great King seemed unmoved, and marshaled forward deflecting Alyn’s blows, and giving him a crippling blow in turn. Alyn’s heartbeat pounded in his ears as he clutched at his side, and watched as Red Rain was raised heavenward, and thrust through his son’s visor.



    Emotion beyond anything Alyn had felt, or could even describe surged through him, pouring energy, and life back within his wounded body. Vengeance would have its due, and the Crimson Lion was busy fending off the pikemen who now encircled him. “Out of my way!” shouted Alyn. Sword raised he brought his steed to gallop towards the wearied King.

    Burton’s berserk stage was failing him as he blocked, or decapitated pike after pike. One after another the spear heads would break his defenses and dent his armor. The feeling was disconcerting. Not drawing blood, but still enough to draw him from his heightened state. For a brief moment he gazed upon the battlefield. Men, horses, weaponry lay strewn about, all covered in the carnage of battle. He glanced at what remained of his proud army of over 2,000 men. Now it was barely 200, for most were routed or captured.



    King Burton knew he was defeated, but would never allow such a thing to stand. His attempt to claim the seat of House Lannister had failed, just as every ancestor had in times past. Perhaps this is how it’s meant to be… The Gods smirk at our feeble attempts to belittle a house just as strong as our own. Perhaps Lancen will fare better than I… Burton was wrenched from that thought as a spear point slowly scored across his face. That bastard! Red Rain glinted with that of its name sake, crimson as the rising sun, and drunk off the blood of its enemies. Three more pikemen fell before Burton winced. A surge of pain paralyzed his movement, and an audible voice whispered in his ear, “Let you and yours rot on this forsaken battlefield while the crows feast on your muscle and bone. I will return to spit on your grave, and grind your bones into dust. Then I will shower them over my son’s grave. That way you may have a chance to make peace with him, but now you must make peace with my sword.” Alyn withdrew his bloodied blade from Burton’s back, and sliced at his neck. Burton who was still paralyzed by the surprise attack, merely looked on as his death came to greet him.



    It was a sound blow, but it yielded no blood, for a certain bloody lion. However the king did not fall, but he could not breathe, for his windpipe had collapsed from the pressure. King Burton dropped his sword, and clutched his gauntleted hands at his neck as his horse danced around the lines of pikemen who slowly enclosed on the scene. The mighty Crimson Lion fell from his horse after being prodded by a few pikes, and within a few minutes his breath ceased, and his eyes went still. King Burton Reyne, slowly raised a hand towards the new day that had come, and then slumped forward into the mud of the trampled battlefield. Forever would he be remembered, and forever would he be forgotten, as is the way of legends.

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    BerryKnight's Avatar Kings Guard Commander
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    Default Re: [AAR] Westeros Total War: AOPK: A Tale of 2 Lions

    IV

    A mass burial ritual was being performed by priests of the seven, as the survivor’s shoveled fresh dirt into their brother’s permanent, and peaceful residence. Alyn Marbrand stood among them. Slowly burying his son, fearing to forget his face if it was covered completely. A single tear fell upon Rollam’s lifeless face. No doubt the first, and last time. Once the grave was filled to Marbrand’s liking, he spoke a few silent words, bidding his son to be in peace, and to go with the gods. He also pulled a small pouch, and sprinkled a bit of white powder. He then placed a flower by the headstone, and left the new graveyard.

    After the newly formed graveyard had completely filled, and all blessings given unto the dead, King Kedran bid the men join in the feast hosted in honor of their victory. Casterly Rock was brighter than the greatest fire, and more enticing than the best crafted jewel. Home sweet home, though Kedran as he and Robert rode through the gate.

    With the arrival of the King, and prince of House Lannister, the proceedings could begin. Kedran addressed the crowd as servants filled wine glasses, and placed the first course in front of one and all.
    Kedran raised his chalice, “Today’s victory is not mine alone, for I could not have done it without each, and every one of you.” He paused, gazing out into the crowd. “Tonight we honor those who gave their lives for the continuation of our family’s, and friends. We honor them for their courage, and bravery. Let us honor them further, by living our lives as wholly as they themselves would have done.” With that everyone drank their tankards dry, and servants offered more of the delightful decadence that the soldiers rarely experienced.

    Kedran motioned for silence, as he prepared another speech. “We could not have won this fight, had Alyn Marbrand not defeated the Crimson Lion.” Another speech, meant another toast, and so everyone drank. Alyn, however, was hardly moved. His actions were purely borne of rage. Had Rollam not fell when he did, I might be the one dead and cold in a grave. Alyn’s injuries following the battle were severe, and surely left a mark, but he survived them. As he knew his son would have wanted.

    Kedran again bid everyone silence, but with a scabbard, unlike that of Brightroar. “This sword was claimed on the battlefield by Lord Marbrand, and given unto me. I cannot keep it as I must care for Brightroar, but I know someone who will care for this blade, just as I would.” He stood, and promptly strode over to Robert’s seat, and offered him the blade. Robert tentatively pulled the sword its sheath, and revealed a glimmering crimson sword. Red Rain, as honest as its namesake. “I now honor you, my uncle, to wield the valyrian sword Red Rain. May it protect you against those who once wielded it.” Together they drew, and joined their valyrian swords in a lock. All those gathered cheered for this truly wondrous sight. None had hardly seen Kedran’s Brightroar, but to see two valyrian steel blades in one place was truly awe inspiring.



    The great feast continued as most do. A cacophony of drinking, laughing, and playing among the pillows. However, Kedran retired earlier than expected to his study, followed by his uncle, and Lord Marbrand. Once they were settled comfortably Kedran spoke, “Tis been a good day, aside from the loss of your son Alyn.” Alyn nodded, appreciating the acknowledgment of his king. “Now the battle may have been won, but the war is far from over. As you know, I had to abandon the conquest of House Tarbeck’s bannermen. Now they will likely rise from the ashes of their grief, and forge a new king.” He sighed, knowing nothing could be done. “There is nothing to be done however. As it stands, Lancen remains a greater threat. With fresh armies, and a powerful house behind him, he may yet claim Casterly Rock as his own.” Both Robert and Alyn seemed shocked. How could their King suggest such a thing? “Knowing this is a possibility, Robert and I will move the majority of our forces north, and smash Castamere. Supporters of the newly crowned Selmond Reyne will likely send every man able to carry a stick to defend it. We should be prepared for major resistance.” Kedran looked directly at Alyn now. “Lord Marbrand, I trust your wounds won’t keep you from fighting?” Gruffly Alyn replied, “Of course not my king. What is your will?” Kedran had to smile. He knew very well the damage Alyn had suffered, both physically, and emotionally. “You task will be to capture the town of Kayce from supporters of House Reyne. And should you succeed, send word to us, and push on to the island stronghold of Faircastle. I care not whether you win the love of the people or not, so bid your soldiers to do as they will.” The king allowed his shoulders to go slack, and spoke plainly, “This is the crucible that forges true kingdoms. If we are successful with our mission, then we will be remembered throughout history as one of the strongest houses in all of Westeros.” He nodded towards the door, and both men went to leave, but the prince hung back.

    “My nephew, I must thank you for Red Rain. It is a gift only worthy of kings such as yourself.” This statement both flattered, and concerned Kedran. “No need to thank me uncle. With both Red Rain and Brightroar wielded by Lannister, the Reynes, and their supporters will bend the knee… One way, or another.” Satisfied, Robert deemed it time to leave. Left alone in his study, Kedran simply allowed the warmth of the fire to circle around, and claim him for the night.

    As the men rowed below the deck all they could hear was Lord Marbrand ranting about the boat ride. “Better strategic position he said. You’ll be able to snap up the town as if taking a fresh pastry from a babe he said. And he said the boat ride wasn’t going to be that long…” Alyn heaved, and the contents of his stomach vaulted into the sea. “He knows I don’t like the sea, or being on a ship, yet here I am, tasked with this mess…” He shook his head, and walked levelly to the ship’s prow. The town of Kayce could be seen clearly through the bright summer day. Even from the ship, though they were not a league from landing, Alyn could tell something unusual was going on. Far too many midday strolls going on. Clouds of dust swarmed up from the dirt road within the town. His frown deepened as he realized its source. “Men, prepare yourselves for…” He hurled for the twelfth time, and reiterated, “Prepare for battle!”



    As soon as the Lannister host landed, a patrol of no more than five hundred men challenged them. Alyn, still sick from his latest boat adventure, bid his cavalry charge their bowmen. With that the outriders promptly charged, smashing a hole in the enemy’s lines, but not before they were surrounded by the crimson lion, and swallowed up. The survivors deemed life more valuable than service, and ran back to friendly lines. Little did they know that the Lannister longbowmen had already placed their stakes.



    Before they could be warned, a hail fire of arrows chased them into their deaths. Men and horses were thrown, or impaled upon the stakes. A horrific sight that unsettled even Alyn himself. Those who made it through the stakes looked back, and rode away, no longer wanting the glory they were promised when joining Lord Marbrand’s ranks. Alyn cursed himself, and promptly coughed up the rest of his sea sickness. “Right, men, follow me.” Without another word he led the charge which routed the small force of archers. A battalion of men at arms followed his lead, along with a bit of arrow fire from above, and the enemy was shattered. Simple enough. As his men chased the routers away, the dust storm Alyn had spotted earlier marched towards them. He bid his men to continue forward. Is it Kedran? He cursed himself. Such frivolous thoughts were no use. The king and prince are after Castamere, the Reyne’s seat of power, not some back water town. The dust began to settle, and sight of orange mingling with grey drew his attention. Lord Kenning’s banner.



    Samwell Kenning slowly rode to the forefront of his drawn battle lines. He motioned to his archers, “Draw them in.” They moved like death upon the wind, and unwittingly Alyn took the bait. He raced head long into the archers, and slaughtered the majority of them. However, a unit of them were attempting to escape. Not realizing how far from his own lines he was, Alyn rode closer, and was soon greeted by a charge of horsemen. Thanks to his footmen’s sacrifice, he was able to escape, and rally his own men to join the fight.



    Their cavalry swarmed his flanks, and Alyn himself joined the fighting to prevent them from taking advantage. Whilst the column in the middle held strong, the left flank seemed to falter, and so Alyn left the right, and moved in to assist the faltering flank. Unbeknownst to him, his right flank began to crumble without his support. All the while, Samwell sat upon his horse, watching, and waiting for the killing blow. As the Lannister lines began to crumble, Lord Kenning raced forward with his remaining knights, and attempted to surround Alyn.



    Seeing defeat was night, Lord Marbrand sounded the retreat with a small horn around his shoulder, and made to leave, but was caught by a swathe of cavalrymen. Thankfully his own men came to allow his retreat. Once their lord had departed, they followed suit, making their way back to the boats.



    Feeling torn asunder both on the inside, and out, Alyn dismounted, and sat back against a crate. A few arrows from the enemy harried their retreat, and subsequently testing the crate’s durability. I’ve lost my son, my men, and now my honor. How will I ever face the king again? Alyn knew that to fail the king was in itself almost death, which is why Gawen preferred to die than return with failure. Despair creeping in, and no respite in sight, self-pity enveloped. Only for a moment, but he snapped from it, as a child would clasp fire, and recoil from the burn. I will not return until that city is mine. Alyn silently made an oath to the gods that he would not return upon the shores of Casterly Rock until Kayce itself was captured.



    He got seethes with anger after the battle, and after I shipped him back to Lannisport for safety, he gained the second level.
    Also, on account of the loss. This has very strony cavalry, and if you lose yours in silly ways like I did, it will cost you the battle.
    I believe they would have beaten me anyways, as they had 2 units of knights, and I only 1, as those are pretty sturdy.
    All the more, makes for interesting, and challenging battles at lest



    While Marbrand was left the shores of Kayce defeated, Kedran and Robert marched towards Castamere. The mountain passes were beautiful during the summer time. Gulls flew overhead from the coast and mingled with smaller birds from inland of Westeros. Peculiar thing birds, though Kedran. They never seem to kill each other, and if they fight, it’s to defend themselves, or their families from threats. Would that I could be a bird. Conscious heavy with the knowledge of the future. Kedran did not relish the thought of killing Lancen, for of his three brothers, he was most fond of Lancen. Perhaps I should offer him a chance to rejoin us? No, he’ll suspect an attempt to kill him. The king sighed. Greed, power, ambition. These were my undoing, and by listening to their entrancing song, I slew mine own brother, lusting after things that should never have been mine. He shook his head. What does it matter now? I’m the king, and I have a kingdom to protect. If Lancen sides with those who would threaten my kingdom’s safety, then it will be his own fault, and nothing I can say will change the course of his own destruction.



    As sometimes calling someone’s name brings them to you, the very thought of Lancen was met by a group of about 200 knights. Roland Banefort and Lancen Lannister rode forth to parley while Robert and Kedran assessed the situation. ”We could have them shot on sight,” his uncle suggested. “No, if we kill them like that, it will only force our hand to crueler deeds.” With that they met half way for the parley.

    “Kinslayer, how fare you and yours on such a day?” Roland Banefort. One of the worst men in the west. His loyalty was almost nonexistent. He was now a lord under House Reyne, but there were rumors of House Banefort being involved with the Greyjoys and Greyirons at some point, but who knows. Perhaps the Reynes were the puppeteers pulling the strings the whole time?

    Kedran responded in kind, “Not as well as you turncloak. How many kings do you serve now? The raiders sure loved your groveling.”

    Roland’s cheeks flushed, “You know nothing of which you speak. Be silent of such things that lie in the past!”

    “After you.”

    Lancen took this moment to interject. “Brother, why have you trespassed on our King’s lands? Surely you know your army is unwelcome after the death of King Burton?”

    Kedran gave his brother a mixed look of pity, and almost sadness. “He was a foolish king, and Selmond will soon join him. But first I’ll need you to get out of my way.”

    “We can’t do that,” he replied calmly.

    Robert gestured to the army at their backs. “Nephew, you do realize that this battle would most likely be the death of one, or both of you. And those of you who survive will most likely run home to their wives and children. They will forsake your cause.”
    “Your uncle is right,” said Kedran. “Lancen, even if you are a prince, the title won’t do you any good if you’re dead.” He sighed. “Either surrender, or die.”

    “We shall fight you. No matter the odds, no matter how grim our chances. We will fight you brother, and do you know why?!? It’s because you murdered our brother in cold blood, and your brother’s have a duty to see justice done upon you. Whether our uncle wishes to follow you or not makes no difference. We may lose this battle, but the war will never stop.” With that Lancen turned his horse, and went galloped back to their horsemen with Roland on his heels. Kedran was a bit surprised at Lancen’s outburst.

    “It seems our family will have no peace.”



    They made their way back to friendly lines, and called the men to arms. The battle was short. As the enemy had strong knights, and a group of archers. The archers were broken with a heavy charge from Robert while their knights crashed into our pike lines. Kedran sat back and watched as the supporting crossbow and archer fire along with pikemen decimated the enemy’s resolve. He spied Lancen’s personal insignia as the young lion retreated from the battlefield. His friend Roland the Turncloak would not be so fortunate, as he met his demise at the hands of a fortunate hedge knight. The man was given a great deal of slaps on the shoulder, and even earned a cheer from the crowd. The king was amused by the ruckus, and further in the hedge knight. Perhaps he could use a man like that as the new Lord of Tarbeck Hall. The future was growing ever clearer, and nothing could ruin this small victory, or so he thought.


  5. #5
    BerryKnight's Avatar Kings Guard Commander
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    Default Re: [AAR] Westeros Total War: AOPK: A Tale of 2 Lions

    V

    It was another three days before Kedran’s army was graced by the sight of Castamere. Almost an exact likeness of Casterly Rock, aside from the fact it perched on a smaller hill. The castle was adorned with large towers, and a gate house that would be a nightmare to claim. Gray banners flew with the proud crimson lion of House Reyne.

    Kedran ordered the army to a halt, and instructed them to set up camp within the small forest nearby. The forest sheltered a hidden silver mine that led deep into the mountains. Unfortunately no smoke was billowing from it, which meant the King had pulled his workers back to arm them for a battle. Interesting, thought Kedran. Seems my brother has done exactly as predicted. “Alright men, I want patrols every hour, and I also want a defensive wall around the campsite.” The men grunted their approval, and began setting to work on the camp, and its new defense’s. I want this to be the last song of House Reyne.

    Within an hour, the king’s royal administrative tent was pitched, and acquired all necessary accouterments. A modest mahogany table, coupled with chairs, bore carvings of lions dancing, and fighting that weaved from one part of a chair, then jumped onto the table, and back onto the chair again. An interesting artistic design. A gift from House Reyne before they withdrew their vassalship.

    Each member of the war council took their seat upon the simple, yet fine chairs. Kedran, and his uncle led the meeting by pointing to maps depicting Castamere’s weak points, and tougher areas. A few captains, and the hedge knight who slew Roland Banefort listened, and offered suggestions in lue of providing the best strategy to assault the walls.

    Torches were lit, and it was nearly nightfall. Not a single strategy had been decided upon until the hedge knight, known as Ser Perk spoke up. “This’ll not due. Why go all the way around to the other side, when we could do a full frontal assault, and overwhelm them.” He’ll surely be useful, but if he doesn’t stop suggesting such idiotic ideas, I might just have to award Tarbeck Hall to another… Ser Perk continued on with the strategy, as a squire handed the king a series of letters.
    Without hesitation, Kedran inspected, and opened the first letter, with the seal of an amethyst unicorn dancing.

    King Kedran Lanister,


    I wish you great joy in your recent victories, but we must look to the future. My scouts have reported movement from the bannermen of House Tarbeck. We have not sighted a new king as of yet, but their numbers are growing beyond our own, and I have not the finances to fund anymore men. I have written to Lord Lefford for assistance. Pray that the assault on Castamere is a swift, and bloodless thing.


    Lord Dennis Brax


    Kedran smirked at the letter. Dennis Brax had always been an interesting fellow. He had the bark of a silver tongued diplomat in court, but lacked the actual bite behind a sword master’s blade on the battlefield. If they declare another King of the Borderlands, then I’ll have to find myself another Lord of Hornvale. Kedran tucked the letter into his vest pocket, and moved on to the next letter. This one depicted the ever strange insignia of House Lefford.

    My King Kedran Lannister of Casterly Rock,

    It is with great pleasure that I congratulate you on your victory upon defending the Rock. Surely the savages of House Reyne will know better than to cross swords with you again. Furthermore, their allies would not be so quick as to continue in this bloodbath after the loss of their king, and prince. I beech you not to make us help Lord Brax. Should I command my men to assist in the south, The Raven King of House Blackwood may take an opportunity to strike at my lands. I will not let my people suffer the sword, just as you refused such a thing by marching upon Castamere. If it is your command I will do so, but should my people suffer your ruling, I will not take it lightly. Mark my words.


    Lord Terrence Lefford


    Interesting.
    It wasn’t everyday Kedran was given a bit of sass from his lords. He has a point regarding the Blackwoods, though they’re entwined in a war within the Riverlands. Hard to say, but I might just have to sacrifice his people for the betterment of the kingdom. Kedran chuckled at that. He would rather save the commoners of the south, who served Lord Brax, rather than those of House Lefford. When will anyone tell these fools that I am just a man like them, and will have to choose one over the other? If only Lord Terrence realized that his lands were in no mortal danger, then my reply wouldn’t sting him so.
    With that, Kedran set to writing replies to both lords, instructing Lord Terrence to send men to assist Lord Dennis with the defense of the south, and if an opening presented itself, and attack. That would show the men of the south that King Kedran would not settle for a new King of the Border.

    Excitement filled the young lion as he noticed the final letter. A burning bush, insignia of House Marbrand. At last! He has already taken Kayce, and perhaps even Faircastle! A greater feast than any we have hosted before shall be held for such victories as we will soon have!

    King Kedran, Protector of Casterly Rock,


    It is with great regret, that I must announce my bitter failings to you my king… It was never supposed to come this. I disobeyed your orders to grow my army’s strength. Rather I rushed to sea with the men given me yourself, and wished to take further vengeance for my son’s death… Victory was assured, as the Reyne forces were led by a small captain, but from the city of Kayce poured Lord Kenning, whose army amassed greater than one thousand strong. Once defeat was assured, I ordered a full retreat, and fell back to the ships. Shame, and pity almost took hold of me then. As the enemy harried our retreat with arrows, I almost sacrificed myself in vein, but something snapped inside… I can’t explain it, even now, but this taste of defeat has filled my very soul with the fury of ten suns, and I swear to you, that I will crush the enemy. No matter how long it takes, I will stay away from Lannister lands until I have crushed Lord Kenning’s men, and captured Kayce, and even Faircastle. I have written to the new recruits I conscripted before my departure, to join us on the ships, so as to remain at sea. I swear to you that I will not rest until I have righted this wrong. I swear it by my own blood…


    (Found this while looking for the proper blood on paper, and thought it suited the situation).

    Lord Alyn Marbrand


    A crimson dash underlined Marbrand’s name. The blood had dried up, but still held a powerful omen. Such a defeat, but taken by a man who would rather face the consequences of his actions, and one who doesn’t fear my wrath… No. It’s more than that. The conviction of his words, and the testament of his blood hold true. Kedran sighed. He’s brave, I’ll give him that. Gawen was smart to throw his life away, knowing I would have had him torn limb from limb for disobeying orders, and losing a crucial battle. This one has nerve. To flaunt his defeat in my face, and treat it like some badge of honor. His conviction will be tested soon enough.

    With that, he tucked the last letter into his vest, and resumed listening to Ser Perk’s ‘ingenious’ battle plan. ”With the archers giving cover whilst we take the ladders, they won’t know what hit them.”
    Kedran remembered the numbers from Alyn’s battle story, and a smile curled his lip. Alyn may yet have a chance to redeem himself. With most of the enemy’s forces concentrated on Lord Marbrand, the rest would have to struggle to defend Castamere.

    “Let it be so. Ser Perk, you will lead the siege construction tomorrow, and the assault on the following day. We will be watching, so make sure you do it right.”
    Prince Robert seemed surprised, but kept it to himself. “This council is concluded. Get some rest lads.” With the Prince’s offering, all of the captains including Ser Perk rightly departed for their respective tents. The king, and prince retired to rest as well. No doubt the prince needed to be told of Alyn’s defeat, but the matter could wait. The rustling of thoughts blended to that of the wind as the young lion laid his head down to sleep.


    Whilst the King dreamt of skinning his lousy lords alive, one such lord rode his ship to shore. Another bout of barfing, and that was it.

    “Alright lads. I know most of you have been here before, and I know what they did to us the last time, but this time will be different. Standing before you is a new man.” Alyn held up his left hand with a poorly made bandage. “I have sworn a blood oath to our king, that we would claim this city no matter the cost.” He looked around, eyes blazing with new found passion. “Even if the cost is my own life. If any of you so much as step back aboard this ship without winning that city, I will personally haunt you all from beyond the grave until the day that you die! Do I make myself clear?” The men shouted their affirmation, and proceeded to follow Alyn off the ship.



    Grey banners began marshaling together to meet their own, in a foray that would settle a deep writhing need. A need that could not be quenched by drink, or flesh. A need to fulfill one’s duty, and reclaim the honor lost in battle. That raw emotion pushed Alyn into battle with a drive unlike any the men had previously seen.



    The skirmish tactic used in the previous battle had no effect. Alyn personally sought out the enemy’s archers, and slew the majority of them before being engaged by Lord Kenning himself.
    The entanglement lasted longer than Alyn would have liked. He retreated from Kenning’s onslaught, narrowly escaping the enemy’s reinforcements.



    An escape that cost the lives of many bowmen behind a miss-matched pike line. Lord Kenning saw his opening, and led the men into the fray, whilst the captain under his command directed the majority of their forces. Seeing the coordination, Alyn ordered one of his sharpshooters to kill the captain. The coordinator fell from his horse. With his death, many of Kenning’s men began to lose heart, for this captain signified the army’s spirit in battle. Though Alyn never realized it in the previous battle, the very obstacle to his victory had been an arrow shaft away the entire time.



    Lord Kenning was among the few to remain fighting for his city. He fell to the sword of a knight, as Lord Marbrand swept up the last of the enemy’s archers.



    Upon conclusion of the battle, Alyn, adopting his new nickname, ordered all enemies captured, to be executed.

    “For my son,” he mumbled.

    His forces marched into the city square, and there Alyn claimed the city for King Kedran of House Lannister. Marbrand knew that he had a long road ahead of him, and longer still before he would return to the king’s good graces. Perhaps he never would, but that didn’t stop him from trying. Kayce’s conquest was merely the beginning.

  6. #6
    BerryKnight's Avatar Kings Guard Commander
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    Default Re: [AAR] Westeros Total War: AOPK: A Tale of 2 Lions

    VI

    Glistening in the morning mist, the fire of life itself ascended once more to take its throne above the clouds. No doubt the life giver doted on the very thing that made existence bearable. Entertainment by means of struggling for the life which the giver so graciously bestowed upon all living beings. Let them play their little games for their petty gods, for they themselves are petty kings… With that, the great entity resumed watching a flock of ravens dance in the air, waiting for the real show to begin.

    Flaming veins swam through pearl waters to reach hazel orbs, as King Kedran’s eyes snapped open, awakening from his slumber. Frustration welled within him. Can’t these louts keep it down until we make our assault? Idiots, all of them! I have half a mind to flay them like the Dread Kings in the North... Such a thought passed into memory, as his squire blasted through the tent flaps.

    He bowed, and breathlessly said, “My king, the Crimson Lion has taken your challenge, and marshalled out from Castamere to meet you on the field. What would you have us do?”



    The king sat up, and rolled his shoulders. “Tell my uncle that I require his presence immediately.” The boy ran off in search of the prince just like a rabbit racing from a predator. Kedran hated the boy to a degree. He always tracked mud upon his boots, had poor posture, and even worse manners. He’ll make a fine fool… but then again, all men are fools, and all fools are knights. The king dressed hurriedly as his men began to clatter, and started shouting. Why should they fear the battle to come? Most of their men have been engaged with… I shant even suffer to think his name. Ser Perk was passing orders to all of the sell swords. Forming up a defensible column behind their make shift palisade.

    In mid thought, Kedran felt a hand clasp his shoulder. “What is your plan of attack?” His uncle smiled grimly at his nephew. Kedran returned it in kind. “We will march forth to meet them, head on. We will destroy them, and exterminate the castle. Kill any who bear the royal red lion of House Reyne.” A bit surprised by the brutal statement, Robert sighed. “I will instruct the men to make ready to move, once your bodyguard is ready.” Robert rushed off to inform the men, and ready his own bodyguard. History remembers the victors, thought Kedran. None shall remember my brother, nor his horrid house.

    True to the shouting, King Selmond Reyne’s army was drawn up, and began marching steadily towards the Lannister horde. Amongst all the grey banners, a gilded lion fighting a crimson lion could be seen. Lancen, thought Kedran. ”Alright lads, this is what we’ve come here for. For royal blood, and none greater to satiate our thirst than the crimson lion’s! Go forth, and destroy the enemy on the field of battle. From here, we shall slay the whole of House Reyne, and all who support them! To victory!”



    The men began to chant, and confidence welled within Kedran, as the Selmond sent forth a wave of less than two hundred men. “Ser Perk, I command you to destroy that insignificant force.” Ser Perk, seemed to perk up at the mention that he should do anything important in the battle. “Aye my king, I shall. Come on lads, lets givem hell!” As Ser Perk led a few of the sell swords to march, Kedran instructed the bowmen to give them cover fire. The crimson lions were like fish in a barrel. They didn’t have enough bowmen to return fire, and subsequently were shot down. Ser Perk rode in to finish off their morale, and before Kedran knew it, Ser Perk had already claimed the first minor victory in the battle. However, that happy thought changed to shock, as the king realized that the Reyne’s had all but surrounded them. Arrows began raining from up above, showering fear and death all around. The hardened sell swords stood fast, and unwavering. “Defensive positions!” howled Kedran. The pikemen formed around their archers, and were soon met with waves of the Reyne Bannermen.



    Three mad outriders quickly announced their loyalty to Kedran, and what an honor it had been to serve him. Then they charged into the enemy’s archers. Certainly to their doom. Brave, but foolish. Kedran was jolted from the thought when Ser Perk returned, and exclaimed something. He looked to where the hedge knight pointed. The Crimson Lion, followed by none other than Lancen Lannister, made their way towards their left flank. ”Robert, follow me!” With bodyguards in tow, they raced to meet the King of the West, and his brother in law.



    Brothers, fathers, and sons fought each other without remorse or pity. Each knight among them were skilled beyond the greatest swordsmen in Westeros, but Selmond and Lancen were outnumbered. With a small group of sell swords flanking, and surrounding Selmond’s bodyguard, Lancen called his men to retreat back to friendly lines, leaving his king behind.



    Robert witnessed his nephew’s folly, and called his own men to give chase. Uncle and nephew glimpsed each through visored helms. The slight drizzle that cooled their skin, and hardened their hearts made the next dance all the more dreadful. Robert didn’t want to be a kinslayer, but then again, if Lancen, and Selmond won this battle, who knows how many innocents they would slay in Casterly Rock and Lannisport? It simply couldn’t be. The two lions squared off, Lancen with lance in hand, and Robert grasping Red Rain. Lancen closed the small distance betwixt them with a charge. With momentum carrying him onward, the young prince watched as flecks of paint and splinters fly everywhere as his lance was slashed in two. Another moment and Red Rain bit into his chest. Though his plate armor held, Lancen could feel the miniscule cut across his chest. Damn Valyrian steel, he thought. Tossing the shattered weapon aside, he withdrew a hefty broadsword from a sheath held to his horse’s side. Robert took the challenge, and their swords clashed. Lancen didn’t seem cable of wielding such a great blade, but his pristine movements, and swordsmanship told another story. Had it not been for Red Rain’s light weight, Robert might have lost pace with his nimble nephew, but Valyrian Steel was powerful. The two danced for a mere five minutes, before Robert was wheezing, and attempting to control his breath. Likewise, Lancen’s endurance was fading. The broadsword was only used to strike down a foe with speed. The weight made sure of that, but not this time.



    Whilst Robert and Lancen caught their breath for a moment, Selmond and Kedran had been having a heated duel. The opposing kings broke off for a moment, waiting for the other’s next move. During this time, another group of Lannister forces broke through House Reyne’s levies, and surrounded Selmond’s Bodyguard. Kedran raised his visor, and made his voice audible above all of the fighting. “King Selmond Reyne. Your forces are beginning to falter, and you find yourself surrounded. Will you not yield, and declare your cause lost?” Selmond raised his visor in kind and replied, “Never! Never would I yield to scum such as yourself! You slew my father, and I would rather die trying to slay you myself, kinslayer!” It would soon be kingslayer for the third time if Selmond wasn’t careful. Lannister Longbows let loose upon Selmond’s bodyguard, rendering them useless as they fell into the mud.

    The Crimson Lion’s personal guard dwindled to less than ten, and he soon realized that he would need to retreat, or fall before the battle had concluded. He rallied the last of his men to fall back, and they semi-synchronized their horses to leap over the sell swords surrounding them. Coward, thought Kedran, and made off to pursue the bastard. However, Selmond had rethought his statement from earlier, safely returning to what remained of his army. Due to his presence on the right flank, the Crimson Lion’s left had crumbled, and his main column was faltering as well.

    Another hail of arrows arched into Selmond’s remaining soldiers. A stinging pain echoed through his entire body as he felt the tip of a broadhead piece the weak point in his mailed shoulder. Distracted by both the pain of his injury, and the disastrous battle, Selmond had but a moment to witness the King of the Rock blaze a trail of fire and death as he slew two more of his bodyguard with Brightroar, closing the distance. Selmond snapped from his shock, and pain to deflect a near-death blow from the Valyrian Steel blade. The two kings resumed their duel, knowing that only one lion could rule over the Westerlands. Each block and deflection stole chunk after chunk of Selmond’s sword until with a final deflection Selmond’s blade broke before Kedran’s onslaught. The two lions raised their visors once more to have a last chat.

    “Was it all worth it?” questioned Selmond. “Was all of this necessary to pave the way for honor and glory?”



    Kedran’s face grew colder, and replied, “You chose this fate. I offered my brother a peaceful resolution, and bid him to pass it on to you. As you will soon find out from your father’s example, I do not forgive, and I will never forget. This war is only the beginning.” He glanced at the sky as dark formless clouds covered the sun. “Westeros will soon know the full power of House Lannister, and will bow before the true King of the Westerlands.” With that he bid his horse forward. Selmond glimpsed the angel of death shinning in front of him, with cowl and hood covering a darkened face. He turned his horse to leave when a volley of arrows finished off the rest of his bodyguard, and his horse. Selmond barely managed to unhook his feet from the stirrups. A great cacophony of mud sprayed everywhere as the majestic beast laid down to breathe its last. Mud and blood showered upon the horse’s snowy coat. Oh Afterglow. Selmond crouched to hold friend’s head. ”So many comrades lost, and still more to come, yet here I find myself losing the closest one. Why are we still here?” He gripped the shattered sword in hand and looked deep into the creature’s eyes. “Do you remember the times we used to ride for days through the mountains, not a care, nor a responsibility? The gilded light of times past now shows, as your true meaning is revealed…” Afterglow gazed at his master, intent on hearing every last word, but exhaustion, and something else was calling… A blanket of calm encircled the horse as true to his name, he passed from the realm of the living, leaving what happiness remained.




    Tears welled in Selmond’s eyes, and he looked to where Kedran had dismounted. He and his men stood there witnessing a man’s friendship with his horse. “Truth…” Selmond finally got out, “His only meaning in life was to share companionship with me, and I with him…” The King of the West fell to his knees, defeated, and dejected. “Now all I see is the irony of it all. When I was a boy, I named him Afterglow. Never in my whole life have I regretted such a decision as much as that… The comrades we’ve lost, their purposes, nor dreams ever to be fulfilled. Their pain is now my pain, and their despair now my own.” He flung his helmet across the field, and made to stand. Selmond’s strength gave way with the first few attempts, but he managed to remain steady. His broken sword still in hand.



    Kedran anticipated the move before it happened. The Crimson Lion sluggishly moved for an overhead stab, but was intercepted when Brightroar impaled him. Selmond grasped his adversary’s shoulder, and whispered in his ear, “You can feel it as well, can’t you? It’s almost as if they’re still here… As if but a dream away…” The king’s grip on Kedran loosened, and then Selmond Reyne King of the West, collapsed lifeless to the ground.
    Kedran stared at his former enemy’s prone body. Who knew an enemy’s last words could hold so much power? The King of the Rock stood vigil over Selmond’s body until Robert himself shook him. Without warning Kedran lashed out with his sword. Had Robert’s blade not been of Valyrian make, his demise would be astride Selmond’s. Confusion and shock lit the prince’s features. “My king, the battle is over, and won. Let down your guard.” Kedran lowered his sword, and realized he was still standing over Selmond’s dead body in a guard position. A stern look masked Kedran’s thoughts as he digested the Crimson Lion’s last words. ‘Why are we still here?’ ‘You can feel it as well, can’t you?’ ‘It’s almost as if they’re still here…’ These thoughts continued on, recycling as Kedran played memories of past battles, and losses. Comrades one and all, fallen before their time. Men who Kedran had grown up with, learned with, and fought with. A crimson fog cloud surrounded him, blinding his sight and senses. The internal slideshow ceased, and the question blossomed again. Why are we still here? Understanding took to light within the downcast king, as a spark lights a fire, so too did life within his spirit. Selmond. The comrades we’ve lost can’t be brought back. The truth as you said it, is that they’re still here. Through the power of the seven, they continue to watch over us, and guide us. They probably gave you the inspiration to speak to me as you did. No other reason could explain your grip on the situation as the hate that has twisted our perception of each other and the world. Kedran took a breath, and the fog began to dissipate. It is with heavy heart that I acknowledge we had similar views regarding the wellbeing of our people, and the lives of the men we led into battle today. I respect that, and will think well of you for it. If you care to, watch over me, and guide me to lead your people, as well as mine. He took another breath, and the fog dispersed.

    Feeling at peace, Kedran opened his eyes. For a brief moment he glimpsed Selmond Reyne, and an army cheering a short ways in the distance. They disappeared when Kedran realized Robert was violently shaking him. “My king. My king wake up! Kedran! KEDRAN wake up!” The king raised an arm to rest upon his uncle’s shoulder. “It’s alright uncle, I’m still here.” A single tear fell from the man’s face as he thanked the seven, and clasped his nephew in a hug. “You gave us quite a fright there.”
    Kedran looked around confused. “What happened?” His uncle chuckled, trying to hide his sobs. “You collapsed not but a moment ago right in front of me. You were paying your respects to the recently departed King of the West when you…” Memory, like a shore line after a flood returned as the thoughts of the fallen king’s words receded. “Attacked you”, finished Kedran. “Uncle, I’m sorry beyond belief. I never meant to attack you, it simply happened…” Robert nodded, knowing very well what battle can do to the mind once in full swing. “Your mind was on the battle, as most warriors were.” They shared a smile, and Robert helped Kedran to stand. They turned to look upon the bloodstained battlefield. “Such a poor color to decorate with,” quipped Robert. Both men laughed heartily like old times. Kedran looked down to find he had fallen upon Afterglow. Perhaps another sign. The king held that thought, knowing there would be time enough later to mull over everything that had transpired.

    “Where is Lancen?” asked the king. Robert stopped, and shook his head. “We dueled in single combat, time no longer an importance. I cleaved across his breastplate, which heavily unnerved him.” He sighed. “I only dented his armor, but that didn’t stop him entirely. He continued fighting until his blade was caught in a half parry as he suffered another dent to the arm, but this time I had dealt a crippling blow.” Indeed, with a final blow from Robert’s assault, blood welled from Lancen’s arm, and his morale had snapped in two. “The lad left the field, and his king to die whilst he returned to Castamere with a handful of men who escaped.” The king marveled at the castle for a moment. “Congratulations on your duel, but we have no time to waste, bid the men to make ready the ladders, and storm the castle.” Kedran stopped, a small wound was giving him pain. Robert stood there, motionless. “Well, aren’t you going?” He grinned in response. “We’ve already stormed the castle. A small garrison opposed us at the gates, but we overran them and captured or killed any who resisted.” Kedran stopped again, not entirely believing how long he had spent dueling, and killing Selmond. Robert gestured towards the castle. “Would you like to see your new holding?” With a nod, Robert found Kedran’s horse, and they mounted.



    Upon arriving at the castle, Robert bid his nephew to follow him. They wove their way through halls adorned with tapestries, and banners of past victories. Occasionally they would pass a body or two upon the floor. With a sharp turn, they entered into a modest throne room. Velvets laid out all the way to the throne where Lancen Lannister sat hunched over. The room was deserted. Kedran motioned for Robert to remain outside. The King of the Rock strode up to the throne with confidence. Lancen struggled to open eyes. Blood was leaking from his mouth. He attempted to raise his head from the arm rest, but found his energy depleted. He coughed, and focused on Kedran.

    “Brother, you grace me with your presence at last... how kind.”

    “Lancen, if you have anything to say to me before your end, say it now, and I will bring you peace.”

    A gargled chuckle echoed throughout the vast room. “Peace? Is that what you really came here for? Tell me brother, what do you really seek in this council?”

    “I come to tell you that your brother in-law, and king is dead. Is that what you wanted to hear?” Kedran turned from his brother and began to pace with fury welling up inside him. “Selmond himself asked me what my true motivations were. Though my response was vague, I will sum it up. King Burton had his chance for peace, and he dashed it away, as did you when given the chance.” Kedran halted, and knelt down to stare Lancen in the eyes. “So why did you not concede, and give in to peace? Was it your pride?”

    “No. Why do you think I would ever forgive you for slaying our brother in cold blood? Would you ever think I would accept peace from blood of my own who would pronounce himself a kinslayer, and now kingslayer? Never. I will not forgive you for what you have done, nor will… Devran.” The already frail looking Lancen crumpled, and sprawled half on the throne, and half on the floor. Definitely deceased. Kedran turned over the body, and examined his wounds. It doesn’t make sense. The wounds were too few, and far between to be life threatening. Kedran turned the departed prince over further. He was examining the gash across his arm when he noticed a small gray book. Lancen’s cold fingers still held it tightly. Upon prying it away from the corpse, the book slipped from Kedran’s hands, losing Lacen’s current page. He dusted it off, and read the title, Lore Behind Valyrian Steel. This might have some answers, but it’ll have to wait. He called for Robert to re-enter. “Tell the men they can have as much ale as they can stomach, for tonight is a night to celebrate our momentous victory.” He paused, setting himself back into the ‘kinslayer Kedran’ everyone knew him as. “The future is unclear uncle. We need to discuss the happenings here today, but first the longevity of our House. Gather the remaining members of House Reyne. I will deal with them at dawn.”



    (Since a captain led the charge, and was killed, it really made breaking the enemy’s morale easier. Both Lancen and Selmond fled from the field, but upon executing their captured soldiers once the battle concluded, they both died, and their faction went rebel. Now RP wise I had to have Selmond die on the field, as Kedran would never let him get away, but Lancen had a special purpose, and Robert is a bit more chivalrous than his nephew. Lancen’s purpose will shed light upon it soon…)

  7. #7
    BerryKnight's Avatar Kings Guard Commander
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    Default Re: [AAR] Westeros Total War: AOPK: A Tale of 2 Lions

    VII



    Shadows were scuttling across the floor as the candle light dimmed. The torches had long burned out, and cool darkness was encroaching upon a figure hunched over a bloodstained desk. Moonlight abandoned the situation, preferring the protection of the clouds. The figure tirelessly scanned the pages of a particularly old book. One whose existence could only be credited to the great care of past Maesters. Such a Maester had been bold enough to smuggle the book out of the great citadel of Oldtown. The very man who had achieved that great feat supposedly had been found dead upon the desk he used to decipher his stolen treasure’s secrets.



    Such a waste. Had my soldiers been a bit less brazen in their assault, I might have been able to further discover the secrets which I seek.
    Pausing from his studies, Kedran had just finished reading Maester Mathis’ account of his escape from Oldtown. An intriguing little excerpt that he’d found about twenty pages in. From then on he’d used the piece of parchment as a bookmark of sorts.

    The book held common knowledge regarding Valyrian Steel, which had been lost to time. Where the metal originated from, how it was heated, and worked, and even how long the blade life span was estimated to be. All I need to do is send an expedition to Old Valyria… I’ll also need four of the best blacksmiths in the Westerlands to work, as the guide recommends… but somethings missing… Despite his higher than average smarts, Kedran was unable to decipher further details. A general heat idea and way to beat a piece of metal is vague at best. It would take months, if not years to discover the true knowledge I seek… Putting down the book, Kedran drew Brightroar to inspect any similarities between the raw material, and the finished product. Compared to the charcoal rock the book describes, and this masterpiece, I would wager that the Valyrians had no trouble hiding this secret, as any who see it would shrug it off. Kedran inspected the sword further. Every detail, every miniscule clue that would help acquire its age. He referenced the book again.

    Maester’s Study of Valyrian Steel Aging

    Subject: Sweet Thorn



    Study by Maester Dariss 1638 – 1648


    From the beginning this fine piece of craftsmanship has not aged a day, unlike myself. After twenty years of studying it, Sweet Thorn hasn’t shown any sign of wear, nor rust. I even hung it outside my window for a year or two. Hard to remember how long, as it was out of sight, and therefore out of mind. I will pass the sword on, as my eyes are dimming, and my body is failing.


    Study by Maester Clarreth 1724 – 1761

    While clearing out a dingy room in the norther part of the citadel, I stumbled upon this masterpiece. Sweet Thorn, a Valyrian Steel blade. Quite rare if I recall from my readings. Not sure why I found it there. The room used to belong to an old Maester by the name of Geriast. I brought the sword before one of the Archmaesters, and asked what its purpose was being in the Citadel. “Research”, was the main bit. I’ve learned through my dealing in the citadel, and throughout Oldtown, that this blade has been lost to the whole of Westeros for nigh upon 200 years. Shocking to say the least. What saddens me isn’t its lack of appearance, but that of Geriast’s experience with the blade. His knowledge would have been crucial, but reports of his death tell me he had no time to transcribe his study to paper, for the Bloody Flux stole him from us. I’m more fortunate however. I have named a successor, and will let him continue this notion. I have watched, and waited for this object to surprise me with any hidden magic from days past, but have been disappointed. The journey has not been in vein however, as this blade continually brings about my curiosity for the world. Perhaps that is its subtle power.


    Study by Archmaester Daryn 1761 – 1804

    Llife in Oldtown has been a continual movement. Like a dance, where each partner knows there moves, and will play them out accordingly, and as the music ceases, so too does the dance. Not in this case however. As the days blaze by, my responsibilities climb, and until now I was able to rise to meet them. Now, my will is loosening… Before I go, I tell whom it may concern, the Valyrian Blade of Sweet Thorn has not changed a day since Maester Clarreth’s recording. Not a scratch, nor a bit of rust plagues this pristine weapon. Only the Seven know how long it will last…
    A line of ink runs off the page, symbolizing Daryn’s sudden end.



    Study by Grand Maester Alrah 2150 – 2218

    Though it pains me to report, the last pages have been lost. From memory, and accounts of others, no real difference lies betwixt my account, and of those who were lost. As time passes by, not a thing changes with that sword, but as for me, many things have come and gone. The day I received the blade from my teacher Archmaester Connin, I moved up to the rank of Archmaester, as Connin would have wanted. I was even voted as Seneschal once, and after another twenty years of service, the old white beards like me deigned it necessary that I be granted the title of Grand Maester. There are only twelve of us in total, but with my passing in the coming weeks, and two others on death’s door now, I fear our number will remain at nine until more men seek sanctuary in the knowledge of the tower. No doubt Oldtown will lure many of them with fame and fortune. I’m sure my fellow Maesters will think of something to beguile these new comers. Actually, now that I think about it, something peaks my interest. I swear that I saw a tiny amount of rust near Sweet Thorn’s hilt, but as I rubbed my thumb over it, the mark was gone. Must be my old eyes playing tricks.


    One last piece regarding the sword. A traveler wearing the collar of our order came to me the other day, inquiring about my research regarding Sweet Thorn. Thinking nothing of it, as this has been a pet project for many a Maester for generations, I filled him in on my current progress, and even other works, but they didn’t interest him. I believe he went by the name of Mathis. His interest in the sword may be just what I need to pass this book on.



    Understanding dawned upon Kedran. Mathis wasn’t the one who’d died here. The Maester who’d replaced Mathis had paid the ultimate price. Who he was would forever remain a mystery, as most of the castle had been put to the sword, aside from a handful of servants. It makes no difference. I merely need to visit Oldtown, and force the Grand Maesters to cooperate with me. Perhaps then I’ll find what I seek, and even Sweet Thorn if I’m lucky… Hah, small chance of that. I bet The Redwyne King has probably claimed that sword since it could be associated with the fame of the Arbor. That’s what I would do at least. He took a sip of Arbor Gold, and pondered a bit about the realm’s future, and finally deemed it time to succumb to his exhaustion. Only did he close his eyes, as the sun began to rise.




    Ser Perk stood upon the ramparts of Tarbeck Hall, which over looked a hefty army of angry Tarbeck Bannermen. Perk had no idea who had been crowned the new King of the Border, but his King had given him the prestigious honor of defending that same border. He even hinted at a reward if the job was done right. Not even a week after his arrival, had this army laid siege. Perk wrote to King Kedran, his brother, and even Alyn Marbrand. Those were the closest lords around, and he knew Lord Brax, and Lord Lefford were busy to the east. No doubt they were preparing to invade southward, but that wouldn’t help Perk out of this mess. Either they’ll wait me out, or storm these walls and kill us all.



    That thought turned to memory, as a soldier pointed for him to look into the distance. Gilded lions were dancing upon the horizon. No doubt someone had received his letter. My King has come to my aid! I must ride out, and face the enemy head on, so that we can pincer them!



    Though the supporting army was a good ways off, Ser Perk marshalled his men into position, and waited. As the enemy bowmen engaged the new friendlies, Perk ordered his men to engage, and allow the hammer and anvil to commence. The assisting army’s general personally charged the enemy archers who’d exposed themselves. Perk was shocked to see the insignia of House Marbrand’s burning bush flying high. So, Lord Marbrand has come at last. My savior. It made sense from a logistics point of view. There was greater distance between Tarbeck Hall, and Castamere. While the distance between Kayce and Tarbeck Hall was minimized by sea travel. Logistics aside, the Lannisters would win the day, as Alyn’s Pike lines overwhelmed newly formed levies of the south. With less experience, these new comers to war ran for their lives. The captain was the first among them to deem the battle lost.
    With the battle’s conclusion, Lord Alyn ordered all those captured to be put to the sword. Ser Perk raced up to the lord as he strode by, inspecting the carnage.



    “My Lord Alyn Marbrand, it is an honor to meet you.”

    Alyn gave the upstart hedge knight a quizzical look. “I’m sorry, but do I know you?”

    “Deepest apologies m’lord. My name is Ser Perk. I just wanted to thank you for saving us from an untimely end here.”

    “Ah, yes. I received your letter, and sailed as quickly as possible.” Alyn’s face was a bit discolored, due to his sea sickness, but his recent experiences were beginning to cure his ailment.

    “And I presume you will be staying?” inquired the hedge knight.

    Alyn thought through the situation. With Lord Brax, and Lord Lefford heading the attack in the East, my best option would be to marshal my men with this man. Together we might claim victory, and refashion my tattered honor.
    “No. I have a plan Ser Perk, and though you’ve been very hospitable, I’d dine to march south.”

    “South? You mean you wish to bring the fight to them?”

    “But of course. Should we claim another victory like today, our names would be remembered throughout the history annuals of the Westerlands.”

    “We?”

    “Well, I presume you’d want to join me in this venture. It beats lying about, waiting for the wind to knock over a rock.” He paused, letting it seep in. “Come with me, and together we shall crush the enemy’s resistance, and bring us both honor, and glory. Think about it, you could be raised to royalty, and be the founder of your own house. You could be granted a lordship, and a castle as well. The possibilities are endless, and yet it all stems from what you decide next.” Alyn held out his blood covered gauntlet. With a bit of hesitation, Ser Perk returned the gesture, and they struck a bargain. Together, they would claim lands, and glory for their king, and perhaps even themselves.

    (Apologies for the wait, but things are back on track, and will have another installment out soon. "The way is lit. The path is clear. We require only the strenth to follow it.")

  8. #8
    BerryKnight's Avatar Kings Guard Commander
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    Default Re: [AAR] Westeros Total War: AOPK: A Tale of 2 Lions

    VIII



    A sunrise over the blue horizon, and a violet unicorn ushered in the Lords of King Kedran as they entered the new King of the Borderlands’ throne room.



    Lord Terrence looked around the room in disgust. Food and drink were all over the floor, as well as their consumers. The stink of death was heavy in the air. Bodies lay strewn about from the entrance, and even more as they moved towards the throne. Podrick Serrett, Lord of Silver Hill, and newly crowned King of the Border sat with a chalice in hand, and a bit of blood swimming down his cheek.

    “Hardly how royalty should treat guests,” said Dennis Brax, as meek as ever.

    “Come now Dennis, can’t you see this place for the filth that it has become? Corruption, and disease must be about. We must pray to the seven to give us strength.”

    Dennis moved towards the throne, and inspected the departed king’s beverage. With a sniff he coughed. “No. Death has ravaged this place, but not disease. They’ve merely taken their own lives with poison, rather than fighting us.”

    “Cowards,” replied Terrence. “Captain, find what goods you can from this sty of a castle, and send them back to Casterly Rock. This war will be finished shortly.” With an affirmation, the captain ran off to give the order, and soon the army would be on the move once again.




    Lord Marbrand and Ser Perk had decent luck as when claiming Crakehall from Lord Samwell.

    “Tis a pity he had his namesake after the late King of the Border,” quipped Ser Perk.

    “Indeed. Perhaps he’ll prove less difficult than that one was,” said Alyn.

    The two entered the main hall where their men had pinned Lord Crakehall, and a handful of his men in a corner. Alyn strode up to the situation, and called, “Lord Samwell, your men are dead, and your castle has fallen. Give up now, and you, and your men will be spared… those that remain at least.”

    The young lord looked from his men, and back at Alyn. He looked down, shame filling his expression as he dropped his sword to the ground. And so it ends, thought Alyn.



    “Men, clap them in irons, and keep them in your sights. If any of them should attempt to escape, break the transgressors legs, and cut off a hand of the other prisoners for not warning us.” He laughed heartily as the Lord and his men were taken away. Ser Perk shimmied through the crowd, and pulled Lord Marbrand aside. “Now that we have the castle, what comes next?”

    Alyn sighed. “Before we began the assault, I received word from the Lords Lefford, and Brax that they’ve taken Silver Hill, so that means the Tarbeck bannermen who stand between us and final victory, are now holding up in Cornfield. Not a poetic name I realize, but neither is a chicken for a sigil. Hopefully they won’t be so when we come knocking on their gates.”

    It had been few days after Robert, and Kedran had finished off the rebels holdings of The Crag, and Banefort. Victories began mounting, and soon the other great kings of Westeros began to take notice of House Lannister’s dominance in the West. Upon their return to Casterly Rock, many a respectful envoy were accepted into their halls to conduct trading deals, and gather maps of their newly forged kingdom. Each king of the Riverlands sent forth a diplomat, and none would be disappointed. Trade would open up new wealth, and growth for Kedran’s kingdom. He had received word that his own diplomat had secured relations with the King of the Mander, and soon all the wealth of the south would be streaming in. If only those pesky bannermen to the south could be eradicated, thought Kedran. Then I could focus on more… he looked up as his herald announced yet another envoy. “Lady Talena Royce of the Vale.” Pressing matters. Robert stood to his right, and flushed a bit when the valeswoman approached. A natural beauty to behold, and a charmer no doubt.

    Robert took Talena’s hand and kissed it, “My lady, how fares your travels?”

    She blushed, and replied, “Very well my lord. The roads have been fraught with many battles betwixt petty kings, yet we are still here.” Robert returned her smile with delight, and Kedran continued watching and waiting. Talena apologized, and introduced herself to the king, and bowing low. Kedran accepted the curtesy, and bade her to rise. “My lady, what brings you here of all places, and so far from home?”

    She grew very serious, “King Kedran, my father would propose that our great houses join together in a bond greater than trade, but by blood as well. Would you not agree that blood is stronger than water?”

    Kedran glanced at Robert, and said, “So how many wars is your father in? Is this not a way to snare us into another war that we didn’t start?” Kedran knew very well the Vale was in turmoil, but that didn’t mean he wanted to ride across the whole of the Riverlands just to assist his soon to be kin.

    “Only if you would see fit to do so of your own volition. My father simply sees that the Rock of the West is secure, and that it would guarantee our line survives beyond the bloodshed in the Vale. No obligation is required from you King Kedran. Only that I marry you.”

    “This deal will do, but I’m afraid my hand is being arranged for someone elsewhere. Kendra Hightower of House Hightower has claimed my hand. However, my uncle Robert Lannister is still able to charm you if it please you.” Robert gaped at his nephew’s proposition to marry at such a sudden moment. As the princess was about to speak, Kedran motioned with his hand, and a pair of servants brought forth a large chest. They set it down before the young princess, and left. “I trust that this option is less than what the King of the Mountains and the Vale was looking for, but as my interests lie somewhat apart, I can offer him assistance indirectly.” She opened the chest, and smiled at the gleaming gold. “My King Kedran, you drive a very hard bargain, but I believe my father would accept your ‘gift’, and I will likewise take your uncle, to be my husband, if he’ll have me of course.” They both looked to Robert with expectant expressions, and all he could do was nod dumbly. “Then it’s settled,” said Kedran. “Thank you for your visit Lady Talena. I hope it was worth both our whiles.” She merely grinned, and left. Two servants bearing tunics checkered with runes came to claim the spoils of House Royce’s deal.

    Kedran stood, and clasped his uncle’s shoulder. “I’m sorry for surprising you like that, but we need a strong ally, and even stronger bloodline to match our own. I won’t have you marrying some kitchen maid in the cellar.” Robert was coming out of his shock, but all he could say was, “When..?”

    We, will wed soon, as my Kendra will arrive in court shortly, and we can seal our pacts on the same night. What say you to that?”

    Robert perked up a bit at the notion. “As long as you are by my side nephew, I believe I’ll survive the next few weeks to come.”



    As it turned out, the wedding would not host both Robert and Kedran’s weddings, as Talena claimed that it would mar House Royce’s reputation. Kedran had no choice but to allow their wedding to be separate. The feast was a spectacle of sorts, but none can remember it besides Talena and Robert, for the rest of the court had drunk themselves to sleep many times over. The night was lavish with food, games, and dancing. Kedran had conscripted a special merchant ship form the Arbor to keep safe the wine for the feast, so that no servants, or guards would ‘help’ themselves to his rightful stash. After waiting weeks to taste that wondrous drink, it’s no wonder the nobles were almost all passed out by nights end. Most had no idea the bedding had already occurred. As morning rode over the horizon, Robert could not feel anything besides happiness. He would have a son! Nigh upon a year later, he would indeed have that son. Elys Lannister. But dark days were between Robert, and his soon to be newborn son.




    A dancing jade lion, breathing fire upon a field of gold, coupled with the burning bush of House Marbrand heralded the upstart hedge knight Perk, and Alyn Marbrand. The hedge knight had enough time, and money to have a sigil sewn upon a banner, and upon his tunic. It’s not bad for a start. Soon they’ll see hundreds of men roaming the lands breathing the fire of my house! He smiled, and resigned to follow Lord Marbrand’s lead as they watched the battle unfold. Emmon Yarwyk, newly made prince of the border, and Rupert Swyft, the newly crowned King of the Border, marshaled their armies towards their own destruction. About two or three miles off, Lancel Stackspear was preparing to attack the Lords Brax, and Lefford. Alyn seemed calm, and collected. He didn’t seem to care if the other lords lived or died. His heart, and mind were set upon redemption, and it was so close he could taste it. The enemy had not a single bow to aid the prince, so Ser Perk bid the archers loose. Volleys of arrows flew by, stricking down any loyal Tarbeck supporters. Alyn then ordered the pikes in to clean up the rest of Prince Emmon’s men. Rupert Swyft would have not time to save his heir.



    It was a quick thing. Emmon fought till the end, but fell from his horse upon retreating, and was trampled beneath a pack of Lannister knights. King Rupert was just in time to witness his ‘heir’s demise, and promptly waited for Alyn and Ser Perk to make their next move. Again they harried their enemy with arrows of doom, but Rupert surprised them by charging his cavalry forward to take the brunt of the fire, while his infantry rushed into combat mostly unscathed.



    The King himself was hit with an arrow or two, but acted crazed, and bloodthirsty as he clove threw a man without remorse. “All you stinking devils, get back! Back I say!” chanted the deranged king. “My lord, why don’t we kill the crazed king?” Alyn looked to the king, and back to Ser Perk. “Mercy be damned for glory!” Kicking his spurs, Alyn led a charge followed by Perk into the mad King’s side. The hunger for battle would not be enough to save Rupert. Doubt never sunk in for the crazed King. He slew five more men from Alyn’s bodyguard, and a dozen of the pikemen who had attempted to slay him. Even one of Ser Perk’s men tried his luck, but was slain as well.



    “No, Harlik!” Belted a maddened Perk. He raised his sword to the sky, and charged the mad man. Adrenaline coursed through Rupert’s veins as he met Perk blow for blow. At times he would dodge, parry, or just take a hit for no reason at all. The Gods had forsaken Rupert to die, and for that he would rather fight. Each death blow delivered by Perk, Rupert would block. Each time Perk’s sword called for vengeance, Rupert’s would deny it. This duel continued on until not but the King himself stood between their army and Cornfield Keep.



    The duel was decided before either knew it. The crazed king’s horse had slowed due to injuries incurred, and he dismounted, off balancing Ser Perk. The hedge knight dismounted to meet his foe head on. Rupert’s berserker state began to fade. They had been dueling for an hour straight, and neither of them had gotten any closer to killing the other. In a move of pure madness, Rupert moved for a flimsy killing strike, which Perk deflected, subsequently planting him on the ground. As the king rose from his folly, Perk raised his sword, and shoved it past the eye hole of Rupert’s helm. The Mad king screeched in terror until Perk Shoved his sword further through the man’s eye socket, ending his life. So fell the third pretender king of House Tarbeck, Ser Rupert Swyft the mad. Shortly after the fight, and congratulations had been dealt did the Green Lion fall to the ground without a word.







    While the Hedge Knight was rushed to a physician, Lord Brax, and Lefford faced off against Lord Lancel Starckspear. The very last lord of House Tarbeck, and last to claim kingship as well.



    “Dennis, as much as I appreciate your knowledge of the world, I would prefer if you left the command of the army to myself, as our scouts have told me that they outnumber us by at least one-thousand men.”

    Dennis merely nodded. He knew better than to argue with Terrence. Terrence had had the military education most knights of the realm dreamed about, whereas Dennis had been tutored to read, and write, and he had grown fond of such activities, making him preferable to running a city, rather than fighting a battle.

    Before they knew it, the battle had concluded. Much more than blood had been shed upon the field. The souls of all those who had come for glory. The survivors now cried for the lives for their friends, and forsook the very glory they came to claim. Terrence was searching for the body of the last king of the borderlands when he saw Dennis ride up. “Seems we’ve won by the skin of our teeth, and quite on time as well.” He pointed to the Lannsiter flags filling up Cornfield. “Indeed.”



    In the months following the destruction of House Tarbeck’s Bannermen, Kedran was wed to Kendra Hightower, sealing a strong alliance between their houses, and the reach itself. Lord Terrence, Lord Dennis, and Lord Alyn all rode back to Casterly Rock to be a part of the wedding.



    An old alliance between House Gardener, and House Lannister made by Kedran’s father, allowed both Gardener, and Hightower to usher in peace, and end the fighting. An added benefit that Kedran didn’t even dine to tell his uncle was that the Hightowers had a particularly high reach in high places. With the marriage came great happiness, but also great sadness as well when Lady Emberlei Lefford passed out during the wedding feast. She died shortly after waking from her grogginess. She had just enough time to tell Terrence she loved him.



    Terrence’s heart split in two that day, and no matter how much blood stained his tabard in the future, he knew that it would never help him forgive his King for killing his wife. The truth of the matter was that the excitement of the event had killed Lady Lefford, and therefore it was Kedran’s fault.



    Kedran sent an apology letter after Terrence departed the Rock, but heard no reply. Kedran sent word to Tarbeck Hall before the snow fell, and bade the Green Lion return when he could. As he sent the raven, another had come in its place from the Reach. After months of peace, and prosperity, the Hightowers and Gardeners were at each other’s throats again, but this time there was a new player in the mix. Both sides were calling for the strength of the Westerlands, and King Kedran could only choose one of them to fight for. As the snow blew in from the north, Kedran could not help but remember a certain lion among wolves.




    Map update


    (These marriages will have uses to be sure in the future. If some of the battles seemed rushed, or omitted, its because they were. I can only take so much of repetitive writing when its against the same house, and I just want to get to the next stage of the story, which will be fun to write, but first thing is to clean up all the dead Tarbeck Kings... :3 On a side note, House Tarbeck can't be completely destroyed as they are the papal states in the descr_strat, so they will be forever at war with me. It did make it easier from a RP perspective to fight both of those battles at Cornfield without taking the castle though.
    Last thing, I apologize for the wait again. Basically work, and got sick. Now I'm all good )

  9. #9
    BerryKnight's Avatar Kings Guard Commander
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    Default Re: [AAR] Westeros Total War: AOPK: A Tale of 2 Lions

    IX



    Blistering winds clawed at the walls of Casterly Rock. The blizzards from the North had come at last. With winter brought remembrance of Kedran’s other brother, and a certain need to reinstate his kinslayer title. There was a special matter to attend to before total revenge would be complete. The Hightowers were pushing for Kedran to join their war against House Gardener.

    Kedran sighed, looking over the reports one last time, and leaving for the comfort, and warmth of his bed where his wife waited.

    “What is your decision, dear husband?” There was a hint of a smile on her face.

    He was very conflicted about the matter, but he couldn’t bring himself to hate her smile.

    “I’ve decided to back your father and brothers in this venture. Together we will usurp the Kingship of the Reach from the Gardeners, and usher in an era of peace stronger than any have ever seen in the whole of Westeros before.” Kendra cozied up to Kedran at that, and mouthed a thank you. They shared a kiss, and bubbled with passion, and let the night fill with ecstasy, while the morning light came too quickly.



    As Kedran rose to leave, Kendra whispered, “Must you leave so soon?” He smiled back at her, and countered, “The sooner I leave, the sooner I come home.” He kissed her again, and left her to sleep the morning away. After being dressed royally, and armed with the usual armament of battle, Kedran strode towards the gate. Little did he know, upon his return he would find a bouncing baby girl, named Lanna.


    This is… something else. I always thought that love was a murmur’s farce that young maids, and squires dreamed about, but now… I feel it!
    This burning passion for that special someone in your life.A moment passed. Now I understand Terrence’s perspective. It was I who killed his wife, and stripped him of happiness, and I have no right to call him to war any farther south. The king called for a page, and bade him to write to Lord Lefford to remain at Golden Tooth to defend the Eastern front from possible invasion. Kedran reasoned that whether Terrence would ‘defend’ the area or not mattered little. All he knew was that he would remain home, and this gave him a formal pretext to grieve.



    A merry procession of knights followed their king, while Robert’s army appeared from Lannisport and joined theirs. They proceeded to the docks when they encountered another army who had just disembarked. Flying the banners of a burning bush, Alyn ‘the Wrathful’ Marbrand rode at the head of his men. He raised an arm in greetings, and galloped up to the king and prince. Right off he dismounted, and bent to one knee.



    “My king Kedran, I have returned, and with news.” The king held back a rising fury, and bid his vassal to speak. “The Jade Lion and I have captured, and killed many enemies in your name, and have even sacked various towns and castles which are now yours.” Alyn, though dreadful as the stranger himself, could not meet his king’s eyes, nor keep a hint of fear out of his tone despite his accomplishments. “I humbly ask your forgiveness for disregarding your order to remain in Casterly Rock, and have done all that I can to show that I truly mean these words. I have not returned to these shores until I could say the words with truth, for you King Kedran, are the smartest man I know, and can tell if anyone lies. I ask you if I lie now.”

    Kedran analyzed every word Alyn spoke forth, and examined every inch of his body language. If he were to forgive a vassal who disobeyed a direct order, he would need to be sure as the sun rises that Alyn was telling the truth. If he did not, the consequences would no doubt be too terrible to behold.

    A long silence encroached on the three men as Kedran continued to contemplate forgiveness, while Alyn remained with his head bowed low, and Robert remained calm. The king measured Alyn’s failure, and loss against his many victories in battle, and honoring of House Lannister by not returning until his own enemies were etched from the map. He doesn’t falter, I’ll give him that. With a smile, Kedran called for Lord Marbrand to stand.

    “Alyn, I have come to a conclusion based upon your previous failure, and victories. You have proven yourself a valuable vassal to have. The courage shown when faced with my fury, and the perseverance to continue on despite the possibility of failure. Forgiveness is a fickle thing.” He sighed. “I should know, for I long for the forgiveness of another now, and they will probably never indulge what I seek. As you sought my forgiveness, it took almost 2 years, but through various victories, and details hidden within, I believe I am ready to forgive you Lord Marbrand. I will grant you a title for you bravery, and valor in battle, and moreover I will grant you the honor of joining us in our campaign against the King of Highgarden. And should you accept, you may take your rightful seat at Ashmark once more, along with the added lordships of Kayce, and Fair Castle. What do you say?”

    Alyn was speechless. He almost fell face first into the mud with shock, but recovered, and leveled his eyes with Kedran. “My king, I would be honored beyond recognition to ride south with you, and even more so to return. Such a gift on my return would be… simply astounding to behold.” A tear ran down Lord Marbrand’s face. “I cannot thank you enough for this… for everything…” Kedran leant over in his saddle, and clapped Alyn’s shoulder. “You have proved yourself a loyal, and well-meaning man. I would be a fool to cast you aside for a past moment of foolery. Come, ride with us.” And so they rode. Alyn’s men could be heard groaning in annoyance as they boarded their boats. Kedran set his course for Highgarden, whilst Robert and Alyn were instructed to conquer the coastline.

    Kedran sent word to the Reach:

    King Gulian Gardener,

    I sail south to speak with the King of Oldtown, and would attempt to broach a peace between your enflamed realms. I will speak with you at Highgarden following a peace agreement made in Oldtown. Then we will go about adding the changes as you see fit, for the King of Oldtown cannot bear anymore war.

    Signed,

    King Kedran Lannister of the West



    Kedran smirked. The pretenses of the letter were obviously false, but King Gulian would be desperate to obtain a peace agreement with the Manderly, and Volmont kings encroaching on his lands.



    The next few weeks were filled with the constant swell of the ship upon the sea. Though not much of a sea lion, Kedran could still hold his own stomach aboard a ship unlike Alyn. When the great citadel of Highgarden was in full view, Kedran instructed the men to stay low, but make ready, as this was supposed to be a peaceful venture. Under the pretenses of peace, Kedran’s fleet was able to land safely. The king then rallied his men to form up. From there they encircled the castle, and proceeded to starve them out. Many an envoy were sent to claim Kedran take up the goodness inside him, and end the current folly, but the envoy’s ceased upon Hightower reinforcements.



    King Gulian had a massive army stationed within Highgarden, so he was quite comfortable waiting out the siege, but what he did not expect was that the surrounding lords would send men to his aid. An army of nigh upon two-thousand marched to Highgarden, where they very much surprised the besiegers. Though the Hightower captain shook, Kedran stood fast, and formed up battle lines.



    “Captain Alekyne, move your men to cover our flank, or King Gulian will overwhelm us.” The captain remained fazed by the strength of the oncoming army. Kedran slapped him in the face, and grasped both of his shoulders. “Dammit man, snap out of it!” Seemingly back to normal, Alekyne affirmed his orders, and moved to cover Kedran’s rear and flanks. Somewhat annoyed, Kedran raced to crush the oncoming armies with ease. Before he knew it, the enemy’s army had routed, but he realized that his reinforcements had also began to route. Word on the wind was that captain Alekyne had been slain by Prince Horas Gardener. They will pay in blood!



    King Kedran ordered his men to finish off the remaining Gardener reinforcements, and then form up. He proceeded to rally the remaining Hightower men from routing, and continued on to hammer and anvil Gulian Gardener’s royal army. It seems that Prince Horas took one side, and King Gulian the other. With the army split in two, it was only a matter of time until one side weakened, and that would be Horas’. He fought valiantly with his men, but a stray arrow caught his raised sword arm, and then an ax hewn down upon his helm ended his life. With the prince’s death, the remaining royal army began to retreat back to Highgarden, but Kedran bid them to be surrounded and captured.



    King Gulian was not so easily convinced. He was convinced that the Seven would bring him victory, and told his remaining sword shields as much. The poor bastard ordered a mad charge at King Kedran’s personal guard. Of course the sly lion expected such a last ditch effort, and had positioned his longbow men upon the ridge just twenty yards away. Arrows rained down from the now darkening skies, as if the Gods were hewing thunderbolts at the cursed Gardener king. Gulian charged headlong into the thunder of shafts, as one by one, every one of his sword shields was killed. Realizing he was the last alive, Gulian attempted to flee. An arrow through his horse’s head ended that hope. He flew ten feet, but was crushed by his horse landing on his legs. The Gardener king struggled, and attempted to squirm his way out from under the beast’s weight, but took another three arrows in the torso, which ended his life, once and for all.



    Kedran marched his remaining forces to claim Highgarden for the West. A week passed as Kedran bolstered his army back to full strength, and kept an ear as to House Gardener’s current situation. The castle of Goldengrove was claimed by Prince Robert Lannister. Lord Loras Rowan had deemed it fit to flee his seat, whilst Lord Martyn Osgrey dined to stay and defend his castle of Coldmoat. A foolish decision for, Lord Alyn ‘the wrathful’ Marbrand, and Kaldren Hightower had assaulted the walls, and slain the lord within. Lord Hewett, of Lord Hewett’s Town was also slain during the storming of his city of Lord Alyn. The castle of Old Oak was captured by Prince Robert as well, who slew Lord Randyll Oakheart in personal combat.





















    With the northern and southern borders secured, and in Hightower and Lannister hands, only a few lords lived. With them a handful of castles, which were under attack by Manderly and Volmont Kings. Kedran wouldn’t concern himself, as they could have the pleasure in killing each other. For now, he was content to remain at peace, and continue the alliance with the King of Oldtown.



    After Robert returned to Lannisport, Kedran received the news that he had another nephew by the name of Devran Lannister. Kedran was truly happy for his uncle, for if his wife could not give him a son, he knew the Lannister line would be secure. As well, he might be able to push his nephew’s claims on the Mountains and Vale, but that all depended if the King of Runestone won his war.

    The king took a moment to look back upon the past. He murdered his brother Lucas Lannister in cold blood. He’d won a two-headed rebellion, by destroying House Reyne, and killing his second brother Lancen Lannister. Truth be told, House Reyne’s banner men had folded easily, whilst the ‘petty’ Tarbeck kings had been like Black Iron. Unwilling to bend, but breakable in the end. And lastly the Kings of the Reach. The battle for Highgarden was the most memorable for Kedran, as it secured his alliance with the Hightowers, and also his southern border. The remaining lands of House Gardener to the east had been disputed over by the Manderly, and the Volmont kings until they shared borders, and began a war for all of the spoils. The ‘cunning lion’, as the smallfolk began calling him, was unconcerned. He was done with wars for the time being.



    In the months of peace, Kedran had written to the Citadel in Oldtown regarding a possible visit to their collection of books, and he was flat out refused. The reason being that someone had stolen a relic of theirs, known as Sweet Thorn. A king of the Arbor had been proclaimed shortly after receiving the news, and he made ready to sail, but was informed by his spies that the King of Oldtown had crushed their rebellion, and claimed Sweet Thorn for himself. Annoyed, but unwilling to fight his father-in-law, Kedran relaxed for the first time in a long time, but a thought entered his mind. Something that gnawed at him until his peace had ended. A certain person who had fled from his ‘tyranny’ all those years ago, almost forgotten to him. Devren…




    (I do apologize to everyone following this AAR. I had gotten about a quarter of the way through writing this chapter, and was halted by my over involvement in hotseats, and real life going into overdrive. I've been meaning to finish this for some time. Now is the time, and next chapter I will wrap up the last of our loose ends. Other than that, the sieges/battles were unworthy to RP on, as Highgarden would be the biggest. I admit, I could have made Highgarden more in depth, but I'm just trying to finish the series neatly, as the save file has somehow gotten corrupted - meaning everyone has random traits they shouldn't, and some of my generals have 1 or 2 of the valyrain steel swords, so yeah. Another chapter soon to be out to wrap up our tale, so stay tuned.)

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