WE ARE STILL RECRUITING
A Game of Ice and Fire
For returning and new faces alike, welcome to the next Game of Thrones RP. As with previous versions of this type of game, we’re here to throw out the ideas of overly complex game mechanics or ‘playing to win’ this is a game for fun, for drama and intrigue, of collaboration both out of character and in the realm of the rp. Players will pick a canon house and flesh it out with characters of their own, an advantage of a setting well before the highly defined era of the books. Because of this, players will not create their own houses, with the vast array of established houses to pick from at all levels of westerosi society, this simply helps to maintain the feel of what Westeros is.
Noble houses are not, however, the only choice available. Individual characters from across the realm can be created, traders, septons, hedge knights and the like are all available to players, even those from across the sea in Essos, although the focus of the action will cetainly be in Westeros.
OOC Rules and Guidelines:
- I am the GM, lord and master of all that the RP is, you will bend to my will or break. On a serious note, my word is final but measured, I’m happy to hear any issues or suggestions, but don’t argue with me (in regards to the rp that is, I like a good debate otherwise).
- Advanced standards; common sense approach; game of logic and collaboration.
- Character Sheets should be posted on the OOC (though they can be sent via pm as well) for approval/disapproval. Not all decisions will be made public.
- You are assumed to be an adult by submitting a character for this game; please act like one.
- Players playing Great Lords will have the chance to weigh in on applications for Minor Lords under their Great Lord.
- Applications may take a few days before a decision can be made. Generally issues will be resolved over pm.
- Players are encouraged to play typically one-on-one scenarios, large battle scenarios, cloak-and-dagger scenarios, small plots and large plots. To be creative, and to interactive with their fellow players on their own to plot. Take initiative.
- Players are allowed to play as more than one house, however preferably not in the same territory or region. It would also not be allowed if players wished to take up more than one Great House.
- House Targaryen is currently being held for storytelling purposes, though if you have an idea or request, run it by.
Houses that are present on the index are houses which are no longer up for competition, either they are finished or have been claimed for long enough and been worked on during that time to be fully claimed.
When you are finished with a House or Character Sheet, PM me a link to the sheet in the OOC, otherwise I will assume work is still being done.
For nearly two centuries Dorne remained apart from the rest of Westeros, spared by Aegon’s draconic conquest and even out lasting the time of Westerosi dragons. Thus they had felt secure in their position, if the Targaryens could not conquer them with dragons what chance did they have without them? They had failed to account both for the headstrong nature of the new, young King Daeron and the superior martial power of the Northern Kingdom. Crowned in the year 157 AL, the eldest child of Aegon III, even at the age of 14, Daeron was a charismatic and ambitious individual. Viewing the continued independence of Dorne as a blight on Targaryen honour, he began laying the foundations for the invasion of Dorne, a prospect increasingly supported by the Southern Lords of the Reach and Stormlands after a series of border clashes during the reign of Aegon III.
The possibility of an invasion of Dorne has only been realised in recent years, the Targaryens, robbed of their dragons and sent reeling from the civil war which engulfed Westeros during the Dance of the Dragons, had been left as overlords of Westeros in little more than name. It took the iron fist of Aegon III, and later in his reign, the support of his brother Viserys Targaryen, as hand of the King, to reestablish control of the continent, at the time, to remove the possibility of another devastating civil war. Now that Aegon has passed from the world, his sons, most critically Daeron, have the opportunity to impact on this reestablished realm. Without the the might of the dragons to revel in, the new generation of Targaryens are desperate to make their mark on history and in Daeron’s eyes, this cannot be done through years of comfortable peace, no matter how much he may be counselled otherwise. Thus he looks set to either use the peace won by his father to launch the Targaryens into a new age of triumph, or squander it on the baking sands of Dorne, for vassals are nothing but fickle, and a failure of a King will soon find that the success of a father does not guarantee loyalty towards his son. As the years of Summer following the Dance begin to cool and the harsh heat of Dorne begins to fade, Westeros marches to war once more.
The Iron Islands rise from the stormy seas in the midst of Ironman’s Bay, west of the Neck. This desolate archipelago consists of the isles of Pyke, Old Wyk, Great Wyk, Harlaw, Orkmont, Saltcliffe, Blacktyde, and dozens of smaller crags and islets, some so tiny that they can barely host a single village. Life is hard on the Iron Islands, and the brutal conditions have given rise to a grim fatalism among the fierce, hardy folk who have dwelt on the isles for millennia. The Ironmen are as hard and cold as their homeland, and their wrath is as deep and fierce as the sea they love.
The rest of Westeros dismisses the Iron Islands as an insignificant backwater of the Seven Kingdoms. The islands are all rocky and barren, the soil is thin, and the weather is harsh to extremes rarely found elsewhere in Westeros. Damp, cold, and wind are ever present; only the interior of Great Wyk, largest of the islands, has places out of sound or sight of the sea. The thralls and common folk of the Iron Islands spend their lives in dismal toil, scraping a living from the poor soil, wrestling with the sea and the creatures in it, or tunnelling under the earth as they pull their fortune from its depths.
Aside from the sea’s bounty, which is little enough, the rocky crags of the Iron Islands are blessed with one other meagre source of wealth. Many of the isles, particularly Harlaw, boast deposits of metals, including lead, tin, and the iron that gives the isles their name. These ores are the only resource of note that the Iron Islands export to Westeros and the rest of the world. Trade, however, has never been a great concern to the Ironmen. They take to the seas, living as raiders and reavers. For thousands of years, the people of the Iron Islands have taken what they need to survive, letting the rest of the world thrive as best it may.
The origins of the Ironmen are lost to the mists of time. They claim descent from the Grey King, the mighty mariner of the Age of Heroes. The Grey King’s people have always been people of the sea, revering the Drowned God and plying the oceans on swift longships. They have no patience for farming, fishing, or mining (as the Greyjoy words say, “We Do Not Sow”) — such lesser work is left to the thralls taken in raids.
For the folk of the Iron Islands, the only true occupation is war. For countless centuries, all the coastlands of Westeros have lived in fear of the raiding longships of the Ironmen. At various times, bold High Kings of the Isles have conquered large sections of Westeros, while intrepid captains have sailed to Asshai and beyond. With the coming of Aegon Targaryen, the Iron Islands were brought under the sway of the Iron Throne. Septs, maesters, and other trappings of the green lands came to the isles, but the Ironmen still remembered the Old Way, and their hearts yearned for its return.
Cleverness, skill at arms, and persistence are all treasured traits to the Ironmen. They live in contempt of the weaklings of the “green lands” (their name for the mainland of Westeros), their gods, and their laws. Ship captains and warriors are revered among them; it is said that every captain is a king on his or her deck, and every king must be a captain. Captains are expected to raid, gaining wealth for their crews through plunder and pillage.
Indeed, true Ironmen only value things “bought with iron” (won by force of arms in combat), and have only scorn for those who clothe themselves in finery bought with gold. Among the Ironmen, women are usually relegated to secondary roles in society. There are, however, some women who have proven themselves in combat and become ship captains. Some say the salt and sea temper them, giving them the appetites and strength of men.
Life is short on the Iron Islands, and the harsh climate has bred a harsh outlook in the Ironmen. Even their sports are brutal: most feasts see at least one “fi nger dance,” a game where one or more drunken warriors hurl short-hafted axes at each other. Players must either catch the axes or leap over them. The game draws its name from the fact that most dances end when one player loses some of his or her fingers. Death and pain are the expected results of a life spent reaving, and dying well in battle is seen as far better than a life of comfort.
Minor Houses (By isle)
Great Wyk: Farwynd, Goodbrother*, Merlyn,
Harlaw: Harlaw, Myre, Stonetree, Volmark
Old Wyk: Goodbrother*
Orkmont: Goodbrother*, Orkwood
Pyke: Botley, Wynch
* NOTE: There are Goodbrothers on the isles of Great Wyk, Old Wyk, and Orkmont. Other houses may also have splinter branches spread across the isles.
The southernmost kingdom of Westeros, Dorne is a desert land of red mountains and warm winds. Its princes rule from the mountains, the desert, and the sea, following 1,000 years of Rhoynish tradition and rule. Until Princess Nymeria and the Rhoynar crossed the sea, it was populated by the descendants of the Andals and First Men, who fought bloody wars all across its lands. Nymeria married into the Dornish nobility, and their family attained supremacy over the rest of Dorne.
The people of Dorne are fiercely independent, but loyal to their rulers; it was the only land to escape the wrath of Aegon the Conqueror and his dragons. Daeron I, the Young Dragon, eventually conquered Dorne, but was unable to hold it as the treachery of its lords soon led to rebellion and independence. Dorne ultimately won peace with the Targaryen kings through marriage and treaty rather than war. It was the last of the Seven Kingdoms to fall under Targaryen rule.
The lands of Dorne are as diverse as its people: from the Red Mountains in the west and north, to the inland desert and river vales, to the coasts of the Sea of Dorne and the Summer Sea. All regions of Dorne are almost universally harsh, giving birth to a hardy, determined people who know how to survive. Lack of food and water, the threat of stinging scorpions and vipers, and the natural dangers of the land itself conspire against those who live in Dorne, but somehow they have always found a way to endure — and even thrive.
The vast majority of Dorne is a dusty land of small deserts and dry river valleys. This region is the southernmost part of Westeros, reaching out into the ocean from the mountains that separate it from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. Water is scarce in this land, and most of its inhabitants live near the low-running rivers and canyons that cut into the dry terrain. The Brimstone runs south into the sea, while the Vaith and Scourge meet in the eastern mountains to form the Greenblood. This river runs to the sea in the east, just south of the stronghold of Sunspear.
The Sea of Dorne separates this dry land from the rainwood and Storm’s End, a long-time enemy of the princes of Dorne. The last outposts of Dorne include Starfall, a castle that guards the pass to the western arm of the Reach, and Yronwood, as a final defence against invaders coming down the Boneway.
North of the strongholds of Starfall and Yronwood are the mountains that both protect and isolate Dorne from their northern neighbours. These lands are populated by a tough and hearty breed of Dornishman, warriors who have led the vanguard in almost every Dornish assault on Storm’s End or the castles of the Reach. Since Dorne has become one of the Seven Kingdoms, the large battles of the past have largely been left behind, but the Dornish mountain folk have not been quiet. They still occasionally raid the lands of the Reach, ensuring that the old wounds between the two lands never heal.
North and east of these mountains stretch the vast Dornish Marches. The castles of Blackhaven and Nightsong stand outside these lands, marking the last stops before a traveller must pass through the Boneway or the Prince’s Pass to reach the desert lands of Dorne. Dornishmen heading north often take the Boneway up to the ruins of Summerhall, where they turn east and intersect with the kingsroad in order to bypass the lands of the Reach.
The people of Dorne are scattered all across its lands. King Daeron I once observed that there were three types of Dornishmen, and those divisions are still present in the region to this day. The salty Dornishmen live along the coasts, mainly along the Broken Arm region where the red mountains stretch out into the Sea of Dorne. These Dornishmen are litheand dark, with smooth olive skin and long black hair. They are fishermen and sailors, hard men who sail the ships of the Dornish fleet. They wait eagerly for the next opportunity to test their mettle against the steel and stone of Storm’s End or the harrowing waves of Shipbreaker Bay.
The salty Dornishmen have the most Rhoynish blood — a fact that gives them a sense of pride and a connection to their rulers in Sunspear. Sandy Dornishmen live in the deserts and long river valleys of the Dornish inland. Their skin is even darker than that of their salty brethren, burned brown by the hot Dornish sun. Even in the heat of the desert, these Dornishmen prefer to wear armour inlaid with copper. They often wear one or more copper discs about their body in tribute to the desert sun.
The stony Dornishmen live along the Boneway and in the Red Mountains that separate the region from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. They are the largest and fairest of the region’s people, and have the least amount of Rhoynish blood. They keep the look and many of the customs and traditions of the Andals and First Men from whom they are descended. Of all the Dornishmen, the stony sort hold the least allegiance to the princes of Sunspear. They are still loyal, however, and appreciate the protection given them by the Rhoynish princes against their hated enemies to the north.
Stretching from Moat Cailin in the south to the Wall and beyond, the North is nearly as large as the other six kingdoms of Westeros combined. It is a harsh land filled with bogs, forests, and large stretches of open plain dotted by the various castles and holdfasts of the people who inhabit the frozen region. The Starks of Winterfell Castle are the most prominent of these people, although many houses hold claim to territory within the North. Also found within the region’s icy grasp is the Night’s Watch, outcasts from the Seven Kingdoms and eternal guardians against terrors beyond the Wall.
The lands of the North are mostly cold and empty, with civilisation rare, scattered far and wide about the freezing land. The various houses that hold sway here are almost all descended from the blood of the First Men, for few others have the strength to live in such a place, much less grow fond of it. Settlements can be found in even the remotest of places, from the heart of the Wolfswood to the broad, flat plains that stretch between the Dreadfort and White Harbor. As one moves north toward the Wall, though, the settlements become fewer and farther between. These lands are harsh, even during summer, and the woods along the Last River are cold and grey.
Perhaps because it is so sparsely settled, the North holds some of the greatest fortresses and castles in the Seven Kingdoms. Moat Cailin guards the southern boundary, nigh-impregnable even after enduring years of neglect and the ravages of the humid swamp on which it sits. Winterfell stands north of Moat Cailin along the kingsroad. This fortress stands like an impregnable granite monument to the hardiness of the First Men, whose blood flows through the veins of the Starks who inhabit it. The Mormonts sit on Bear Island in the Bay of Ice, while House Umber rules from the Last Hearth, east of the Kingsroad on the edge of a small, cold forest by the border of the Gift.
The Gift is an area of land ceded to the Night’s Watch by the North’s rulers. It stands as an unmarked barrier between the lands of the North and the Wall, sparsely populated by a hearty people who eke out an existence despite mounting raids from wildlings and the harsh, wintry environment. Beyond the Gift lies the Wall, and the remaining fortresses of the Night’s Watch. The men along the Wall have given up their old lives to guard the Seven Kingdoms against the horrors of the frozen wastelands.
The southernmost portions of the region are known as the Barrowlands. This is a wide, hilly region in which many of the barrows of the First Men can be found. Its plains stretch from the Stony Shore on the Sunset Sea in the west to the Bite and the fortress of Widow’s Watch to the east. Where the Kingsroad cuts this region down the middle, it is a featureless grassland that stretches for days and days in every direction.
The people of the North are a tough and hardy lot, working hard during the summer to plan for leaner times. One will not find any dreams of the Great Summer among these people and already the maesters and stargazers are accounting for the shorter days that lead them to the inevitable realisation that winter is coming. Those who come from the settlements of the North are practical and direct, not favouring the political games and guarded communication of the cities of the south.
Transactions are made above the table, and those who would do otherwise are looked upon with a suspicion reserved for scoundrels. This attitude toward dealing with one’s fellows translates into a relatively safe region — at least from the depredations of one’s fellow man. It is said of the North that “a maiden girl could walk the Kingsroad in her name-day gown and still go unmolested, and travelers could find fire, bread, and salt at many an inn and holdfast.”
The people of the North are practical in their dress, their attitudes, and their outlook. They tend toward simple clothing that will keep them warm, rather than the impractical fashions one might find in King’s Landing or Highgarden. Even the nobility prefers simple dress, although they wear their house colours proudly and travel with bannermen on many occasions.
The majority of the North’s population lives on farms owned by the family or families that live within them. During the long summers these farms prosper. As winter approaches, the farmers move in toward the towns and castles of the North. These “winter towns” lie abandoned during the summers, but become bustling trade centres when the people of the North huddle together to endure the long, wintry nights.
The farther north one goes, the more grim the people, like the land, become. They have resigned themselves to the bitter cold of their homes and the dangers of the wildling attacks that they endure. At one time the Wall made these people feel secure from the dangers of the Haunted Forest and the Frostfangs, but in recent years more and more threats have been spotted south of the great bulwark. The Wall’s defences have grown weak and scattered over time, and the First Ranger’s calls for more men have fallen on deaf ears. No one is certain what the ultimate consequence of such neglect will be, but the people of the North are determined to be as prepared as possible for the day when winter comes.
The Reach is a beautiful region of lush fields and vibrant flower gardens. Its boundaries stretch from the Blackwater Rush in the north to Oldtown in the south, and from the Dornish marches in the east to the shores of the Sunset Sea. These lands are the heart of chivalric tradition in the Seven Kingdoms, and many of the greatest knights come from the House of Tyrell, or their bannerhouses. The fields of golden roses near Highgarden and their elaborate traditions hide a proud and vain people, however, and the ruling house of Tyrell is one of the most ruthless and conniving of all that play the game of thrones.
It was not always this way. The Tyrells were once only stewards of the royal house of the Reach, the Gardeners. When the Gardeners were destroyed on the Field of Fire, Aegon raised the Tyrells to supremacy ... but some say the Florents or the Hightowers would have had a better claim.
The Reach is home to the most beautiful landscapes in all the Seven Kingdoms. Wide fields of flowers and lush grasses cover the plains of the north, while the roseroad travels southwest toward the wineries and fields near Honeyholt and Brightwater Keep. The Roseroad meanders through the land, at several points crossing the Mander River, which forks and winds across the entire region.
In the west, the Honeywine River creates a temperate lowland environment, much different from that of the mountains and deserts east of Starfall. The area is the agricultural capital of the Reach, growing everything from fireplums to honey to grapes. The Arbor, an island off the cape of Whispering Sound, produces some of the finest wines in the Seven Kingdoms. The city of Oldtown sits at the southern end of the roseroad, acting as the Reach’s primary port as well as the home of the Citadel, wherein young men are trained in the maesters’ arts.
Although the upper waters of the Mander are muddy and difficult, it becomes clear and calm as it nears Highgarden. Great green willows and plants grow along the shore, making any trip down the river pleasing to the eyes. The lords of Highgarden have pleasure barges that routinely travel up and down the river as their highborn passengers feast on melons and sweet wines from the Arbor. It is not uncommon for the ladies of Highgarden to have marriage ceremonies on the largest of these barges, with the river fi lled with rose petals and scented with mint and lemon.
The plains to the north and west bound the goldroad and the searoad. They are not nearly as fertile or beautiful as those to the east and south. These plains begin to show characteristics of the rocky flatlands of the Westerlands. One area in the region is particularly notable, the Field of Fire; it is here that Aegon Targaryen ended the final major threat to his rulership over Westeros.
The Tyrells of Highgarden are a proud house that demands respect from all who owe them their allegiance. They believe themselves to be the very definition of chivalry. Their sworn houses take their cue from Highgarden, acting in only the most gallant and courtly manner and maintaining a strict relationship with the smallfolk and fellow nobles of the region. Most every boy in the Reach dreams of one day serving as a squire to one of the great Tyrell or Florent knights, and perhaps even becoming knights in their own right. Girls grow up dreaming of marrying a handsome knight who will sweep them off their feet and carry them off on a grand destrier bearing the noble colours of a great house.
Even though the chivalric code followed by the lords of the Reach ensures that the smallfolk know their place in society and know it well, many still feel a sense of pride at being ruled by such beautiful and brave lords — or so their lords would like to believe. The smallfolk of the Reach are much like those everywhere between the North and Dorne, giving traditional tributes and paying taxes as their station demands. Celebrations and festivals are common, and knights on their way to a tournament often make many stops along the way to parade their sharply dressed horses and attendants and to receive the favours due them from the smallfolk. Many a bastard has been sired as a direct result of these pageant trains, though for the most part the mothers of such children feel blessed rather than forgotten.
The people of Horn Hill and other locations near the Dornish Marches are less interested in the honour of their lords and more concerned with how many swords they can send against the raids from the stony Dornishmen of the nearby mountains. They tend to be a harder people than the farmers and merchants in other areas of the Reach, although not nearly so much as the Dornishmen they fight or the hardy Northmen.
The people of the Reach have greater access to dyes than most because of the preponderance of fl owers. Because of this, they dress much more richly and extravagantly than smallfolk elsewhere, and more so than even some nobility. The greens and golds of Highgarden are popular colours, as are the reds and purples made in the Southwest from grapes that cannot be used for wine. The Reach has become a place of almost dream-like beauty in the time since Aegon Dragonlord immolated its lords on the Field of Fire.
The Riverlands are the heart of the Seven Kingdoms. Within its borders are some of the most storied and significant castles in Westeros. House Tully flies its red and blue banners above the castle at Riverrun, while their bannermen, the Freys, guard the river crossing where the Green Fork flows from the swamps of the Neck. New alliances and old rivalries keep the Riverlands in a state of flux, and the winner of the game of thrones may very well be determined on its green fields.
The Riverlands are a vibrant region, full of bustling riverside towns and farmers transporting goods to market. Settlements are common and it is hard to travel for a day by road or river without encountering other travellers or passing through a village. Some farmers and merchants have shops upon the great rivers of the region, floating from town to town and selling to travellers whom they happen upon. Even mummers use the rivers to their advantage, floating downstream on brightly coloured barges from which they can give performances.
The Trident is the heart of the region, being the confluence of the Blue Fork, the Red Fork, and the Green Fork rivers. It was at the ruby ford of the Trident that Robert Baratheon slew Rhaegar Targaryen. The lands that surround this great river are green and fertile, home to several towns and farms as far as the eye can see. Most of the lords of the region have built their castles and holdfasts along the banks of the Trident, including Riverrun, the seat of House Tully.
Riverrun stands where the Tumblestone falls into the Red Fork before continuing towards the Trident. Its walls rise sheer from the water of the two rivers, and in times of war a moat can be formed to prevent an army from attacking from the west. It is here at Riverrun that Robb Stark wins a great victory against the Lannisters, and inspires his sworn lords to proclaim him King in the North.
Harrenhal is the greatest castle of the region, however, dwarfing Riverrun and boasting the highest castle walls in the Seven Kingdoms. The castle is rumoured to be cursed, however, since the time Aegon Targaryen unleashed his dragons upon it and turned it into a pyre, burning everyone inside.
The Gods Eye, a lake that stands south of Harrenhal, feeds a river into the Blackwater Rush, where it then travels on to King’s Landing and spills out into Blackwater Bay. This area is also fertile farmland where wheat and other grains are grown in abundance. The Kingsroad runs through this region, to the east of the Gods Eye from the north after it crosses the Trident.
The people of the riverlands are happy and well fed. For the most part they lead quiet lives, although the spectre of war always looms large over the green fi elds and hills. The people know when war comes they will be at the heart of it, but they do not despair at this. Instead they strive to find joy in their everyday lives. Fairs and celebrations are common in the region, especially around harvest time when the crops come in. The river people dress in bright colours and enjoy playing music gathered from all the settlements and communities along the great rivers. Their lords — the Tullys, Freys, Blackwoods, Brackens, and Mallisters — treat them well.
The people are not strangers to historical rivalries, however. The neighbouring Houses of Blackwood and Bracken have long been ancient enemies, and are always at each other’s throats. Their feud dates back to the Age of Heroes, when both houses ruled the riverlands at various times, and also splintered on religious lines — the Brackens went over to the new gods, while the Blackwoods remain steadfast with the old. Their liege lords spend a good deal of time and effort making peace between them, but it seldom lasts.
The folks of the riverlands have adopted the worship of the Seven, although there are a few lords who still follow the old gods. The blood of the Andals runs deep within their veins, and worship of the old gods has almost been completely eradicated from the region. Religion plays a large part in everything the folks from the riverlands do, and even smaller villages have septs dedicated to the Seven (like much of the south). To grow up to take the vows of the godsworn is almost as glorious a dream as becoming a knight for children of the riverlands.
Legends say the Stormlands were born in a struggle against the gods themselves. Thousands of years of conquest, conflict with the elements, and war with the people of Dorne have given rise to a folk as stern and strong as the tempests that give these lands their name. The coastlands of the narrow sea are not renowned for their wealth or prosperity, but as a breeding ground of kings. Two lines of great kings have called the Stormlands home: the Storm Kings who arose in the Age of Heroes, the Targaryens who invaded Westeros from Dragonstone Isle.
The Stormlands stretch from the waters of Blackwater Bay in the north to the Sea of Dorne in the south. They include the lands surrounding Shipbreaker Bay, and the far southern region of the Dornish marches, which forms a troubled border with Dorne. Most of the inland regions of the Stormlands are covered in two great forests, the kingswood and the rainwood, while the coastlines consist of ragged snarls of rocks or sheer cliffs. Ships sailing to King’s Landing from Storm’s End travel through
Massey’s Hook, which shields them from gales coming out of the narrow sea. From the end of Massey’s Hook, known as Sharp Point (and controlled by the Bar Emmons of Dragonstone), ships travel through the Gullet and into Blackwater Bay.
A few villages and holdfasts are nestled in the depths of the woods, while castles and fortresses cling to the coastal cliffs. The larger islands like Tarth host fiefs as well. None of these settlements has grown to the size of a full-fledged city, and in many ways the Stormlands stand in the shadow of King’s Landing. The lands along Cape Wrath and in the kingswood and the rainwood are fertile, but low populations and historic strife have kept the Stormlands fairly rural. The Stormlands have little to offer in trade with the surrounding regions — the coastal fiefs cannot hope to compete with the bounty of the Reach and riverlands, or the mineral wealth of the Westerlands.
Though it lacks any major cities, the Stormlands are home to one of the most famous castles in Westeros. Storm’s End, ancient home of the Storm Kings, crouches atop the chalky cliffs of Shipbreaker Bay facing the angry sea. According to legend, Storm’s End was the seventh castle built by Durran, the first Storm King. Legends say Durran raised seven castles during his feud with the gods of sea and sky, and only this last held strong. Some say Durran was aided by the children of the forest, or by Brandon the Builder in his youth. Potent spells are said to have been woven into the stout keep’s walls, magics that make the castle impervious to storm or siege. Since Aegon Targaryen awarded Orys Baratheon the titles of Argilac the Storm King, Storm’s End has been held by House Baratheon.
The Stormlands contain several other notable holdings, such as the castle of Bronzegate; Harvest Hall, home of the Selmys; and Evenfall Hall on the island of Tarth, which is also known as the Sapphire Isle. Furthermore, the Royal Palace of Summerhall are found in the Stormlands, at the place where they meet Dorne and the Reach. Smmerhall was a lightly fortified castle built by Baelor the Blessed on the edge of the Dornish Marches to serve as a royal residence for the Targaryens.
The people of the Stormlands are primarily of Andal extraction, although some ancient houses trace their origins to Durran the Storm King in the Age of Heroes. At one time, the Storm Kings ruled all of the surrounding lands up to the Neck. They then lost their empire to the Iron Men. The last Storm King, Argilac the Arrogant, died during the Wars of Conquest at the hand of Orys Baratheon. Favoured by the Targaryens, the Baratheons have ruled the Stormlands ever since.
As in the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, most of the people of the Stormlands live in small villages clustered around keeps, crossroads, or holdfasts. Most lowborn folk till the soil or fish in the sea, pledging their labours to the nobles of lesser houses, who in turn serve House Baratheon. Fishing is a common profession among the island and coastal fiefs, and many of the lesser houses have turned to shipping (and even smuggling) as a means of making their fortune. Though the fiefs of the Stormlands produce few trade goods, their position between the markets of King’s Landing and the prosperous Free Cities draws many foreign merchants to the towns and islands of the Stormlands.
Perhaps the old enmity of the sea and storm gods has infused itself into the people of this ancient land. Kings and houses may come and go, but the fury of sea and storm always remains, and the people of the Stormlands have long since learned to trust to their strength and swords for survival. The kingswood and rainwood are notorious for the bandits and brigands who hide in them from the King’s Law, and the Marcher Lords have fought with the Dornishmen to the south for more than a thousand years. Some of the greatest warriors in Westeros, including Ser Barristan Selmy (Lord Commander of the Kingsguard), the Marcher Lord Beric Dondarrion, and King Robert Baratheon were all nurtured in the lands of the Storm Kings.
A hidden paradise nestled among the sheer peaks of the Mountains of the Moon, the Vale of Arryn is one of the oldest of the Seven Kingdoms as well as one of the most remote. Accessible only by long, treacherous mountain roads or by sea, the Vale has stood apart from the turmoil and intrigues of Westeros since the Kings of Mountain and Vale took the lands from the First Men. The Vale’s isolation — and the depredations of the mountain clansmen — have given rise to both pragmatism and caution among the folk who live there.
The Vale of Arryn encompasses all the lands encircled by the Mountains of the Moon, from the twin watchtowers known as the Bloody Gate in the west, to Gulltown and the barren lands of the Fingers in the east. Near the Bloody Gate, the Vale is only a few leagues across, while the broken coasts to the east are a seemingly endless labyrinth of bays and cliffs.
The heartland of the Vale is a beautiful land, with stunning vistas of green fi elds, blue skies, and snowy summits. The wide valleys between sheer peaks of the Mountains of the Moon are blessed with slow rivers and black soil, dotted with hundreds of small lakes. The air is clear and chill in the Vale, and ice and snow are common sights in the mountain trails, even in summer.
The heartlands are blessed with prosperity to match their breathtaking beauty. The rich soil is admirably suited for wheat, corn, and barley, and it is said that the pumpkins and other produce of the Vale are as large and fine as any in the orchards of Highgarden. The Giant’s Lance, tallest of the Mountains of the Moon, dominates the skyline of the Vale.
The Eyrie, one of the strongest castles in Westeros and ancient home of the Arryns, is perched atop the mountain. Though the Eyrie is far smaller than Winterfell and the other great castles, its granaries are ample, allowing it to withstand a long siege if need be. The difficult approach is guarded by a castle called the Gates of the Moon, along with three watchforts named Stone, Snow, and Sky. In places, the path up the sheer mountainside is only wide enough for a single man to pass. The watchforts are ideally positioned to rain arrows and stones upon it.
The outlands of the Vale are far less pleasant. The Fingers are bleak, empty lands, home to stones and sheep and little else. Most of the Vale’s commerce with the rest of Westeros comes through the bustling port city of Gulltown, for even the uncertain seas are safer than the mountain roads, plagued by clansmen and shadowcats.
The people of the Vale are mostly of Andal extraction and live as the rest of the peoples of Westeros do. The lowborn, mostly farmers or fishermen, dwell in small villages gathered around the holdfasts or mansions of the highborn. Every highborn family swears its allegiance to the Arryns. The Arryns have ruled the Vale from time out of mind and have served the Iron Throne as Wardens of the East since the Targaryen conquest.
Peace and prosperity have lingered in the Vale for centuries, and with them have flowered generosity, hospitality, and courtesy. The people of the Vale are friendly and generous even to outsiders, save at the western end near the Bloody Gate, where the continual raiding of the mountain clans has given rise to constant wariness.
The Vale was one of the first places that the Andals invaded during the Age of Heroes, landing at the Fingers and wresting the Vale from the First Men. The Kings of Mountain and Vale, legends say, were one of the purest lines of Andal nobility.
The people of the Vale have little tolerance for injustice, though their geographic isolation makes it all too easy for them to keep out of the intrigues of the rest of the Seven Kingdoms.
The long neutrality of the Vale may soon be put to the test.
West of the Trident and north of the Reach is a region known as the Westerlands, a rocky land of miners and fishermen. The Westerlands are rich in coin, thanks to the many gold mines that dot the surrounding hills and mountains. Additionally, the coastal fisheries and large tracts of grazing land keep the region well fed. The Lannisters of Casterly Rock have been the unrivalled rulers of this precious hill country. Through their ruthless actions and the devotion of their enforcers, such as House Marbrand, House Lannister has in the past seen every family in the region bend the knee to their lord.
The Westerlands stretch from Lannisport in the south to Ironman’s Bay in the north, with the goldroad and the Red Fork marking convenient southern and eastern boundaries. The lands here are rocky and mountainous, a far cry from the rolling wheat fields and pig farms of the nearby riverlands. The region’s farmers concentrate on blooming crops such as nuts and berries as well as root crops, such as turnips, which are staples of the Westerlands’ agriculture.
Fishermen from Faircastle and Lannisport supply much of the coastal region’s food, while those farther inland rely on the aforementioned fruits, herds of sheep and cattle, as well as deer and goats from the mountains. The region has few inland towns that are not directly tied to the many gold mines or the handful of silver mines found in the mountains. Some of the mines have dried up, leaving ghost towns whose inhabitants try to scrape by as best they can while newer generations move to other cities to find work and life.
The mines at the Golden Tooth are some of Casterly Rock’s most prolific, and the area around it has become hotly contested for this reason, as well as its strategic importance as a pass between Riverrun and Casterly Rock. Other gold minesdot the mountainous regions of the Westerlands, and people flock from the fields and cities to participate in the mining of the precious ore. These towns often present a sharp dichotomy for those who live there. The mines themselves are tightly regulated to discourage attempts to smuggle out any gold. The towns that spring up around them, however, are often lawless affairs, ruled by itinerant landlords and their personal guard. Some of these towns are run by sellswords in the pay of nobles who live in Lannisport and elsewhere. Living conditions in these towns are harsh, and violence can break out at any time without cause or justice.
The towns along the western coast of Westeros are rich from the plentiful gold. Nobles live good lives and are spared much of the fi ghting that has taken place. Fisheries and imports from across the sea keep trade bustling in Lannisport, and the city’s population reflects the diversity one often finds in port cities with access to the riches of the world.
There are fewer castles and holdfasts in the region than in the fertile regions to the east or in the North. The mountains provide a strong defensive position for local lords, and Casterly Rock is a nearimpenetrable stronghold whose presence protects those around it.
The best thing the people of the Westerlands have to say about their lot in life is that they are well defended. House Lannister holds more political power than any of the other houses, and this alone grants their lands some measure of security. Unfortunately, they give little else for their smallfolk to cheer about. The riches of the area’s gold mines have done little or nothing to help the region’s poor, who struggle daily to sell fish in the cities and bring gold out of the mines in the mountains. This gold goes to enrich the coffers of Lannister nobles and their bannermen, while life remains rugged and short for those without access to the wealth.
Lannisport and Casterly Rock are the two greatest hubs in the region; the world’s eyes are on the Lannisters upon their perch at the Rock, while the local population centres upon the prosperous city of Lannisport. Merchants and middlemen are somewhat scarcer in the cities of the west than in other regions, as the majority of the local wealth is controlled by the region’s nobles. Control over the money is given to lords and sworn men, leaving very little room for advancement in Westerland society. Yet undoubtedly those who prove outstanding ability can find powerful local patrons and great rewards.
Most labourers and beggars have little time for the intrigues and games played by nobles throughout the realm, of course. The smallfolk of the Westerlands are mostly loyal to House Lannister and its banner houses. Aside from the mining towns, law and order is kept throughout the region. Casterly Rock does not tolerate outlaw bands that seek to steal from the mines and coffers of its noble houses. Taxation remains relatively low, and there is always work to be had.
Established originally as a fortress of earth and wood at the point where Aegon the Conqueror first landed in Westeros, King’s Landing has since evolved into a thriving and bustling city, home to the seat of power of the Seven Kingdoms. Though there are other cities in the Seven Kingdoms, none are so large or so steeped in treachery and deception as that which houses the Iron Throne. From the nobles and their game of thrones to the street urchins who prey on lone, unsuspecting victims, perfidy is the touchstone of this municipality.
King’s Landing rests on the north shore of the mouth of the Blackwater Rush, as it empties out into Blackwater Bay. It is built upon three hills named after Aegon and his two sisters, Rhaenys and Visenya. Aegon’s High Hill, which rises up beside the waters of the Blackwater, is home to the seven drum-towers of the Red Keep, within which resides the king on the Iron Throne. Beneath this tower are webs of secret tunnels that extend out into the city.
In the southwestern corner of the city stands Visenya’s Hill, the top of which features the Great Sept of Baelor. From afar, one can clearly make out its seven crystal bell towers. Rhaenys’s Hill lies in the northeastern portion of the city, and is topped by the ruins of the Dragonpit. At the base of Rhaenys’s Hill sprawls the section of twisting alleys and cross streets known as Flea Bottom. Flea Bottom is one of the poorer, if not poorest, neighbourhoods in King’s Landing. Its streets are unpaved and the buildings lean so close to one another over the alleys that they nearly touch. The entire area stinks of pigsties, stables, tanneries, and winesinks.
Seven gates lead into the city. To the south, between the castle walls and the river, is a collection of ramshackle buildings that make up the fish market, as well as the hundred quays that line the river for merchants to unload their wares. In the southwest, just beyond the King’s Gate, lie the tourney grounds. In the middle of the north wall is the Old Gate, near which are the wealthier neighbourhoods of King’s Landing. Strangely, the upper crust of King’s Landing live on the other side of Rhaenys’s Hill, opposite from the poverty of Flea Bottom.
Across the river to the south lies the Kingswood. Though nominally the private hunting reserve of the king, there are many hiding places for outlaws to conceal themselves within its verdant reaches. Some smallfolk also dwell within those woods. West of the city is the beginning of the Goldroad, which aptly connects King’s Landing to Casterly Rock. The Kingsroad extends both north and south of the city. To the south, a side fork leads to Highgarden by way of the Roseroad, while the Kingsroad proper continues on through the Stormlands to Storm’s End. The northern road extends past Winterfell, reaching up to the Wall.
To the east, however, Blackwater Bay opens out into the narrow sea, where the island fortress of Dragonstone can be found. Dragonstone rises from the narrow sea near Sharp Point, crowned by a mighty castle of the same name. The refuge of the Targaryens, Dragonstone’s walls and buildings are shaped from black basalt, and carved into the shapes of dragons, gargoyles, and countless beasts of legend.
As the largest city in Westeros and the seat of power within the Seven Kingdoms, influences from all parts of the kingdom find their way here. Most highborn Westerosi come to King’s Landing at some point in their lives. Many establish a regular presence in the city in order to stay intouch with happenings in court. With the High Septon presiding over the faith from the Great Sept of Baelor, many septons also make their way to King’s Landing eventually to pay their respects.
Visitors and merchants from across the narrow sea pass through, often taking up residence in the largest port in Westeros. Some possess a useful skill to ply in their new home, but others find themselves resorting to less savoury acts to survive. With all social classes present and confined within the walls of the city, it is not inconceivable to imagine the lowest-born thief rubbing shoulders with the wealthiest of nobles — or at least passing by on the same street.
While they are predominantly of Westerosi stock, the native-born residents of the city are more cosmopolitan than most folk of the Seven Kingdoms due to contact with more exotic cultures. Prostitutes from the Summer Isles, fencing instructors from Braavos, and merchant princes from Qarth may all be found managing their respective businesses in the city, and conceivably extending their bloodline into the local population.
For those not well born, life in the city can be hard. Merchants must always be wary of the ubiquitous thieves that populate the poorer portions of town; these thieves, meanwhile, must be on guard against one another, as well as against the grim gold cloaks of the City Watch.
Military Might: The North
The Starks of Winterfell command perhaps 45,000 fighting men. Since the region is so large and has such a diffuse population, however, it takes a very long time to gather an army. Since the winters are so harsh, the local lords are always concerned with having enough men to bring in the harvest. Sending away needed workers means a cold, hungry death for everyone in the area. Among the forces of the North, the average ratio between foot and horse soldier is 4 to 1.
The Northerners have no fleet to speak of since Brandon the Burner torched the navy. The only naval power in the region being House Manderly with a few dozen ships.
Military Might: The Iron Islands
The Iron Islands can call upon an estimated 20,000 swords. The island fleet is the largest in Westeros. The islands can probably float about 500 longships or more — many of these might dip no more than 20 oars, while a handful dip more than 100. The Iron Fleet is a specific elite fleet of these larger ships. It should be noted that a longship does not compare well to a galley or carrack, despite being faster and more maneuverable, as those ships have much higher decks with room to mount scorpions and other such instruments of war.
The ironmen have an advantage over other regions for their martial culture encompasses everyone, high and low, men and even some women, all of whom learn to fight and reave. The only exception are the thralls, who are not taught to fight but instead do heavy labour.
Military Might: The Riverlands
The strength of the Riverlands is roughly 45,000 swords, likely comparable to that of the Vale of Arryn. Unfortunately, the strong personalities of the river lords lead to fractious divisions — the Freys like to sit and wait, and they command some 4,000 by themselves. The lords of Bracken and Blackwood are at odds, helping to paralyse the region. The ratio of foot to horse is likely fairly high, at about 3 to 1. Houses on the major rivers will have barges, galleys, and skiffs while the masters of Seagard and Maidenpool own a fair amount of ships for coastal defence.
Military Might: The Vale
The Defenders of the Vale can summon perhaps 45,000 swords to their banners. Their force is comparable in power to the North, or the Riverlands, although far more concentrated than the former. They usually depend on knights who follow a strict code of honour. They have little naval power to speak of outside of Gulltown, but have a decent ratio of infantry to mounted soldiers (perhaps 3 to 1).
Military Might: The Westerlands
The Westerlands commands slightly more troops than places like the Riverlands or the Vale. It is estimated that the entirety of the Westerlands can bring in 50,000 soldiers when all the banners are raised, but this includes the greenest boys, and leaves many castle garrisons desperately weak. The Lannister wealth allows them to command the second strongest land force, in large part because it allows them to field a tremendous mounted force compared to infantry, perhaps as good as 2 to 1. The pikemen of the City Watch in Lannisport are known to be well trained, perhaps the most disciplined feudal foot levy in the Seven Kingdoms. The Lannisters also have a fairly significant naval strength. The Lannisters have 20 or 30 cogs, carracks, galleys, and dromonds at Lannisport, and can call upon their bannermen to fill out their fleets. Each minor coastal house likely has two or three ships to patrol their waters. In total, the Westerland navy is probably close to 50 or 60 large ships, leaving their longships for coastal defence.
Military Might: The Reach
Because of its bountiful harvests and its wealth, the Reach has a large population. With that comes the largest army in the Seven Kingdoms, capable of reaching 80,000 troops with a foot to horse ratio of 2 or 3 to 1. Should the sweepings of the Reach be collected and trained, they might marshal as many as 100,000 swords. With the Redwynes, the Shield Islands, and the coastal lords gathered together, the Tyrells also command a fleet to rival the king’s royal fleet and the fleet of the Greyjoys, floating 200 ships or more of which dip 100 oars or more, many of these vessels hail from the Arbor or Oldtown.
Military Might: The Stormlands
The Baratheons of Storm’s End command the most formidable castles in the Seven Kingdoms, but their arms are fewer than those of some of the richer regions. The lords of the Stormlands can raise perhaps 35,000 men to fight, however there is likely a poor horse to foot ratio. Individual soldiers are often seasoned veterans due to the strong martial traditions in the Marches, and the marcher lords tend to have very strong castles to resist Dornish raids. Additionally, the Lords of the Stormlands command a decently sized navy roughly the size of 2/3 of the royal fleet.
Military Might: Dorne
The spearmen and light cavalry of Dorne number about 45,000. They favour spears and lighter armours, due to Rhoynish influence and the heat of the country.
The Dornishmen are famous for their sand steeds, light coursers that can outrun any other horse of the Seven Kingdoms; they tend to ready large numbers of mounted soldiers. The Dornishmen are experts at using terrain to their benefit. Already dangerous fighters, they become almost unbeatable when fighting in their mountain passes or across the hot deserts. They favour guerrilla tactics — light, quick assaults and hasty retreats that favour their fast horses and spearmen.
Dorne has few ships, certainly fewer than the Reach or the Westerlands.
Military Might: The Crownlands
The direct demesne of the Iron Throne can marshal up to 40,000 swords. However, around 3,000 of those would come directly of the King’s Landing City Watch while the rest would be drafted from the towns of Rosby and Duskendale and the capital itself. This does not mean the crown cannot call upon professional soldiers. House Targaryen can call upon a large force of Crownland knights and men-at-arms while there are considerable and permanent garrisons at Dragonstone and the Red Keep itself. The rest of the Crownland military comes from the region’s lords sworn to the Crown such as Velaryon, Celtigar, Darklyn and many others.
The enforcers of the law in the city, sworn only to the Crown. The Watch presumably falls under the bailiwick of the Master of Laws though actual command falls to the Commander. The City Watch wear cloaks, usually made of heavy wool, dyed gold. Their ringmail, boots, and gloves are black. The officers (such as the captains of the gates into the city) wear black breastplates ornamented with four golden disks. They can be used as guards, foot soldiers or in some cases, as mounted lancers. Nonetheless, the watchmen are not true soldiers, and their discipline in a pitched battle shows this fact. The Gold Cloaks use iron cudgels, short swords and spears topped by black iron heads as their primary weapons.
The Royal Fleet, consisting of mostly large galleys, patrols the Blackwater Bay and large sections of the Narrow Sea to fend off and discourage pirates and corsairs from Essos. As such it is one of the largest and best equipped navies of Westeros. Furthermore, it can be reinforced by the ships of the Lords of the Bay. A total of perhaps 250 vessels if the fleets of King’s Landing, Dragonstone, Claw Isle, Driftmark, Duskendale and the Hook are combined.
Members of the house
Name (and if needed, function/title):
Personality (skills, traits):
The Royal House of Westeros, The King and his siblings
- King Daeron I 'The Young Dragon'
- Prince Baelor
- Princess Rhaena
- Princess Elaena (Vanquished)
- Princess Daena
The Small Council
- Hand of the King: Prince Viserys Targaryen, Brother of the late Aegon III
- Master of Whispers (Free)
- Master of Coin (Medgar Tully)
- Master of Laws (Free)
- Master of Ships (Free)
- Lord Commander of the Kingsguard (Free)
- Grand Maester (Free)
House Tully (Zacharius)
House Lannister (HeySeuss)
House Stark (Ruby)
The Iron Isles
House Greyjoy (Moono)
House Tyrell (Kingfisher)
House Martell (Sinistred)