This episode begins with Lord Osfred and his Inner Circle on their journey back to Castle Ondrew. They have just been personally honored for uncovering a plot by a rogue Maester who was trying to create war between House Tullison and House Dulver. The crisis was averted and some Ironmen were killed in the process thanks to the help of the Inner Circle. Relations with the Tully’s are at their highest.
The party is on the Kingsroad and the sun is setting. The rains and wind are really starting to pick up, so Lord Osfred orders that the party stop at the Inn of the Kneeling Man, an inn that is located near the spot where King Torrhen Stark bent the knee to Aegon I. The main building sits along the shore where the Trident bends. It has long, low wings that stretch out. The lower story is made of grey stone, the upper one of whitewashed wood. Its roof is slate and has a stables and an arbor. It reportedly brewed a good ale. Above its door is a painted sign of a king on his knees.
The party secures their horses in the stables and enters the inn, deciding that a flagon of their famous hearty ale and a seat by the fire would do good before they inquire about booking a room. The inn is bustling with traveller’s and the fireplace is roaring. The party takes a seat at a large table next to the fire and a wench immediately brings ale.
Alyn notices that there is another party of adventurers seated next to them at a table and two other tables on the other side of the room. After close inspection, some of traveller’s appear to be knights brandishing swords, while some have instruments and appear to be mummers. All but two of them (who are quiet and reserved) are enjoying themselves thoroughly. Soon enough, the two parties become one big party as the Osfred and his Inner Circle make new friends.
It is revealed that the traveller’s are one big mummers troupe. The musicians are the musical enjoyment and the knights play the part of martial enjoyment, who fight with tourney swords for money. They travel the kingsroad stopping off in different towns and castles.
Maester Mallador becomes very intoxicated, while the others are just a little light in the head. Aleksander notices one of the mummers (who is quite fair) eyeing him from the other side of the room. He beckons his squire Osric to play his wingman in the hopes that Osric will learn something from the party casanova.
Soon enough the mummers break out their instruments and start playing. The ale has impaired the minstrels ability to play their instruments at the best of their ability, or so it seems. Nevertheless a crowd gathers. Little do they know, Alex and Osric have been surrounded. In a flash, the two quiet mummers pull out stillettos and announce “The boy!” and nod towards Osric, who is caught off guard.
It has turned into a fight…..
The knights brandish their swords (which are definitely not tourney swords) and come at Lord Osfred’s party. The woman singer and one of the other musicians flee through a hallway never to be seen again. The third musician pulls out a Bravoosi blade and goes to battle with Lord Osfred. A battle ensues, and three of the enemies surround Osric and gang up on him. He is hit with three different blows but they do minimal damage to him. Using his acrobatic ability he hops up on the table and attempts to attack. Failing to hit his foes, he is still able to keep the assassins from following him up the table. Meanwhile, Alex comes to his aid and is able to kill some of the assassins. Maester Mallador is hit with a grievous wound and is forced to flee from the inn.
While Perwyn Frey and Alex take care of business on the other side of the room, Lord Osfred is in a fierce battle. One of the adventurers (Alex?) comes to his fathers aid and slays the fierce fighter. In his death throes, the assassin drops his blade and removes his gloves. The flesh on his fingers are gray and flaky. In an instant he falls at Lord Osfred who goes to catch him. The enemy reaches up and scratches Osfred at the ear, cutting him. Osfred, sensing his attacker was inflicted with the Greyscale disease, falls back in a panic.
The Inner Circle is able to fend off all of the mummers. They are all dead, save for one, who’s leg was severed above the knee. He is bleeding out. Maester Mallador (himself bleeding) is called back in. He cauterizes the wound of the attacker with a hot sword in an effort to keep him alive for interrogation. The attacker passes out from the pain but is immediately woken up. Osric (pissed he was the target of assassination) puts his sword to the throat of the attacker and tells him that he will kill him unless he spills the information on why he was attacked.
The assassin claims that he had no knowledge of why they were targeting Osric and that the boss (musician with the Greyscale) had been paid of by an unknown man. He pleaded with the party that he had not been paid yet, but he knew the leader had. The idea of gold excites the party and they carefully search the dead assassin leader, noting to not touch his skin. They find a secret pouch sewn under his leather jerkin. It is cut loose and gold spills out.
While this is happening, Perwyn Frey walks over and kneels beside the man and puts his dagger through the middle of his throat. The assassin chokes on his own blood and dies slowly. The barkeep is horrified by this act of cruelty and tells the party to leave. He swears to tell of the bloodthirsty nature of House Redrill to all patrons and traveller’s passing through. Alex tries to tell the barkeep that Perwyn is “just a Frey” and not a Redrill. The barkeep asks them to leave, which they do. The party travels through the night and the next day before they reach Castle Ondrew.
Lord Osfred has been touch by the Greyscale disease. Maester Mallador has kept him in confinement and treats the Lord with natural remedies in an attempt to stop the spread, which has infected his ear. It is possible that Mallador may have to cut the infected ear off if it continues to spread. Mallador constantly checks on Lord Osfred and attends to him hourly.
He tells the Inner Circle that his disease is to be kept hidden from everyone, so as to not create fear and panic from his people. Osfred fears that people would flee and relocate if it got out. Only the Inner Circle is to know.
Lord Osfred informs Aleksander that he is to take care of his affairs and serve as Head of the Household while he recovers. This angers Alyn, who believes he should have been named Castellan being his trueborn son. Alex tries to include his brother in the plans, but Alyn isn’t going for it. Alyn tells Alex that while he was away gallavanting at tourneys making a name for himself, Alyn was learning the ways of lordship from his father. Alex is a little annoyed but resolves to keep his brother in the loop.
Life goes on, and wounds and injuries are healed. A minor feast is held to celebrate the engagement of Ser Perwyn Frey and Lady Elaine Redrill. The feast is interrupted by Silas the Cat, who informs Ser Aleksander that a party of eight travellers demand an audience with Lord Osfred. Silas tells them that the sigil bears an iron escutcheon with silver studs on a grey-green field strewn with longships proper.
Mallador knows that this is the sigil of House Grimm, a banner house of the Tyrell’s of the Reach. Silas says that they claim to have travelled a long journey and seek immediate business. Alex agrees to meet with them and invites Alyn and Mallador to join the meeting which is to take place in Osfred’s solar. Osric and Perwyn stay and feast.
Gerarth and Gregor Grimm, the twin sons of Lord Guthor Grimm enter with six knights in tow. They are quick and to the point. Gerarth does all of the talking and asks for a private audience with Lord Osfred. Alex informs Gerarth that Osfred is ill, but does not tell him of the Greyscale infliction. Alex tells Gerarth that he is acting as Lord of the Household in his fathers stead. Gerarth asks Alex to meet with him alone, asking for Maester Mallador and Alyn to leave.
Alex agrees and tries to dismiss Mallador and Alyn. Mallador refuses and says he will not leave. Alex is perplexed and presses Mallador not to offend their guests. Once again, Mallador refuses to leave. Alyn is loving the bickering (Matt, I added that for flavor) Knowing that Mallador will not leave, Gerarth informs Alex that he has in fact travelled from the Reach because of the Maester. Shocked, Alex asks Gerarth to explain.
Gerarth goes on to tell the story of a younger Mallador, who was former Maester to House Grimm before he was dismissed due to an elaborate scheme to cheat honest people out of their money. Gerarth tells Alex and Alyn that Mallador ran a “Triangular Scheme” (aka Pyramid scheme) on the people of the Grimm domain. He used a phony fishing fleet to cheat investors out of hundreds of gold dragons before being dismissed. It is unclear as to why Mallador got off so easily and that a reassignment to House Redrill by the Citadel seemed to be unfair punishment to Mallador.
Mallador denies the accusation. Gerarth replies that Mallador is likely cheating House Redrill out of their gold.
But Gerarth hasn’t come because of the past. He is here because of the present. It is said that Mallador is still profiting from the Triangular Scheme and he has proof. A parchment is provided detailing the names of those who have lost money to Mallador (allegedly). Mallador denies the charge vigorously and repeatedly, but does recognize some of the names on the parchment.
Gerarth insists that Mallador is guilty and that they are here to take Mallador as prisoner back to Castle Grimston to answer to his crimes. Mallador tells Alex there is no way he is going back there and that he is innocent. Alex informs the Grimms that he will need to complete his own investigation before agreeing to anything. He tells them that he will need one week to decide on the best course of action. Gerarth is not happy about this but relents.
Alex orders that the Grimm party be given lodging in the Castle. The Grimm party is ushered out and they join in the feast, which is wrapping up. Lady Elaine is excited to see some new men and Perwyn tries to keep his bride-to-be away from them. He ushers her out. Osric, the Squire (who looks like he’s gone 8 rounds with a bear) is mocked by some of the Grimm knights. Osric makes some comment about the Grimm knights mother as he exits.
Alex summons the Inner Circle to discuss the issue with Mallador. They assemble in Osfred’s solar. Alex pleads with Mallador to tell the truth and says that keeping the truth from them would only cause more problems. After realizing his “Grimm” situation, Mallador tells the Inner Circle of the original Triangular Scheme and that he was in fact reassigned by the Citadel after it’s discovery. But he vehemently denies the latest accusation that he is still profiting. He claims that someone is trying to frame him.
(I am adding this!)
Alyn asks Mallador how he got off so easily and why he was not tried and put to the sword after the first discovery of the Triangular scheme. Mallador tells the group that he knew of a sexual relationship between an influential Maester of the Citadel and Guthor Grimm. Mallador had told both the Maester and Lord Guthor that he would spread the tale of their forbidden relationship if he was not reassigned to some place far away. Both relented and he was sent away immediately. Mallador’s account was seized and he never even saw one coin of gold. He adds that he had learned his lesson and has been nothing but served his lord as a Maester of the Citadel.
The episode ends as the group decides what should be done with Maester Mallador and the Grimm brothers.
Is Mallador still profiting from the triangular scheme?
If not, who is trying to frame Mallador?
Will Mallador use the information he knows about Guthor Grimm?
What will the Inner Circle decide? Will they give Mallador to the Grimm’s and risk Osfred’s greyscale to worsen?
Experience Earned: 3 (each player)
Gold Earned: 8 GP (divied up 2 each, except for Perwyn, who gets none)
Destiny Points Earned: 1 (each player)
Loot: 4 long swords, 1 bravoosi blade, 4 stilettos
Heroic Favor: 1 Destiny Point Awarded to Perwyn for playing in-character so well.