Nearly a month has passed and the Inner Circle has finally reached Oldtown. At Bitterbridge, no boats were available to take the party down the Mander. Instead, the Grimm Brothers decided the best course of action would be to continue down the Roseroad and travel to Oldtown on foot.
The journey through the Reach was pleasant compared to their passage in King’s Landing and the Crownlands. They crossed wide sweeping meadows, lush forests, lazily meandering rivers, well-tended farms and vineyards, and friendly villages.
As they near the city from the Northeast, the smell of salt and humid air hits them. In the distance the Hightower (the tallest structure in Westeros) looms with it’s beacon blazing bright. The road turns to cobblestone as the party nears the city wall of Oldtown. Entering the Rose Gate, the party is overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of this beautiful city. The city itself is stunningly beautiful; many rivers and canals crisscross its cobbled streets, and breathtaking stone mansions are common. The city lacks the squalor of King’s Landing, which usurped its position as the pre-eminent city of Westeros. However, the city is a labyrinth of wynds, alleys and streets. The party will need a map or a guide to navigate the streets. One could easily get lost. To their left across the city is the a Starry Sept, once the seat of the High Septon. The Obsidian temple topped with a seven pointed star looms across the city scape.
The Grimm Brothers inform the Inner Circle that they are to enter the Citadel to meet with Archmaester Smithwist (Guthor Grimm’s lover) who will make arrangments for the Grimm’s and Redrill party a place to meet.
Suddenly, people in the city begin pointing up at the sky. The largest flock of White Ravens ever seen in the city of Oldtown are flying away from the city. Something important is going on but word has not come out of the Citadel as of yet.
The Inner Circle and the Grimms enter the East Gate of the Citadel The gates are flanked by a pair of tall green sphinxes with the bodies of lions, the wings of eagles and the tails of serpents. One has the face of a man, the other a woman. They pass by the statue of Daeron I and the Scholar’s Sept. They then cross a bridge on the Honeywine making note of the Bloody Isle and the Ravenry upriver.
The arrive at the main complex of the Campus; the Conclave. This is the main Headquarters of the Order of the Archmaesters and the Seneschal’s Court, a place where Maester’s who have been accused of a Crime plead their case and receive judgement. Members of the City Watch patrol the front. At a guard house outside the Conclave, arms are collected for storage and a large stable is alongside to stow and horses. After checking their arms at the guard house, the party makes their way into the Conclave. Inside the main hall is the Scribe’s Hearth. Here, the citizens of Oldtown come to hire scribes, usually acolytes, to write and read letters for them. The scribes wait in open stalls for their custom. Other stalls situated at the Scribe’s Hearth include those where books are bought and sold. Others offer maps.
One of the party members purchase a map of the city, shown here:
Gerarth brings Mallador up to a large counter (similar to a lobby desk). A young maester who appears to be in charge greets them. Gerarth tells the secretary they are here to meet with Archmaester Smithwist on official business. He nods and goes up a staircase.
While they wait for Gerarth and Mallador to grab them, members of the party decide they are going to ask questions about the White Raven. They ask an Acolyte and he believes that it must be a death of some sort, but he’s not sure who it could be.
After a few minutes, another young Maester arrives and introduces himself as Maester Brahm – the personal steward Maester to Archmaester Smithwist. He is very handsome; odd for a Maester. He has blonde hair and blue eyes and looks to be in excellent shape. He is very friendly as he introduces himself to the party. “Archmaester Smithwist will be glad to hear of your arrival.”
The Inner Circle is invited upstairs to be introduced to Archmaester Smithwist. They enter the solar and see Smithwist behind a desk. He appears to be well into his 60’s with a snow white hair and beard, extending down to the top of his chest. Noticing the party his hops up (quite spritely for someone in his 60’s) to greet them. He holds a rod of yellow gold. He is also wearing a ring yellow gold too. This signifies that he is the Archmaester of Accounts for the Order of Conclave. Maester Brahm introduces the party.
Archmaester Smithwist apologizes for making the party wait. He tells them that the Hand of the King Jon Arryn is dead and that things are a little crazy at the Citadel. Then he greets the Grimms, exclaiming how much they’ve grown and that his Father must be proud of these two fine men. The last time he saw them, they were “sparring with wooden swords at Highgarden.” He recollects his time as Maester to Mace Tyrell and mentions that their father “Guthor Grimm is the most loyal vassal to the Tyrell’s.” He tells them that Guthor spent as much time at Highgarden as he did at his seat on the Shield Islands. Finally he tells the brothers that he has sent a raven to Guthor Grimm telling him to make haste travel to Oldtown. He should be arriving in two days time.
He then greets Mallador and the Redrill party and says he wishes it were on better terms. He explains that an investigation into the matter will be made. The Citadel will expend the resources to find the truth of the matter. Smithwist insists that Mallador will have every chance to prove his innocence. The Seseschal as judge if a trial is needed, as is custom. As it is a severe charge against Mallador, if guilty the punishment will likely be banishment to the Wall.
He brings up Lord Osfred and asks about his condition. Alex and Alyn tell him that they’d hoped he heard something. Swithwist tells him he has not heard word, but insists that Maester Orchid is an excellent healer and that Lord Osfred is in good hands. He tells you that Maester Brahm personally recommended Orchid, as the two had been friends during their studies as Acolytes. He admits that it was Brahm’s idea to send Maester Orchid from House Terrick. Maester Brahm nods and agrees that it was a logical decision. “Maester Orchid would still be able to assist Lord Borin while tending for Lord Osfred, with the two houses being neighbors.” He reaffirms to the Inner Circle that if Lord Osfred’s condition worsened they surely would have heard something about it.
Archmaester Smithwist tells them that Maester Mallador’s companions will be given lodging on the Citadel premises in a vacant area of the Novice barracks, but that the Redrill Archers and Guerilla’s will not have free food and lodging. He tells them that once Guthor Grimm arrives, they will summon the Inner Circle. Until then they have about two days to enjoy the city. He asks Maester Brahm to show them to their quarters and bids them farewell.
The party follows Maester Brahm accross campus. They make their way towards the Ravenry. Mallador remembers that these barracks are rumored to be haunted. Upon hearing this (and seeing the subpar lodging), the party decides that they’d rather stay at an Inn. Maester Brahm tells them about the Quill and Tankard, which is the oldest pub in Oldtown (and quite possibly Westeros). They Inner Circle decides that it sounds wonderful. Shortly thereafter, he exits to get back to work.
The Archers and Guerillas are given lodging. Alyn asks his Archers to behave, but they kind of laugh him off. Alex sternly tells his Guerillas to play nice in Oldtown, and it appears they took him seriously. (We’ll see how that plays out….) After consulting the map they find the Quill and Tankard. It stands on an island in the Honeywine. It is a tall, timbered building that leans toward the south and has a torchlit terrace, with green space. Outside, Novices and Acolytes drink from tankards as they sit on a patch of green grass. In six hundred years the pub has never closed.
They enter and are greeted by Emma (the proprietor) and Rosey (Emma’s teenage daughter). Alex secures rooms for the party. Emma tells the party that Rosey’s maidenhead can be had for the price of a gold dragon. Perwyn makes a pass at Emma (who still looks good for a woman who is forty years of age). She laughs it off and tells him he looks like a “Frey” who is always trying the same thing. Perwyn remembers that his brother was a Maester, but he had figured that he’d been assigned somewhere.
After getting settled in their rooms, Alyn and Osric decide to do a little shopping down by the Guild Halls. Perwyn and Alex decide to do a little investigating in the pub, and Mallador heads down to the Library to do some research on the Greyscale affliction.
Alyn & Osric – The two head to the Guild Halls and after some serious haggling get some discounted weapons and armor for 15% the going rate. They seem to be well-liked by the Guildmasters.
Alex & Perwyn – The two try to find out about the Grimms, but don’t really get any new information. Only the old stuff; that the Grimm’s are ruthless sailors who defend Highgarden from the Ironborn. Alex specifically asks some Acolytes if they know of any relationship between Archmaester Smithwist and Guthor Grimm (non-sexually), but the Acolytes take it the wrong way and joke about it. They say they always figured that Smithwist was a little effeminate. Alex chuckles it off, then stares daggers so they shut the hell up. Then he lightens the mood by buying a round. Meanwhile, Perwyn tries to seduce Emma again, but farts and she almost throws him out of the bar. Perwyn does ask about his brother, Willamen. Emma tells him that he’ll likely be present the following day, as his usual custom.
Maester Mallador – Mallador is in the Library pouring over some books. By this time it is close to 11 O’clock. He is interrupted by Maester Brahm, who tells him that Archmaester Smithwist requests his presence at his home. Mallador agrees to go. Brahm takes Mallador to a stone mansion located in a lavish section of the Citadel campus. Outside stands a lone guard of the City Watch, who let’s the two enter. Archmaester Smithwist, appearing tired (especially compared to his energetic greeting earlier in the day) greets Mallador. He asks Mallador if he’d like some of Maester Brahm’s mulled wine. Mallador declines and Archmaester Smithwist dismisses Maester Brahm for the evening. Brahm wishes the two goodnight and vanishes up some stairs. Once out of earshot, Smithwist tells Mallador that Brahm has been a loyal servant to Smithwist, and that he makes an excellent steward. But it’s likely that’s all he’ll ever be as he is a little too mild mannered to make himself known in the Order.
Anyhow, Smithwist goes on to tell Mallador that he believes he is innocent. Smithwist had been keeping tabs on Mallador since being sent to Castle Ondrew. Lord Osfred, knowing that Mallador was a liability also kept a close eye on him. But, Smithwist heard nothing but wonderful things about Mallador from Lord Osfred. Smithwist poses a rhetorical question to Mallador, “Why would you dabble in this affair once again? Especially since you have been caught once before?” Before Mallador can answer he says, “You wouldn’t.”
He goes on to say that he believes that Mallador, Smithwist, and Guthor Grimm are all being set up. That the truth about Archmaester Smithwist and Lord Grimm would come out in the subsequent investigation and would ruin him. Smithwist tells Mallador that Guthor has no knowledge of his theory. Once Guthor arrives in two days time, the three of them will launch their own investigation into the matter. He tells Mallador that no trial is to take place and that once Guthor is told of his opinion, he will certainly agree. Smithwist reiterates to Mallador that he truly believes that he is being used as a pawn to expose Lord Guthor and Archmaester Smithwist. And he apologizes.
While Mallador is happy that Smithwist agrees with you, it is certainly disquieting to hear someone is using him. The Archmaester tells Mallador he has no idea who could be behind all of it, but that he “has his ways of finding things out.” After a short discussion of some off-topic maester stuff, Smithwist begins to yawn and complain of being “so very tired.” He does look exhausted and Mallador can’t really blame him. A lot must be on his mind. He calls for Maester Brahm to escort Mallador out. He tells him to return here two days at sundown. Guthor Grimm will certainly have arrived by then. Archmaester bids Mallador a good night. Mallador heads back to the Quill and Tankard. He tries to get some sleep.
The next morning the group breaking their fast. Alyn does not look well. Mallador relays the information he learned the previous night to the Inner Circle. Suddenly Maester Smithwist enters the Quill and Tankard and informs the party that Archmaester Smithwist has died in sleep.
Alyn tells the party something awful. He has had a bad dream. In the dream he saw Lord Osfred getting ill, screaming out in pain. Maester Orchid watched, but did nothing to help. Lord Osfred’s greyscale turned him to stone as he screamed out in terror. Alyn awoke.
This is where we ended our story. For rewards each party member earns 2 Experience Points and 1 Destiny Point.