House Slagathor - Song of Ice and Fire

SESSION 8 (5/1/16)

Episode 4: Protect the Old and New

Overconfident Paxson takes Geena by the hand and guides her through the castle to a mostly deserted guard tower. In one of the empty bedrooms, he shows her the view north through the window. He keeps hitting on her and holding her close, but she doesn’t really take it seriously, just enjoying the attention showered upon her. Rebekka has no trouble following the couple and sneaks closer as Paxson starts showing kisses on her half-sister. Since Paxson ignores Geena when she tries to shoo him off, Rebekka reveals herself and says Lord Arthur has requested his daughter’s presence back in the dining hall. After a battle of wills, Paxson gives in and lets Geena return to the feast with Rebekka, who warns her sister not to be alone with him like that again.

Leo chats with Quinton and asks his opinion on the impending military action. Quinton thinks the attack is a good idea. He tells Leo what he knows of the First Shadows, like the possibility that they have some horses. The leader of the First Shadows is Valamir, younger brother of Brennos. Quinton thinks this attack is just what Aaron needs to prove himself. Since the war, it’s been every mountain man tribe for itself, so no one will come help the First Shadows. Leo wonders if mountain men would have the wit to plant a fake maester in a noble house this way.

Quinton leads Leo outside to talk privately; Sonya smiles at seeing them leave together. Quinton explains that people think Barys led the plot, but… who would stand to gain the most from Lord Cartar’s death? Leo rejects the idea that Aaron could have killed his own father. Quinton paints Aaron as a failure: no victories to his name, no heir, only dead wives. Wiping out the local mountain man tribe would only help Aaron’s reputation and his hold on power. Maybe Barys was set up to take a fall for his lord.

Before heading back inside, Quinton asks Leo is he plans to wed Lady Sonya. Leo is noncommittal and says he’ll see once he gets to know her better. Quinton just says Leo is a good man and he asks him to take care of Sonya. They spend the rest of their talk on war plans, like preparing pitch to set the mountain man homes on fire.

Maester Meera approaches Lord Aaron. He motions Pamela away and shares some tart fruit pie with the maester. Quietly, she asks him how he’s holding up after his father’s death. He sounds a little defensive when he says he’s managing all right, but half the castle doesn’t trust him. Meera says the day her father died was the worst day of her life, and she had far fewer responsibilities at that time than Aaron does now. Aaron is clearly suffering after the loss of his father, the damage to the godswood, and the betrayal of his people that let the culprits escape. He calls the heart tree the most important thing in this castle.

Maester Meera again recommends cancelling the campaign and staying in the castle until we’ve sorted everything out here. But Aaron thinks this campaign is the only way he can prove himself and find out who he can still trust. He’s paranoid of practically everyone. He trusts Terra, Nellen, and maybe a couple of his soldiers, but that’s it—even his own sister isn’t above suspicion. She’s been visiting the godswood less and less. Meera points out any traitors left in the castle could kill people or burn the godswood to the ground while he’s away on his campaign. Aaron thinks they would have just burned the godswood during their first attack if that’s what they wanted; he doesn’t think burning those sacred trees would mean anything unless it was a Redwood who did it. He agrees to consider changing his plans, probably just to pacify Meera, and calls an end to the feast.

Lord Arthur calls Geena, Maester Meera, and Rebekka to his chambers to get their thoughts after dinner. Leo does not join them, because he’s spending the night with Sonya. Geena brags about how everyone at the feast loved her (her father works very hard not to say anything about what happened). Rebekka reports her talk with Terra and the three soldiers who helped Haades. Meera gives her preliminary verdict on Aaron: he’s paranoid and terrified, suspects even his own sister, and probably can’t be calmed or fully reasoned with until all of the culprits are found.

Lord Arthur details the three options he sees for us if we wish to avoid this foolhardy expedition. We could refuse to participate in the attack outright (which suits Geena just fine, since fighting makes her sweat). We could try and figure out the whole mystery in one day. Or we could pin everything on a scapegoat to try and move on. He only becomes more aggravated by the situation when Meera relays Aaron’s plans to only have Slagathor soldiers in charge of every unit during the assault on the mountain men—it will clearly show Aaron’s men that he doesn’t trust them and will only make things worse. He asks Rebekka to follow Aaron for a while (Meera mentions that Aaron suggested Rebekka follow Sonya since bastards can often move around unnoticed). Lord Arthur asks Geena to talk to the soldiers tomorrow (NOT TONIGHT, young lady) to find out more about the three soldiers who helped Haades escape.

Their father asks the two young women to leave so he can have a word with Maester Meera. Both girls stand just outside the door to eavesdrop, of course, but only Rebekka has hearing sharp enough to make out what her father and the maester are saying. In a whisper, Lord Arthur asks Meera who was the biggest threat to the Slagathor family. Meera, thinking of the civil war, responds “a son of the house”. Arthur smiles grimly and says “more recently—my own maid.” He notes how people tend to be blind to the threat posed by those they trust the most. Maester Meera quietly says they both know it “wasn’t quite like that,” unaware that Rebekka is listening in. Regardless, Lord Arthur asks Meera to investigate Nellen, the maid both Aaron and Sonya claim to trust, and find out what she knows by any means necessary.

Meera flags down a servant and asks her to fetch Nellen for her. The servant can’t find her but mentions that the old woman sometimes likes to walk the eastern ramparts to stretch her muscles. She’s been going there more and more often lately. Meera assures the servant that she doesn’t mind waiting until morning, then, once the girl has scurried off, Meera heads for the ramparts.

The old woman is easy enough to spot, staring off into the distance to the east. Meera watches her a while and doesn’t approach until she’s sure they’re alone. Nellen explains that she was close to Lord Cartar and served as wet nurse to all of his kids. She hates Haades now, but he seemed all right before. He tended to act contemptuously towards most servants but told her that maesters always do. He was also disdainful of both the old and new gods, so he may have followed a different faith. He was clearly not from Essos; maybe “Essos or Dorne”, Nellen thinks, apparently not counting Dorne as part of the Seven Kingdoms. Interestingly, she tells Meera there were in fact four guards who were close to Haades—the fourth was named Silver.

Remembering Lord Arthur’s instructions, Maester Meera tries to discern the old woman’s intentions by asking for her help with the investigation. She explains that Sonya and Aaron both named Nellen as the one person they would always trust. Nellen seems to get nervous and starts babbling about how good it is to have a real maester here again. Meera seizes on this and expresses her condolences for Maester Till’s death. She reminds Nellen that a maester’s most important job is to provide advice, and so she needs the help of good people like Nellen in order to make the right decision.

The old woman bursts into tears and cries into Meera’s shoulder. Her frail body shaking, she explains that she is responsible for what happened. Jack had sent her a letter through Silver. It had claimed that he wanted to make amends, say goodbye to his father, and restore peace in the family. She’d wanted so much to believe him that she’d snuck him in. Instead of greeting her, though, he’d thrown her in a cell while he broke Haades out. Incredibly, his sword had appeared to be on fire. She felt sure that Jack would have killed her, but Haades stopped him and convinced him to let her out. She didn’t know what to do, who to tell, whether or not to just flee…

Meera rubs Nellen’s back and comforts her as best she can. She says Nellen must have loved Jack very much, just as she loved all the children. Nellen insists that he was always a good boy—he’d had his issues, but King’s Landing is what had changed him for the worse. When he’d locked her up, she’d noticed that he had the same necklace as Haades and seemed to know him personally. She knew three guards had gone with him, but Silver was not among them. Even now, no one has any idea where Silver went. Nellen has secretly had the servants searching the castle for him, without success.

Maester Meera decides that she believes Nellen’s story and that the old woman cares deeply for all of the Redwoods. Nellen admits she’s been contemplating suicide every night; she could find escape and atonement at the foot of the walls. Meera comforts her and assures her she won’t tell Aaron and Sonya. We can blame Haades’ escape on the guards who went with him. They’re already guilty; what’s one more crime? Nellen thanks her, and Meera escorts the old servant back to her room for the night, hoping Nellen will be able to get some rest now that her conscience is clear.

Geena receives a note from Paxson late that night through an intermediary servant. It’s a crude attempt at a love letter and asks for permission to enter her room. She decides she’s too tired to deal with it and just sets it aside until morning.

During the night, Leo wakes up in Sonya’s bed to find her missing. He dresses and goes looking for her. When he can’t find her, he asks a maid down the hall if she’s seen her. The maid says Nellen is the only servant who usually spends time with Sonya, but Nellen is not in her room either. The kitchen servants aren’t any help either, as they inform him that Sonya never has midnight snacks, but he does get a sandwich out of the deal.

As Leo returns to Sonya’s room, he spots her bidding someone goodnight in her doorway. Though he can tell it’s someone he’s spoken to and they’re wearing formal guard clothes, he can’t quite see who it is. Leo tries sneaking after the man but stubs his toe and exclaims in dismay when his sandwich is squished against his shirt. The man goes to see what the racket is—it’s Quinton. He asks what Leo is doing up and Leo holds up the sandwich. With Quinton still watching, Leo strolls back into Sonya’s room.

Sonya looks disgruntled to learn that Leo was out of the room. When he shows her his handy sandwich, she says Nellen should have been nearby to take snack orders so Leo could stay in the room. As they return to their business, Leo can tell Sonya is still irritated and suspicious about him leaving her room.

As per Lord Arthur’s request, Rebekka keeps an eye on Aaron’s room all night. She sees Pamela enter his room during the evening. His (now-confirmed) mistress leaves about an hour later and returns to her room nearby. No one else comes by until early the next morning when Rebekka spots Nestor go in. With her impressive eavesdropping skills, Rebekka hears Nestor report that Wild Vincent is dead, along with most of his scouting party. Aaron sounds surprised at the news. Nestor recommends executing the castellan tonight as a show of strength. Lord Aaron is indecisive about carrying out the execution, but Nestor talks him into it by saying they need to show the traitors who’s boss. By the way they’re talking, it sounds like they suspect Quinton (military commander), Jason (another military commander), or Marlin (garrison commander) of working against them.

Lord Arthur welcomes Meera and his children back to his room the next morning to learn what they’ve found. Rebekka reports Nestor’s news and points out that Quinton, Jason, Marlin, and Barys need to be questioned as soon as possible. Meera declares that Nellen is innocent and we don’t need to concern ourselves with her. Geena is well-rested and has nothing to report. Leo also tells the group nothing, though in his case by choice; he decides not to mention anything about Quinton or Sonya’s behavior. Everyone politely pretends not to know where Leo spent the night. Lord Arthur assures us that he will handle all matters of military preparation for the expedition so the rest of us can focus on our investigations. Leo decides he will question some soldiers today. Lord Arthur reminds his son that he must preserve his good relationship with Sonya no matter what, so be sure to balance that with the investigation. Rebekka retires to her room for some much-needed sleep.

Geena goes to see the guards after breakfast and chitchats with a group in the practice area. The men trip over each other to show off for the enchanting young lady, who makes a show of checking them out. They’re happy to talk to her about the soldiers who went with Haades. Two were Quinton’s men and two were Marlin’s. All four were considered fairly normal, boring people, though they all tended to be against the old gods. Silver in particular was very much against both the old and new gods but refused to speak about his own beliefs; people found him quite unlikeable. The other guards don’t think he was involved with Haades, though. They heard that he went on leave to visit some ailing family member and just hadn’t returned yet. He was a short man with oily hair and a long nose who was always flipping a silver coin.

While describing the other three guards, they note that Tin always wore a strange two-beaded necklace that he refused to talk about (OOC same necklace as Haades). The guards realize that it’s strange how there were only four guards around Haades’ cell that night instead of the usual eight. Only a high-ranking soldier could have ordered the guard reduced. They gossip to Geena about the various generals. Jason has been in charge of his men for about twenty years now. Quinton has been in the Redwood household all his life but has only had his current position of authority for a couple of years. Marlin won his position a couple of years back when he won a tournament; some don’t show him much respect because he’s still young. Only Jason was vocal from the beginning about not liking Haades. Geena invites the helpful soldiers to have tea and cookies with her, but before they can follow, their commander intervenes and berates them for slacking off (“We’re going to WAR tomorrow, come on!”)

Maester Meera and Leo decide to question Barys at once. They pass a couple of thieves languishing in the cells, forgotten in the chaos. Behind newly forged iron bars, they find an older man in tattered robes, very thin and covered in bruises. Leo wakes poor Barys, who recognizes his visitors. Meera gestures for him to approach the bars and begins applying herbs and bandages to ease his discomfort at once. The guards don’t really approve, but they keep their mouths shut as they’re already aware that Leo might be their boss soon.

Barys is grateful for the medical attention and proclaims his innocence, for what it’s worth. He’s being blamed for Haades’ escape. Aaron is blinded by his love and grief for his father and the heart tree and thinks he needs a scapegoat, so Barys is being thrown under the cart. Barys has served the family since before Cartar even became the lord. He always thought Haades was a strange, rude character. Haades kept a tight control over the ravens so no one else could use them. In fact, it was Barys who’d suggested that Aaron try and get help while at the Grafton wedding, but by then, it was too late.

Resigned, Barys guesses that his execution is near. He thinks Nestor is a good man, but he’s too loyal to Aaron without considering the good of the family as a whole. Meera asks why Barys is being blamed. He explains that the castellan is in charge of the castle while the lord is away. He failed in his duties; not only did he not fail to realize what Haades was doing until it was too late, but he wasn’t able to keep him in custody until Aaron’s return. The fact that Marlin was the one who had men guarding the cells makes no difference.

Meera whispers to Barys that she believes him and will try to help. The old castellan asks her for a favor: if she can’t save him, he’d like her to give him something to help him “rest”. Though she disapproves, she gives him a slight, unhappy nod.

Barys tells us what he thinks of Marlin and Paxson. Marlin is young and brash, and as for Paxson, his second-in-command, Barys says he’s “never seen a braver fool.” Maester Meera asks him to send for us if he thinks of anything at all that might help us. He warns us that there are still traitors at large who might try to attack us “indirectly”. Meera is nervous because her lord is here too and could be in danger. Barys wonders aloud if the Slagathors are the only family Aaron trusts or if they’re the only ones who responded at all.

On the way out, Maester Meera demands that the soldiers on guard feed and water him properly. The soldiers shrug; they’re just following orders, they say, and anyway, she’s not THEIR maester. But when Leo steps up and orders them to feed him, they comply at once. By the looks of things, they’d been keeping Barys’ portions of food to supplement their own rations.

The Slagathors all confer quickly and quietly over lunch to compare notes. We generally agree that Marlin is currently a good suspect for a high-placed traitor. Jason is less likely, as he seems to have hated Haades from the start, but that could also have been an act. When Geena describes Tin’s necklace, Maester Meera asks her to search for anyone else who might have the same necklace, as it’s natural for the fashionable young lady to notice jewelry. We make plans: Meera and Leo will speak with Jason and Marlin. Rebekka will speak with Terra. Geena will go into town on a “shopping” trip and look for anyone wearing or selling those strange necklaces, with Sam as her escort. Maester Meera confirms that Geena is armed, just in case (Rebekka lends her a spare dagger).

As lunch is wrapping up, Maester Meera quietly warns Lord Arthur to increase his guard and be alert in reaction to Barys’ warning about traitors working “indirectly”. She then finds Aaron, who is going over paperwork and making plans while he scarfs down a sandwich. She asks for a private word with him and brings up the question of the evidence against Barys. Aaron says that Barys failed in his duties and had no wounds to show he fought to keep the prisoner. Meera points out that Barys is an old, unarmed man whose duties don’t include confronting criminals directly. She aims to convince him to spare Barys’ life without letting on that she knows he’s considering execution.

Aaron is prickly about being questioned and insists that his decision is final. Maester Meera explains that she spoke with Barys and believes he’s loyal and sincere. He wants only the best for the family and feels guilty about even though none of what happened was his fault. Punishing him would be doing both him and the Redwoods a disservice. Though he’s irritated at the discussion, Aaron agrees to give Barys’ fate more thought and keep him locked up for at least a week longer while things get sorted out.

Rebekka finds Terra guarding Aaron and draws her aside briefly to speak with her alone. Terra doesn’t remember seeing anyone wearing the necklace Geena described, though they could always be wearing them under their clothes. She’s quite sure she’s seen some people in the village with them, though. As for other matters, Terra notes that Quinton and Sonya often take “long walks” together. She doesn’t believe Sonya would have conspired against her father. She thinks Barys was locked up too quickly; Sonya encouraged it. She doesn’t know how long Barys has to live now. She tells Rebekka that all twenty or so people in her bodyguard unit are trustworthy, and Rebekka can count on their blades, as well as hers, if she needs them. Those in the bodyguard unit can be identified by a badge with a tree.

The soldiers at the gate direct Geena and Sam to the jewelry district of the well-built castle town. The atmosphere is quiet and tense as people worry that their loved ones could be riding into a dangerous battle tomorrow. The jewelers have no business at all on this cold winter afternoon, so the jewelers are VERY happy to see a rich lady stroll in. One big man named Bittman ushers her into his shop and brings out several large trunks full of jewelry that he’d locked away for the winter. Seeing that his pieces are actually quite good, Geena goes ahead and hands him one gold dragon for one entire trunk. That’s more than enough to see him through the winter. Sam is as shocked as Bittman is to see a gold dragon spent so casually.

Bittman chats jovially with Geena about his various apprentices (Felix, Aaron, Joseph, etc.). When Geena describes a certain twin-beaded necklace she’s been looking for, Bittman reluctantly admits that a former apprentice of his, Ferris, was the only one who made them. Bittman caught him using his tools and selling the necklaces on the side without authorization. Ferris insisted that making these necklaces was more important to him than anything else. Feeling disrespected and betrayed, Bittman sent Ferris away.

Geena goes on and on about wanting one of Ferris’ necklaces until Bittman has no choice but to give in to his deep-pocketed customer, loath as he is to send business to his disgraced ex-apprentice. Bittman calls in one of his current apprentices, Felix, to accompany Geena and Sam to Ferris’ place. Felix advises them to go see Ferris as soon as possible, because Ferris told him he’d be leading tonight to meet up with his big brother, Silver. Ferris and Silver are two of a local miller’s many sons. Felix knows that Silver has been camping out in the woods east of here for a while and getting aid from his friends at the Simon Stays inn. Deciding to waste no time, Geena has a guard take her chest of jewels back to the castle and fetch Rebekka for backup.

Since Meera is occupied hassling Lord Aaron, Leo goes to question Jason by himself. Jason is still pissed about Haades’ escape and blames Marlin for not having enough men on guard. He thinks little of Marlin because the “soft and arrogant” man leads the garrison and thus never leaves the castle. He sees Paxson as an incompetent asshole who disrespects the old gods and the old ways. He’d like to crush Paxson’s skull and hopes to get the chance when Paxson finally screws up badly. He finds Paxson’s attempts to seduce Geena disgraceful. Jason recommends that Leo fire both Marlin and Paxson at once if he marries Sonya.

When asked where he was the night Haades escaped, Jason says bluntly that he was sleeping with his wife. He makes hand signs that show respect to the old gods throughout their conversation. Jason thinks that attacking the mountain men like this is a good idea; the time is right, and it’ll be easy once we have Vincent’s report. Leo realizes that Aaron still hasn’t told anyone that Wild Vincent is dead. Leo asks about the beaded necklaces. Jason hates them because he saw one on Haades, who was an arrogant asshole. It’s clear to Leo that Jason has strong feelings about a lot of the people in the castle, and with how much he seems to hate the garrison soldiers for staying holed up in the castle all the time, it’s highly unlikely he would collaborate with them on anything.

Leo meets up with Maester Meera and they head to the garrison area to speak with Marlin and Paxson. Paxson barks orders for his men to make preparations, seeming somewhat lazy himself. When asked who was on duty the night of Haades’ escape, Paxson replies, “Dead men and traitors.” He eventually names Redford, Tanner, Copper, and Tin; he doesn’t know why there were only four of them. As far as he knows, it’s the first time only four guards were posted instead of eight. His theory is that someone bribed a military commander, since they have the authority to command members of the garrison.

Four other men were originally posted in the cell block as well: Billy, Albert, Eric, and Jim the Great. They should have reported to Marlin right away when they left their posts, but they only went to see him the next morning and were punished for it with the loss of a meal. At our request, Paxson has someone fetch the four guards in question for us. He keeps chatting with us in the meantime. He doesn’t much care about the expedition, considering he’s going to be stuck here with the garrison. He’s thankful to Marlin for hiring him and doesn’t like how people disrespect Marlin. Still, he expects the castle will be quite secure while the war party is away. Haades’ escape route is now fully sealed up and Paxson has men searching the rest of the castle from top to bottom looking for other weak points.

The four absentee soldiers show up to give their side of the story. They insist they received a letter from Marlin telling them to go off-duty that night. It was delivered by Silver. When Marlin berated them the next morning and said he’d never sent a letter, they gave it to him as proof. It doesn’t take much prying for them to admit that none of them actually know how to read, so they have no idea what the letter actually said beyond what Silver told them it said. Silver worked directly under Quinton before he disappeared.

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough time left before dinner to speak with both Quinton and Marlin, so Meera and Leo go to see Marlin first so we can finish with the garrison. Meera asks him to tell us about that night. Marlin is resistant at first and asks if Sonya ordered this. Leo starts to say that we’re just here on our own initiative, but Maester Meera interrupts in a no-nonsense tone to say that Lord Aaron asked the Slagathor party here and everything we’re doing is on his authority. Marlin is much more compliant after that and answers our questions as best he can.

Marlin relates the fire in the godswood being the first indication he had that something was wrong. He’d ordered the fire put out and all the gates closed at that point, but Haades’ cell was already empty by the time his men checked. It took hours to find the secret passage Haades and his accomplices took because it went through the crypt, which the guards are never supposed to enter. The former garrison commander died suddenly a few months ago before he could tell Marlin all he knew, so the new commander is aware there could be more passages he’s never seen. By the time the passage was found, the scouts couldn’t track the fugitives anymore.

At the mention of the letter he supposedly sent the guards, Marlin again denies sending it and says he gave it to Aaron. He even writes up a fresh handwriting sample right in front of us and gives it to Meera. The maester gets the feeling that Marlin is actually trying to be as helpful as he can. She thinks he fears for his life—he’s been trying to avoid Aaron and may well flee while the lord is out with the expedition because he’s afraid that Aaron will blame him for the escape eventually and lock him up like the castellan. Trying to subtly encourage and reassure him, Maester Meera comments on how important Marlin’s job is, how much his men respect him, and how badly Lord Aaron needs people like him who he can trust. Marlin is still fearful, but he seems responsive to her words and she gets the impression he might not flee after all.

Outside the castle, Rebekka meets up with Geena and Sam at a cafe in town. The three talk quietly in an alley outside to catch up. They eventually decide to go find Ferris right away. Felix’s directions lead them to a small, very weathered one-room cottage at the edge of town. Rebekka sneaks ahead and spies two men playing cards inside. Both seem antsy. The house has only one cracked door and no windows.

Rebekka hides herself nearby while Geena and Sam walk up and knock. Though the two men inside are nervous and suspicious, naked blades in hand, Geena soon talks her way into the cottage. Ferris claims the weapons and armor are a necessary precaution because Bittman sometimes sends people to rough him up because of their professional rivalry. Ferris eventually, reluctantly sheathes his sword, acknowledging that there is a lady present, but the other man claims he has no sheath.

Ferris produces the beaded necklace Geena keeps talking about and asks her to speak the words. She acts oblivious to any deeper significance and insists she’s just here to buy a necklace, not words. She overrides one objection after another, saying money is no object for her and she can get him any tools he needs. Looking uncomfortable, Ferris says it isn’t a matter of money, but something greater. Geena takes his hand to try and make him more cooperative.

Geena eventually works out that the necklace has some kind of religious significance to Ferris. He admits that the necklaces are only for people of his faith, which she does not belong to. There are devotees of his faith everywhere, though he doesn’t know who the head is. Geena cheerfully offers to convert to his religion if he’ll give her the necklace, but he’s nervous because devotees of his religion are often persecuted. He ends up agreeing to take her to a meeting in the woods tonight if she’s serious about converting, but he refuses to take Sam because he’s sure the soldier won’t be as sympathetic as Geena is.

Just as Ferris is starting to divulge some interesting things, his companion stands and puts his sword through Ferris’ chest for talking too much. The man (who Ferris calls Borom) then turns his sword on Geena and Sam, forcing a fight. Rebekka bursts in through the door and puts an arrow through Borom’s leg to incapacitate him. Ignoring her efforts to take him alive, Sam promptly chops off Borom’s head.

Rebekka and Geena gather around Ferris, who is bleeding heavily. Neither knows much about medicine and they realize they can’t save him. While he’s still conscious, Geena asks him what he’d like done with his body. Ferris says weakly that the Lord of Light requires that his followers be burned. He was going to take her to a meeting in the woods where other new members were about to be inducted, including Borom. Hoping that Geena will still go join the faith without him, he instructs her to go to a clearing 2-3 hours east of here and look for an owl. Both she and the person she encounters should say, “Valar Morghulis.” After the person in the clearing asks a question, Geena should reply: “The Lord of Light, he shall bring the Lightbringer to this world.” With that, Ferris passes away.

Geena asks the others what they should do now. Rebekka decides they must burn everything and go back to the castle. After Geena retrieves the necklace from Ferris’ body, they place the body in the fireplace and spread some flaming debris around the house so the whole hovel will go up in smoke. The three get the feeling that a few of the townspeople noticed them go in and might be somewhat aware of what’s happened.

By the time the whole Slagathor party has returned to the castle dinner is only a few minutes away. Rebekka and Geena have some blood and soot on their clothes. Maester Meera and Leo run into them in the hall. After Rebekka quietly explains what’s happened, Meera gives her a stern look at the mention of killing people. Leo is confused and frustrated. Meera considers what she’s heard of the Lord of Light; it’s a strange religion that only believes in one god. It’s fairly popular in Essos, though it’s never caught on in Westeros.

Lord Arthur comes across the group and urges them into a nearby room to speak with more privacy. He looks increasingly grim as we fill him in on everything (particularly two of his daughters being wrapped up in murder and arson). He’s less than thrilled that Rebekka is in trouble yet again. We decide that someone has to be sent into the forest so we don’t lose the opportunity to catch up to Silver. The Slagathors would be missed at dinner if they went, and Arthur is wary of speaking openly about what’s happened in case any traitors get tipped off. We eventually settle on sending Rebekka, Jones, and about 18 slagathor soldiers, the most we can send without making it obvious that something is going on.

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