Bonds of Blood and Honor

The Adventure Begins

Our story begins as Ser Donnel and Thedric Locke are summoned to speak with their father, Lord Ondrew Locke of Oldcastle, in his bedchamber. Lord Ondrew is a much respected lord and a veteran of many wars. He battled alongside the King at the Ruby Ford and help Lord Eddard Stark take Pyke and put Lord Greyjoy back in his place, but now his health is failing him. This man once a doughty warrior finds himself fighting a losing battle against time and a wasting disease that has stricken him to such an extent that he now spends most days upon what will surely be his deathbed. The eldest of his children are Elinora and Ser Donnel of Ondrew’s first wife, Emelyn, deceased for 16 years. His remaining children are the product of his marriage to Lady Celia. Lady Celia Locke, Ondrew’s second wife (of 15 years), has given birth to three sons though only two are truly of the Locke line. Her eldest son Thedric, although of another father, was adopted by Locke as a condition of the marriage. Thedric’s father was a well-respected knight (Ser Martyn Darry), who fought on the wrong side during the war of the usurper and was branded an outlaw when he refused to bend the knee when the war had ended.
They are greeted at the chamber door by Lord Locke’s youngest brother, Ser Godfrey Locke. Before entering the chamber he informs the group of a story that has reached his brother’s ear. This tale has emerged from the small holdfast village of Ameth located on the fringes of the wolfswood. A tale of young love and lust it insists that Lord Locke, before his first marriage, fathered a bastard son upon a young maiden of the village. Though Lord Locke has never spoken of this, it is said that as the youth reached manhood, the resemblance has become apparent that the rumor of the Snow’s true identity has begun spread throughout the region.
As they enter the room they find that they are not the only ones in attendance the others include Maester Sewell, Britamore the captain of the third watch, Nel the house hunter and Ser Godfrey who has enter the room with them. Lord Locke is lying in bed beneath a thick woolen blanket and furs, though a large fire is burning in the hearth. He turns when his children enter and struggles to sit up, while the maester places several pillows beneath his back to prop him up. Lord Locke beckons weakly to his children, urging them to come within whispering distance, for his voice is weak and brittle. He says, haltingly and pausing for breath, that he would have them seek out a young man named Warrick Snow, who dwells in the small holdfast of Ameth several leagues to the south and east of Oldcastle.
He then informs them that this young man might well be his first, though bastard-born, son, fathered upon a smallfolk lass when he was younger and unmarried. He does not know for certain of course, but various tales and rumors speak of the lad’s resemblance to his younger self. Now, he wishes to look upon the lad himself, but alas he cannot travel, and he is also worried that his enemies might hear of Warrick’s appearance, and seek to harm the youth, or worse. He admits that he knows nothing of the young man, but would like to meet him before he dies.
With that, Lord Locke drifts back to his pillow, his voice spent, and he slowly falls asleep. Ser Godfrey urges everyone away from the bed, to continue the conversation and not wake his brother. Maester Sewell follows, escorting everyone from the room. Outside, Ser Godfrey takes up the tale where his brother left off, his voice low and his eyes darting about for any uninvited ears.
He tells them that years ago this village of Ameth was under the control of House Bolton. But, as punishment for crimes against House Locke, the village and surrounding region were taken away from the Boltons, and given over to House Locke. It is also true that as a youth his brother visited the village regularly. He also informs the group that there are rumors that Bolton has been extending his reach into their territory. Thus, if the boy is truly a natural son of Ondrew, he could be tortured, held hostage, or turned against the family and used as some sort of pawn.
He beseeches the player characters to go to this holdfast village of Ameth, find Warrick Snow, and convince the lad to return with them to Oldcastle. The lad is not to be threatened or bullied, and must come of his own free will. He gives them leave to tell Snow of his possible parentage, and if he still refuses to come, they are given permission to entice him with the possibility of reward from his father, but not to promise anything. Furthermore, if Warrick Snow refuses to come and see Lord Locke, they will be forced to order him to never speak of any familial connections again.
Sewell provides directions to the holdfast village of Ameth, and Ser Godfrey gives them leave to take what provisions and gear they need, asking that they leave upon the morrow at first light.



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