blurb 2

September 28, 2009

Amalinde’s head reeled with such a mix of emotions she was not sure where to begin trying to sort them out.  Her father had granted permission to attend the tourney!  Yet, in attending the tourney, it would bring her one step closer to knowing Alois Payne.  His name gave her chills even as she contemplated it.  Amalinde Payne, wife of the headsman’s young…cousin?  She couldn’t even recall what relationship Alois had to the infamous Illyn Payne, nor did she wish to think too thoroughly on it.

Still – a tourney!  The first she would attend!  All the splendor and majesty, all the men and their valiant deeds!  She was near to bursting with excitement at the prospect of witnessing the stories of old come to life on the stretches of grassy knolls that surely made up the lands on which the Freys would be hosting the tournament.  That her brother Vaughan would be partaking in the joust brought no end of joy to the young Lady.  She knew he had participated in a few such events in the South, but was overjoyed at the prospect of seeing her valiant Knight of a brother make a show with his lance and proud steed!  And maybe, just maybe…it was possible that someone might declare her – unlikely as it might be! – worthy of a favor!  Amalinde blushed at her own silliness and set to arranging the garments which she would take with her.

She had already scoured her closets countless times, but was having a horrible dilemma.  She wished that Tabin could be here to help her choose which dresses were most appropriate to take for a tourney.  Her mother had been so kind to have one of Lady Saryah’s seamstresses set to the task of creating a few new items for Amalinde to wear at the Tourney, considering that the Lady Delayne would be staying home for the event.  One such garment was a lovely gown that the Lady Delayne herself had worn when she was a lass, meeting the Lord Benton Straasa for the first time.  It was an exquisite gown of lush purple velvet, worked with thread-of-gold and pale blue stones on the bodice.  Amalinde felt absolutely regal as she donned the fabric, faded with time as it was.  The seamstress had fussed and fidgeted, deciding that replacing the stones with peridot instead of topaz would suit the young Lady Amalinde far better.  In the long run, the light green stones had brought out the green in Amalinde’s eyes, and though the faded purple hue reminded her of a few of the swamp’s less friendly inhabitants, she was mindful that she was, in fact, a Lady of the Swamp.

She wished, again, that Tabin had been there to share in her reveries.

Two days hence, they would all be off, in grand procession.  Off to the tourney!  Off to gain, perhaps, some of the renown of House Straasa that was, in Amalinde’s most dire ambitions, House Straasa’s right.  If it meant humiliation of her brother Dayne, so be it; at least all eyes would witness House Strassa standing steadfast in support of Dayne – and Vaughan – and, if Amalinde had her druthers, in support of strange and wayward House Reed, too.  Somehow.


blurb 1

September 28, 2009

He dragged his feet across the strange weave of the Northron rug.  It had a rough feel, as though it had been woven out of fibrous plant materials rather than fine-spun silk as those from the South he was accustomed to.  He snorted, half out of mirth, half out of resignation.  If this was the place that his love had chosen, then it would be where he would reside.  Even if it meant that she was destined to be the wife of another.  He had suffered far worse indignities in his short life, and could bide his time.  If nothing more, he was a born waiter.  Noble blood coursed in his veins, surely as did the common blood of his mother.  That he was not acknowledged did not matter.  He knew the truth of it as surely as his half-brother, whom he had served these eighteen years.  His older brother knew not that he was aware of their relation, however.  This was yet to be.  Still, he had high ambitions, and he knew that his time was coming.  Soon.  Very soon.  After all, his mother had told him that his name – Apep – had strong meanings in Dorne, a long time before.  Apep had been a god of old; the slithering god; the one who had humbled himself  and slid along the sands on his belly.  Apep the god had been cast aside as useless, until his fangs full of venom had become useful to one of the hierarchy of the old gods.  Then Apep had become indispensible to all the gods!  He had just had to bide his time; to slither on his belly humbly, until his worth had been determined by the right ones above him.

The thought of slithering against Sand on his belly pleased Apep to no end.  These next weeks – the tourney! – would be his time, indeed.  Surely, an event of such grandeur would bring him to his rightful place!  Surely, someone there would realize he was of value, of worth!  And then, oh then…

Apep would have his reward.  Oh, yes.  His Sand reward.  Apep was pleased.

(In)corporeal Toxins

July 9, 2009

George felt damn proud of himself.  He realized that he and Samnys combined likely totaled thrice the ages of the boys they were up against, but felt as though they gave them a fair competition nonetheless.  Maybe not entirely fair, he allowed, remembering the rock he had kicked at Anton.  But he had most definitely wanted the boy to realize that not all fights are fair:  most assuredly not those outside a practice yard. Read the rest of this entry »

Heraldry of Houses we have dealt with

May 25, 2009

I will be appropriate and simply provide you with links to the heraldry that I found.  They’re on the Citadel ( and I would love to see House Straasa’s arms be represented this way at some point.  I will also say that I’m not going to include the links to the Starks, Arryns, or other major houses, because those are in the book already.

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NPCs and PCs pertinent to House Straasa at present (update 2)

May 24, 2009

The Current Straasa Family and Retainers


Lord Benton Straasa, Age 43 (soon to be 44).  Bannerman to Lord Eddard Stark of the North, but with strong ties via marriage to Lord Jon Arryn of the Vale.  He is a haughty fellow with more grey in his hair than brown, with amber-colored eyes and facial features reminiscent of a bird of prey.  He is known to bellow while in his cups, though he has never raised a hand against one of his own house.  He was crippled in battle versus the forces of Balon Greyjoy during the Greyjoy Rebellion; he lost the lower half of his left leg, and also lost the use of his left arm.  This prevents him from traveling great distances from Castle Swampstone.  He is still a cunning man, however, and has managed to maneuver with relative skill in the tumultuous political currents of Westeros.

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Alliances forged, Bridges Burned?

May 17, 2009

Benton unraveled the first parchment once again, re-reading the letter addressed to him from Lord Feri Wyl, foster-father to Vaughan.  It was pleasant enough, in its’ own way, especially considering that the man was a complete stranger to Benton.  It politely inquired after his health, and that of the Lady of the House, as well as a brief mention of his household missing Ser Vaughan.  It was upon that point that Lord Feri had departed customary niceties and become quite blunt.  It would seem that his daughter, Lady Saryah, had expressed a sudden and very strong interest in the swamplands of the great North.  Lord Feri thought it worth noting that it was initially his niece, one Norie Sand, who had first suggested that Lady Saryah perhaps offer herself in marriage to Lord Benton’s heir.  Norie, who was the acknowledged daughter of Lord Feri’s blood-sister, was also proposing a marriage and sizable dowry, could she but be considered a possible match for young Ser Vaughan.  Lord Feri expressed apologies for the brusqueness of the ladies missive, but suspected that a man so brilliant as to be Lord of Straasa, and with so noble a brother as Ser Alec, would understand and appreciate candor.

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House Straasa: A Two-Decade Timeline

May 13, 2009

272 AL

Lord Benton Straasa is married to Lady Delayne, formerly a Tallhart by marriage, and originally of House Royce of Runestone.

273 AL

Conrad Straasa is born.

275 AL

Dayne Straasa is born.

276 AL

Vaughan Straasa is born.

278 AL

Anton Snow is born.

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Homecoming, Part 2: A Hero’s Welcome?

May 5, 2009

Lord Benton cast his gaze around the small yet serviceable dining hall of Castle Swampstone. His eyes moved slowly, resting momentarily here and there, watching and noting the presence of each man, woman, and child. Read the rest of this entry »

Ability Descriptions

May 1, 2009

The following is a nice general document that describes each of the abilities in SIF, in addition to the specific to combat or intrigue bonuses that each ability reflects.

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Some of our not-so friendly (non-human) neighbors

April 30, 2009

This is a collection of critters that would likely make a number of appearances in Straasa swamplands, but unless a stroke of particularly potent luck is involved, they’re *not* the ones we’d eat