A Reign of Toads
The following are examples of Sample Characters to use or cannibalize as you see fit. All fit into the story I have laid out nicely, but I would vastly prefer you use the character you create—seeing these as inspiration.
Maester- Int-4, Cha-1, Ath-0
Sums 3, Healing 4, History 4, Warcraft 2, Literacy 6, Heraldry-6, Forgery 3, Tongues (High Valyrian)-2
Maester Chalydon is originally Chalydon Kidwell of Ivy Hall. The seventh son of a thirdborn son, Chalydon was destined for some life of servitude, being about as far from the seat of Ivy Hall as possible. Afflicted with the shaking sickness from childhood, Chalydon is almost entirely unable to leave a wheeled chair, and often must restrain himself in it to keep from falling out. As such, the life of a Knight or even a king’s counselor was always outside his reach and Maesterdom was the natural choice, seeing as the boy showed a remarkable aptitude for learning, reading and other softer arts.
Chalydon excelled at the Citadel, making it from novice to Maester in just four years and earning his Yellow Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, and Pewter links in two. Chalydon had no interest in the political games of the Archmaesters and so set out to become a knight of the mind for some Great House. He was placed in the employ of Lord Betram Rosby, the ageing master of Rosby in the Crownlands. He has served there nobly for five years and now, at the age of 24, he has been privy to much of the dissatisfied rumblings amongst the Crownlands Houses in the wake of Duskendale’s defiance.
Knight-Ath-3, Cha-1, Int-1
Ser Hugo Brax
Swordplay-6, Riding-4, Lance-2, Archery-2, Shield-6, Etiquette (Courtly)-3, Warcraft-3, Strongman-1
Ser Hugo Brax grew up at his family’s keep in the Westerlands. Life at Hornvale was one of constant excitement, what with his family riding out when he was a twelve squire to battle the Ninepenny Kings and, later, when he had come of age, participating in the many tourneys at Fair Isle, Riverrun and Pinkmaiden. While his cousins, Andros and Rupert Brax were groomed to be the future Lord and Castellan of Hornvale, Hugo knew that Knighthood might win him greater glories on the field of battle and in the hearts of maidens beside the tourney grounds. Alas, Brax never quite proved the equal of the great knights of his childhood, especially Ser Barristan Selmy, whom he saw slay Maelys the Monstrous in single combat. This slow feeling of disappointment continued on as his thirtieth birthday approached and he began to see knights and squires half his age who were far better swordsmen. So when Barristan the Bold, under the auspices of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, called upon men of valor to help free the King from the Duskendale, Hugo was among the first to ride out, banners flowing, glory soon to be his.
Petty Lady-Cha-3, Int-2, Ath-0
Lady Althea Grandison
Singing-5, Etiquette (Courtly)-6, Literacy-2, Forgery-3, Dance-3, Empathy-7, Tailoring-1, Heraldry-2, Riding 1
Lady Althea, the daughter of Lord Hugh Grandison was born beautiful, kind and polite, but extremely sickly. She had free run of Grandview, with its idyllic vista on the Sea of Dorne, and never lacked for anything, but could not help but wish that she were well enough to travel. Her great uncle, Harlan, being on of King Aerys II’s Kingsguard had invited her many times to the capitol, and countless distant relations Across the Stormlands, Dorne and the Reach, offered to take her into their service. Still, the wasting illness she suffered from kept her squarely in Grandview and indoors more often than not. She enjoyed reading well-enough, but her real joys came in meeting visiting dignitaries and thinking on their stories and fortunes. As a result, she became quite adept at reading others. Her beauty and kindness opened them up, and her keen mind deciphered their real meanings. Servants in Grandview took to calling her Althea Truesight, playfully saying that she must have magic powers, or be a child of the forest (owing, perhaps, to her slight build). But the longing to leave home remained and, with her father away in Yronwood, seeking to remarry, Althea has used her gifts to cajole the castellan into letting her visit her uncle in the capitol, having forged letters from both Harlan and Hugh. She is now on her way to Duskendale, where her great Uncle sits encamped, awaiting the rescue of the King.
Cutpurse-Ath-2, Cha-2, Int-1
Sleight of Hand-6, Stealth-6, Lying-6, Etiquette (Underworld)-3, Appraisal-5, Melee (Edge)-2, Haggle-2
Pate grew up in Flea Bottom. He was always scrawny, and learned early on that if he didn’t want to go hungry, he’d have to be fast. It served him well as a child, nicking bowls of brown and the occasional copper cap. Later, when he learned that there was more money in filching merchants’ purses and fencing their contents he made a name for himself, albeit one that wasn’t spoken of in polite society. That all changed when he stole a brooch from Lady Celtigar’s chest while the porters bought a drink. It was worth a small fortune, inlaid with opals and mother of pearl, but the distinctive crab shape made it one of a kind and no fence would take it. When Lady Celtigar made it a matter of state and his contacts gave him up, he flung the brooch in the Blackwater and set out north, rather than risk losing a hand. Now in Duskendale’s siege camp he finds he can begin all over. After all, there are a thousand swine herds named Pate—who would suspect another simpleton?
Septon- Cha 2, Int-2, Ath-1
Theology-6, Singing-3, Brewing-5, Etiquette (Courtly)-1, Literacy-3, Melee (Pole)-2, Higher Mysteries- 3, Astrology- 2, Cooking-2, Oration-3
Coldpeak Septry is one of the remotest in Westeros. Located in the Mountains of the Moon, some 30 miles southwest of Heart’s Home, it sits atop the mountain summit for which it is named, and ministers to the travelers who walk the narrow footpaths north of the Giant’s Lance. Most septry’s pay for their grounds with brewing or farming or smithing, but the septons and septas of Coldpeak know only the study of the stars. As such, it is an impoverished place, with none of the comforts of other such sanctuaries. No one can say it is poorly defended, however. Born out of an obscure cult within the Andal faith—the Crone’s Lantern—Coldpeak Septry has a reputation for mysticism which has earned them the fearful respect of Valelord and Mountain Chieftain alike. Called the Starry Greybeards by the Stoney Goat Clan that lives nearby, they have all but surplanted the worship of the Old Gods that most Mountain Clans still follow. Brother Walder is one of these Stoney Goats. He was abandoned as a baby on their doorstep, wrapped in ramswool. Days later, the corpse of his mother, a shepherdess was found at the bottom of a steep ravine, the victim of a fall or a tragic suicide none can say. Walder was raised by his brothers to learn the higher mysteries and study the movement of the stars. When the Arryns and Corbrays attempted to purge the Stoney Goats from the mountain passes, Brother Walder ministered to a wounded Ser Corwyn Corbray, younger brother to gallant Lord Lucan. When the battle was over, Corwyn was a true believer and asked that Brother Walder come with him to Heart’s Home to share the wisdom of the stars. In Heart’s Home Brother Walder gained quite the flock of believers. So many that he word of them reached the crown, who asked that holy men come to pray for the imprisoned king. At the gates of Duskendale, Brother Walder, under the protection of Ser Corwyn, sees salvation for his king, and hopes that the prophecies of doom that he has scrawled out are misinterpretations.
Sellsword-Ath-3, Int-2, Cha-1
Melee (Edge)-6, Endurance-4, Melee (Blunt)-5, Archery-5, Stealth-3, Torture-3, Intimidation-3, Haggle-1
But for his mother—a miller’s wife—Domeric would have been a Whitehill, a brother to Ludd, now the young lord of Highpoint. But for his mother. As it stands, Domeric was an embarrassment, provided for by his father, Gorn Whitehill, and acknowledged, but never accepted. As soon as he was old enough to swing a sword, he pledged himself to his father’s overlord, Rogar Bolton. There he was trained in the art of war, but considered too much of an impulsive loner to be raised to command. Domeric left the employ of House Bolton and decided to strike out on his own, taking on jobs in White-Harbor, Braavos, and Gulltown, hunting outlaws and guarding ships. In Pentos and Myr he found that he was better suited to more dangerous missions: assassinations, raids, espionage work. He contracted for a time with the Windblown, and the Company of the Cat, but knew that working with others would never be his strength. So when he did return to Westeros, it was as a catspaw, murdering the influential for coin, though less coin than a Faceless Man. If you were a certain level of desperate, and a certain level of impoverished, chances are, you knew Domeric Snow’s name. That pleased him well enough but now that he is just shy of thirty-five, he figures he needs more of a future. Lord Tywin has promised a Lordship to anyone who helps free King Aerys from Duskendale, and how much better to be a Lord than a Lord’s brother. Ludd would blanche to see it, and that might be reason enough to try.
Merchant-Cha-3, Int-1, Ath-1
Appraisal-9, Haggle-5, Sailing-1, Tongues (Low Valyrian)-3, Tongues (High Valyrian)-3, Empathy-6, Storytelling-2, Astronomy-1
Ukando was the daughter of the High Prostitute at the Funerary Temple of Tall Trees Town. As a result, she lived a life of luxury, grand festivals, pageantry, flower wars, and orgiastic vigils. When her mother died, however she lobbied for the position and was rebuffed by the council of elders. Feeling she had been snubbed, she arranged for the humiliation of her mother’s successor, introducing him to a lover afflicted by the pox. Once the plot was discovered Ukando was tried in a floral war, found guilty and exiled to a small spit of rock just past Moluu. She had just about resigned herself to a penitent life of reflection and drudgery, but was hired onto a merchant swan ship owned by the trade prince Jhanqasor Xul. In trade, Ukando saw an opportunity to rise high once again, and took to her trade with zeal. Now she is second merchant aboard the Coriander Storm and headed for Duskendale where rumors of a royal gathering are sure to bring profit.
Steward-Int-3, Cha-1, Ath-1
Farming-5, Architecture-3, Sums-6, Brewing-1, Nature Lore-3, Heraldry-5, Etiquette (Courtly)-4, Literacy-4
Albathur was the fifthborn son of Damon Cordwayner and, as such, never expected much. Men like Albathur sometimes become freeriders or knights or maesters but Albathur never had much interest in martial arts or higher learning. He cared much for sums, for farming, and for pageantry. He was, in short, born to be a steward. And he found little and less to dissuade him. His father made sure that their own Maester Garyn tutored him in the necessary skills and he apprenticed to the Cordwayner’s own steward, Alyn Branfield. When he came of age, he was sent to Goldengrove to run the household of Lord Martyn Rowan. There he grew into a prudent man, unmarried, uninterested in marriage (and women for that matter) and devoted to overseeing the harvesting of crops, the brewing of ales and the organizing of tourneys and feasts. He was so valued by the Rowans that it was a matter of much discussion when young Lord Mathis took over his father’s seat and asked that Albathur advise him in place of a trained Maester. Eager to show the crown that the House Tyrell has always been loyal to the Tagaryen cause, Albathur was selected by Lord Mathis to oversee the Reach’s siege encampment at Duskendale, a great sacrifice for House Rowan and a great (if temporary) boon to House Tyrell—themselves a line of stewards. Since arriving at the gates of Duskendale, Albathur has more than proved his efficacy, making sure the men of the Reach are fed and that House Tyrell makes more friends than enemies in the time they have spent camped. Albathur loved Goldengrove and cares deeply for the Rowans, but this could be a chance to prove himself on the kingdom’s largest stage. It is not often that a steward shows off his skills in sight of a Prince and a King’s Hand.
Singer-Cha-4, Ath-1, Int-0
The Happy Harper
Music (Harp)-10, Singing-7, Seduction-5, Riding-3, Etiquette (Courtly)-3, Heraldry-2
Hedge Witch-Int-5, Cha-0, Ath-0
Myrandah the Maegi
Poisons-10, Healing-6, Divination-8, Astrology-3, Herbology-3
Myrandah was born in Lys to a careless courtesan and sent with her unhappy father across the narrow sea to the Rainwood. Her father abandoned her there in the shanty town outside Crow’s Nest. There, her Lysene pallor and her strange accent made her an object of fear to the smallfolk, but not to Old Grella, a witch who lived in the woods east of town. She took in Myrandah and taught her how to cut infants from their mothers wombs, brew poisons and salves, how to set bones, and how to read fortunes in tea-leaves, cake crumbs and the stars. Myrandah eventually took over the cottage and the duties of the Old witch when the latter succumbed to a fever. Since then she has been a fixture of Crow’s Nest, providing all the services that barber surgeons, maesters and healers can’t or won’t. Made frail and haggard by the constant work around brews, herbs, and poisons, Myrandah’s Lysene beauty fled long ago, leaving only her pallor and intense, violet eyes that some say are cursed. Others believe her to be a Targaryen warg, abandoned by the royal family, and she lets such rumors foster. Mystery and fear are as powerful a business tool in her trade as skill and knowledge. Lord Morrigen himself asked that she treat him for the pox on several occasions and it was he that asked that she travel with a small force of men to the Crownlands and offer her skill at poisons to the Prince and the Hand. Who knows, perhaps she may even be mistaken for a Targaryen among the Royal family.
Bravo-Ath-2, Cha-2, Int-1
Water Dancing-6, Melee (Chain)-4, Seduction-4, Intimidation-3, Torture-3, Tumbling-3, Etiquette (Free Cities)-2, Tongues (Low Valyrian)-5
Chesio grew up on ships, sailing the narrow sea from Braavos to Sunspear. The son of a Braavosi dye merchant, his father’s ships never interested him nearly as much as the men he hired to protect his freight, and the steel they carried. He learned a lot from the sellswords and mercenary companies that signed on to the Aldonte ships and showed such promise that at the age of thirteen, he was sent to the the sellsword company, the Gallant Men, for an indenture of five years. Trained by Braavosi water-dancers and Tyroshi Bravos, Chesio learned how to fight with a whip, smallsword, flail and buckler. He also gained a respect for the business he could do in gambling halls, winesinks and brothels. Those got him into enough debt that he has needed to flee creditors in the Free Cities more than once. Westeros was the obvious choice and Chesio has spent two years in King’s Landing, taking contracts with wealthy merchant lords and racking up yet more debt. When Tywin Lannister promised a Lordship to whomever rescued King Aerys from Duskendale, the bravo had little and less to lose. After all, Duskendale was just a few days ride away, and lords rarely have to contend with creditors.
Warg-Ath-2, Int- 2, Cha-1
Frenya the Quorker
Endurance-4, Higher Mysteries-4, Tracking-4, Riding-4, Trapping-4, Nature Lore-5, Melee (Pole)-2, Archery-3
Frenya spent her early life in a village in the haunted forest that didn’t have a name. It was a longhall and four sturdy cabins and only thirty of the free folk made a permanent home there. Among them, was her father, the village trapper who taught her all the ways to ensnare game and spend long weeks in the woods with barely the furs on her back. She always felt better out in the woods, it was there that the dreams came to her—dreams of talking crows and great weirwood trees, their faces solemn as death. It was two months out, hunting in the northern reaches of the haunted forest that she first found herself inside the skin of a crow. The feelings of flight, the ability to see the world from far above, to look down from some rookery on the snowbears and shadowcats that prowled beneath, has been the most sublime experience of her life. She returned from that trip with five crows bound to her. The people of her village now regarded her as a mystic, the Quorker they named her, for the sounds of her pets. When Cave dweller cannibals destroyed her village, Frenya realized she could not remain north of the wall forever. She sailed to Skagos in a hide boat, and then to Widow’s Watch. She traded her furs for a cotton dress and a leather hauberk and steadily made her way South, hunting the wild-places of the North and Neck, using her familiars to stay out of trouble. She realized that ravens sent messages in the Southron lands and has made a fair bit of coin warging into them and then returning them, message unsealed to their senders. She now controls a flock of five crows, two messenger ravens, and one great blue Raven, a fearsome creature who has fought off hawks and eagles. With a call for aid at Duskendale, Frenya came down from Crackclaw point, knowing that, even if these Southron Kings don’t believe in such things, they could use a warg for hire.
Whore-Cha-3, Ath-1, Int-1
Seduction-7, Tumbling-3, Mummery-6, Empathy-3, Etiquette (Courtly)-1, Endurance-3, Lying-3, Stealth-2, Etiquette (Free Cities)-1, Low Valyrian-1
Tansy is not the kind of whore that songs get written about. She was never the sad, desperate camp follower, alluring in her abjection, nor was she the storied courtesan that men paid kings ransoms to visit. Quite simply, Tansy always made enough money to be comfortable, but never so much that she became ambitious. She was born Alys, but her sisters in the brothel named her Tansy for her almost uncanny ability to avoid pregnancy. In fact, she’s never had to deal with moonsblood of any kind. Where highborn ladies or even farmer’s wives might see this as a tragedy, Tansy has been perfectly happy to live a barren life, even feels empowered by it. The one thing she has needed, however, is a steady stream of customers. A big port town like Duskendale was always a solid source of new faces eager for her charms. With the siege, however, the brothel became all but abandoned. Desperate men would rather turn to rape than pay coin (and what would the coin even pay for?) and with the harbor closed, there were no sailors and merchants to keep money flowing in. Tansy managed to smuggle herself out of the city, plying her wares among the Royal encampment, like a common camp follower, but she knows better than to leave. The siege must be lifted and what better place than Duskendale to continue a life of uninterrupted comfort?
Smuggler- Cha-2, Ath-2, Int-1
Stealth-6, Lying-3, Navigation-6, Astronomy-2, Sailing-5, Crossbow-3, Etiquette (Underworld)-3, Etiquette (Free Cities)-2
As a famous smuggler once said, “if people have heard of you, you’re doing it wrong.” Godric started life at a disadvantage for that, being a bastard son of Benfred Blackmont. But if any in Blackmont spread the tale far, Godric has yet to meet them. Always skilled in sneaking in and out of places, the Torrentine became Godric’s haven, a twisting passage whose secret doors he could always unlock. He ferried goods, first from Blackmont to Starfall, and eventually was good enough at going unnoticed that he was asked to move goods even farther. He has sailed the Southern coastline of Westeros from Oldtown to Sunspear and knows every nook and cranny of it.
Reaver Ath-4, Cha-1, Int-0
Sailing-3, Melee (Chain)-7, Melee (Edge)-7, Tumbling-7, Navigation-3, Wrestling-3
No one remembers Sigrin’s childhood anymore, least of all Sigrin herself, but she was told that she was the daughter of a sailor in the employ of some Blacktyde and his salt-wife thrall. It makes sense, Why else would a girl like Sigrin find herself along the fishing villages and jetty docks of Blacktyde Isle with no family, and a longing for the open sea. She got by as best she could since before she could remember, selling cockles and oysters, and, when she was older, trading sex for beds and meals with the men of the longships. When she was fourteen, however, a son of some Lord Farwynd got it into his head to take her as a salt wife aboard his ship. This Gilford Farwynd was as mad as they all said, taking Salt wives from the Ironborn, and daring to take them aboard ships where every man aboard would hear their coupling. Sigrin put an end to that. The third week aboard, as they were rounding Lonely Lights, she flung seawater into Gilford’s eyes, blinding him. She then paraded him naked across the deck, still screaming from the pain, and whipping him across the thighs and buttocks. His men were so delighted by her spirit that only three dared challenge her for control of the Iron Tusk, his longship. She bested them all and by day’s end, there were four men being keel-hauled behind the longship and Sigrin Saltlash as the men called her was captain. With no holdfast to return to, she offered her services to Lord Blacktyde who took her on as a privateer. In the ten years since then she has been a successful scourge of the Sunset and Narrow seas, reaving where it is remote enough, trading where it’s not. Armed with a flail, coated in seasalt, and standing at the prow of Iron Tusk, she recently took a decent amount of plunder from a pirate nest in the Stepstones and sailed up the narrow sea to fence it. When she arrived at Duskendale, however, she found the port closed and her ship promptly seized by the royal navy. Bitter and beaten, she bides her time by the siege camp, hoping that she can retake her longship in the confusion that will follow the retaking of the king. Her men grow more impatient by the day.