As a young boy Rickard Ryswell was close to his father Rodrik of whom knew this was his second son, and he planned from the earliest days to have Rickard become the Lord of a small castle south of Stoneyshore, and he worked hard to make Rickard, and his heir Roger close friends and brothers. Rickard's loyalty to his brother came through when he volunteered to become the hostage at the Dreadfort, and saved his brother Roger of whom was getting married, from having to do the deed. Rickard Ryswell would join the army of the Dreadfort as it moved into the Divine Lands and would take part in the two battles there including the eventual retreat where he was commanded to return to the Dreadfort to continue his role as a hostage and he did this fearing for his family. Dynia would accompany her aunt to the Dreadfort alongside a small force of House Ryswell in order to try and get Rickard Ryswell back from his hostage role but when they arrived they would be a part of the Dreadfort court Massacre with Dynia and Rickard surviving after Mark Ryswell hid them away and they would be taken in by Veseryan Ongrill.
As a young boy Rickard Ryswell was close to his father Rodrik of whom knew this was his second son, and he planned from the earliest days to have Rickard become the Lord of a small castle south of Stoneyshore, and he worked hard to make Rickard, and his heir Roger close friends and brothers. Rickard's loyalty to his brother came through when he volunteered to become the hostage at the Dreadfort, and saved his brother Roger of whom was getting married, from having to do the deed.
First Bolten-Lucerne War
Main Article : First Bolten-Lucerne War
- "The Kingdom of Bolten was the first time we were ever met agressively by an oponent, and at first we were shocked at their actions. I determined quickly that they had to be stopped at any cost, and this led to our promise to defend our two major allies in the region, and a massive influx of our troops into the region."
- -William Lovie III.
With the taking of Westbrige the region of Bolten became more interested in its own growth and in particular they really wanted to get the Lucernian army involved in pitch battles which they had the numbers to survive. In order to do this they begin threatening several allies of Lucerne in western Westros in the form of Koenisburg, and the town of Jeutenburg. While these threats rancheted up the Kingdom of Lucerne did exactly what the Boltens hoped they would do when they brought huge forces to bear on the defences of the Westros river crossing of Levin. The Lucernians also made it known that any action taken against their allies in Koenisburg, or Jeutenburg would be deemed a decleration of war against Lucerne itself. This promice to defend meant a lot to the two towns, and most believed that with that the conflict would be ended before any blood was spilled. This idea changed quickly when the Kingdom of Bolten sacked Jeutenburg in a massive siege that took place in the guise of a peace mission.
| Fall of Jeutenburg |
Jeutenburg was the first act of a truly insane man. Instead of offering quarter and hoping for any kind of assistence in the Divine Lands he butchered the first city he found and expected the rest to what...give in to him peacefully. Madness, and stupidity.
Fall of Jeutenburg
The city of Jeutenburg with the promise of Lucerne to defend it should the worst come stood tall as the army of Bolten came to its door, and House Banner blocked there entry. At first the Boltens sent in emissaries of whom promised peace and they simply wished to pass peacefully so they could get to Koenisburg in order to stop Lucerne from taking Koenisburg. Nikolas refused this offer as he was now aligned with Koenisburg and told the Boltens they would not peacefully be passing by the city, and when this happened to his shock the Bolten emissaries said they would do this the following day. Despite these promises during the night spies, and mercenaries scaled the walls of Jeutenburg infiltrating the main gatehouse and once they got inside the walls they showed hidden weapons and overpowered the outnumbered guards they had before occupying the gatehouse. The forces of Jeutenburg were somewhat unprepared for this sudden attack and despite attempting to resist the taking of the gatehouse the Bolten forces held out for nearly twenty minutes while the army of Bolten reached the gate. With the gatehouse in their control they filled into the city overwhelming every point of resistance with their vastly superior numbers and for nearly an hour the sacking of the city went on before Domeric Bolten, and Daryn Hornwood were able to control the palace and large enough segments of the city that they slowed the killing.
During the sacking of the city Jeutenburg was given very little quarter with nearly half the city killed, and the survivors forced to live under the occupation of House Urnet of whom spent their time ransacking the city of its ancient wealth and history. As the army of Bolten did this their was division as the forces under the command of Domeric Bolten, and House Hornwood would protect several areas within the city, and were the main reason the entire city wasn't massacred. With conflict between this force, and the more chaotic forces of Ramsey Bolten looking likely a raven arrived from Roose Bolten who tasked them with quickly moving towards Koenisburg before the Lucernians could react. A meeting was held in the old Jeutenburg palace where Ramsey Bolten commanded the entire army leave Jeutenburg except for House Urnet of whom would hold the town alongside two companies of mercenaries. Domeric was able to trick Ramsey into allowing House Hornwood under Daryn to stay behind as well after he convinced everyone that Daryn was about to capture the Banner family. Following this meeting Ramsey would lead the army outside of Jeutenburg alongside Domeric of whom went along with him but during the first night of the march he abandoned the army and returned to Jeutenburg to meet with Daryn.
Behind Enemy Lines
Daryn Hornwood would be leading his forces alongside Orsen Stout and others in his personal council, and during his searching for nobles of Jeutenburg he captured Nikolas Banner and his family bringing them back to the Hornwood quarters in Jeutenburg which were once the Banner home. Daryn Hornwood would send word of the capture but by this point Ramsey and most of the other leaders had already left for Koenisburg and thus he was sent a raven saying he should kill all members of House Banner he had before taking House Hornwood, and his vassals towards Koenisburg. While an honorable young man he was also driven by duty, and thus when he first received this command he planned on following through but Daryn would have a change of heart after he spent the night talking to Nikolas's daughter Corina Banner. Originally meeting her by mistake when he was planning on going to tell Nikolas about the execution he found her crying and without thinking consoled her. Corina would see quickly that Daryn was a good young man and someone that didn't want to do what he told her had been commanded to do by the raven sent to him from Ramsey Bolten. The two spent the entire night talking and as he prepared to leave she would steal a kiss, and from the second that happened the already conflicted Daryn Hornwood didn't know what he would do when he raised the sword to kill Nikolas.As he debated this in his mind he went to his war council of whom consisted of Jonas Intris, Lorant of Hornwood, Rafford of Wisborne, and Ser Roger Horntree and together he discussed with them his misgivings on what was happening. Lorand, and Rafford were very much behind the idea of protecting the people of Juetenburg but Roger and Jonas believed that they would be branded traitors and that the hostages held by the Boltens in the Dreadfort would be in danger. Roger Horntree had a son in the Dreadfort as a hostage and argued that his child would be killed if they did anything to hurt Ramsey Boltens ideas. Not coming to a complete agreement after talking for almost two hours they would break up but before they did Jonas who also had a child in the Dreadfort convinsed Roger of the honor of what Daryn wanted to do and thus Roger relented on trying to protect at least noble women and children. With this in agreement Roger would take the forces of House Horntree alongside several hundred others and begin rounding up women and children and bringing them east of the town to the main army of Hornwood who was camped there. While the Hornwood forces arranged the saving of so many women and children it was the Urnet's led by Gunthor Urnet that were hunting the streets for more gold, and women when during one of their raids they discovered that the Banners had been taken from a hiding spot to the Palace and thus he realized that Daryn Hornwood had not killed them yet. For Daryn Hornwood though, the rest of the day was drawing away and Daryn knew he had to make a decision, and he found himself outside the makeshift cell of Corina Banner of whom he kneeled before the bars and rested his head against them. Corina would come towards him and gently rub his hair trying to make him understand that she understood that he had to do what he had to do. Entering the cell he pulled her into a hug and laid with her against the wall where the two would discuss what kind of life they could have lived together as Daryn came to the understanding that if he didn't kill her and her family then his own family including many people he knew from his time in the Dreadfort would be at risk. The two would kiss and the heated kissing was only interupted when Rafford would arive to tell him that several Urnet men had arrived and were demanding to see him. Rafford would depart and sadly Daryn went to go as well but before leaving she would give him a necklace that her mother had given her when she was a child, and the two would kiss again.
Daryn returned to the top level of the castle to find Lorant, Jonas and Ser Rafford talking to Gunthor Urnet of whom was accompanied by many of his men including several Karstark men led by Atolf Karstark. Gunthor revealed he knew they had not killed the Lord of Jeutenburg yet and was here to make sure the deed was done to the satisfaction of those above and heavily threatened death to the Hornwood hostages in the Dreadfort if the task was not done to their satisfaction as well. Daryn to the surprise of his council would tell Gunthor that they were fine to do it now, and that he would summon the family right away, and Gunthor could witness it himself. Rafford, and Lorant went to gather the Banner family, and while they did this Atolf Karstark begin bragging about the number of young girls he had been with during the sacking of Jeutenburg to the point that Jonas nearly attacked him before Daryn commanded him to stand down.
When Rafford, and Lorant returned with the Banner family Nikolas kneeled before Daryn and closed his eyes as Daryn prepared to execute the man. Daryn would raise the sword once before putting it down briefly when Atolf Karstark begin rubbing the hair of Corina's younger sister Cersei and taunted Nikolas about what he was going to do to the young before she died too. Gunthor Urnet would then taunt Daryn calling him a coward and this led him to raise his sword once more, but this time as he did he felt Corina's presence behind him, and as he turned to look at her she gave him a sad smile before closing her eyes. Daryn knew in that moment that he couldn't do it and smashed his sword against a block of wood nearby. Gunthor would push his way past Jonas screaming about the commands of the Boltens and calling Daryn a coward and a traitor. As Gunther Urnet stepped forward to try and kill Nikolas it was Jonas Intris that stepped forward and slit the throat of Gunther before he could kill Nikolas.
The several Urnet, and Karstark men in the room tried to fight back, but were overwhelmed by the more numerous Hornwood forces and killed leaving only Atolf Karstark of whom begged for mercy, but without a word Daryn dragged him out of the courtyard and away from the Banners and once out of sight decapitated Atolf. Nikolas was set free from his bonds along with his family and Daryn would assist him in locating the loyalist members of his vassals along with his sister and her family. Following this he would set his men to helping Nikolas in exiting the city and as they left he stole his own kiss from Corina Banner before she was rushed from the burning town. Nikolas would thus be able to escape with much of his family and a significant force of his most loyal banner men. Staying behind under orders from Nikolas was his step-brother Otto Dragoon the bastard husband of his sister of whom led the rebels within the city while Nikolas rallied the Divine Lands to retake Jeutenburg. Daryn Hornwood would leave behind his knightly house in House Intris in order to better assist Nikolas Banner, and to make sure that his actions were not discovered by House Karstarke and Urnet who remained in the town with several influential family members.
| Siege of Koenisburg |
If they take Koenisburg it will prolong with this war for so much longer then it needs to be. Hold the city and we can break them now. Hold the city and we can end this before it begins.
Siege of Koenisburg
Main Article : Siege of Koenisburg
When Jeutenburg came under siege this was a huge indicator that the diplomatic message wasn't going to be enough so William ordered House Starke under Jon Snow, House Lannister under Tyrion Lannister, as well as House Clegane under Hedrik Clegane III. to send their forces to assist in the defense of Koenisburg as the city was now completely under threat. Word was sent to Koenisburg that this was happening and Britt Lancave would prepare herself for the ultimate defense of the city she loved so dearly. Word was also sent northward to Kul Tiras of whom was to send a large force of ships to Fairmaket in order to send the forces incoming to the Divine Lands. Kul Tiras would send two ships to Koenisburg under different purposes led by Wilheim Caellin, Dilon Borrell, and Tandred Proudmoore of whom would land in Koenisburg planting there house flags on two of the towers of the city making it appear once more there were more forces present then there would actually be. At the same time as this was going to happen William sent one of his greatest generals in Jamie Lannister to the small town of Grandlen where if the Boltens besieged the city of Koenisburg Jamie was to move southwards from Grandlen and hit them from behind and destroy the Boltens before this got out of hand. Jamie Lannister joined heavily by forces of House Reyne, House Brax, and other vassals of Castamere would arrive two weeks after leaving in Grandlen alongside a force of some two thousand cavalry, and they would make camp a days march east of Grandlen and await word from Koenisburg.
Jon Snow would arrive alongside Tyrion Lannister and a small force of House Starke and House Baratheon into Koenisburg, and were met with great applause by the scared locals of Koenisburg. Jon Snow and Tyrion were shown to rooms by Britt Lancave and when they were both situated Britt met with them to discuss what was happening in the theater. She told them that the Boltens appeared led by Ramsey Bolten, and were massing a large army outside of Karhold in a direct threat to Jeutenburg, and while the armies of the Divine Lands were large they were not even close to capable of defeating the amassed army of Bolten. The three would talk some more before Tyrion left leaving just Britt and Jon Snow alone, and she would ask him about how his situation in the north was going. Shocked that she remembered from briefly telling her years ago he told her about the letters and told her that it was taking all of his strength to stay himself from leaving for the north. Britt would explain to him the way Bastards worked in the Divine Lands, and told him how sad she was for him feeling so unloved just because of the manner in which he was born. Feeling comforted by this he was shocked when Britt suggested they marry, and despite finding her very attractive he still longed to see Ygritte again, and was forced to reject her offer. Things continued in a spin mode for many days until as they were meeting in the keep news reached them that Hedrik Clegane III. had arrived in Koenisburg and they went to the docks to meet him. Meeting with Hedrik Clegane III. he would give Jon Snow a letter passed onto him from a Maester from Stormwind, and labelled from Jeor Mormont he excused himself to read it, and digest what it would mean.
Hours after the arrival of Hedrik Clegane III. the city was alerted to the sudden arrival of more Lucernians as they were further joined by Sawyer Shephard of whom brought nearly a hundred Order of the Red Dragon men and flags with him as well in order to help. Using these flags and honor guard they mounted themselves all along the walls of Koenisburg, and alongside the earlier arrival of the Kul Tiras forces the walls were arrayed with different sigils and gave a very clear impression that House Starke, House Clegane, the Kul Tirasi Houses, and House Lannister had arrived in force. Tandred Proudmoore would also have his highly trained Kul Tirasi marines captain nearly every ship in Koenisburg to the point that the port looked filled to the brim furthering the idea that there was large force present. By this point the Lucernians, and Divine Lands had learned the extent of the destruction of Jeutenburg of which pushed basically the entire Divine Lands into the Lucernian camp including Grandlens large forces.
Devision and Failure
The moment the flags went up on the walls of Koenisburg their was a severe amount of panic among the leadership of House Bolten after Ramsey Bolten went on a screaming spree as he believed his commanders had failed him and brought them all into a trap. Following his ranting Ramsey Bolten would call the commanders together and go on another mad rant inside the command tent about the need for the army to retreat before they were overwhelmed by what he believed was a massive Lucernian army. In this moment Domeric would step forward and heavily push that they should attack the city right away as he argued their was no way that the Lucernians could have massed enough troops in the city to stop them. As he was almost finished talking Ramsey would take a knife out and lunge at Domeric attempting to kill him. Domeric was the more skilled warrior and dodged the knife before wrestling Ramsey to the ground, and only the interference of the other commanders stopped Ramsey from being killed right there. With Ramsey losing his mind in the tent it was Rickard Karstark that would suggest that they meet with the Lucernians and at least gauge the forces of the Lucernians from the meeting. Ramsey would reluctantly agree to this plan, and with that a messenger was sent to the wall making it known that they wanted a meeting.
The two forces would meet with Ramsey and Domeric Bolten followed by Rickard Karstark, and John Cole on the Bolten side and on the Lucernian side it was Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, and Hedrik Clegane III. alongside Britt Lancave. As the two forces rode out it was a quiet moment for both sides as both believed the other side was going to break the honorable truce of a white flag meeting. Meeting together they would barely be starting to discuss the issues when Ramsey Bolten would intervene and begin insulting Tyrion Lannister for being a dwarf, and Jon Snow for his bastardy birth.
With these insults the meeting begin to fall apart and it nearly came to violence when Ramsey took out a knife from his side and only the quick movement of Domeric Bolten stopped the situation from completely falling apart. Despite this Ramsey and Domeric would nearly come to blows but only Ramsey's knowledge that he couldn't defeat Domeric stopped him from attacking him right there. Ramsey would spit in his face before leaving with everyone else in the party outside of Domeric who remained behind. Britt Lancave would attempt to convinse him to come back with them, but he was loyal to a fault and returned to the Bolten lines.
Following the fight between Domeric and Ramsey Bolten and the collapse of the meeting with the Lucernians it was Ramsey's hatred and madness that led him him to decide to put nearly the entire Bolten army into a full retreat back to Karhold. Ramsey was at this point beyond any sort of rational thought and noone dared resist him despite the fact that many believed that Koenisburg was there's for the taking and Roose Bolten wanted the city taken at all costs. While he planned to have nearly the entire army do this he would force his brother Domeric to return to Karhold from a different direction with only House Hornwood and its loyal vassals. As the armies made their retreat back to Karkhold, it was Ramsey that put into work his real plan when he split from the main army and moved north with a large force of cavalry and planned to burn the town of Pomlet to the ground and thus force Domeric to come to its aid, where he would then say he was responsible for the act and ambush his brother's force. After hearing Ramsey talking about his plan to Reek it was Jordin Bolten that snuck into the force of Ramsey as it split off from the main army, and he would send a Raven to Grandlen telling Jamie Lannister of the change.
| The Dreadfort Court Massacre|
This is the moment where we move past redemption. If we do this we become beyond anything worth saving, but the unfortunate nature of this is that if we do not I will watch my kingdom collapse anyway. Options...Options...
Dreadfort Court Massacre
Main Article : Dreadfort Court MassacreWhen Karhold became completely surrounded by the forces of House Starke and others from the Kingdom Of Lucerne there became a movement by many of the lords of Bolten to try and get their children from Dreadfort of which everyone knew was the next target for the Lucernians. Roose Bolten understood that he only retained many of the nobles loyalties by holding their children and for this reason refused any calls to give up the children, and in fact called for more to be sent to solitfy loyalites. Anderson Cole would start a movement to Dreadfort when he and his friend Hadrian Hornwood would lead many nobles to Dreadfort in order to see Roose Bolten and get their children back. When they arrived they were greeted by Roose in the Dining Hall of the main keep as they wanted to be protected by the Guests Right, and while at first the mood was positive when talk begin on returning hostages it became clear they were not getting their children. Shocked by this turn of events Roose moved forward and they were told to leave and bring their forces to Dreadfort as they were commanded or risk their children never coming home. As this command was given several mostly led by Henrik Stout would argue that the war was not winnable if they did not work together, and that they needed to place trust in the nobles by giving them back their children and not holding them as hostages during conflict. When these arguments arose in the Dining Hall to a level that the tide turned to the rebels, Roose would shock everyone as he ordered his men to break the Guests Right by having the nobles rounded up by his guards and brought to central Dreadfort's square. With the nobles chained to posts in the Dreadfort square Roose and Rickard Karstarke would find every one of their children who were hostages in the capital and of those that they had more then one they executed the children while their fathers were forced to watch the act. In this brutality children as young as the five year old Sasha Cole were executed, and as the bodies piled up a fight broke out as Cley Cerwynn would get out of his bonds and kill a gaurd in front of him. Cley's execution begin the execution of the remainder of the nobles as Roose executed everyone else in the square leaving nearly thirty nobles and fifteen children dead. It was a shocking moment for all those other then Roose, but they all stood motionless as Roose walked forward and knelt down before the body of one of the children and closed its eyes before getting up and walking back into the keep. There was little talk after this as the rest of the men there knew that there was now no escape for them, and the remaining children were brought into the keep where they would remain under house arrest. Realizing that Justin Cole was the only one of the hostages not present Tared ordered him found and brought before him, and since they had another Cole already in Sasha Cole who the others would not know was among the dead he no longer needed Justin. Misha Bolten and Justin Cole were hidden at this point and made their way into the city proper only stopped by a guardsmen who Justin was forced to kill to get past him. Making their way into the town they were close to being caught when a door opened to a house and a man beckoned them inside. Getting inside the man told them he was Veseryan Ongrill and had been sent by the Kingdom of Lucerne to find him. Fearing for their life Justin took out his sword again but as he did Veseryan would knock it from his hand and push him against the wall holding him restrained before saying.
Misha would come between them, and was able to sit Justin down and calm him, and once they were all seated Veseryan told them that he couldn't get them out right now as the streets were filled with men looking for Justin and Misha, but soon he would get them out through the sewers. Veseryan would hide them in a cellar beneath the house, and once inside they found several other children that clearly Veseryan had also taken in so that they would be safe. Learning more about Veseryana and the Lucernian presence from Messaries Condon the oldest of the children in the cellar he was amazed at the level of infiltration the Lucernians had already made. Back on the street the gaurds of Bolten went house to house trying to find Misha, and Justin, and when after several days they had failed to find them the story was spread that Justin had kidnapped Misha after killing many of the noble children in the capital, and thus he was blamed for much of the murders. Veseryan would be able to gain knowledge of who had died from Tyse Hornwood who remained in the keep, and it was that list that Veseryan would sent west to the besieging forces of House Starke so that they could pass that information on to the others. Returning to the house Veseryan prepared the children for the moment they would move to escape, and made them aware that it was not going to be easy, as he had noted improved guarding of the sewers as House Bolten attempted to stifle escapes from the capital.