Rivers of Blood
Winter can come, and it can look, but it will not find me
Male, early 20s, 5’10", 140 lbs, slight athletic frame. Short brown hair, brown eyes.
Agility 4 – Dodge 1B, Quickness 1B
Animal Handling 2 – Drawback (wary of animals) -1 die
Athletics 3 – Run 2B
Fighting 5 – Short Blades 3B
Stealth 4 – Sneak 1B
The journey north from King’s Landing was uneventful. The land turned a steadily deeper green as the scenery changed day by day. Ral appreciated the beauty of the fertile valleys of the Riverlands, but they didn’t provide the comfort of a castle wall. Ralhallan felt exposed in the open space. Finally, amidst all the green vistas was one greying blight, his destination.
The last leg of the journey was by boat. The grim faced local boatman eyed him suspiciously. Ral knew the look and had dismissed his pilot’s thoughts of robbery with a subtle reveal of a hidden stiletto. It was enough of an exchange between two men of violence to let them both go back to concentrating on their primary tasks. The boat continued on its convoluted path through the waterways and Ral tried to make sense of the landscape. The brackish water and bleak land in contrast to what he had travelled through might have drained his spirits further but for the fact as he made his way into the fens the vegetation rose and closed in around him and he felt somewhat less visible and somewhat more comfortable.
He could have chosen to approach from up river, the longer but easier journey, approaching through the fens was less visible and Ral always favoured the less travelled route. They had passed men fishing in coracles; mistrustful glances had been directed Ral’s way; contents of boats quickly covered. Ral noted the desperate lawlessness of the local people, something not uncommon in the war ravaged seven kingdoms as he’d come to realise in his journey north.
The vegetation grew taller and more dense as they approached the river and the castle and the waters took on a brownish red hue. He expected the castle to loom out from amidst the reeds in the way the grim stone edifices of the North did, imposing their presence in the land they dominated, but Bloodwater Keep squatted on its rock like a bullfrog trying to sleep on a stone it had stolen from a smaller toad. It looked as if the marsh would swallow it if it made the slightest mistake. Ral loathed it instantly. It was ugly, forgotten, and out of place. A testament to man’s miserable will to exist where he was unwelcome. It was a godless place and felt wrong to him.
In contrast to the shortcomings of the keep, the men that greeted him on the short jetty were professional soldiers. There wasn’t a fresh face amongst them, all battle hardened and well equipped with well maintained blades and armour. Ral knew instantly he wouldn’t want to face any of these men in combat without a significant advantage. At that moment he was glad he had letters of introduction and handed them over. He was about to explain what they were when the sergeant opened the covering missive and began to read it; Ral kept his surprise at the military man’s education to himself and made a mental note. With a cursory, “I will take you to Ser Torrhen”, Ral was led up worn steps and into the moss-slimed, stone keep for an audience with his new Lord.
Ralhallan grew up on the streets of King’s Landing and spent the war there in the service of the Small Council. He has come to Bloodwater Keep at Lady Nymeria’s request as aid for her son, Ser Harlan – sometimes the duties of a knight are not very honourable. He says little of his past, is a quiet and serious man, but does not hide his reverence to the Seven. Little escapes his notice and he has a disconcerting habit of entering rooms unnoticed.