Dice Dojo Game of Thrones
Master of the Hunt
Aaron Kale is the youngest and last son of the House of Kale. He witnessed the fall of his house and slaughter of his family by the forces of the House Trant. In a gambit Maester Findle took two horses in the chaos of battle and fled with Aaron and his sister. The ride was long and hard and the enemy was swift to take upon their heels but in the end they arrived and were presented to the Hermit Lord Henry Mertyn. It is not known truly why Lord Mertyn decided to take upon the two children. Their presence could only cause conflict with the Tyrant family and they had no land or title to offer. Some say Lord Mertyn was overcome by a rare moment of pride and wished to slight the house of Tyrant. Others say he was bewitched by the beauty of young Mary. Who is to say for truth. What is known is after a scrutinizing moment offered his hospitality and the scouts that had hounded the remaining Kale family’s flight were forced to withdraw.
Maybe one time Aaron’s goals would have pushed him to pursue his brother’s noble calling and become a knight, or perhaps join the Black guard of the nights watch upon the wall, or follow his love of lore and join the order of the maesters, but these things were all taken from him the day his family was slaughtered. A painful truth was instilled in him that day. To the honor-less, honor means nothing and therefore is nothing. Honor and glory did nothing for his brothers as they were slaughtered like sheep. Honorable combat didn’t save his brother from a cowards blade and honor did not stop the men from torturing his mother to death. In the end, honor was just a meaningless word thrown around by men with shiny armor and titles. Honor would play no part in his revenge. Righteousness would play no part in his revenge. He would kill, not just kill, murder, his way to revenge and it would give him great pleasure to do it. For every Tyrant dead he would be given a small measure of piece. The unfortunate truth of the matter is however, there would never be enough Trant’s to fill the blackness in his soul.
Kale has lived in the shadow of his older sister since they came to house Mertyn. He was always quite and aloof, stopped short of his words by age and the bullying and brashness of his older brothers but as time went on this dower mood grew in him. Kale loved his mother very dearly, he was mystified by her voice and her connection with the forest. She was gone from him but he still remembered the things she did in the forest, inhuman things that brought him great joy and terror as one. It was only natural that when the time came he took up the mantle of Master of the Hunt, for his aim had been honed by 15 years of vengeance and pain. With each arrow let fly the picture of a Trant was at the other end. Each track found the hope of a Trant its maker and in the bitter darkness of the forest his rage gave birth to something other then Aaron Kale. His skill at killing from the stillness and shadows of the forest would be put to use on other things soon enough.
Aaron is rarely seen around the keep or township of Mertyn. His business usually keeps him outside the walls of the keep and away from people. Upon his return he is welcomed with a mix of awe and trepidation. Aaron’s return always meant the township would feast well but it also meant he would be lurking in the city for a time and that sat well with few. In truth Aaron hasn’t harmed the people of Mertyn like some claim, his scares are deep and keep him detached from his fellow man. He has love for only two things now, the woods because it shows him who he must become and his sister as she shows him what he once was.
House Kale has long been harried by dogma of what the locals have called witch blood. It was believed that in the time of dragons their line settled in what is now called the storm lands believing that the breath of the gods would keep away the great winged beasts. True or not with them they brought their foreign superstitious ways. Some discount them as simple stories, some believe that those of the Kale line have power over animals, can pass through the woods without a trace, and even curse the families those who would cross them to a terrible death. Whether this is true or not matters little as the house of Kale is all but destroyed.
It was just another endless task to perform. Another appeasement to the Lord Trant. For nearly 10 years the self proclaimed Lord of Justice had wished to bring war to the house of Kale for communing with unnatural forces and other injustices predicated upon boundary rights. Once every season Lord & Lady Harron held feast with the Trant House in what they dubbed “The time of appeasement.” Aaron was 7 at the time of the final feast. A feast like any other feast throughout the years save one small detail. The banner men of Lord Trant were at their lord’s back. The battle was not long. The keep of House Kale held valiantly against the forces of the usurper. The Ravens were dispatched but by the time those loyal to house Kale were rallied all that stood of the once noble house was ash, gutted stone, and a burnt oaken crown bearing the smoldering corpse of its once lord. On that day Lord & Lady Harron Kale were put to an ignoble end. Lord Harron stabbed through the heart and fallen upon his throne. His burnt bones still reside there a warning to anyone who would dare take upon the mantle of house Kale. The wife of Lord Harron met a much more gruesome demise. It is not a simple act to kill a witch. First, her soul must be broken lest it’s vile nature find a way back into the land of the living. For a death, a true death, she must be purged with pain and fire and so she was. Her wailing is said to be heard in the deeper parts of the forest when the wind blows high over the tree line.
Much of Aaron’s demeanor came from his elder brothers. The youngest, smallest, and most timid of the Kale house, honor and glory had already come to his brothers, all of who were knights. They had all fought in battle and defended the lands of Robert Baratheon. Resplendent in their armor and carrying their mighty blades Aaron had never imagined that all their valor and righteous might would count for nothing. He would never imagine it until his eldest brother, Sir Harron Kale second of his name, was brought low by a slew of arrows. He was the first casualty in the slaughter of house Kale. All his skill in battle mattered not for he never swung his blade.
Sir Mennon Kale was another story. The second eldest brought the battle to Tyrants men with the fervor and ferocity he was known for as he was a full head taller then any of his brothers. His nickname among the men was bear, for he was a broad man with a great brown beard and hands that could take all but the stoutest man to the ground in a moment. But even a pack of wolves can bring low a bear. So it was that Sir Mennon suffered the fate of his brothers. Spear after spear bit and thrust into him finding purchase in a knee joint, under the arm, the ankle, dozens of blows from dozens of men meant to bleed the beast of the man rather then kill him outright. When he finally suffered the killing blow he could barely lift his head to see it coming. Just another spear by another faceless man bearing the colors of Trant.
Sir Thorron Kale met a tragic end as he was knocked to the ground by Lord Tyrant’s horse. Hitting the ground Tyrant’s men took no time in leaping on his back and pushing stiletto’s into the chinks of his armor until his convulsing body stopped moving.
Of all the Kale’s it could be said that Sir Darron was the most forthright and forward thinking of them all. After seeing this plot for what it was he swiftly grabbed the two closest to the table and ran with them. The two were Mary and Aaron. As he burst from the chamber arrows rained upon him ringing off the walls and his battle plate. By chance he came to Maester Findle and pushed the children upon him demanding he rush them to safety. Behind them the slaughter raged and Maester Findle saw what he proposed, following his lords words immediately. The last Aaron saw of his brother Darron was him falling to his knees by the light of his burning house. He had fought and held the pursuers at bay for as long as his body would let him.
Sabra Khale, the first born daughter to the Kale house was torn from her screaming mother. As the very house burned around her she was beaten, raped, thrown in her chambers and left to listen to the laughter of Trant men as they barred her exit. Her mother’s first lesson in pain would be that of her eldest daughter screaming for help as she was left to burn alive in the collapsing house.
Aaron is already one of the best archers in Westeros as his living is the hunt but he lives for revenge. These two mind states have pushed his abilities to the brink of perfection. But shooting arrows cannot achieve victory alone, despite the skill of the wielder. If anything that lesson has been firmly imbedded upon his mind. It will take more then mere skill to throw down his enemies, it will take patience, and fear. The same fear and animal feels when it knows it is being hunted, the fear that pushes it to action and leaves it open for the kill.
Looking upon his sister in the mad kings hall when her fate was being decided brought Aaron back to time spent with his mother in the utter darkness of the forest, before his eyes took on the yellow reflection of the owl and the veil of darkness was lifted from the night. He remembered most of all the terror of the night and the creatures that seemed to gather around the periphery of his vision he and his mother as they crouched before the great white tree that cried tears of blood. There was a storm that night and in the flash of lightening he saw a face in the darkness. The face has haunted him even to this day. It is a face he will be using to cause that same fear in the heart of his enemies.