I have not spent much time around here lately. I did run one AGOT game this year, scheduled as Episode 2 (Fire and Fury) in case any players from last year's two sessions of Episode 1 returned. It was a mostly new group of 7 players, so we went back to the beginning once again.
By mostly new, I mean that one player (Ruth) who played in Part 5 last year reached out and asked to be my 7th player since she was locked out of a ticket when registration opened. It would also be nice for her to start at the the beginning. I already have some definitive versions of Yori and Lothar played by the Steves and my definitive Brock played by Suzi. Ruth has already begun to put her stamp on Jaery Mormont.
Another player at the table was from Brazil, playing a version of Yori that was more subservient to the hard headed young noble Lothar instead of being the voice of reason.
In this case, we had a very headstrong and well played Lothar with a group of supporting family members (Dorian and Morgan Shaw, Maester Baelin) that did not put much resistance to Lothar's command decisions. These four players knew each other and played each character very well. They actually played the game more true to the GRRM books in that as lesser and subservient family members, they would not put much resistance to their leader's decisions.
Elick and Jaery were the only real resistance to Lothar's command. Jaery was drowned out by the others where she did oppose them, but to her credit, she did not get too frustrated and played the character and the situation well. Being a female on basically equal political power, she was just not able to sway the others in some cases.
Elick as well was treated more as the bastard (that he is) in the group. He also did wonderful job. He eagerly submitted to the advances of old Ser Riley's young wife on the layover in Riley. He and Jaery also attempted to befriend the wild dire wolves feasting on the carrion in the ruins of Rohr, but he ended up being mauled by one of them in the fight.
Brock appeared out of the barn and helped Jaery save Elick from death. Yori, Lothar, Morgan, Baelin, and Dorian teamed up to take down the large adult dire wolf in the group of three. The third tried to get away but was hauled back in by a wonderful crossbow shot (critical) by Baelin.
For the first time in the 6 or 7 times I have run this game, Brock was killed by the group. Despite Jaery's protests, and also trying to convince young Lothar that the order was to bring the oathbreakers back to Last Hearth alive for their punishment if possible, Lothar took a hard line.
There was a comical discussion about the order being dead or alive, but there definitely was a choice. Elick was unconscious and being treated for his wounds. The player had taken on playing Brock and played him straight from my notes. He offered to atone for his cowardice and help the group recapture the kidnapped women. Jaery pointed out that he did save the women and children in the barn.
Lothar already made his decision, sentenced him to death, and carried out the grim work with his own sword.
Picking up the trail of the wildlings, the group were able to cover the distance between them and Elick (a very injured Elick) was able to pick up a evidence of the wildling's camp not too far off. He disguised himself with the clothing and some paint/decoration of a fallen wilding on the roadside and attempted to walk into the camp, sitting down and pretending to be one of them.
I probably just should have had them kill him, but after initially confronting him and almost killing him, he convince them he was one of the bastards of Last Hearth and wanted to join them, but saying he was alone and was attacked by dire wolves to explain his injuries.
At first, I thought he was going to tell the wildlings about the others and help lead them to an ambush of the rest of the group. He was being treated like crap by Lothar and the others (except for Jaery). But, he did not, stayed true to his group, and they were able to get into position and ambush the distracted wildings. most of the arrows hit the wilding tasked with killing Elick if he had moved in any threatening way. Having his weapons taken from him, Elick did attempt to attack the leader using the weapon of the fallen wilding, but he was unsuccessful.
Elick was again run down by a wilding, but not dead. A concentrated attack on the leader eventually led to his defeat, Jaery delivering the final blow in her charge, delivering enough damage to drop him to zero. The rest of the wildings were defeated, two having yielded and two others trying to crawl away. One had an arrow wound from a called shot to the head and the other being the wilding hit on the initial ambush. All four were killed at Lothar's order and they proceeded to interrogate Sharna, getting information on the shield and who had his father's sword.