Previously on Game of Chops:
For the first time in the early campaign, the Owners make their presence clearly known. As the Second Strings lose one battle and nearly let another slip away, the commonfolk wonder one thing: where is Ser Kimbrel? Have the cold winds frozen the Closer? Has the army of the dead seized the flamethrowing knight?
Meanwhile, the village elders, wandering through Confounded Woods after the dark days of the Phillisport defeats, have appeared from the mists and enthralled the smallfolk with an idea which has strengthened and emerged as a rapidly expanding religion. Its followers have been whipped into a frenzy, at times communicating exclusively using the image of their new idol. The following’s meteoric rise has been so dramatic, that wise men across the realms have taken note. USA Today
Elsewhere in the War of the Five Teams:
Ser Bryce, The Teamslayer led his army to the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes where they conquered the kingdom, but not without casualty. Meanwhile, eager to stake their place in the war, the President’s Landing Guard mounted an amphibious assault on the castle of Queenstone. After a fortnight of battle, Phillisport controls the Eastern Kingdoms, but Queenstone and the Knights of the Chop trail closely, looking for a chance to strike.
Throughout the Thirty Kingdoms, from the Kingdoms of the East to the Free Cities of the West, everyone, from great lords in mighty castles to commonfolk in the meagerest bleachers, knows that Lord Jeter is no true threat in the War of the Five Teams. They knew it during the War of the Fivepenny Kings, and they knew it during the Age of Heros when Ser Maddux the Mad and Ser Glavine the Cunning led the Mounds Guard.
But that has never stopped Lord Jeter from exacting his due toll. If the Knights of the Chop are to keep pace with the forces of Phillisport, President’s Landing, and Queenstone, they must negotiate with the proud lord or fight their way across with minimal casualties.
The Hand called upon Ser Gaus, crannogman of the Bayou, to rejoin the Mounds Guard. He fought longer into the battle than any Mounds Guard in the campaign yet, and he led the Knights of the Chop to a successful defense against the attacking army.
Meanwhile, Ser Acuña the Young and the Knight of Flowers led the attack, launching catapults out of the SunTrust Stronghold which scattered Lord Jeter’s forces and won the night’s engagement.
The second day of battle was costly for the Knights of the Chop.
Each army dealt crushing blows to the other. The Knights controlled early as Ser Wright of the Bilt defended well from atop his perch. His brethren, Ser Dansby, and the Free Man, steady as ever, charged through Lord Jeter’s defenses.
However, Lord Jeter’s forces struck back, and Big Walder Alfaro and Little Walder O’Brien shot trebuchets into the charging Knights to halt their advance and even the odds.
The battle stood at a standstill, and Lord Snit called upon Minter of the Second Strings, fresh out of the infirmary, to maintain the defense. But Big Walder Alfaro struck yet again, mounting a charge straight through Minter’s defenses. Among the casualties were Ser Brian the Bold and the Knight of Flowers
The Lords of Miami Crossing, proud as ever, chose not to end the fight there. Lord Jeter’s army stood across the field from the Knights of the Chop, and a single soldier, Stevron Romo, slowly stepped forward. He lifted his sword, and he pointed at Ser Charlie the Clutch. All knew what this meant. Rather than face the Goat of Camar, Romo challenged Ser Charlie to a duel to decide the night’s battle.
The commonfolk watched with hopeful anticipation. In the tumult of battle, with the fate of the realm at stake, Ser Charlie had never come up short before. They didn’t have to wait long. The confident knight unsheathed his sword, approached Romo, and attacked at once. However, the Miami soldier deflected his blow, and in one quick counter-strike, the battle was over and Ser Charlie the Clutch was forced to yield.
The Knights of the Chop retreated to the SunTrust Stronghold to fight another day.
After the previous night’s loss, the realm knew it could scarce afford another defeat at the hand of Lord Jeter.
At dawn the next day, two solitary riders emerged from the SunTrust Stronghold. Wearing no armor, and unarmed, they galloped towards the Miami camps. The morning dew sparkled as the sun shone like a spotlight through the gaps of the Cumberland Forest.
As the riders trotted past the tents, they caught no enemy soldier off guard. They watched intensively, whispers echoing about what the rider’s intentions might be.
Finally, the riders arrived at the center of the camp. The Late Lord Jeter himself stood before his tent, and he greeted the riders as they dismounted their horses. The two men stood before the lord, one’s hair rustling in the crisp wind, the other towering over the rest.
Before the Lord of Miami Crossing stood Ser Dansby, Knight of the Bilt, and the First Lord, Ser Freddie the Free Man.
Seeing the two Knights had come in peace, Lord Jeter offered them bread and salt and invited them into his tent.
Hours passed. The commonfolk looked out from atop the battlements, wondering what had become of their heros. The enemy soldiers waited, wondering if they should storm the tent to protect their lord.
Finally, the Knights came forth from the command tent. Without word, they mounted their horses, trotted through the camp, and returned to their castle.
Meanwhile, Lord Walder Jeter gave a signal, and at once the enemies began packing their tents. Within minutes, the adversaries had left the realm.
For now the Knights of the Chop were free of their foes and free to move on to the next opponent. But on what terms? And at what cost?
After a successful defense of the SunTrust Stronghold, the Knights of the Chop march west in search of conquest. They set their sights on the Mountain Clans of the Rockies.
Though fearsome individually, the clans have never had the unity and organization to stand up to the great powers of the realms.
The mountain clans are a fiery lot, vicious on the attack, but tend to leave themselves vulnerable. They lack the expensive armor of the opposing Mounds Guards they battle, and this has often been their undoing in the past. However, a new group has emerged in this Rocky terrain – led by young warriors Freeland and Marquez, this new generation seems more composed than their forebears.
Most importantly, the Knights of the Chop must beware of ambush. In the altitude of the Rockies, enemies can attack at any moment. Arrows fly farther, and defenders can easily get lost in the vast fields. Minimizing these ambushes will surely be key to the Knight’s success.