Previously on Game of Chops:
With the power of their new god, the common folk believe the Knights of the Chop are unstoppable. At the close of each battle, they gather around their sacred image and pray. Since the widespread adoption of this radical new faith, the Knights have won nearly every battle. With this power behind it, does the realm even need Azor Anthopoulos? The Owners seem nothing but a long forgotten threat.
Elsewhere in the War of the Five Teams:
The Knights of Phillisport have erred in their overconfidence. During their raid on President’s Landing, they hoped to demoralize the city and neutralize any future resistance in the War. However, their atrocities only united the people of gNats Bottom against them. Driven by the need to avenge the sack of their home and make the Teamslayer pay for his crimes, the City Guard marched on Phillisport. In their hubris, Ser Nola and the Phillisport Mounds Guard left their homeland open to attack, and President’s Landing has secured its first major victories of the young war.
Meanwhile, Queenstone trades blows with its opponent, and Lord Jeter bides his time.
As Phillisport burns, the Knights of the Chop and Queenstone have equaled Phillisport’s influence over the Eastern Kingdoms.
Ser Julio, remembering his success in past mountain engagements, volunteered to lead the expedition into the Rockies.
Along the way, the Knights encountered small parties of clansmen. Unarmored and lightly armed, they were easy targets for the Knights. Ser Acuna and Ser Dans overwhelmed the enemies, and each clash drew the Knights further up the mountains. The Knights pushed their way through the ranks of the Rocky Mountain Clans, but as their confidence grew, their guard lowered.
Suddenly and silently, the Knights of the Chop were surrounded. Arrows flew and soldiers fell. In the chaos of the ambush, the Clansmen of the Rockies seized control of the battle. Fooled despite his experience, Ser Julio retreated from the fight, and the Second Strings took over the defense.
Heroically, Luke of Jackson rallied the Knights and fought off the remaining attackers. In the aftermath, the commonfolk were forced to reckon with their previous errors of judgement. In his service through several pitched battles, he has proven himself true to the realm and worthy of knighthood.
In the following day of battle, Ser Fried resumed command of the defenses. With the Clansmen of the Rockies routed following the ambush, the Knights of the Chop continued their march to an easy conquest.
Once again, Ser Acuna and Ser Dans led the attack. At long last, Ser Dans is showing the promise he displayed as a squire in the Bilt. Tales of his valor have swept through the countryside. It is early in the campaign, but already smallfolk whisper he could be named the Most Valiant Paladin.
However, before the Knights could complete their conquest, weather intervened. Just miles away from the Clansmen’s stronghold, the snow began falling. It soon covered the ground and piled so high that the Knights could not advance, and they were forced to retreat for now. Although only a single excursion into the mountains was planned, the Knights of the Chop must return later to finish what they started.
Without a battle to discuss, the smallfolk turn their attention to the politics of the Mounds Guard. Since the beginning of the realm, even before the Age of Heroes, the Mounds Guard has always been composed of five knights. No more, and no less.
As foreseen in the flames by the exiled Lord Coppy, the Knights are in a fortunate position: more viable contenders step forward for the Mounds Guard than available spots. Ser Folty prepares to resume his role as Lord Commander, and the promising Maple Knight, Ser Soroka, nears the end of his rehabilitation. Is it time for Ser Julio to finally abdicate his position, or will the Lord Hand perhaps choose to demote a younger knight such as Ser Newk or Ser Wright? Both have shown great promise and skill, but their wild tendencies can leave the Knights exposed and vulnerable. Surely Ser Fried has secured further opportunity with his exemplary service so far in this campaign, but would his versatile skill set serve the realm better with the Second Strings?
No matter what the Lord Hand decides, the commonfolk feel comforted knowing should one of their defenders fall in battle or need to be sent away in a hostage exchange, another knight will be ready to fill his place.
Now ravens bring word that the forces of Queenstone set their sites on the SunTrust Stronghold. The Knights of the Chop rush home to defend the realm, knowing that with defeat, they will lose control of this War of the Five Teams.
But the Knights must beware, as the Queenstone armies bring with them three fire-breathing beasts the likes of which the Knights have yet to face this campaign.