House: Stahlhardt

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Realm: Westerlands

Contributor Username: craftydruid

Age & Role: 22, Heir to House Stahlhardt; Leader

Goal: Wealth

Motivation: Excellence

Virtue: Humble

Vice: Cruel

Background
Richter II was born in 277 AC to Richter Stahlhardt, Lord of Summitstone Keep and Galena Stahlhardt. He was raised as most noble heirs are; he learned reading and writing, the ins and outs of court politics, house sigils, the names of Lords and Ladies, and the basics of arms and armor. He took a liking to combat at a young age, and spent much of his time in the yard with sword and shield. He played king of the keep with some of the younger boys in the Isenwood and knew no hardships.

At the age of twelve he went to war with his father against the Greyjoys in 289 AC, and his carefree nature was hammered into an iron discipline. At first he was gripped with fear. Watching men bleed to death with their own guts in their hands and seeing his father personally behead traitors and cravens made him nauseous. Over-time he became desensitized, and the cruelties of war found a home in his heart and set up shop.
Lord Richter was captured by rebels during a raid at the Crag. Richter II, filled with rage at the rebels, attempted to stir up the lords that traveled with his father--but they were apprehensive and weak. They wanted to wait and keep their own soldiers safe while Lord Richter was treated like a dog in a cage. He ran through the night to the Lannister encampment, and returned in the morning with Tywin and his host. The rebels were slain, and Richter II's opinion of the Lords of the Westerlands was more than soured.

Runa, a young girl whom Lord Richter adopted during the rebellion, lost her parents to the same rebels. Some of her relatives took the black due to economic declines, and she desired to find them and connect with them. Lord Richter, feeling a great debt to this girl for her actions during the rebellion, agreed, but also sent Richter II. The two trained with the Night's Watch for a time before returning home.

Awed by the strength of Lannister power and wealth, Richter II began plotting for the rise of his house. At the age of 17 Richter traveled across the narrow sea under the guise of selling Criarian steel to the people of Essos. Though he did this, his true goals were to foster an alliance with the Iron Bank of Braavos, or at least gain their favor. He failed, miserably, and had to sell his entire stock of Criarian steel to get home.

Now, Richter II prepares to take his father’s place. He is humble about his skills and his upbringing, but he yearns for supremacy and excellence. He knows that a wealthy house is a strong house, and a strong house must be feared to maintain its power. He is considered intimidating by his friends and retainers, and he enjoys watching and making his enemies suffer—a vice which may someday ruin the plans he holds for his house.


While in King's landing he aims to catch the eye of Lord Tywin, and perhaps arrange a suitable marriage to improve his status.
He also hopes to supply the Lannisters and their vassals with a healthy supply of Criarian steel in order to assert the dominance of the Westerlands over all other Kingdoms and expand Summitstone's niche market. Richter has strong feelings for his adopted sister, but he knows he must resist them for the ever-increasing power of his house. He loves his brother, but has nothing in common with him aside from their family name. Where Richter would fight, Liam would scheme. Darion Fenn, the Stahlhardt Master-at-Arms, is a quiet sort of fellow. Richter feels comfortable in the silence the two share, and Richter respects the man's prowess with a sword. Richter ignored the Maester simply because he was a newcomer, and treated him with disdain for most of his trip to King's Landing.

Events of King's Landing

In the year 289 Richter II set out to King's Landing with several household guards, a handful of Drauger, Runa Stahlhardt, Liam Stahlhardt, Darion Fenn, and the house's master blacksmith in hopes of securing stronger ties with the Lannisters and spreading Criarian steel to the major houses of Westeros. In this he was successful, but several complications led to strained relationships with Liam and Darion that set the piercing eyes of Tywin upon House Stahlhardt.

During the Tourney of the Hand Richter II unhorsed two opponents from the Reach, Ser Daltis Wyne and Stanler Coldren, on the first day. He enjoyed wine, women, unexpected fame, having never ridden in a joust before. According to Maester Gawen's writings of the time his feelings for Runa began to bubble to the surface around this time.

That night Richter enjoyed the company of one of Ser Daltis Wyne's sisters, but was interrupted by Lannister guards and a most inopportune time. He was led to Kevan Lannister's quarters, where the portly Knight told Richter that the actions of his sister earlier that night had inspired a bloody mess. She had thrown a knife at a Dornishman during the Royal feast, causing an uproar from several Dornish houses. Kevan suggested banishment as a punishment and public lashings.

Richter returned to the Stahlhardt lodgings in Rahenys' Hill, woke Runa, and in a few hours time met her and a group of Drauger at the heart tree in the godswood in the Red Keep. Richter gave her 10 lashes as the soldiers watched on, and then enjoyed a meal together under the trees. According to the Maester, Runa attempted to shrug off the pain with her own special brand of humor, but Richter was somewhat devastated. He never admitted this, but Maester Gawen claimed to notice subtle changes in his mood at the mention of the punishment.

Richter's presence was appreciated by Lord Tywin during the Dornish attack on the Royal Procession after the second day of the tourney. Richter did not enter the fray, however, as Jaime Lannister, Sandor and Gregor Clegane, and several house guard decimated the small force of soldiers in a matter of seconds with their newly acquired Criarian blades.

During the aftermath Richter, Runa, and Darion were sent as vassals for Lord Tywin to comb the city for any Dornish survivors. Though they were mostly unsuccessful, one prisoner was enough to make the Warden of the West happy. The Dornish who were captured were sentenced to death, but Lord Tywin also requested that several of his banner houses mingle with Dornish houses in a measure of peace. The marriage of Liam Stahlhardt and Evelyn Freitas was suggested, and several envoys were requested of House Stahlhardt.

After the hearing Richter was approached by Halys Hornwood. The Stahlhardts knew that Darion's past would come back to haunt them at some point, and the northman requested that Richter turn the Master-at-Arms over at once. Richter refused, and a small power struggle ensued. Richter was summoned to the chambers of Tywin Lannister in the evening one week later. He had received a letter from Liam Stahlhardt accepting his marriage and suggesting that Lord Tywin should appropriate House Antirran. Tywin instead suggested that Richter take a firmer grasp on his advisers, especially a younger brother who didn't know his place. Richter requested Lord Tywin's advice, as well as his help in ending the Hornwood affair. Much to Richter's surprise his Lord agreed.

The following day Darion Fenn attacked several Hornwood men and was captured, despite his valiant effort. Richter II summoned the power of his house and marched on the Hornwood lodgings, demanding Darion's safe return. After delegations with the Starks and Lannisters, Darion was eventually freed, though he was beaten and bloody. Richter and the rest of his house departed for Summitstone a fortnight later, with the understanding that they owed the crown a favor.

Epilogue

Richter II’s return to Summitstone was celebrated with a revelrous night of feasting and drinking. Lord Richter I was most pleased with his son’s actions in King’s Landing and the attention that House Stahlhardt is receiving from the Lannisters. His campaign against the Ironborn was successful, and they retreated to their shitstained rocks.

During the War of the Five Kings House Stahlhardt was at the front lines with the Lannisters and the other minor houses of the Westerlands. Richter II led the vanguard against Robbs forces several times, but the ferocity of the Northmen was too much. After the events of the Red Wedding, Lord Richter and his sons helped Jaime Lannister to tie up events at Riverrun.

Upon returning home Richter I attempted to find suitable matches for Runa and Richter II, but it mostly resulted in frustrations, insults, and the beatings on several house servants due to the two’s distaste for each new suitor. According to Maester benedict the two would steal away to the Isenwood together at the stroke of midnight, for what most assumed to be training.

After Lord Tywin’s death, Richter I began to take a back seat to ruling over Summitstone and allowed his son to take command. He agreed to the marriage of Richter II and Runa, exclaiming that he knew Richter loved her since the age of twelve when they met in the moutains of the Craig.
Richter II and Runa were married in 300 AC, and have their first child, Richter III in 301. He was a hearty child, said to have his father’s strength and his mother’s speed.

Around this time the harvests of the Ironfall Mines began to dwindle, and a major collapse caused a panic. Richter I was trapped under falling rocks during an inspection of the mines, and though all of the miners and Lord Richter were extracted safely, his Lordship died of complications some time later. The house grieved for months, and it is said Richter I and Runa continued to wear black every day long after.

Richter II explored other means of income for the House. He turned to Liam and implored his counsel, giving him whatever gold and support he needed. The two agreed on the construction of a port city near the Craig that Liam would govern. Profits were exponential, and the House enjoyed great riches.

Runa and Richter had five more strong and noble children, some with the shining blond curls of Runa and some with the dark coarse locks of Richter. As a father, Richter II took after his own father and was a loving and compassionate man, though he was tough and issued discipline where necessary. He raised fine adults with the help of Runa, who instilled them with a wonderful sense of humor and a gentle eloquence that Richter could never command but always appreciated.

Though Richter never achieved greater house status for the Stahlhardts, his children went on to bring further fortune and fame for his house. The history tomes tell of Richter IIIs valiant efforts against the Targaryen resurgence and the daring of Michalis and Frayr, deadly drauger twins.

Player Postmortem

Richter II is, quite honestly, a bit of a straight-forward character. His actions are driven by honor and power, and sometimes he has to do some unpleasant things to please his lord. He is in good company with characters like Ned and Robb Stark in his behaviors, with a bit of a Westerland flavor instead of northern stubbornness. His dimensions begin to expand a bit when his cruel nature is abated by his affection for Runa and the happy memories of his childhood, which he attempts to suppress in order to appear the competent and unbending lord that he sees himself as. I think Richter ended up being successful, but perhaps not by his own definition. Success for him was muddy, as he wanted Runa as a partner in life, but he also wanted the elevation of House Stahlhardt to major house within his lifetime. Unforunately this doesn't happen, but he does marry Runa, and his kids manage to build the house into a powerful dynasty.

His motivations shifted during his time in King's Landing as he realized family and, hell, even romance was important to him. Suddenly following orders blindly left a sour taste in his mouth, and Richter became softer. He attempted to cover this up with senseless beatings and violence, but in the end he gave in to his emotions and ended up making out with Runa in a hallway in Summitstone. He morphed from the cruel noble lord to the...less cruel, loving lord. With more money.

If I were to create Richter II again, I would give him more drawbacks and find different ways to make his life hard. His life is pretty simple compared to most characters, and the forbidden love plot that eventually works out for him in the long run was somewhat predictable. His cruelty was mild and inconsequential, and it rarely got him into trouble. The only major effect of it was Liam's distrust, which did result in some interesting story but that was mostly outside of Richter's sphere of influence. Writing about Richter was cool at times, but it was difficult to make him feel entirely human. I think this is why GRRM doesn't use Joffery or Ramsay Bolton as POV characters. It's difficult to get into the head of a cruel human, and because of that I tried to abate some of that from the get-go.

I think getting into Richter's head, and separating his feelings from my own, was difficult because a lot of my own thoughts matched up with Richter's. If I could start from scratch I would've attempted to create a character completely different from myself to get some insight into what its like to write a different type of character--who knows, maybe I could have found some kind of niche for myself. Unfortunately I played it safe with Richter, and found myself trying to avoid his death instead of trying to find interesting scenarios to write about.


Abilities and Specialties
Ability
Ability Score
Specialty
Bonus Dice
Cost
Agility
2
Dodge
1B

Awareness
3
Notice
1B

Cunning
3
Decipher
1B

Endurance
3
Stamina
1B

Fighting
4
Long blades, Axes
2B , 1B

Language
3



Persuasion
3
Intimidate
1B

Warfare
3



Status
5



Inventory
Item
Type
Stats
Qualities
Heirloom Longsword
Weapon, Sword
ATH +1
Criarian Steel
Handaxe
Weapon, Axe
ATH +1

Shield
Armor

Stahlhardt Sigil Painted on the front
Breastplate Armor
Armor
5

Backpack
Personal Item


Heavy Belt
Personal Item


Flask
Personal Item

Usually filled with water
Courser (Horse)
Mount

Named Discipline, brown with black mane, boiled leather armor




2,085 Silver Stags
Coin