My plot was a success! I dig deeper into the menus. “Stevron Frey has died of natural causes. He was 78.”
Great plotting, idiots. Together, 11 of us couldn't kill a frail old man when most of the plotters live in the same house as him. In an impotent rage, I dial up another plot against the new head of the Frey family – Ryman – and send plot party invites to another ten people. They accept within days, and I close the menu in disgust. Ryman's young and crafty; my gang of plotters couldn't murder a roast capon.
I need to take my frustration out on something. Luckily, by now I have 40,000 men armed with various killing devices stationed a few miles north of Edmure's belligerent armies. I select them all and aim them south, marching them into the Riverlands. Northmen, to war! My brave men are crossing the Twins when I am notified that the war's off. Edmure's team lost, Robert's won. Robert was fine dealing with Edmure solo, he just thought I might fancy the fight.
Edmure's taken captive, sits in a dungeon for a few days, and then gets his head chopped off for his rebellion, dead at 18. I sheepishly disband my levies and make the trek back to Winterfell. I think Catelyn and I will be sleeping in separate beds tonight.
I'm laying on Winterfell's version of a couch – probably made of straw or something – when my spymaster tells me that Ryman Frey has been successfully assassinated. This is brilliant news, made only better by the manner in which he was killed: my plotters filled a room directly beneath his seat with manure, and lit it when the methane built up. I have literally shit a man up. This is Ned's first sniff of subterfuge and – despite the poo – it smells good.
It looks like Ned won't be able to wash the stink of intrigue off before people come nosing, though. The farmer that sold my plotters the barrels of dung has dobbed me in, I've lost 100 piety (one of the ways CKII tots up your score at the end of your reign) and now the rest of the Freys are demanding vengeance – wrong one of Crusader Kings II's families, and their other members will carry a grudge in their character sheets. You can be as friendly, as kind as you like to them in an effort to raise their opinion of you, but if they find out you blew up their grandad with liquid shit, then their disposition toward you is forever tainted.
It's the same problem I had with Meera Reed last week, after I killed her dad. But Meera was one eight-year-old girl, the last of her line; she would have a hard time gaining enough support to bump me off. The Freys are a more worrying proposition. There are more Freys knocking about than capons at a wedding feast, and a good proportion of them hate me. There's only one thing I can rely on – and that's that the only people the Freys hate more than me is other Freys. I hatch another plot to kill the newest boss Frey, and invite another dozen of his family members to help out.