I press my claim on Lord Alric of The Paps. He raises his levies and, surprisingly, starts marching out to meet me. Huh. I kinda thought he’d just hunker down in his fort and wait for me to arrive. Oh well. I raise my tiny levies and hurriedly hire 1,500 sellswords. It’s on.
Alric marches through Sunset Keep and we trample through Coldwater Burn, our armies meeting in Snakewood. Happily, we slash through his forces like dragonglass through a white walker, and he flees out into The Vale with only a few hundred remaining men. We march on to The Paps to begin the siege.
Then, something alarming happens. Alric and his soldiers begin marching on Wycliffe and Pebble. It’s a siege-off! He’s going to try to claim my holdings while I’m busy claiming his. He marches through Wycliffe and crosses the bridge to Pebble. It’s not going to do me much good if he takes over my island while I’m taking over his. Also, I’m physically in Pebble. That’s where Rosie is while her husband is leading her army. If he captures the castle, he captures me.
Okay, it’s time to get drastic. I have 80 gold left, just enough to hire another 1,200 mercenaries. If they arrive in Pebble just in time to meet Horton’s 330 soldiers and chase them off, and then I dismiss them before incurring any additional monthly payments, I might be able to afford to continue the siege on The Paps long enough to take it. If this drags on, though, I won’t be able to pay the current mercs' monthly expenses and they’ll bail. I take out a loan from the Iron Bank (at 25% interest) just to be sure, and hire the new soldiers.
Boom. As if by magic, a force of 1,290 soldiers suddenly appears on Pebble. Horton immediately does an about-face and starts sacking Wycliffe instead, but I send the fresh sellswords chasing after him. He abandons Wycliffe and heads back out onto Coldwater Burn, but really, he’s got nowhere to run now.
It’s over. The Paps is mine! I've got another tiny dumb rock to call home.
The acquisition of The Paps comes with a surprise, too: of the five holdings that make up The Fingers, I now rule three of them: Wycliffe, Pebble, and The Paps. That’s a controlling share of The Fingers. The lords of the other two holdings, Midlor Point and Sunset Keep, have become my vassals, and now I'm running the whole show.
I've got a new title! I’m no longer Lady Nondrosie of Pebble. I’m Lady Nondrosie of The Fingers!
This is exciting! Briefly. Then it completely ruins everything.