Game of Checkers, Part 1: a tiny drama in CK2's Game of Thrones mod


Baby talk

I pursue Lord Penthar, though I pursue him very slowly because he has far more soldiers than I do and I don’t really want to catch up to him, I just want to look like I’m trying to catch up to him. In the grand scheme of things, however, Penthar has very few soldiers and his revolt seems like a terrible idea. His three thousand men make it to Strongsong, where they’re met by more than ten thousand baby-supporting Valemen. The revolt is put down just as I arrive, meaning I have just enough time to wave hello to my fellow countrymen before turning around and slogging back home.

No sooner have I kicked off my boots and started complaining to my wife about how horrible my day was, when another call to arms is sounded. Now Lord Andar is pressing a claim on the island of Longsister. I don’t know what’s so great about those three northern islands, but they’re constantly being fought over. I wearily call my subjects back into service, join up with almost 20,000 marching Valemen, and we quickly stomp Longsister back into peaceful submission, then go home again. Across the Vale—at long last—the air rings noisily of peace.

As happy as I am in peacetime, there is very little for me to actually do. My council seems to be incredibly useless. My Master of Whispers has been eavesdropping around The Vale but hasn't uncovered any juicy plots. If I had a gold piece for every time my Master of Coin has collected extra taxes I would have zero gold pieces, and that is essentially the current situation. My Master of Laws, who I've had digging around for claims in the other Fingers has come up with squat. I was really hoping to find a claim on Midlor Point, just to spite Littlefinger, especially since I know I can defeat his army.


Luckily, there’s still the wonderful pastime of checking out the real Game of Thrones characters to see what they’re up to, and how random events of the game have altered their stories from the books.

For instance, Ned and Catelyn Stark should have produced a Sansa by now, possibly even an Arya, but they've only had one more child, a boy named Wyl, who was sadly stillborn. King Robert, meanwhile, has been busy, or at least Cersei has: she’s given birth to nine children, five of whom did not survive birth. Three of them were described as “inbred freaks.” Fancy that.

All these dead babies remind me: I need have more babies! I have an heir in Neddrick but it doesn’t hurt to have a pretender or two, just in case something happens to my little Nedd. In a case of excellent timing, some friends of mine introduce me to hedonism, which boosts my fertility, and just like that, Dana is preggers again. We quickly welcome our second child, a boy I name Nerdrick.

I'm feeling pretty optimistic! I may be no Littlefinger, but I've won every battle I've been in, I'm fairly well-liked, and I've got two fresh heirs just in case I die. Speaking of which, I'm about to die. Ninedrick has suddenly fallen ill. Deathly ill.


On the next installment of Game of Checkers: Ninedrick makes a full recovery. He's totally fine. Nothing to worry about.

Wait. Am I doing cliffhangers right?

Continue to Part 2.

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.