Game of Checkers, Part 2: a tiny drama in CK2's Game of Thrones mod


People Who Need Pebble

I'm no longer worried about Pebble's ally, as I've got one of my own: Benjen Stark. Emboldened by the knowledge that Benjen will rally his forces and join me, I declare war on Pebble. A split second later, King Arrec declares war on Benjen Stark. Oh, nuts. Benjen is raising his armies. Just not for me.

I've openly declared war, so I can’t back out without losing face. Time to raise my army! Oh, right. My army is almost entirely dead because they've been off fighting a bunch of other wars for years. I only have 113 men available, less of an army than a committee. I glance over at Pebble and see that they’ve got about 650 soldiers standing at attention. Hm. Too late to pretend I was just kidding?

Well, all isn't lost. I empty my bank account and hire 1,500 mercenaries, who promptly appear in Wycliffe. Joining this relatively massive army to my own collection of weary, dead-eyed farmers, we march to Pebble across the bridge and win a quick and resounding victory. The remaining forces from Pebble flee. They flee to Wycliffe, naturally, their only exit route, and start sacking the shit out of my castle. I hurriedly whisk my men back across the bridge to Wycliffe, defeat Pebble’s army again, then go back to sieging the little island.

And within days, it’s all over. I win! I’m Lord of this little island! Pebble is mine!


Shortly after, Lord Eddard, Robb Stark’s son, dies in a suspicious accident. That’s men from three different generations of Starks all killed within a few years of each other. Winterfell must be working off some bad karma.

With the deed to Pebble in my hand, I give the title to Neddrick. Nerdrick, meanwhile, has just come of age, and his portrait changes from the generic picture of a child to display his actual unique features. Hum. Being chubby and auburn runs in my family, but he seems to have dodged that bullet, as he is gaunt and blonde.


Yeah. No way is Nerdrick my biological son. My wife Dana apparently dallied with someone, and seeing as how it was 15 years ago, it’s going to be next to impossible to figure out who it might have been. Someone gaunt and blonde, I assume. So many have come and gone from my court in that time, I’ll probably never know.

But, honestly, it’s no biggie. I've been screwing around behind her back, and as far as I’m concerned, Nerdrick is just as much my son as Neddrick is. I contact Tyrion Lannister and arrange the betrothal of Nerdrick to Tyrion’s daughter Rosamund. Now I’ll have both a Stark and a Lannister in my family, which is pretty cool. I will join these families and make peace by forcing children to get married! Of course, Rosamund is currently zero years-old, so Nerdrick will have to wait a good long while to actually marry her.

My own little war began and ended in just a few weeks, which is plenty of time for the rest of the world to get mad at each other over something. A fresh war erupts and my new liege is taking part, and so I march my ever-tinier collection of unprofessional soldiers (I've dismissed the sellswords) off to fight whatever war it is this time. Just before we march off I learn that Dana has become pregnant again, both of us now in our forties. I hope it’s mine this time.

Naturally, whatever war this is ends before I even march all the way to it, and I arrive back home just in time to witness my wife give birth to a baby girl! I name her Nanndrick.

Then I fall ill. Then I die of pneumonia.


Continue to Part 3.

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.