Game of Checkers, Part 4: a tiny drama in CK2's Game of Thrones mod


Family Plots

With what little gold I've got, I've started construction on a castle town in Pebble hoping to increase my tax base a little. With only military holdings, it’s really tough to raise any money.

And, something actually happens: I've been appointed Master of Whispers to Lord Paramount Gilwood! Hell yeah! Just call me Rosiefinger! Wait, don’t call me that. That’s weird. Not to be outdone, Littlefinger becomes Regent for like the 20th time. I also notice some activity on Midlor Point: Littlefinger is building some barracks to increase the size of his armies. Sure, as soon as I start building a town, he starts building military structures. He must know something I don’t.

More Iron Throne business erupts. Former King Arrec, who was chilling in the Iron Islands, has been mysterious murdered. Now, some people want Herbert, Arrec’s son, to take the throne instead of current King Michael, Robert’s bastard, who has already put down several rebellions. I sense some pointless marching in our future.

In less heartening news, my family still doesn't like me. Everyone has a negative opinion of Rosie. Uncle Nerdrick and his wife. Both of my sisters. Even my new husband despises me, probably because he’s heir to the Reach and has to live on a crummy island called Pebble. I’m too broke from building a castle town to buy anyone gifts, but I award my husband the honorary title of Cupbearer, hoping it’ll cure his grouchiness. Nerdrick and his wife Rosamund have a daughter they name Marianne. Weird name. My opinion of their child is negative six. I am not impressed by you, stupid baby.


Tyrion Lannister dies at age 56, after falling into a coma. I get busy, trying to get young Ruby promised off to some stranger. The best bet is another one of Margery’s sons, Humfrey Blackbar. It’s another matrilineal marriage and it gives us a healthy dose of prestige. It’s a little weird that both she and I will be marrying two brothers, but in Westeros, that's nowhere near as weird as some relationships.

Meanwhile, there’s still no action between the sheets for Rosie and Moryn. We are pretty much neutral to each other. His goal is to have a son, so I make that my goal, not that I care if I have a boy or a girl. I just figure with a common goal we might get to humping at some point. I’m now in my twentiespractically middle-aged for this world—and haven’t produced an heir

While I’m idly scrolling around the map, waiting for time to pass, I notice, way off to the west, something I've never seen before. A tiny island, miles out to sea. It’s called Lonely Light. Technically, Lonely Light is part of the Iron Islands but it’s eight days away by boat to even reach it.


I decide to send a message, via raven, to the commander of Lonely Light, and I decide that message should be an insult. It just strikes me as funny. This guy lives on an island eight days away from the rest of the world. Imagine getting a raven waaaaay out there and opening the message and it just says “U smell.” Look, I have no money and very little to do. You have take your entertainment where you can get it.

As if to reward this act of trolling, I become pregnant. Soon my daughter is born, and I name her Nondaisy. It's fantastic news for me and my husband, but terrible news for my sister Rikki, who was heir by default. She suddenly hates my guts. Well, she already hated my guts, but now she completely loathes me. Sister Ruby continues to dislike me, and my Aunt Nandrick isn’t much fonder.

All this hatred is clearly leading somewhere, and I’m genuinely not surprised when my spymaster taps me on the shoulder one day and whispers the words I've been waiting for: there’s a plot to assassinate my newborn daughter. The plot was hatched by my sister Rikki, which is depressing but not really a shock. What's more, the plot is being backed by Lothar the Lame! I’d made him my Master of Coin a couple years ago, and I’m glad I did: if he’d been my Master of Whispers, he certainly wouldn't have revealed a plot that he himself was taking part in.


I tell them I’m aware of their plan and that they both need to knock it off. They back down and drop the murder plot, but it’s pretty horrifying to be in close quarters with two people who want to kill my baby daughter.

I decide to make some changes: I replace Lothar with another Master of Coin and hope he buggers off out of my court, or at least dies soon (he’s 66). As for Rikki, when her betrothed is old enough to marry, I’m going to see if I can switch her marriage from matrilineal to traditional. That way she’ll move in with her betrothed and off my island. Hell, if I hadn’t already promised her to Aemon of the Stormlands I’d marry her to that Lonely Light island commander let her spend the rest of her life counting seagulls and filing all the insulting notes I’d send them.

Another plot comes out. My aunt, Nanndrick, is trying to kill my Master of Whispers, Marsella. Backing this plot is Lothar (again, he’s still hanging around my court) and my grandmother, Dana Whent (wife of Ninedrick! Remember him? And her?). So, Marsella, for being kind and competent enough to prevent my baby daughter from being murdered, is now in the crosshairs herself.

Once again, I rap on Lothar’s chamber door and say, “Hey, could you please stop backing plots to murder everyone I know, you limping shit?” He agrees, so I move onto Grandma Dana. She also agrees to drop her plot. Then I confront Nanndrick. It takes her nine days to respond, despite the fact that we live in the same castle, but she finally promises she will end her plot.


There's a saying: keep your friends close and your enemies closer. But what the hell do you do about family, who at times represent your best of friends and worst of enemies? Frankly, I feel like I need keep them as far away from me as possible.

Suddenly, I’m pregnant again. Great. Another relative. Another potential enemy. This castle is suddenly feeling far too small.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

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.