A Song of Ice and Fire is an epic series by George R. R. Martin, consisting of the books A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Sea of Storms, and A Feast for Crows. One striking difference from most other campaign settings is that there are no wizards, no spell-casting. Magic is the stuff of fairy tales here. At least, that is how it begins.
At the time of the series, the last of the dragons had died long ago, yet word comes from across the sea in the whispers of sailors, telling of dragons once again breathing fire and screaming death.
There are so many problems on the primary continent of Westeros that few turn their thoughts beyond the seas to other lands. The land is in upheaval from yet another rebellion, and the people are held under the boots of nobles, while various religions compete for their allegiance. The masters teach and labor for science and civilization, while bandits and worse tear the civilized countryside apart. Fortunes rise and fools fall, and honor and glory cannot protect from the knife in your back.
Age of heroesEdit
- The Others' invasion - The first appearance of the Others, an unworldly threat that still inspires fear today, even in those who do not believe in them.
- The conquest - The dawn of the dynasty. Aegon Targaryen brought three dragons out of the east to wage war upon Westeros, and in the end saw all but one of the seven kings bend knee to him.
- The Dornish rebellion - Soon after Dorne was defeated, Aegon's son was killed by a cunning trap, buried under a hundred red scorpions while laying in bed. All his gains were lost almost overnight, and
- The doom of Valyria - The ancient city and lands of Valyria were utterly destroyed in a cataclysmic event. What actually happened remains a mystery to present day.
- The dance of the dragons - A war for succession within the Tagaryen family. It remains a tragedy as it is retold in the present day.
- The Blackfyre rebellion - A long and disastrous conflict sparked when Aegon IV legitamized his bastard sons, each of whom decided he was the lawful heir.
- War of the Ninepenny Kings - The last of the conflicts spawned by the Blackfyre rebellion
- Robert's rebellion - The end of the dynasty. Robert Baratheon, with the aid of Jon Arryn of the Vale and Eddard Stark of the North, rebels against the last of the Targaryens, who is killed by none other than a member of his own Kingsguard.
The Greyjoy's rebellion - In rebellion against the Iron Throne, the ruler of the Iron Islands named his kingdom independent. His rebellion failed, and his youngest son was sent to be a ward of Eddard Stark, as insurance.
The Faith Edit
The Faith was brought to Westeros by the Andals. It holds tremendous power in the south, where it is embedded into the laws and customs of the land. Knighthood here is based on the Faith and its religious moors. It maintains a small presence in the north, where the old gods still live in the minds of the people.
The number seven is quite prominent in the Faith. The Faith holds that there are seven hells and seven gods. In the naming of a child, seven oils are used to anoint the infant. The Great Sept of Baelor has seven crystal towers. Followers hold the custom of a trial of seven, wherein seven champions for the accuser and seven for the accused fight to the death. They hold seven constellations in the sky as sacred. As punishment, one of the faithful would serve as a begging brother for seven years. Even grace is taught to have seven aspects.
The Faith has a great many moral teachings. It frowns on gambling, preaches against bastardy, and curses as criminal things like incest and kinslaying.
The seven gods of the Faith are the Maid, the Mother, the Crone, the Father, the Warrior, the Smith, and the Stranger.
The hierarchy of the Faith is organized as
- the High Septon,
- Septons and Septas,
- Elder Brothers,
- Brown Brothers,
- Novice Brothers,
- Begging Brothers,
- Poor Fellows (Stars),
- Warrior's Sons (Swords), and
- the Silent Sisters.
The Lord of Light and Great Other Edit
"The night is dark, and full of terrors."- A common refrain among the Red Priests
The Red Priests, as they are called, worship R'hllor, the Lord of Light. They can be found everywhere in the Free Cities, and have a great temple on Lys. They preach that R'hllor is the Lord of Light, the Heart of Fire, the God of Flame and Shadow. They prophesy that an ancient hero, Azor Ahai, Warrior of Light and Son of Fire, will be reborn. They teach that he will wield Lightbringer, a flaming sword, to combat an evil darkness that will fall on the world. Thoros of Myr is the most visible and renowned representative of R'hllor in Westeros.
Common rituals include lighting a bonfire at sundown, to beseech R'hllor to bring the dawn. Red Priests have claimed to see falsehoods in the words of others, visions of the future through flames, and to revive the dead.
The followers of R'hllor also believe in a Great Other, whose name may not be spoken. He is known as the Lord of Darkness, the Soul of Ice, the God of Night and Terror. They believe that only through the intervention of the Lord of Light, will the world be saved from this evil.
He of Many Faces Edit
The geography of the world of A Song of Ice and Fire includes two continents — the primary setting of Westeros and the Great Eastern Continent — and several seas — the Jade Sea, the Redwyne Straits, the Summer Sea, the Narrow Sea, the Shivering Sea, and the Sunset Sea. Other lands of note in this world include the Basilisk Isles, Ibben, the Summer Isles, Fair Isle, Yi Ti, Asshai, the Shadow Lands, and Valyria.
Great Eastern Continent Edit
The Great Eastern Continent lies east of Westeros, across the Narrow Sea.
The Red Lands are an expansive desert that cover a large portion of this gigantic landmass, through the middle of it, and coming clear to the southern coast in some areas.
The Dothraki Sea is not a sea at all, but a near endless prairie of long grass, partially encompassing the Red Lands. It is the domain of the Dothraki Khals and their bloodriders.
Qarth is an odd city, located on the southeastern corner of the continent. It is home to several shadowy guilds. Its fashions are at odds with the cultural taboos of Westeros.
Slaver's Bay is snug along the southern coast of the Great Eastern Continent. Its name is appropriate, as it is the center of slavery within the known world, where slaves are the root of commerce and wealth. Four walled city-states span this region, each rotting from within.
- Astapor is where the Unsullied, eunuch troops known for their juggernaut-like prowess in battle, are trained and sold to the highest bidder.
- Old Ghis used to be the center of an empire, before it was crushed by the ancient Valyrians.
The Free Cities are beholden to no king, no religion, no external order of any kind. Hundreds of religions flourish on the same streets as pleasure houses, and while slavery is illegal, it is also ignored by those that still practice it. The Red Priests of Rh'llor, the Lord of Light, have temples in every Free City, in contrast to Westeros, where their presence is minimal.
- Braavos is a cantankerous port city full of whorehouses, dueling waterdancers, and swaggering sailors. The city of Braavos is built in a lagoon, and features crisscrossing canals the length and breadth of it. Braavos controls hundreds of small islands, and is considered the most powerful of all the Free Cities. Its ruler is called the Sealord.
- Bravosi waterdancers are swordsmen who use a shorter, thinner blade than the common longsword of Westeros. They use a style of fighting that depends on agility and focus, rather than brute strength.
- The House of Black and White is the temple of the Faceless God. From here the Faceless Men, feared and respected assassins, operate without government infringement.
- Lys is a group of islands known as a destination of pleasure. It is possibly the most populous of all the Free Cities. It is also home to alchemists who produce some of the most deadly poisons in the known world, including the Tears of Lys and "the strangler." Lysene natives usually have blue eyes, frequently have blond hair, and some are very tall.
Valyria was once a great empire along the southern edge of Slaver's Bay, but it is now a smoking, poisoned wasteland. Weapons made of Valyrian steel are prized heirlooms in Westeros. Stronger and sharper than those made from normal steel, the knowledge of their making has been lost to time.
Persistent worlds Edit
The following persistent worlds are set in the lands of A Song of Ice and Fire.