Second Sons

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The Second Sons
Second Sons flag.png
Banner A broken sword
Current Commander Ben Plumm
Size 500 men aprox.

The Second Sons are a mercenary company found in the Free Cities. At Yunkai, where they are contracted to face Daenerys Targaryen and her forces, they number five hundred men. Their banner is a broken sword.[1]

Their camp is a circle of ragged tents. There is a cook tent. Brown Ben Plumm’s tent has painted canvas walls cracked and faded by years of sun and rain, within the tent are camp stools and a tresel table, a rack of spears and halberds and a floor covered with threadbare carpets in half a dozen clashing colors.

Contents

History

The Second Sons are amongst the oldest of the free companies. They do not enjoy the shining reputation of the Golden Company, but they have won some famous victories. Four hundred years ago the Second Sons stood in defense of Qohor along with the Bright Banners company against the first Dothraki khalasar to venture east since the fall of Valyria. However, they suffered a defeat and fled the battle field, though the battle was later won by the Three Thousand of Qohor.[2]

Under the command of Mero, whose evil reputation is known even in Westeros, the Second Sons turned near as bad as the Brave Companions. Mero’s reputation has fallen to the point where none of the Free Cities will hire him any longer. [1] That is why the Second Sons are in Yunkai when Daenerys marches on the city. They have fought in the Disputed Lands.

Customs

The names of every man to serve with them is written in a book, as well as when they joined, where they fought, how long they served, and the manner of their deaths. The Second Sons are on their fourth book. The book is leather bound with iron hinges, and large enough to eat your supper off. Inside the heavy wooden boards are names and dates going back more than a century.

A tradition of the company is to sign in red ink. There was a time when each new man wrote his name in his own blood, but that tradition faded as blood makes poor ink. At present, with the addition of Tyrion Lannister and Jorah Mormont, they number 514 members.

Famous names in the books include:

Tyrion Lannister's debts to the Second Sons

Part of Tyrion Lannister’s negotiations with Brown Ben Plumm for becoming a Second Son include becoming indebted to them. Just prior to signing the Second Sons' book Tyrion is handed a pile of roughly 50 to 60 promissory notes to sign. Tyrion remarks that only one in ten Second Sons receives a promissory note.

Tybero "Inkpots" Istarion hands him a quill, and ink from Old Volantis, which he tells Tyrion will last as long as maesters' black. Tyrion signs each note Tyrion of House Lannister and passes them one at a time to Inkpots, who dusts each one with fine sand.[3]

The promissory notes:

Below the serjeants’ notes the amounts suddenly grow larger, Tyrion is starting to pay the bearer 1,000 gold dragons. The last three notes are made out by name:


After Tyrion is done signing the promissory notes Brown Ben tells him that it is time to make him one of them and gets Inkpots to fetch the Second Sons book. Inkpots brings the book and unstops a pot of red ink, however Tyrion elects to sign in the traditional way - in blood. He explains to Inkpots that Lannisters love tradition and to lend him his knife.

Tyrion pricks the ball of his thumb and squeezes out a fat drop of blood into the inkpot, trades the dagger for a quill, and scrawls Tyrion of House Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock, in a big bold hand, just below Ser Jorah Mormont's more modest signature. Inkpots then turns the book around and dusts the page with a bit of fine sand. [3] Tyrion’s reasoning for agreeing to the Second Son’s substantial debt demand is thus:

Let him go on thinking that he’s bent me over and fucked me up the arse, and I’ll go on buying steel swords with parchment dragons. If ever he went back to Westeros to claim his birthright, he would have all the gold of Casterly Rock to make good on his promises. If not, well, he’d be dead, and his new brothers could wipe their arses with these parchments.[3]

Armory

Tyrion, examining the company steel – by Jamga ©

The Second Sons' armorer is Hammer; his apprentice is Nail. The Second Sons keep their company armour in six big wayns drawn up near the center of their camp. Under roofs of bent wood and stiffened leather, the wagon beds are heaped high with old weaponry and armour. Most of the iron is not very good; it is not just old and ill-fitting but dented, cracked and brittle with dried blood or rust. According to Ser Jorah Mormont there is some sound steel in there, none of it is pretty, but it will stop a sword.[3]. Some of the armor in the wayns are what sellswords were wearing when they died and some of it is made to fit boys.

Jorah clads himself from head to heel in company steel. His greaves are mismatched, his gorget is spotted with rust, his vambraces rich and ornate, inlaid with niello flowers. On his right hand is a gauntlet of lobstered steel, on his left a fingerless mitt of rusted mail. The nipples on his muscled breastplate have a pair of iron rings through them. His greathelm sports a ram’s horns, one of which is broken.[3]

Upon entering one of the wayns Tyrion and Penny find a rusted iron half-helm and then a greathelm, a crossbow, a morningstar, a warhammer, a studded mace, and half a dozen longswords. Tyrion finds a dirk he likes, a nasty piece of steel with a triangular blade with a bit of rust on it. He finds a wood and leather sheath that fits and slips the dirk inside. He remarks that the longsword Penny picks up is notched, denoting that it is cheap steel. He examines a heavy shirt of iron mail so full of holes it almost looks moth eaten. The Second Sons' company steel is worse than what he fought in at the Battle of the Green Fork.[3]

Notable Members

Captain-generals

Members

Recent Events

A Storm of Swords

The Second Sons are employed by Yunkai to defend them against the threat of Daenerys Targaryen. They are placed on the left of the defensive line that faces Daenerys's army. They are commanded by Mero, known as the Titan's Bastard. Mero attends the parley with Daenerys and decides to mull her offer of switching sides or departing only on the condition that she give him a wagon of wine. While the Seconds Sons are getting drunk on it that night, Daenerys sends her forces on the attack. The Second Sons are routed and Mero flees before he can be captured.[1]

The remaining Second Sons vote Brown Ben Plumm as their new commander. They join Daenerys Targaryen's army. Mero hides among the freedmen and attempts to assassinate Daenerys, but his attempt is thwarted by Barristan Selmy and Mero himself is killed by an enraged mob of freedmen.[4]

A Dance with Dragons

Daenerys sends the Second Sons south to guard Meereen against any incursions by Yunkai.[5] However, when Brown Ben Plumm learns that Daenerys cannot control her dragons anymore, he has his company go over to the Yunkai.[6][7]

Escaped slaves Tyrion Lannister and Ser Jorah Mormont join the Second Sons accompanied by fellow escaped slave Penny. Jorah joins up as a fighter while Tyrion is assigned to Inkpots to help keep the books, count coin, and write contracts and letters. When Tyrion makes a jape about supervising camp followers this does not please Brown Ben, who tells Tyrion to stay away from the whores. He wants Tyrion to remain hidden within the camp until Meereen is taken and they are on their way to Westeros.

Quotes

I was born a second son. This company is my destiny. [8]
- Tyrion Lannister


I have signed their book. The old way, in blood. I am now a Second Son.
- Tyrion Lannister, to Penny

References and Notes

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