Second Sons

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Second Sons
Second Sons.svg
Banner A broken sword
Commander Ben Plumm
Former commander Mero
Size ~500 men
Founded Before the Century of Blood

The Second Sons are a sellsword company found in Essos. Their banner is a broken sword.[1]

Organization

The Second Sons are not as well equipped as the Golden Company. While on campaign their camp is a circle of ragged tents, including a cook tent. Brown Ben Plumm's tent has painted canvas walls cracked and faded by years of sun and rain, as well as a floor covered with threadbare carpets in half a dozen clashing colors.[2]

The names of every man to serve with the Second Sons is written in a leather-bound book, as well as when they joined, where they fought, how long they served, and the manner of their deaths. 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.[3]

History

The Second Sons encamped outside Meereen, by Ignacio Lazcano © Fantasy Flight Games

Amongst the oldest of the free companies,[3] the Second Sons date back to the Century of Blood. The company was founded by twoscore younger sons of the nobility who lacked prospects.[4]

Four hundred years ago, the Second Sons and the Bright Banners were hired to help the guards of Qohor against the khalasar of Khal Temmo. The Qohorik horse were defeated and the sellsword companies fled the battlefield, but the battle against Temmo's Dothraki was then won by the Three Thousand of Qohor.[5]

The Second Sons do not enjoy the shining reputation of the Golden Company, but they have won some famous victories.[3] Landless lords, exiled knights, and adventurers have left Westeros and joined the Second Sons in search of a home.[4] In the aftermath of the First Blackfyre Rebellion, for instance, hundreds of landless lords and knights who had supported Daemon I Blackfyre fled across the narrow sea and joined free companies like the Second Sons, the Ragged Standard, and the Maiden's Men.[6]

The company has fought in the Disputed Lands.[7]

When he was younger, Ben Plumm learned cyvasse in Volantis when the Second Sons were contracted by the Free City.[8]

The current captain of the Second Sons, Mero, has such a poor reputation that none of the Free Cities will hire him any longer.[1]

Recent Events

A Storm of Swords

The Second Sons and the Stormcrows are employed by Yunkai to defend against the threat of Daenerys Targaryen. Commanded by Mero, the Titan's Bastard, the Second Sons are placed on the left of the defensive line that faces Daenerys's army. 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 drinking that night, however, Daenerys sends her forces on the attack. The Second Sons are too drunk to fight in the battle near Yunkai, and Mero flees before he can be captured.[1]

The remaining Second Sons vote Brown Ben Plumm as their new commander and they join Daenerys's army for her siege of Meereen. Mero hides among the freedmen and tries to assassinate Daenerys in the camps outside Meereen, but his attempt is thwarted by Ser Barristan Selmy. Mero is then killed by an enraged mob of freedmen.[9]

A Dance with Dragons

Tyrion Lannister examining the company steel, by Jamga © Pygmalion

Daenerys, now Queen of Meereen, sends the Second Sons south of the city to guard against any incursions by Yunkai.[10]

After receiving word that Astapor is burning, Daenerys recalls the Second Sons to Meereen. The queen disappoints Ben by stating she refuses to unleash her dragons against Yunkai. Daenerys orders the Second Sons to scout for her enemies, and she gives bags of gold to Ben so he can attempt to bribe sellswords employed by the Yunkai'i.[11]

Daario Naharis, captain of the Stormcrows, informs Daenerys that the Second Sons have joined the Yunkishmen.[12] When a feast is held in Meeren to celebrate peace with Yunkai, Ben represents the Second Sons. He explains to the angry Daenerys that his men chose to join the Yunkai'i because they felt she would not be victorious with her dragons held back.[13]

Escaped slaves Tyrion Lannister and Ser Jorah Mormont join the Second Sons, accompanied by fellow escaped slave Penny. The company is on their fourth book, which Tyrion signs in blood.[3]

Part of Tyrion's negotiations with Brown Ben for becoming a Second Son include becoming indebted to them. Just prior to signing their book Tyrion is handed a pile of roughly fifty to sixty promissory notes to sign. Tyrion remarks that only one in ten Second Sons receives a promissory note. He signs each note Tyrion of House Lannister and passes them one at a time to the paymaster, Tybero Istarion, who dusts each one with fine sand.[3]

The promissory notes for the serjeants promise to pay the bearer of the note one hundred golden dragons, while higher-ranked officers are to be paid one thousand gold dragons. The last three notes are made out by name to:

  • Kasporio, written in fine vellum, promising ten thousand dragons;
  • Tybero, written in fine vellum, promising ten thousand dragons;
  • Brown Ben Plumm, inscribed upon a sheepskin scroll, promising one hundred thousand dragons, fifty hides of fertile land, a castle, and a lordship.[3]

Tyrion observes the company steel is worse than what he fought in at the battle on the Green Fork, but Jorah feels the sellswords have some sound equipment. Some of the armor in the wayns are what sellswords were wearing when they died and some of it is made to fit boys.[3]

With the additions of Tyrion and Jorah, the Second Sons number five hundred fourteen members. Jorah joins up as a fighter while Tyrion is assigned to Tybero to help keep the books, count coin, and write contracts and letters. When Tyrion makes a jape about supervising camp followers, a displeased Ben tells Tyrion to stay away from the whores. The captain wants Tyrion to remain hidden within the camp until Meereen is taken and they are on their way to Westeros.[3]

The Winds of Winter

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Warning
This information has thus far been released in a sample chapter for The Winds of Winter, and might therefore not be in finalized form. Keep in mind that the content as described below is still subject to change.

The Second Sons are ordered by Malazza, the Girl General, to defend the Wicked Sister during the second siege of Meereen. A Yunkish messenger comes to the tent to inform them that Morghaz zo Zherzyn, supreme commander of the Yunkai'i, wants them to defend the Harpy's Daughter instead, as the Unsullied are advancing toward the trebuchet while Bloodbeard and two Ghiscari legions stand against them. The Second Sons are informed that Gorzhak zo Eraz has been slain, cut down by the Tattered Prince, meaning that the Windblown have gone over to Daenerys. When the messenger recognizes Tyrion as an escaped slave and demands he be turned over, Jorah kills the messenger. Brown Ben then announces that the Second Sons have always been the queen's men and that rejoining the Yunkai'i was just a plot.[14]

Notable Members

Commanders

Members

Historical Members

Famous past members include:

Quotes

The Second Sons are an old company, and not without valor, but under Mero they've turned near as bad as the Brave Companions. The man is as dangerous to his employers as to his foes. That's why you find him out here. None of the Free Cities will hire him any longer.[1]

Ben: We went over to the winning side, is all. Same as we done before. It weren't all me, neither. I put it to my men.

Daenerys: So they betrayed me, is that what you are saying? Why? Did I mistreat the Second Sons? Did I cheat you on your pay?

Ben: Never that, but it's not all about the coin, Your High-and-Mightiness.[13]

Tyrion: I was born a second son. This company is my destiny.
Kasporio: The Second Sons have no place for mummers. It's fighters we need.[2]

I have signed their book. The old way, in blood. I am now a Second Son.[3]

Tyrion: In Westeros, the word of a Lannister is considered good as gold.
Tybero: This is not Westeros. On this side of the narrow sea, we put our promises on paper. Debts written on the wind tend to be ... forgotten, shall we say?[3]

References