Beauty and cruelty in the lascivious Free City of Lys
In 96 AC, the trio of southern Free Cities Myr, Tyrosh, and Lys formed a great alliance, known on Westeros as The Kingdom of the Three Daughters (or Kingdom of Three Whores in less pleasant company) to rid the Stepstones of its plague of pirates. At first the Iron Throne, under the rule of Jaehaerys The Conciliator, applauded the move but when the Three Daughters’ “protectors” began to seize Westerosi ships and demand even higher payment than the previous pirates, things grew problematic quickly. In particular, the Lyseni, famed throughout the world for their pillow houses and bed slaves, began enslaving women, girls, and comely boys. And, in 100 AC, one of those girls was Lady Johanna Swann, niece to the Lord of Stonehelm.
Brought to the feet of Tregar Ormollen, a powerful merchant prince that traded primarily in bed slaves, frightened seventeen year old Johanna was promised to be treated as a guest of honor but her uncle, who was never close to Johanna’s deceased father, refused to pay and Johanna would remain in Lys.
Tregar Ormollen could have easily sold his captive as a bed slave, for which he would have received a great price, but instead decided the young Johanna was worth a greater investment. Instead, he had her sent to apprentice under The Starling, one of Lys’s most renowned courtesans and the owner of The Sweetest Kiss, one of Lys’s most elite, and also most infamously cruel, pillow houses.
Under The Starling’s tutelage, Johanna took a number of positions that would have been unthinkable as a Westerosi noblewoman: first a courtesan’s apprentice, then The Sweetest Kiss’ disciplinarian, then its madame, then a courtsean in her own right.
Soon The Black Swan of the Sunset Kingdoms, as Johanna came to be known, was one of Lys’ most wealthy and famous, and infamous, courtesans: cultured, beautiful, and as skilled in the bedchamber as she was with the whip and other instruments. It was said that while other courtesans could make a man finish with their eyes, The Black Swan could do it with the way she danced with the lash.
While the Black Swan’s fame increased as did the fortunes of The Three Daughters and Johanna’s former captor and patron was now a member of the Triarch: the thirty three lords that ran the alliance. By this time, Tregar’s wife had passed and his mind was slipping but his vast wealth and many friends were still his. In a rare moment of lucidity, Tregar called Johanna back to his manse where he discussed making Johanna his wife so she could continue ruling in his stead should he lose his mind or die.
Naturally, Johanna accepted and took her husband’s seat on the Triarch manipulating many an admiral, general, and lord as she had before. After Tregar’s eventual death, her power increased until to the shock of all, the former Westerosi cast off and potential bed slave, became the ruler of Lys in all but name.
This game DOES NOT require a thorough knowledge of Westeros
Lys is a Free City where slaves out number freemen three to one and where beauty reigns. The chief religion is to a love goddess whose wanton and naked figure graces Lyseni currency. The people are lascivious and colorful compared to drab Westeros and nobody thinks twice of multiple concubines being kept by wealthy men or for shocking displays of dominant sexual acts. In other words, the perfect place to set a sexy Song of Ice and Fire inspired roleplay!
Johanna Swann, ie the Black Swan, is, at times, an apprentice, a Lyseni version of a dominatrix, a grand courtesan, and, later, a seductive and charming diplomat and ruler, she is a pretty open book for anybody to play her as. My idea is that you would either play her during any part of her career (and, if you don’t see something you see in there you like, we can easily change it around) or YC is close to her. Perhaps a personal slave, her mentor, a victim of her charms (either a lord paying for her company or one on the Triarch) or someone else entirely. As usual I’m extremely interested in any twists, ideas, or modifications!