The Twa Corbies
History of House Corbie
Written by Maester Petyr Connington in 290 AC.
The first mention of House Corbie arises during the Conquest of Dorne by King Daeron the 1st of his name in 157-161 AC. Ser Samwell Corbie, a knight in Arryn’s retinue, distinguished himself in battle. He bravely fought by the standard, resulting in the King declaring him a ‘rock’ and promoting him to the minor nobility.
The family derives their coat of arms, and motto ‘The rock of the raven’ from this event. They are granted lands between which are on the route between the Eerie & Gulltown. The family prospers acquiring significant wealth over the coming years. They serve House Arryn loyally and diligently. Samwell’s son grew to manhood during a cold winter, developing the mines behind the Raven’s Nest (need to name this better).
By the time of the Blackfyre Rebellion (30-40 years later) Samwell’s three grandsons were continuing in service. The elder son, Lord Jafer Corbie distinguished himself at the battle of Lanisport, fighting bravely under the Red Banners of the Loyalists. To show his loyalty, and upon his elevation to the larger nobility of the Vale, he changes his father’s crest to show a red raven. The middle son, Ser Ranald Corbie is present at the battle of Redgrass Field, serving with Prince Maekar Targaryen in the shield wall. Known for his grim determination and dark visage, he opts to retain his father’s crest and acquires the name the ‘Black Corbie’. The youngest son is too weak to fight, but becomes a scholar of note and starts a tradition of the younger sons of the family entering the Citadel or becoming Septons.
The family are close, with the cadet branch being bannermen to their more powerful cousins. The third line in the family fail to distinguish themselves in battle, but produce notable Septons and Maesters during this period. They tend to operate as merchants in the lands of the other two lines. The cadet line of the house acquires land on the other side of the ridge from main seat. It is unclear how this land was acquired, although some suggest it may have been during a game of cards. They gradually sell their lands around King’s Landing and expand their holdings in the vale. The Corbies are slowly working to link these to create the ‘stone river’ (does this work) that will link their two strongholds, and massively reduce the travel time between Gulltown & the wider vale. It will also have the benefit of massively increasing the value of both of their holdings.
The legend of the Corbies, especially the black corbies, begins around this time. They are accused of being as acquisitive as a magpie, and seem to have little scruple as to whether they do this by sword, pen or chance. More than one of the Vale lords suffers through realising they signed a bad bargain with a Corbie. At the time none of the Vale lords, apart from perhaps Lord Arryn himself, can understand why they would want the farmlands in such a remote area.
The Red Corbies play heavily on their loyalty to the Vale & Targaryens. The Black Corbies bide their time, more focussed on the Vale. It is shortly before Robert’s Rebellion that one of their family ascends to the position of the High Septon. He is known as the ‘grim one’ – and is noted for issuing a stern warning to the Iron Throne on its actions. Its one of the minor cruelties in the end of the mad kings reign, but he causes the old man to die – starving him in his Sept so as not to shed the blood of a holy man. It is this that causes the breach in the Corbie line. The Red Corbies seek to support the loyalists at Gullstown when the rebellion begins. The Black Crobies are furious at the treatment of one of their own. Petyr Corbie ‘the guid’ takes decisive action – his forces massacre the Red Corbie garrison on the other side of the Stone River. They throw open the gates to enable Jon Arryn’s troops to flood through the Stone River allowing them to surprise the Loyalists at Gull Town. The Red & Black Corbie banners stand on the opposite side of a battle for the first time and last time. Hacking through the shield wall with a fury unseen, Petyr and his sons cuts through to their banner and cut down their own cousin.
Jon Arryn elevates the Black Corbies to the senior rank. They in turn change their banner to show the fall of their cousins. Petyr and his sons, due to wounds suffered at Gullstown, are left to protect the Vale while the rebellion continues. Whilst they now have their lands, they struggle to keep them, as many of the small folk ran to the mountain clans amidst rumours that the Red Corbies youngest son may have survived and is seeking to raise an army to seek his birthright.