The Houses of Dromberg and Tremane have always been at loggerheads with each other. Dromberg believes the House Tremane to have ties with the underground movement that threatens to replace the ruler of the ‘Iron Throne’ for an alternative but have so far never found proof.
Recently, a party travelled through the local area escorted by Robard Dromberg and his men carrying money/transcripts/whatever of importance to the throne. They were set upon by a band of brigands who attacked to gain the items. Chasing the fleeing brigands they came across Jaime Tremane and some of his men also in the forest. This may have just been coincidence but it was one too many for Robard who accused Jaime of treason, and dealing with the brigands. A fight broke out and in the fight Robard was killed but his men managed to capture Jaime and take him to Castle Dromberg.
Jaimes father sent out a party to seek the return of Jaime, but instead they came across Robards daughters, travelling to Castle Dromberg. Seizing this chance they captured the girls (ages around 5 and 8) and took them back to their own Castle, while the messengers went out to Dromberg with the message of exchanging Jiame for the girls.
Robards elder brother, Carl, sees the capture of Jaime as an opportunity to gain favour with the Iron Throne. His intention is to use Jiame to gain information on the underground movement and to prove their long held suspicions about the loyalties of the Tremane family. Althial society is very male dominated. Women may not hold positions of power and are very much seen as second-class citizens here. Carl has no intention of handing Jaime over in exchange for his dead brothers daughters, who, politically speaking, are not male and so useless.
Robards wife, Katerin, does care very much for her daughters however. She knows that Robard would not have allowed this situation to remain as it does and is intent on solving this situation herself.
She secretly enlists the players to break Jiame out of the dungeon and escort him to the drop off point where he will be exchanged for her daughters. She then intends to flee with her daughters from Dromberg. Carl will leave tomorrow night to make a report to the Iron Throne and will take Marlin, who is his best tracker. This would be the best time to break Jaime out, as any pursuit will be more likely to be less organised and effective.
Katerin will do what she can to help but will try to avoid being directly implicated if she can, she will have to remain until the children are returned after all. The players will only have a set number of days to get Jaime to the exchange point or Jaimes father has threatened to execute the girls.
However, given that the players manage to get Jiame out, that night, in the pouring rain, Carl will return with his retinue. One of their horses fell and broke a leg and they returned. Once Carl finds out what has happened he will not be happy and will send his best men to get Jaime back.
The basic premise of this story is to give the players a chase with them being on the receiving end. The Drombergs should be well equipped enough to give them a run for their money. In my campaign world horses were in short supply so the players would be on foot. Katerine had also requested that they do not kill any of the men sent after then if they could avoid it (although she does not care what happens to Carl or Marlin).
When the players return they have to break out Katerin, as she will likely be under house arrest (Carl will work out what has happened quickly). Jiames father actually has no intention of killing the girls but he is serious about getting his son back. Katerin is also not in a good position to pay the players much money, perhaps able to give them a few family heirlooms for their trouble.
It is also worth thinking that Jiame may not want to be entirely willing part of any hostage hand over. Once he is free he may feel that having the girls is an extra pull over certain members of the Dromberg family.