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Author Topic: By the Frailty of Kings  (Read 1958 times)
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Spell Energy / Taint +2/-0
Posts: 21

« on: August 09, 2006, 10:29:28 AM »


Essentially, the characters stumble across this old delapitated keep, in a torrent of rain. about 45 miles SW of Cale, In all appearances it looks abandoned, but something strange happens the minute they open the door. A mysterious blackness envelops them, and the story begins with a burst of sound and light, and the greeting of a young male child bidding them welcome to Keep Raelen. Essentially, the PC's will be reliving the past, through the spirits that are trapped in the keep. The spirits continually live a span of a few days, when the king betrayed, was betrayed himself, and even at the time of their death, did not know why things happened how they did. The plot revolves around two nobles, one desperate, one power hungry, betraying their people to Izrador. These events actually took place 100 years ago, around the time Cale was sacked.

Lord Eric Redguard: Ruler of House Raelen, a good noble who fled with few surviving knights and common people to Keep Raelen, 45 miles SW of Cale. The Keep held firm for months afterwards, no assault could take it. In an hour of desperate need, Redguard betrayed his people, a friend's life, for the lives of his free people. Eric appears young, in his early 30's, he has flaming red hair and beard with pale skin and dark freckles. He is 5'9, and his frame is strong and fit. Eric is now a ghost, his regret and grief consuming him. Eric's spirit is bound to this keep with all the other common folk, bound by Segen Olrich's power.

Sir Harod Mazen: First Knight of Lord Reguard. Harod was an honorable man, dedicated to his people. Harod was not completely unaware of the betrayel, but would speak nothing of his suspicions. Harod and Eric had been friends since they were children, and it was perhaps his own denial that furthered the events that happened. Harod was a massive man, standing 6'3, weighing 280 pounds of pure muscle. He has blonde short hair, piercing blue eyes and a long braided beard.

Sir Seben Olrich: Second Knight of Redguard. Seben was a power hungry, arrogant warrior whose only concern was to establish himself above any other. It was actually Seben who initiated contact with Izrador forces. Over weeks he spoke privately with Eric, slowly convincing him of his plight. Seben is now a wight, and for everything to come to a close, his evil spirit must be destroyed. He is ultimately responsible for the fall of Redguard, but his betrayel came at a price. Izrador used Seben to crush the keep, and when it was over, had him tortured and murdered. Seben is an angry, vengeful spirit with some power. It is he who binds all the tortured spirits in this keep. Seben appears to be in his mid 20's, has light brown hair, short cut, and has no facial hair. He became a knight not because of his physical prowess, but political.

Lady Rosa Redguard: Wife to Eric. A sad story revolves around Rose. She was a lover to Seben, and was also a conspiritor for Izrador. For many weeks, Rose counselled her husband to the wishes of Seben. Seben met frequently for their 'indescretions', sometimes even two times per day. Many of the commoners knew, but said nothing out of fear. Rosa is now a weak wight, her soul turned black. Her spirit can be saved and set free, but it will be difficult. She appears as a beautiful woman, about 20 years old, with long golden blonde hair to the small of her back. Rosa is tiny, only 5'0 and 105 pounds.

Kjell: Kjell is a pageboy and herald for Lord Redguard. He is a mere 15 years old, but carries himself like a noble. He is actually a commoner, whjo has taken the job of doorman. He reports all visitors to Segen, who in turn reports to Reguard. Harod is sent to oversee the guests. Kjell spied Segen one night receiving a package from a legate outside the keep. Before he could notify Harod, his body was found at the bottom of the keep well. (The well in my game is located inside the main keep) Kjell has short dirty blond hair with a splash of freckles over his nose. He is a handsome young man, with a captivating smile.

Sadul: Sadul is a Hound Archon that has forgotten his true name; Lathga. Lathga is several thousand years old, sent down to oversee the fall of Izrador. When the sundering seperated him from his Master, he went mad with grief and slowly over time became nothing more than a humble pet. Eric found the dog when he was a boy, wandering outside Cale. He took it in, and it has been his closest companion. Lathga will only remember his true name when he returns to the place of his arrival, the town of Althorin. Even though he is unaware of his true name, anyone within 15 feet of him gains Protection of Evil.

I suggest making the keep very small, the commoners gather and live in one section, there is a common meeting area for everyone *where the well is* and even the nobles rooms (including the King) are on the same floor as others. The confines make everything seem that much more suspicious, and it's much harder for anyone to sneak around to get things done.

Scene 1
The PC's are greeted at the door by Kjell and are taken to the main area. Kjell will offer to stable the horses, which is just outside the entrance. He will ask them to wait in the area until Segen arrives. Segen eventually will show up, looking rather annoyed at visitors. After introducing himself, Segen will read off a Zone of Truth scroll, and ask the following questions:

Whose house do you pledge allegiance to? (note: my PC's were from the Bastion area, but you can use any area.)

What news from (insert house)?

Do you wish our Lord Redguard harm?

After Segen is satisfied, he will show them to the guest quarters. They are invited to dine with Lord Redguard for supper.

Note: By this point, I gaurentee the PC's will be very confused. My PC's swore they hit a time warp of some kind, and the Channeler *Int 20* went on for half an hour real time about the passing and linear quality of time. Yes physics. Anyway, make it equally confusing to the NPC's, general confusion is key. Let the PC's take as much time as they want figuring out, or trying to figure out what is going on, that is half the fun. If the PC's ever try to leave, they can go so far so that they can no longer see the keep, but no matter which way they go, they always come back to it. This will freak them out even more.

Scene 2:

A simple but hearty meal is served as introductions are made. Present are Lord and Lady Redguard, Sir Harod, and Sadul at Eric's side. Eric gives thanks to Harod for catching the deer, in such dangerous outside conditions. He apologizes that Segen could not make it, but he had matters to attend to. He is most interested in news from their home house. The PC's will most likely have a decent overview of their house, as they have a general knowledge of the past 100 years. Anyone with Knowledge History could be a great boon here. Eric will answer any questions honestly from his point of view.
After dinner, Kjell will be milling about, with a concerned look on his face. If approached, he will say he can;t talk to them right now, but will meet them at the stables in 4 hours.

Scene 3:
Kjell doesn't show up, but eventually, if they wait long enough (1 hour) Harod shows up. He claims to be coming to see the horses, but he really is out looking for Segen. He will not say so however. Anyone sensing motive on Harod will find he is hiding something. If any of the PC's can speak with animals, the horses tell them that Seben went by about 10 minutes before they showed up carrying a package. They will not give his name, but a description.

Scene 4:
The next morning, Kjells body will be pulled from the well in the mainarea. Everyone will assume it is an accident. If the PC's ask to search the body or look it over, they will find nothing on him but a large bump on the back of his head. A heal check (DC 15) will reveal wooden splinters in his head. The club used to kill Kjell is stashed in Bosz Leiman's tent. This is a perfect cover job planted by Seben, as Bosz was well known for his jealousy of Kjell being chosen by the king to do his work. Bosz felt that Kjell had been getting too big for his britches, and they had often been seperated in disputes. He, of course, was not responsible, but unfortuneatly has no alibi, as he was in his tent all night. *Remember, the commoners tents are all set up in one section of the keep*

These are some random events that should happen before you introduce scene 5.

At Night:
Rosa and Segen making love in a closet somewhere secluded. *Listen (DC15)*

Harod tailing Segen south of town. (Spot DC15)

During Day:
Harod speaking with Bosz about what happened, in the corner of the main area (Listen Dc15)

Segen handing Eric a scroll.

The evening of the same day Segen gave Eric a scroll, he(Segen) will be seen leaving the East entrance with a scrollcase in hand.No check necassary, however, this should be the last one the PC's witness, then introduce scene 5, which takes place the following morning.

Scene 5:
Segen will usher in 3 new guests into the main area and go through the same procedure as with the PC's. Anyone making a spellcraft (DC 15) will notice he is not doing the proper incantation. The guests have the appearance of one noble and two of his knights. Knowledge Nobility checks at DC 15 will reveal their crest to be of House Falon. These are actually all Orcs under an alter self spell, and are here to murder Harod, and take the keep.
The guests will be shown to the guest quarters, the same area the PC's stay, but across the hall. A spot check *DC 20* will reveal a glimpse of the corner of the same scrollcase they spotted Segen leave with the night before in the flap of one Knight;s backpack. The guests will place their items in the room, lock it behind them *OPen Lock Dc15) and head to the main meeting area.

If the PC's question the Guests before they leave, they will tell the PC's about the fall of Steel Hill. They claim to be diplomats to the Queen there, and that she has survived, and that they were sent ahead to warn of her coming to the keep. A knowledge History DC15 will tell that the queen died in the siege.

If the PC's break into the guestroom, they will find the scrollcase. (Search DC10) It contains 2 scrolls, which read the following:

I, Eric Redguard, Lord of House Redguard agree to the following terms:

First Knight Harod Mazen will be given into the hands of Izrador. I hereby sign over Keep Redguard, on the promise of safety for my people, and passage West.

The seconds scroll reads:

On your word, you may destroy all who reside, once I have proven my allegiance. When Harod falls, so let your axe.
Eternal Servant of Izrador.

Eric calls a meeting for everyone to attend in the main area. He gathers his people together and gives the following speech. (or supply your own) The nobles all stand lined up side by side, all facing the commoners. Segen next to Harod, who is next to Eric on his left. On his right is Lady Rosa. The three Guests are on the left of Segen. These events cannot be stopped, but for the most dramatic results, the PC's should burst in just as Harod is killed. (It worked very well for me because some PC's went to the meeting, others broke into the room)

My beloved people, our new guests have brought us hope. We shall be given safe passage to Erethor, by guard of these three people before you. *His eyes will well up with tears as he turns to Harod* But freedom is never granted... it must be earned. *He leans in to whisper to Harod in a broken voice* The needs of my many people, outweigh the needs of my greatest friend..

When Eric says this line, Segen will sink a shortsword into Harod's back. This would be the perfect time for the PC's to reveal the treachery. When they reveal it, or even more dramatic, read Segen's scroll to the commoners, the binding will be broken, and the spirits freed. A large burst of light will flash, and then the true keep will be shown to them. A rotted out building, dark and dreary. And the only remnant of the keep is Segen and Rosa, who stand before them in their true form, hideous wights. Segen shouts the following and then attacks, Rosa stands staring:

100 years I was king... spirits and my slaves... you broke the curse, now bear mine!!

Use Wight basic stats, adjust as necassary.

Final Notes:
Rosa can have her spirit freed, and this can lead to some amazing RPing by the PC's.

When all is said and done, and they leave the castle, Roland the Raider will be outside, with 10 other riders. He will thank them for freeing the spirits of his people. He will tell them that the doors would not budge for any man until now. If you want, you can even make some prophecy around the PC's like I did, that they would free the people of Redguard, made over 3000 years prior.

Roland can now use this Keep as a base of operations, as the Orcs fear this place, because it was haunted.
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