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Kailor and the Journey to Vernon

The Party wakes up from the Gregory illusion traps to find themselves paralyzed by Kailor the Wizard. Kailor tells the party that the rather than operate under the Crimson Blades’ idea of justice, he instead will give them the King’s justice. He compares the two laws by saying the Crimson Blades would allow him to kill intruders into his property, but he thinks that’s too harsh and instead will just take enough money from the party to repair the damage they did to his home, plus allow the party to offer up something to him as a lesson. He lets one party go for telling a joke, and takes very little from the others. After resolving the break-in, he teleports the party members back to Needleton.

Gunson and the Party think its very odd that they got off so easily by Kailor. Gunson explains that Kailor was a former wizard at the court of King Lior that specialized in information gathering. He headed up a medieval version of the CIA of sorts. The Party’s priest, Roland Cove, confirmed Gunson’s story about Kailor as he was once a prisoner under Kailor.

Gunson gives the party a sealed writ and tells the party that when they get to Westhold, they will be able to have an audience with Marcus Selentus – the leader of that city.

The Party leaves Needleton and heads west down the road to Vernon. Two days away from Vernon, they see a merchant on the road who is being surrounded by men in the woods, apparently setting up an ambush. The Party engages the men in the woods, and heavily armed men emerge from the merchant’s wagon to join the fight. After defeating the “bandits” and taking one prisoner, the party learns the men are from Westhold, patrolling the roads to help rid the area of the plague of thieves.

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Bristol To Needleton

The Party is ready to leave to start their journey west, when Telric is ambushed on the way to bid the Party farewell. Telric barely survives the encounter but three of the assassins escape, the fourth sacrificing himself in a fiery explosion. Gwydion arrives and vows to find these assassins, assuring the Party that they are good to go on their mission.

On the road to Needleton, they meet a merchant who complains about a group of soldiers guarding the bridge and collecting a fee to cross. He also complains about wizards in Needleton who he hired as guards but left after a day with his money.

The Party reaches the bridge and finds about 15 soldiers blocking the way, led by a man called Sir Darius. The title strikes the Party as odd, as the Crimson Blades shun all titles of nobility like “Sir.” They sweet talk their way past the blockage, only paying a small fee to do so.

As they approach Needleton, they hear more stories of wizards ripping off merchants. When they arrive, they see a fight between a giant named Gregory and man named Gunson. Gunson tried in vain to calm down a very drunk and belligerent Gregory, finally resorting to cutting Gregory’s 8-foot sword apart with a sword made entirely out of the strange crimson metal worn by the Crimson Blades. The Party learns of the struggle Gunson is having with law and order in this wild town of lumberjacks, and also the location of a former wizard of King Lior’s court – Kailor.

Gunson has a magical stone capable of holding and casting “Detect Magic” spells. He uses this to protect the dumb lumberjacks from getting scammed out of their money by wizards who frequently sell useless things as powerful artifacts. The Party has the opportunity to learn how to imbue certain objects with spells.

Believing Kailor to be the wizard responsible for ripping the merchants off, the party goes to his home to find it empty. The Party breaks into the house and finds a secret passage underground. The Party bypasses the first trap by figuring out a code on the wall, but fall prey to the second trap, an illusionary Gregory who attacks them.

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Kailor and Arrival in Vernon

The Party interrogates the prison and finds out that he is working for a wizard named Kailor. Eager to find out more about this wizard, the party negotiates his release for information on where to find the wizard. The head of the Westhold soldiers, Commander Titus, goes along with the plan as he believes letting one man go in exchange for finding out information on the location of rest of the bandits is a good deal. The Party stages a fake fight, where they take out the Westhold soldiers, to get on the prisoner’s good side. This ploy works.

The prisoner takes the party to the base of operations, where they find Kailor’s house. Kailor explains that Marcus Selentus is a dishonorable scum bag who betrayed his king in the war against the Crimson Blades. Kailor is now leading a resistance group against Marcus and Westhold’s expansion of power. He offers the party 4,000 gold pieces if they can kill Marcus. Kailor also makes amends to Roland Cove, and offers him information about his mother to convince Roland that he’s not the bad guy, but was rather doing an unpleasant job for his former king.

The party is suspicious of the Crimson Blades, Marcus, and Kailor, and are determined to find out more information before taking any sides in this conflict. A message arrives from Telric that two of the assassins were caught. They coughed up information that Sir Darius was their next contact, and that the former nobles of King Lior have a lot of forces in the woods along the road to Westhold. Telric requests a message in return with a status update. The Party gives Telric their position and keeps things vague as they continue to feel out the situation.

The party arrives in Vernon to find it in an economic decline. The people there specialized in intricate woodworking but the demand has dried up as their main customers were rich royalty. Paddock, an elderly man, offers to sell them carved figurines. The party notices that some of these figurines are slightly magical, able to hold spells, and buys them. They try to figure out the source of these figurines but come up empty.

The party leaves Vernon to head to Westhold. On the way there they are attacked by a half dozen skilled warriors and come out victorious.

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Bristol

The Party reaches Bristol, a city in the middle of a massive economic boom. An old castle is being torn down in order to provide stone to both grow the city, and strengthen its walls. The Party finds an office of Weights and Measures, which show them that not all gold coins are of equal value. Many kingdoms have been minting impure gold coins, mixed with iron and other metals, and presenting them as full gold coins. As most peasants pay taxes in copper and silver, and most royals pay for services in gold, this has caused a massive transfer in wealth from the lower class to the upper class. This angers the party.

Telric meets with the Party, and asks them to help out a ranger who has come with a tale of strange creatures in the forest, resembling elves. The Party, which now includes the ranger and a priest from Bristol, find and engage these strange elves. They practice powerful magic, able to manipulate their own, and the Party’s spells almost at will. Their movements are blurry and choppy, as if you blink your eyes very fast to give the appearance of slow motion. After being defeating, the bodies hum and sink into the ground save one which was burned with magical fire as it hummed. Telric believes these were ancient Ghelriss, creatures that once raised Elves as a food source before the Purge. Telric has his two advisors study the creature’s remains.

Fully trusting the party, Telric offers the Party to take on an expedition to travel far to the West, into the tribal lands. He wants information on each tribes and also wants each tribe to send a representative to speak with him. Telric will cover all costs of the expedition, as well as reward the party with 150gp for each tribe they make contact with and 500gp if the party can convince them to talk to Terlic. The Party also notices that Telric has two very rare books: a book of Dark Elf magic and a religious textbook from the Dwarves. These books would be worth a vast sum of money.

The Party decides to work with Telric instead of assassinating him, mostly due to their anger at the kings screwing the people over with their impure gold. Telric mentions that a previous expedition has failed, so he’s sparing no expense this time, and giving the party additional training and manpower.

Game Notes:

Each party member is giving the option of learning a customized magic spell, a parrying skill, a precision skill, stonemasonry, or advanced negotiation in the form of Hard Ass, Smart Ass, or Kiss Ass.

Party also has the option to purchase weapons made out of very high quality steel from the fanatical dwarves. These weapons do more damage but have a high cost (which can be offset by working at the castle, tearing down stone).

Party receives a supply wagon, 4 “B” team NPCs that can convert into PCs if any players die.

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Journey To Bristol

The Party enters the Land of Kings to find that the people there resent titles, and simply call themselves freemen.

On the way to Bristol, the Party stumbles upon a small fishing village in distress, fleeing their homes. They claim that there is a large reptile, resembling a dragon from legends of old, destroying their homes.

The party rests at an Inn along the junction of the road, with lots of merchants and construction going up. At the Inn they meet a man by the name of Gwydion, who wears a strange charm around his neck. The charm is a circle of iron with a sword-like symbol inside the circle of iron. This sword symbol is made out of a crimson material which appears to be flowing yet is as solid as stone. Gwydion introduces himself as a Crimson Blade, with the duty to protect and patrol the roads in this area. The party tells Gwydion of the reptile creatures, and head north to deal with the problem themselves.

After defeating two of the creatures in the fishing village, which turned out to be very large alligators, with the female able to breath fire, Gwydion and his men arrive. The Party shares knowledge of how to defeat the creatures. Gwydion gives the party a sealed writ indicating their heroism, and the two groups split up to look for more of these creatures before others are endangered.

Game Notes: The Party acquired the Writ needed to seek an audience with Telric, along with tough scales that can be formed into armor and two fire-glands from the female reptiles.

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Story Catch Up Part 2
Levels 1 & 2 (not played)

The Party starts off in the Kingdom of Helros, which is just north of the “Land of the Kings,” the name the locals have taken to calling the anarchist capitalist region, due to each person from there acting as high and mighty as a King. The Party has been dealing with an uncommon amount of wolves coming down from the Eastern mountains, and has gained a fair amount of reputation as capable warriors. They catch the attention of Prince Hallon, the second son of King Helrod. Prince Hallon expresses great displeasure that his cousin/uncle (family tree is missing a few branches) King Lior has never been avenged. His father, the King, and his older brother, the heir, do not wish to start a war as they rely heavily on the trade with their southern neighbors, as well as fear a bit the power that was able to defeat King Lior so easily. Prince Hallon offers the party 1500 gold pieces to assassinate Telric, the Judge who ordered the King’s execution, and explains that an opportunity has opened up. Telric is close by in the city of Bristol, looking to hire a group of explorers for a task, and the party can pose as interested explorers to get close enough to kill him.

The Party heads south out of the Kingdom of Helros, and into the Land of Kings to the city of Bristol.

Game Notes: The Party receives training, as an award for their service, in the form of rolling 3 hit dice and taking the best result for one of their level-ups.

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Story Catch Up Part 1
Early History & Backstory

Summary

Centuries ago mankind (includes all playable races) freed themselves from captivity of evil monsters and wiped out most of the monsters. The monsters that lived were driven beyond the Eastern mountains. The heroes that freed mankind set up kingdoms all over the now monster-free land. The Kingdom of Lior invaded a government-less region but got defeated. The Crimson Blades were responsible for the defeat of the Kingdom of Lior and violated established Laws of War by executing King Lior and his nobility.

The Purge

Centuries ago, humanity (includes all playable races from here on out) was hunted and haunted by terrible evils. Life was short and brutal, and often humanity was raised as a food source by these monsters. The different races, it is said, were created by selectively breeding humans. However, over time, humanity learned how to work metal, cast spells, and organize themselves into social structures. A number of great heroes led mankind in a war against the evil creates, obliterating nearly all of the terrible monsters. Most of the creatures were killed to extinction, living only on in children tales. Other, more resilient creatures, were driven over the Eastern Mountain range, rarely to be heard from again. This was known as the Purge, the time when fantasy monsters came to an end and the great nations of humanity were born.

The occasional monster might make an appearance, or some evil thing might come down from the Eastern mountains, but for the most part monsters are legends, and nobody really believes in them anymore.

The North

The far north consists of a great forest of mighty trees. There is not much known about the people who live there, who are called Dark Elves due to their practice of a form of forbidden magic and their appearance of dark blue/green skin. Their society, government, and economy are wrapped in mystery, as few interact with them. Their role in the Purge is also in doubt, with some believing that they freed themselves from enslavement and others believing that they never were enslaved to begin with, but rather helped guide their warm skin toned cousins in the ways of magic and war.

The Eastern Mountains

These mountains server as a barrier to the remnants of the fearsome creatures that once ruled the world. Few adventurers brave these mountains to seek fortune and fame, fewer still come back alive. Scattered in these mountains, with the greatest concentration in the southern part of the range, are a race of fanatical dwarves. They hold religious beliefs that cause them to explore the deepest reaches of the world. Their vast mines and caves are a valuable source of iron-ore. They freely trade with others, but they keep the secrets of their religion and why they dig ever deeper to themselves.

The Western Mountains

This mountain range has not been explored much, and what lies beyond them is a mystery. Tales tell of cousins of the Dark Elves, live beyond the hills. Much like humans, but with skin color taking on the cooler tones of greens, blues, and purples.

The Kingdoms

To the south of the great forest, and between the two mountain ranges are the great Kingdoms. Legendary heroes from the Purge settled their people down in these lands. As the gods gave them strength to defeat the terrors, the gods also gave them the right to rule these lands as well. The nobility can trace their lineage to one or more of the great heroes of the Purge, and the people look up to them as saviors, who pulled them out of an era of darkness. These kingdoms maintain a strict feudal system, with two exceptions. To the southwest, the land is untamed and ruled by various nomadic tribes. And to the far southeast, a small “country” exists without a king, nobility, or a name. This region practices a libertarian style capitalism and avoids war, which has allowed them to become incredibly rich compared to their feudal neighbors.

The Fall of the Kingdom of Lior

To the west of the libertarian-capitalist area was the Kingdom of Lior. This kingdom, seeing the vast wealth and the barely existent military of its neighbor, invaded several years ago. The war progressed well at first, with many cities falling to the army of Lior. The Crimson Blades, a group who see themselves as protectors of the capitalist experiment, organized themselves and the citizens into an army to conflict King Lior. At the battle, the King’s forces were overwhelmingly defeating, leading to the capture of the King himself and almost all of the nobles who joined him in war. Rather than negotiating a peace treaty, with land exchanging hands, the Crimson Blades put the King and his nobility on trial as a common murderer. The presiding Judge of the trial, Telric, an extraordinary wealthy merchant and member of the Crimson Blades, ordered their execution, ignoring the King’s Right To Heir, which allows for a King to produce an heir before execution. The Crimson Blades moved into the former Kingdom of Lior and began tearing down all feudal systems, instead granting to everyone freedom and a piece of land. The other Kingdoms were shocked at the complete disregard of established Laws of War, and the swift victory these “free people” were able to achieve, and have become scared…but some still seek revenge against the Crimson Blades.

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