The Age of Kings

The Journal of Xavian Grey Part I
Xavian's Journal

March 1, 542
The King has issued a decree to explore the lands of Caer Twyn, to the north of Landinium. Rumors have it that the houses fighting for the throne are in a race to be the family that can open the temple of Erathas first. It is likely that there is some connection between these.
As a direct result of this decree a small group has been assembled and I, Xavian, have been appointed to ensure the good health and provide blessings for the adventuring party. The members of the group are all friends and acquaintances whom are not unfamiliar with working together, due to past interactions.

And so the journey begins. The first destination is set as Iscar’s Hold. The hold is a trading post and a foothold for Landinium in Caer Twyn. It would appear that the King desires to explore the surrounding lands to plan future development and expand his control. The journey to reach the hold is said to take eighteen days. Hopefully the trip will be uneventful.

March 18, 542
The group has arrived at Isca’a Hold. Upon arrival we were greeted by Iscar and his wife. When informed that we were sent to assist with exploration and upkeep of the hold, we were briefed on the current state of everything. It would seem that the areas surrounding the post have a severe problem with banditry. We were told that once a month the local bandits enforce a tax upon the hold to guarantee that it will not be raided.

Iscar began with tasking us with the job of dealing with some of the local bandits. He has asked us to bring proof of the demise of six bandits. He has also requested that we try to find his wife’s ring that was used to pay the tax a few months ago.

After a party discussion it was concluded that, since the following morning was the time that taxes would be collected, we should have a trap set up to take care of the bandits who show up to collect the tax. We now have a plan of action developed, and it is time to rest for the morning.

March 19, 542
On this morning we awaited the arrival of the bandits for tax collection. Upon the bandits entering the hold we launched an ambush that swiftly eradicated the threat. For the remainder of this day we all stayed around the hold to ensure that if any other bandits came looking for those missing, that they could also be dealt with. Luckily no other bandits arrived.

Around mid-day the hold was graced, if you can call it that, by the arrival of Sir Keston with three guards accompanying him. Given his past I am unsure how to feel about his character of person, but the added support of his blade to act as some added security to the fort will certainly not be unwelcome given the current bandit issues. It turns out that even one of his own guards has recently deserted to join the bandits of the area. He has asked that we bring Falgrim back in, preferably alive.

The remainder of the day passed uneventfully.

March 22, 542
Over the course of the past three days the adventuring party has explored roughly a 12 square mile area (this is what we will be breaking the land up into for exploration and mapping purposes on our journeys into the wilderness) of plains just to the east of the hold. The exploration was uneventful.

March 26, 542
For the past four days the party has been exploring the territories east of the previous exploration. This time around things were more colorful than previously encountered.
On March 23, the first day traveling into the area, we found out quickly that we needed to proceed with caution in the area. Soreon stepped into a bear trap, nearly severing leg completely. Luckily I was able to provide my aid and the blessings of Pelor to swiftly heal the wounded leg and get us back up and moving. It was after this and upon further inspection that we realized that the area is riddled with traps.

March 30, 542
During this three day window the party decided to turn things to the northwest so that we could begin a loop back toward the hold. This was mainly due to the fact that our supplies were beginning to run short. The territory covered in this time has only been more forest, and the exploration passed as uneventfully as it did in the first area we took a delve into.

April 1, 542
The past two days of exploring has been quite interesting. From the forest, we were heading back west toward the hold. The first day of exploration passed uneventfully, and we found nothing but plains. Today is when things got hairy. When we stumbled across a tattered cart path this morning we thought that it would be worth investigating. Upon further inspection we found that it leads to abandoned mine. This is when all chaos broke loose.

Outside the mine there was a large mass of heavy vegetation. When Kris stepped near it to investigate the broken sign that confirmed that we had found a mine, the large mass of vegetation animated and attempted to grab him. My immediate response was to attempt to deter the vegetation by clubbing it with my mace. This turned out to not be a good idea. The plant lashed out and hit me with a blow that had me teetering on the fine line between life and death.
I am still not feeling completely well at this point, and do not fully recall what happened after being stuck. I was informed that while attempting to drag me out of danger that Kris was also badly injured and we both had to be drug to safety by Soreon, following a swift reaction from Paikea who tossed an alchemical fire on the mass of vegetation. This managed to buy enough time for all of us to reach safety, where Kris and myself are now recovering.

April 2, 542
On this day our party made it back to the hold, having to cut the exploration of the area short to ensure that everyone recovered fully from out near death experience with whatever that mass of vegetation was. Upon arrival we met an interesting gentleman, Jhod, who is a priest of Corelon. He informed us that he is here in search of a temple/shrine to Corelon that he has been dreaming about. It has been asked that if we find this temple that we take him to it, but we have also been warned that the dreams indicate that the temple/shrine of interest is occupied by a benevolent spirit.

Prior to facing this task, I believe we are going to need to spend more time adjusting ourselves to the new lands we are surrounded by.

April 3, 542
On this day everyone has been working to catch up on various things. Soreon spent his time working on repairs for the catapults for the hold, which he has had his eyes set on ever since we arrived. He is very excited by the idea of having them fully functional at some point in the future. Kris, to my knowledge, spent the day catching up with Sir Keston, who we have been told is a relative to Kris. Paikea spent the day reading, and updating her log. It appears that, much like myself, she enjoys soaking up knowledge from books at any opportunity possible. And as for myself, I have spent much of the day updating the logs and maps for our adventuring record that has been requested by the King.

April 4, 542
Having restocked out supplies and recovering our strengths, on this day we set out to complete our exploration of the previous territory, and investigate the mine itself.

Upon returning to the cave there were no signs of the mass of vegetation being in the area still. Once certain that the creature was not around we further inspected the abandoned mine. In this investigation the party has discovered that the mine has multiple cave-ins blocking the access to much of the mine, so far as we could tell. Perhaps at some point in the future this mine can be repaired and utilized once again.

The day has passed quietly. It is now the evening and we have pitched camp for the night to prepare for more exploring tomorrow.

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Paikea Star - Letters Home I

April 3

Jacque,

Well I am still alive! I was not sure we would make it up to Isca’s Hold – much less trekking through the wilderness for days. So far we have mapped about 48 square miles of territory to the North and East of the outpost [four hexes at 12 square miles each]. So far this has been a learning experience unlike any I have experienced so far. The initial trip was long and tedious – it was rather easy travelling on the Kings Road. We have had to spend some time hunting and none of us are that skilled at it but so far in over 30 days we have only gone hungry once.

I wanted to tell you about my companions, so that I can form opinions and chronicle how they change over time. As you know of my companions is the nephew of the King, Soreon is valiant and just as strong willed as ever. He is learning the way of the warrior. I think the shield he carries is as tall as I am. Hopefully as he grows he will grow as a diplomat as he grows as a warrior. Xavian Grey is a cleric of Pelor. As you know I sort of favor the charitable work of his church – so I am dealing ok with his ramblings on about faith and belief. He definitely has his gods favor. The mystical working of his powers have come in handy on several occasions. Soreon stepped in a bear trap and broke his ankle. Thanks to Pelor and Xavian we were able to travel on the next day with Soren being mostly healed. Then there was an incident with a plant that was alive – it was like something out of a nightmare. It tried to grab ahold of Xavian and the Kris – almost strangling them as they were pulled into the beast. Luckily it did not like fire! Soreon was able to pull their unconscious bodies away while I held the beast at bay. Luckily we had some healing elixirs that returned the cleric to consciousness so that he could channel Pelors powers to further heal himself and Kris. Kris is a descendent of the fabled Paladin and founder of the Order of the White, Kris I. He is very level headed and very firm in his belief that we shall do good and help those we encounter on our journey.

When we first arrived as Isca’s Hold there were merchants about and Isca was pleased to see the King had sent people to help him, but he was disheartened by us only numbering four. He has been experiencing troubles with brigands in the area. He enlisted our help in putting an end to the protection money they were demanding of him. As a group we surveyed the area and made plans to stop the brigands when they next showed up. We did not have to wait long, the next day they were due to pick up more protection money. I hid on top of the stables ready to fire my bow at them instead of going to toe-to-toe with more experienced fighters than I. When the brigands showed there were four of them. One stood out – his armor was in better shape than the others and the bow he was carrying was of better quality. As soon as we sprung our trap the brigands did not seemed inclined to parlay and work-out our differences peacefully. Before I knew it – I let loose with an arrow. I had this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as the let go of my bow string – sure enough the arrow caught one of the brigands in the throat – piercing completely though all matter of skin, sinew, cartilage and bone. I did not shed a tear for the life I took but I did not feel good about it. I know the sins of the brigand brought the death on him – but still it was my hand that dealt the justice. Soon only one brigand was standing and we tried to take him peacefully – to question him about the area but he tried to escape. I landed a shot but it was not a kill shot, the fool fell to his own death by jumping off the palisade. When we scavenged salvageable gear, money, and weapons from the brigands one of them had on a symbol of the fire god of Caer Twyn.

I have met a few other interesting folks on this journey. I am sure you remember the Knight Kresten. He has a few men at arms with him and he is helping defend Isca’s Hold. We are looking for one of his men-at-arms while we are surveying the land. He has promised us gold if we bring the man back in so he can face justice for his offenses. In addition when we just stopped back at the outpost to restock our supplies an older man was there. He goes by the name Jhod. He claims to be a cleric of Corellon an old Elven deity. He is here because of dreams he has had – fearing malevolent spirits being in the woods nearby at an old shrine. We are on the look-out now for the man-at-arms turned brigand, a spirit infested shrine of a god of the old ways, other brigands, and whatever else we encounter. I am sure we are up to the task.

I will send along another letter next time we are in the outpost.

With regards,

Paikea

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The Story Begins

Charter in hand, the party made their way north through the wilds of Landinium via the King’s Road as spring began. The wilds were beautiful, with sprouting flowers on trees, rushing streams, and jade green fields awakening from winter’s slumber.

Eighteen days later they arrived at Isca’s Hold, a trading post on the frontier of Landinium’s northern expanse near the foothills of Erethas. The hold was really a wooden palisade surrounding a series of wooden buildings that housed Isca and his wife, a guest house, stables, and a common courtyard for merchants to sell their wares.

Upon arriving to the hold, the party were greeted by the owners with relief, for they had sent requests to the king for aid from bandits that had plagued them. The party agreed to help, and on the next day when bandits arrived to collect their “tax”, they were dealt with swiftly and brutally.

Emboldened by this, Isca offered the hold as the party base of operations, giving free beds and a meal every day in exchange for protection from the bandits and other things that encroach from the wilds.

Later that day, Sir Kesten arrived at the hold with three of his retainers. A relative of Kris, Kesten smelled a bit of ale and a tale to tell of honor redeemed. He left for the hold to answer the call for help that Isca had sent out. The post owner was overjoyed, for on that day not only were several of the bandits dealt with, but the number of his guards seemed to have swelled many times.

The party set out on the 20th day, intent on fulfilling their charter and mapping out the wilds. To the east they traveled first, uncovering a dense forest and part of a swiftly flowing river. The river was home to much game and was a sight to behold.

Unfortunately, the forest was riddled with traps which caught the party unaware. Suffering from injury, the forest was marked as containing hazards. Back to the west the party headed, mapping out more of the forest as they neared Isca’s hold a little over a week after setting out.

A good half day away, they discovered an abandoned gold mine. Upon approaching the place, the party was accosted by a shambling mound, a carnivorous plant that almost had a meal before the rogue tossed a vial of alchemical fire at the creature. As the flames exploded outward, the plant creature shrieked and fell back, and the wounded and dying were collected and dragged off to safety, where their wounds were treated.

Limping back to Isca’s Hold, the party discovered that since their absence another man had arrived. Dressed in green travel-stained robes, the man introduced himself as a priest of the old religions. He claimed to have been drawn to the hold from visions of a long ruined shrine to his gods that were out in the expanse of wilderness, and offered the party his services should they find the place and escort him to it.

With the weather warming up, the party stayed at the Hold another day performing menial tasks such as scribing, repairing, and preparing for their next foray out into the wild.

They headed back out to the mine, and were relieved to find that the plant creature was no where to be found. Investigating the mine, they found that it had caved in, but there was a crack near the cave-in that allowed access to the tunnels behind.

There was still gold to be found in the mine! Marking this on the map, the group explored the mine fully, discovering a small chamber under the mine that contained a rotten but empty chest and a mouldering pile of bones in rotted leathers (apparently the victim of a fall into the chamber).

After exploring, they made camp in the area near the cave as the sun went down and it is there that they concluded the first session…

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Campaign Background
The Story So Far

The Age of Kings is a political-based game inspired by Game of Thrones and set in a low-fantasy setting based on things such as Conan or Lord of the Rings and using a Dark Ages Brittania backdrop. Magic exists in the world but is rare. The gods are in decline and backing out of the world and the old religion is being slowly edged out by the new religion of the east based on the Lord of Light.

The land is divided by squabbling lords and houses. Many kingdoms exist, but they are kingdoms unto themselves. The temple at Erethas has been barred and where once the gods convened with mortals, there is naught but silence and icy wind.

The players have chosen to serve House Silvermane of Landinium, one of the four great powers of Cict. Through a process of randomization, one of their members is nephew to the King of Landinium and a couple are minor noble houses that support him.

The lands near Erethas are being settled and the King has commanded that Landinium be the one that wins the mountain lands near the temple to prove that their claim over the Sky Throne is the legitimate one.

The first session begins in Landinium as the settlers and military force prepares to move north to lay claim to this land…

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