Tuesday, 28 January 2014

29/6/1480+ Esmerelda of Llorkh thread

Esmerelda Thread (from 5th September 2013)
Morning 29/6/1480: Pamela Bardew departs with her Pigman escort for Loudwater as Esme's new ambassador. That lunchtime Prince Galtos and Vilkar return from Valeris' southern territories, which are disconcerted by reports of hobgoblin worgriders passing through their southern border and by the raid on Alwyck. When Galtos gets Esme alone he tells her they met Pamela Bardew on the way, Pamela was clearly terrified of Vilkar One-Eye but told them she was Esme's ambassadress to Loudwater. After she had departed Galtos asked Vilkar about Pamela, but he just smirked and shrugged.

The thirty hobgoblins under Delderosh depart shortly after Galtos & Vilkar's return, heading back west for Korzzbad with their captives and retained part of the loot. That afternoon Esme & Galtos are in the courtroom when the guards announce that visitors from the Glintshield Dwarves are here to meet with Esme - Vice Commander Serka, three Shadowed Chain dwarves, and a human - Shadovar Emissary Gerin! Serka asks for a private meeting with Esme followed by a meeting between herself, Esme, and Emissary Gerin.

Esme to Prince Galtos: I shall give him my version of events, not trusting him with anything I wouldn't want the banites to know. (I dont trust him to be discrete.) And I'll ask for an update on how our gifts/envoy was received?

GM (NEW): Prince Galtos reports that Esme's gifts were well-received by Queen Valeris' southern territories, but they were worried by the hobgoblin activity in the area.

Esme & Dwarves: I'll meet with Serka in my chanmber, whilst the other wait in the Throne room, with my husband, to keep them company. My sister-in-law (GM: Princess Sevilla) will be in the bedchamber with me, (trying to let her see how a powerful woman should act).

Esme: "Good Day Serka, I'm surprised by your company, I hope you have sufficient explanation for bringing such a foul creature into my city."

GM (NEW): Serka looks apprehensive before the Iron Queen, and bows deeply to Esme. Rising, she replies:

"Your Majesty, there has been a change of plans. The Shadovar now seek an alliance with you - with all the Church of Bane. They say that Szass Tam of Thay has betrayed Bane. He has joined his power with the demon prince Orcus, and now threatens all of Faerun. He is opening Portals to the Dead Realms, all over the lands... There is more, but I do not know all the details. The Shadovar goddess, Shar, has commanded them to oppose Szass Tam, to seek aid against him."

She pauses.

"Your Majesty... I think the Shadovar are afraid."

  • Simon Newman GM: After saying the above (NEW) bits, Serka moves closer and speaks in a quiet voice so that only Esme & Sevilla can overhear (not your guards outside the chamber). "Thane Harvak will not countenance any thought of betraying our pact with Netheril. He believes that if we strike against Prince Melagaunt, his father the High Prince Telamont Tanthul will not rest until every Glintshield dwarf is wiped from the surface of Faerun. And in any case, treachery is not the way of the Dwarves."
  • James Andrew Joyce "Ilmater Save Us!"

    "We must send word to Loudwater as soon as possible and to my friends of these portals opening."

    <I look down at my bump, disappointment evident>

    "There will be quite the adventure for them I fear"

    <A look of almost glee appears on her face at the prospect of adventure.>

    "You must rest and eat tonight, and I shall meet the creature in the morning in a more formal way.
    But if it is as bad as it sounds, we should muster units to protect against portal openings."
  • Simon Newman Serka nods. "The red comet is supposed to be a sign of the impending doom..." She looks nervous. "I know that Emissary Gerin is keen to meet with you right away."
  • James Andrew Joyce "Do you trust him Serka, what are your feelings about him and the Shadovar?"
  • Simon Newman Serka shakes her head. "Gerin is smooth-tongued.. He always puts the best complection on things. I think he is a dedicated servant of Prince Melagaunt and the Empire. I do not trust the Shadovar. But Thane Harvak and Dunstan Ironforge believe our best course is to ally with Netheril - and I trust their judgment."
  • James Andrew Joyce "thank you for your honest view. Go have some food , please send the Prince and Gerin up."
  • Simon Newman GM: Prince Melagaunt is not present. You wish to receive Gerin in your bedroom?
  • James Andrew Joyce Galtos? and Yes. 
    Privacy is sometimes the best policy.
    I will have my sword at my side (not in hand), just in case, I may be pregnant but I'm still Esme.
  • Simon Newman "The Prince" is a bit cool for your own husband! 
  • James Andrew Joyce I didn't want to call him My Husband for a change, I felt like nto demeaning him so much these days. Maybe being nice to him. I'm pregnant I have mood swings, currently he is to be respected, later perhaps again I wil feel like he deserves derision.
  • Simon Newman GM: Esme is joined by her husband, who gives her a hug  - a short time later two Pigmen guards escort in the tall dark form of Emissary Gerin Legatus. He bows to the Queen. "Thank you for receiving me, your Majesty. I am honoured." He straightens. "Has Lady Serka told you of the threat from Thay?"
  • James Andrew Joyce "She has explained the situation. I beleive she has explained my situation?"
    <I think she explained me being a follower of Ilmater to him previously, but not whilst I was their>
    <If he looks confused I will explain my situation, and the need for him to talk to me in private, away from the banites>
    "Our next steps must be to contact The Mountain King, and my sister, yes?"
  • Simon Newman Gerin listens to Esme's explanation and suggestion with a neutral explanation. "We have identified three Dead Gates opening in the Western Sector - near Luskan on the Sword Coast, in Elturgard, and a smaller portal in the central Gray Vale. If Moonfire's people cannot deal with that one, we will need to move forces into the Vale to contain the threat - through the Stonefang Tunnel and Llorkh. I came to ask your permission for that. Of course any assistance you and the other local rulers can provide would be appreciated, I'm sure."
  • Simon Newman Gerin: "Don't be too alarmed your Majesty - we have contingency measures already in place. Prince Clariburnus is dealing with the Luskan portal personally. We are unable to address the Elturgard portal at this time - hopefully the local Tormites can contain that threat for now. Lady Moonfire's... connections... may enable her to contain the worst effects of the Grey Vale portal, but Loudwater is militarily weak and we may be needed to deal with undead emanating from the Rift. The greater threat lies in the Eastern Sector - I am told that the Castle Perilous Rift in Vaasa is... very large."
  • James Andrew Joyce "Sorry Gerin, I shall send a scouting party to Loudwater to see how bad the situation is. If I believe we cannot deal with it ourselves, you shall be allowed to pass to grant aid. However the less Shadovar that travel through my realm the better, I must maintain order.
    My order of knights can lead an army at the loudwater portal, and will enjoy the battle itself, and a small amount of shadovar help could be tolerated, but large quantities might destabilize the state."
  • Simon Newman Gerin nods coolly. "Very well. Please keep the Glintshields informed of the developing situation. They'll pass on word to us."
  • James Andrew Joyce <I shall return to the throne room with my husband on my arm>
  • Simon Newman GM: You have a subdued feast that evening, Emissary Gerin eats modestly. You can send a warning animal message west to Moonfire about the Next day (30/6) he leaves early with Serka and her dwarves, heading back to Yaunaroth. That evening a messenger arrives from Loudwater with a message from Lady Moonfire: "You have my permission to try Jaela Rensard for her crimes. Please convey my apologies to Korzbadd for any harm done to the Goblins. We are aware of the Death Cyst issue. Warden Lirael and her companions are dealing with it, I have full confidence in their abilities. Yours cordially - Moonfire"
  • Simon Newman 31/6 - Shieldmeet. That afternoon, Esme receives a magical Sending from Lady Moonfire: "The Cyst has been closed." As darkness falls, you can see that the baleful red comet is no longer visible in the sky above Grey Vale.
  • Simon Newman FLASHBACK >>23/6/1480 DR
    Esme is at her desk in her personal apartment in the castle. She pulls her tiny silver statuette of a broken man (her holy symbol of Illmater).

    She writes in tiny neat handwriting on a small scroll:
    "Dear Friend,
    Our enemies grow stronger by the day, Thay is seeking to break out a great army through the drow city, any moment now, as foreseen in the stars. And Shadovar seeks to gain dominance on the vale.
    Our only hope lies in the unification of our forces, and striking at the Shadovar at their weakest, when they are distracted with the Severed Eye Orcs.
    Sweetest Regards,
    The Bane Child, Iron Queen of Lllorkh, Misstress of Battle, Esmerelda"
    Esme, climbs up to her tower of birds, cast a ritual to give the bird instructions, and releases the black dove with its message.
    (Cut to seeing the dove, flying towards the Mountain Kings Domain to the North)<<
  • Simon Newman 1/7/1480 DR The day after Shieldmeet, Esme's guards announce that a visitor has arrived from the north, a strange looking dwarf who calls himself Lord Ablair Loroth, Emissary of the Mountain King. He is accompanied by a cloaked and hooded companion with the horns and tail of a Tiefling. Ablair wishes to discuss Esme's proposal.
  • Timothy Walford The ball remains one of my favourite sessions of the whole campaign! Looking forward to the party at the monor a lot!
    23 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Simon Newman (re the Midsummer Ball session - even though the 4e Skill Challenge rules are pretty terrible and I usually don't use them as written, I have picked up a few useful tricks from them such as going round-table asking each player in turn what their PC is doing. It works very well for social events such as the Ball, keeping everyone involved.)
  • James Andrew Joyce OOC : <Blatantly my adventuring friend are about to pop by for tea at this moment.>
    23 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 1
  • James Andrew Joyce How is my city lookign at the moment, how many people are settling down instead of raiding.
    Are their any worrying signs. 
    (I know as queen I may not notice anything but just thought I'd ask.)
    What major NPC are in Llorkh at the moment, I've lost track of some of them like Kitana...etc.
  • James Andrew Joyce Plans that Esme need to implement over time >>
    Convert Banites to a more battle orientated view of Bane, rather than Destruction.
    Stabilize the Llorkh/Orlbar/Loudwater region.
    Settle Llorkh into a less raider economy more trade tax economy.
    22 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 1
  • Simon Newman >>Settle Llorkh into a less raider economy more trade tax economy<< King Boris was already doing that, so you're carrying on his vision.  Of course this left Kitana unsatisfied at the lack of Conquest so she helped you kick him out...
  • Simon Newman Kitana is in Llorkh since her return from sacking Alwyck Manor 28/6. You told her to prepare the Banites for war with the Shadovar Empire: >>Kitana:
    "I will prepare the men for war against the Shadovar Empire. We will be hopelessly outnumbered, of course."
    She grins playfully:
    "But when has that ever stopped us?" Apparently Kitana has a sense of humour!
    Esme: "I am working on the numbers issue, I have sent word to the Mountain King to join us, and with Shadovar sandwiched between the might of Bane, and the orc forces, they should be easier pickings."
    Kitana nods.
    "When the Mountain King learns that we have the Southwood Goblins, he will surely join us. I was thinking that we should first secure Orlbar, with his aid? Then our forces could march together against the Shadovar."
    "They say the Shadovar have a hundred thousand warriors, flying fortresses, a Gargantuan Dracolich... Their leaders are Shade Wizards, thousands of years old, the most powerful Sorcerors in all Faerun... It will be a glorious war."
    She goes into a slight reverie at the thought.
    "I know Delderosh wants to talk battle-plans at the Feast, your majesty. I'll fetch a map of the Vale."
    Kitana bows and withdraws. Esme turns to her chamber door...
    As Kitana goes off, Esme can hear her talking happily to herself:
    "...We will crush the Shadovar, avenge Fzoul Chembryl's failures, the defeat at Zhentil Keep... Then Bane will make Queen Esme the new Grand Preceptor...he he."<<
    21 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Kimberly Pauley Maybe Kitana needs to meet Konn, the Tigerclaw dude...you know, give her something else to obsess over...
  • Simon Newman >>How is my city lookign at the moment, how many people are settling down instead of raiding.
    Are their any worrying signs. 
    (I know as queen I may not notice anything but just thought I'd ask.)
    What major NPC are in Llorkh at the moment, I've lost track of some of them like Kitana...etc.<< All the NPCs listed under Llorkh athttp://frloudwater.blogspot.co.uk/.../eastern-gray-vale.html are currently in Llorkh. The only recent raid was Kitana's sack of Alwyck Manor. Among your followers/bandit horde, you know the non-Banites have been grumbling about having to work on rebuilding the town, while the Banites don't mind hard labour but are pushing you to take Orlbar, crush Valeris, and restore the Temple of Bane-Iyacthu, which Valeris has been using as her castle. So every time Esme comes up with a plan you can expect to hear "That would work better if we took Orlbar first..."

  • Simon Newman >>Maybe Kitana needs to meet Konn, the Tigerclaw dude...you know, give her something else to obsess over...<< LOL, good luck with that! 
  • Simon Newman (For one thing Kitana is quite homely, Konn seems to go for the Babe types...)
  • Simon Newman When I do an image search for 'homely female warrior', this is what I get -http://dtsft.files.wordpress.com/.../thor_jaimie... *sigh*  - she does look a bit like my image of Kitana, if Kitana wore makeup and scrubbed up really well. 
  • Kimberly Pauley Eh, homely my left foot. That's not homely!
    21 hours ago · Unlike · 1
  • Simon Newman Heh  Actually the 'Sif' pic is growing on me, the crazy look in her eyes fits Kitana perfectly. Reckon I'll use it as Kitana scrubbed up for a formal reception, having let Princess Sevilla apply some foundation & makeup on her. 
    21 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Kimberly Pauley She makes a good Kitana. But she sure as heck isn't homely!
    21 hours ago · Unlike · 1
  • James Andrew Joyce "Welcome Gentlemen, it is a pleasure to finally have word from the Mountain King."
    <Are either Kitana/Vilkar in the room>
    "As this is the first time someone from your nation has visited Llorkh, I would love to give you a tour of Llorkh and the mines. To show you what we are accomplishing and how we may better work together for the glory of Bane. Then after this we can have discussions of working together."

    <OOC: Totes stalling for time!>
  • Simon Newman Kitana & Vilkar are in the throne room with you, yup.
    19 hours ago · Like · 1
  • James Andrew Joyce <Awesoem I can be more insulting now, that I know I am safe. :-D>
  • Simon Newman The visitors stand on the red carpet before Queen Esme's throne, and bow deeply, then rise. The dwarf is a strange looking fellow with wild, spiky red-dyed hair and beard, a weird gleam in his eyes. The Tiefling is a tall, well-muscled male, his face shadowed. The dwarf speaks: "We bring greetings in the name of Oro Loroth, King of the Mountain. I am Lord Ablair; my horned companion is known to you. I fear you last met in less happy circumstances... Dajani, known as The Darkblade." The Tiefling pulls back his cowl, revealing a saturnine, devilish scarlet face. Esme may remember battling him upon the Black March, when he ambushed her camp - driven off, he fled into the night. He was next seen alerting the Naarash guards as Esme & co attempted to sneak into the Temple of Night. Dajani meets Esme's gaze confidently, face perhaps showing the glimmer of a smile. Lord Ablair: "Once Dajani was second-man to Jaryn, Leader of the Hand of Naarash, the false Prophet of Bane. Now he serves the Mountain King." Dajani: "Your Majesty. It is good to see you again. You are even more beautiful than I remembered. Before, we fought on different sides. Like you, I too was once a follower of the false gods, entrapped in their lies. Like you, I saw the Light of Bane, and embraced my true destiny. Together we can do great things..." At these words Esme hears an audible *hmph!* from Ser Kitana to her right.
  • Kimberly Pauley (I sincerely hope Kitana kicks his ass at some point. I never liked him.)
  • Simon Newman Lord Ablair: "A tour of Llorkh and the Mines sounds most interesting, your Majesty. But before we do that, we have news of the Shadovar that may interest you... News from Spellgard." He smiles.
    19 hours ago · Like · 1
  • James Andrew Joyce ..<awaiting in silence>
  • James Andrew Joyce OOC : sorry which of these three is spellguard 
    near Luskan on the Sword Coast, in Elturgard, and a smaller portal in the central Gray Vale.
  • Simon Newman (none) Esme inclines her head a fraction, Ablair continues: "As you know, the Sceptre Tower of Spellgard lies east of our realm, in the Fallen Lands. It was retaken last year by Netheril, as they continue their expansion towards our domains. There may be found the ancient ghost-sage, Lady Saharel, a relic of ancient Netheril from before the Fall. It's said her knowledge of what may come is unsurpassed in all Faerun. A few weeks ago, she had a visitor - Telamont Tanthul, High Prince of Shade, Chosen of Shar, supreme ruler of the Shadovar Empire. He came to consult with her, about the future. We do not know what passed between them in the Tower. But when he left, his face was gaunt - *Telamont Tanthul* was afraid!" Ablair's smile broadens to a grin. "Do you see what this means, your Majesty? The Shadovar are *afraid*! They fear us! And they will have cause to fear! Soon we will rise again, to take back all that was lost! The Black Age of Bane is at last at hand!"
  • Simon Newman Dajani the Darkblade listens to Ablair, a flicker of uncertainty on his face, then turns to Esme and hesitates, then speaks again. "Your - your Majesty, I know you said we should wait to speak of our alliance, but if I may be permitted... We are sorry for the delay in coming to you, but we had to be sure that you had truly rejected Valeris' attempt at an alliance. I must speak of Valeris..." He pauses again, looking nervous. "My liege Jaryn was a good man, and a dear friend. After he... died... after the fall of Naarash, I spent many months alone in the Wilderness, as the snows of winter cloaked the land. I was in a cave on the Black March, frozen, very near to death... When He came to me! Your Majesty, the Black Lord, Bane Himself, spoke to *me*!" Kitana's eyes narrow sceptically at this, she clearly doesn't like Dajani at all. Dajani: "The Lord spoke to me of many things. He spoke to me of His daughters - the first-born who had betrayed Him, and the second who was loyal, who would be the Bane Child of Prophecy. Daughters begotten by Him in human form, to mortal women, elf and human. And He showed me their faces, faces I knew well - Queen Valeris of Orlbar, and yourself, Queen Esmerelda of Llorkh. One, a foul traitor to her Father, given His love, his strength, yet rejecting everything He stands for. The other, pure hearted and loyal, a mighty weapon to crush the Unbelievers and bring about the Black Age of Bane!" Kitana gasps at these words, words that seem to confirm everything she has long believed... Prince Galtos gasps too.
  • James Andrew Joyce "Jaryn was a fool. He beleived himself the chosen one of Bane, corrupted by a demon, his own delusions led to his own demise at the hands of a small group of adventurers. A group that was let to pass by those he trusted most, if you truly have been spoken to by Bane then you would be able to see this. 
    I must make sure that you will not betray me as you did your last master, I must make sure you are not just claiming these visions to try and gain favour. If I was nto in the condition I am now, I would demand a trial by combat with myself, however is their anyone else who will stand in my stead to judge the worthiness of this creature! The word of Bane must never be accepted lightly.
    A fight to the first blood!"
    <I look across at Kitana>
  • Simon Newman Kitana grins and steps forward swiftly. Dajani pales slightly. "Indeed, Jaryn was misled, but Lord Bane used the Naarash-thing as an instrument - it sought to misuse His name, but it was used in turn for His greater purpose. All things come to pass as the Black Lord has foreseen... " He bows. "I will face your Champion, your Majesty."
  • James Andrew Joyce "If you have truly heard the voice and have Banes favor you will be able to draw first blood, if not then you will have to pass under my judgement."

    "Good luck to you both, you shall face each other this evening before dinner. It should make excellent entertainment as you fight on the Bridge of Llorkh. Kitana as the volunteer, what are your weapons of choice?"
  • Simon Newman Kitana nods. "Twin blades, your Majesty." Dajani smirks, moving back his cloak to show the twin blades at his belt.
  • Timothy Walford (Female Viking warrior brings up some good options. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/.../diii-female-barbarian...)
  • Simon Newman No, nothing like that - you can be homely without being enormous  - she's slim/athletic build, not big. Something with a pageboy/bob haircut would be ideal -http://www.lifewithfashions.com/.../03/Pageboy-Haircut.jpg
  • Simon Newman BTW your first image above is the one my player Judith is using for her half-orc Urban Ranger in my Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign. 
  • Simon Newman GM: The sun is setting in the west, turning the Grayflow blood red, as the crowd assembles at the bridge of Llorkh, just west of the city wall. Kitana takes the western side so that the sun shines into Dajani's eyes (-1 defences when looking west). Standing beside Queen Esme, Kitana quietly watches Dajani take position at the opposite end of the bridge, the dwarf Ablair giving him an encouraging slap on the back. Kitana's mood seems to have sobered, her hands rest lightly on the pommels of her swords. " Your majesty, you've fought him before... and he's still here. Do you think I can beat him?"
    12 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1
  • James Andrew Joyce "It is in the power of Bane now."
    "The duelist will now swap weapons to ensure fair play, may Bane decide upon justice this day, in a fight to first blood."
    12 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Simon Newman GM: The two fighters' seconds (Ablair and an elderly Bane-priest) take their swords to the middle of the bridge and exchange them, then return to each side. When Esme gives the signal for the fight to begin, Dajani begins moving forward, but Kitana stays on her side of the bridge, waiting.
    12 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Simon Newman Current distance 50' (10 sq)
  • Simon Newman Init bonus Kitana +13 Dajani +18(!)
  • Simon Newman Rolls Kitana 1 Dajani 19
    12 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Simon Newman Dajani wins by a lot...
  • Simon Newman Dajani seems to hesitate for a moment, weighing his options, then charges towards Kitana, blades flashing.
  • Simon Newman 1 charge attack at +19 > +20
  • Simon Newman roll 8+20 = 28 vs Kitana AC 26, he nicks her arm, blood bright on the blade.
  • Simon Newman Kitana winces, looking at the slight wound. Dajani looks past her to Esme. "Your Majesty, Bane has judged the truth of my words."
  • James Andrew Joyce <I look down at Kitana with surprise and disdain.>
    "So it seems..."
  • Simon Newman Turning, Kitana pales at Esme's expression and she kneels, head bowed. "I am sorry your Majesty. I accept my punishment."
  • Simon Newman OOC Both Dajani and Kitana have added 4 levels since the time you first met each of them. But Dajani was actually superior to his boss Jaryn. 
  • Simon Newman Lord Ablair heads over the bridge, waddling slightly. "Time for dinner now, eh? And tomorrow perhaps a tour of your lovely burg?"
  • James Andrew Joyce <I run my hand through Kitana's hair, and pull her sharply upwards to look into my eyes.>
    "It wasn't a matter of skill but Bane's judgement, you were his instrument today, and today he required you to lose. Perhaps you should go reflect on Bane for a few days in training, whilst Vilkar can show the guests around tomorrow, and transport them to the mines."
  • James Andrew Joyce <I look at Dajani, before Ablair is in earshot i quietly say>
    "Someone with such skill with blades, and Bane's favor should be part of the knightly order of Bane's fist. Llorkh would be honoured to count you amongst one of its great order, think about it Darkblade"

    <I look up to watch Ablair waddling across the bridge, I smirk slightly before I can stop myself, thinking of Marsh>

    "My Lord, perhaps after such a dismal display of fighting you would like to display how the great dwarfs of the mountain fight to us of the city, and give us some real entertainment before dinner."
  • Simon Newman Kitana looks up at Queen Esme with brimful eyes, and listens to her words. She looks down. "I understand. I still have much to learn..." When given permission she withdraws to do as instructed.
    11 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Simon Newman Dajani approaches, and listens to Esme's words. He answers quietly: "It would be a great honour... the Mountain King, Oro of Loroth, expects me to remain with you as his emissary. I will think about it." He turns and watches Kitana depart, he seems to have some interest in her trim form, quite shapely in its close-fitting black leather armour. "Your champion had me worried for a moment there, your Majesty. She is clever - she used the sun, the length of the bridge... but Bane was with me. Still, with training she could be a great warrior one day."
    11 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Simon Newman Dajani inspects his recovered short blades, they glisten slick, greenish. "I am glad not to lose. The poison on these is often fatal... It was wise of you to have us swap weapons."
    11 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Simon Newman Esme to Ablair: >>"My Lord, perhaps after such a dismal display of fighting you would like to display how the great dwarfs of the mountain fight to us of the city, and give us some real entertainment before dinner."<< The dwarf lord smiles self-deprecatingly. "Oh, I'm afraid I have but little skill at arms. My talents lie in the alchemical arts, particularly as they pertain to warfare."
  • James Andrew Joyce "Hmmmm...that is disappointing. I will have to be extra careful with the food I eat this afternoon perhaps. With Darkblades use of poison, and an alchemy expert, it makes one wonder if this is a diplomatic mission or an assasination attempt. I can only assume the Mountain King is less clumsy than this if it were an assasination, yes?"
  • Simon Newman Ablair smiles, looking amused. "Oh, certainly! I am no assassin. Industrial manufacture is more my forte... but I babble. The King sees little need for assassins. You'll be pleased to know he has forbidden the dragon Nightshade from any such activities, certainly not against Llorkh. Talking of Nightshade, the King apologises if she consumed any of your followers in that little contretemps last year. Such was not the intention; she was merely asked to have her people locate some missing dwarven relics, rightful property of the Loroth. I understand there was a misunderstanding, and she ate one of Valeris' guardsmen and a couple of foolish Waterdhavian crusaders."
  • Simon Newman Vilkar the Archer takes a step towards Esme, whispers in her ear: "That one certainly likes to talk."
  • James Andrew Joyce "Darkshade is just lucky that Lirael deemed to let the worm live, I think your master hidden up on the mountain under estimates her."
    11 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Simon Newman Ablair raises a sceptical eyebrow. "Let her live? According to the dragon, it was a one-sided massacre. And the contents of her copious stool seemed to bear out her account..."
    11 hours ago · Like · 1
  • James Andrew Joyce <I chuckle>
    11 hours ago · Unlike · 1
  • James Andrew Joyce Come e should stop talking of worms, and more drinking, and feasting. With talk of these industrial machines, and why you were chosen by the hidden king"
  • Simon Newman Ablair chuckles also. "Lirael? She's the Warden of the North, yes? An old friend of yours? Was she one of the women who escaped the battle? Nightshade said there was a Red Wizard girl who escaped, dragging the body of a fallen archer-maid through a gap too small for the dragon's bulk to follow. That must have been Lirael." He grins self-satisfied at the deduction.
  • Simon Newman Ablair nods in agreement, and you start back across the Llorkh Bridge towards the royal palace and tonight's feast. "Drinking and feasting yes! Your hall is famous for its hospitality, and I have had a long day's ride." Approaching the palace, Ablair goes on. "Machines, yes, I am but a tinkerer. Many of my colleagues in the Nameless Cabal are much more advanced in all sorts of the dark arts... But in time I may have something useful to offer our campaign. Imagine, perhaps, a bellows that could flush out a whole nest of Shadovar? A gas that could turn them mad, so they'll kill each other and save us the bother?" You mount the steps up to the feast hall.
  • Simon Newman "...As to why I was chosen. Well, I am first cousin to my liege the King. And I am more loquacious than the average Loroth - most of my kinfolk are a little... taciturn. And thirdly, I have always believed in the Bane Child, in the Prophecy. I spoke up for Dajani, when some called him mad." Ablair pauses, looking down. "To be honest, your Majesty, not all the Loroth truly revere our lords Abbathor, and His master Bane. A cult has grown up in recent years, the Fists of the Stone Tyrant. Heretics, they reject all the gods! They have fallen back into the old ways, the dark ways of a savage time best forgotten... You have heard of Stonefang the Earth Titan?
  • Nick Bamji OT: That first potential-Kitana reminds me very strongly of Agent May in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D http://photoncitynews.com/.../2013/11/Agent-May-Posing.png
  • James Andrew Joyce "Stonefang, the mythical creature..."
  • Simon Newman Ablair nods. "Perhaps not entirely mythical. The Fists worship him as an Avatar of Ogremoch, Primordial Lord of Earth. They say he sleeps beneath Stonefang Mountain - where he was buried by my ancestors, and rightly so! That he has slept for almost sixthousand years, but the time of his freedom is close at hand..." Ablair shakes his head sadly. "It is all madness. They are deluded remnants of a time best forgotten. But something has stirred the ashes of the cult to life, and it is growing in power. My cousin the King hopes that our alliance with you will demonstrate the folly of such outmoded beliefs. As I often tell my students, dialectical analysis of historical change indicates the inevitable decline of atavistic Cthonism, and its replacement by enlightened social order within a normative hierarchical framework. Their day is past. This is the Age of Bane."
  • Simon Newman OOC sorry, couldn't help it. 
    10 hours ago · Like · 1

Simon Newman GM: You retire to the great hall for the night's feast. Dajani eats modestly, while Lord Ablair consumes enormous quantities of meat and mead. In between mouthfulls he asks Esme about the political situation to the south - the Glintshields, the SeveredEye orcs, and now the Shadovar. He is also happy to talk a little about the Mountain King's domain; there has recently been some trouble with frost giant raiders descending from the high peaks north of Loroth territory, and humanoid bands of orcs and hobgoblins driven west into the mountains by Netherese encroachment into the Fallen Lands east of the Greypeak mountains.

  • James Andrew Joyce Usually Esme would have both her guests either sid eof her, but she cannot trust herself next to the vile dwarf, she places her Jonas, between herself and the Dwarf. And her husband between herself and the teifling.

    "The Severed Eye orcs, and Shadovar wear each other out, in a battle that only benefits the follower of bane, and increase the profit margins of my mines. It is a sign of our lords approval. And the Glintshields have been stalwart allies against the darkness, always willing to provide trade and expertise where possible."

    <I shall try and get as much information about the Mountain Kings woes without sounding too eager>

    Other probing questions...

    "And how much exactly does the Mountain king pay for the services of someone with your expertise?"

    "I assume that your king and truly barbaric ruler has crushed the cult of stone beneath his might fist, I myself had to overthrows the unworthy pretend follower of Bane who ruled here before..."
    <I will go into the poetic tale that only a bard of my skills could make out of such a heroic evening>
  • James Andrew Joyce (OOC : Does Esme have any clue about the priating/heard any rumour, are they very strong, against Vilkar and Red Bart, I saw it written in the Bio, was wondering if it was player or character knowledge?)
  • Simon Newman What's Esme's Streetwise bonus (at lvl 13)?
  • Simon Newman GM: I'm likely going to be a time jump in the game tomorrow, which will cover Esme's due date. I reckon I'll say that Esme is probably a bit distracted right now but will hear the rumours re Red Bart & Vilkar during the time jump.
  • Simon Newman >>"The Severed Eye orcs, and Shadovar wear each other out, in a battle that only benefits the follower of bane, and increase the profit margins of my mines. It is a sign of our lords approval. And the Glintshields have been stalwart allies against the darkness, always willing to provide trade and expertise where possible."<< Lord Ablair nods. "It is good that you are bringing the Glintshields back to due reverence of our Lord Bane. We had feared them lost, fallen to degeneracy and savagery - perhaps even to worship of Shar!"

    >><I shall try and get as much information about the Mountain Kings woes without sounding too eager><< Lord Ablair sounds upbeat: "Oh, Ogremouth is far too strong to be seriously threatened by a few giants. Come wintertime they descend to raid a few slave farms along the Loagrann, stuff some halflings in their baskets and run off before we can catch them. I hear halflings can be quite delicious if properly braised - not that I would know, of course." He grins, teeth sinking into a fat-dripping leg of mutton.

    >>Other probing questions...

    "And how much exactly does the Mountain king pay for the services of someone with your expertise?"<< Lord Ablair shrugs self-deprecatingly. "I am proud to serve my cousin, King of the Loroth. Of course he has often rewarded me well."

    >>"I assume that your king and truly barbaric ruler has crushed the cult of stone beneath his might fist, I myself had to overthrows the unworthy pretend follower of Bane who ruled here before..."
    <I will go into the poetic tale that only a bard of my skills could make out of such a heroic evening><< Lord Ablair does not comment further on the Stone Cult, but listens to the tale. "A story worthy of much recounting! I only regret you could not mount that oaf Boris' head on a spike above your gates!"
  • Simon Newman (updates above) Next day after breakfast and a brief tour of Llorkh, Ablair and Dajani come to bid Esme farewell in her throneroom. Ablair: "Your Majesty, I have confirmed through sorcerous means that my liege the Mountain King is pleased to accept your offer of alliance, and furthermore will be sending your Majesty a small gift in token of our new friendship and to celebrate the impending birth of your child. He furthermore invites you to visit him in Ogremouth at a time amenable to yourself." The Tiefling Dajani has spent the morning sparring with Kitana. Now he steps forward. "Your Majesty, I wish to accept your offer to remain here, by your side. I pledge my service to the Bane Child." He kneels, head lowered.
  • James Andrew Joyce <I shall set Kitana, andDajani against each other.>

    The war season will not begin until I am ready to fight again...until then we must have our men as well trained as possible. my husband shall lead the Militia in defence of our town, whilst the two knights in residence (Kitana and Dajani), shall train 100 men each, on the birth of my chil they shall fight each other for the right to be first into battle, the goblins will finish our war against the severed eye orcs.
  • Simon Newman What is Esme going to name her children? Prince Galtos suggests Tirios for the boy, after his father.
  • Simon Newman That autumn the Shadovar and Glintshiel dwarves drive the last of the Severed Eye Orcs from the Vale of Naurogloth. Orc remnants retreating west from the Vale are intecepted by the Korzzbad goblins under Warlord Delderosh. Delderosh sends Esme's babies a nice naming-day present - the severed heads of two female orcs, the Severed Eyes' sister-chiefs Msuga & Rohka. By all accounts the Severed Eye Orcs are now extinct.
    21 hours ago · Like · 2
  • James Andrew Joyce Boy : Quartermain Tirios Marsh ...
    Girl : Lirael Valeris Arya ...

    (The Marsh and Valeris parts are my little secret..)
    21 hours ago · Unlike · 2
  • Kimberly Pauley Aw! Lirael!
    20 hours ago · Unlike · 3
  • James Andrew Joyce I might use the wedding as an excuse to get my family out of Llorkh, 

    The Queen and her husband/sister, and her children. <Royalty
    ...See More
  • James Andrew Joyce <We'll be using the pig guards as escorts...>

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