A labyrinthine political landscape plagues the nation of Brevoy; secret alliance, provincial loyalties, and nefarious plots abound. Brevoy is being pushed closer and closer to civil war by the continued machinations of the increasingly autocratic House Surtova. In the south, the Swordlords of Rostland who have long been enemies of House Surtova, fear such a war because their armies are fewer, their rolling hills and grasslands offer very little in the war of natural defenses, and their southern border lies along a stretch of wilderness infested with bandits and monsters. If Brevoy were to fall into a civil war, then it wouldn't be long at all before the violent, opportunistic vultures to the south move to take advantage of Rostland's problems. As the tension rises some of the Swordlords have begun to set in motions various political schemes...
Act I: A Swordlord's Gambit
The monumental ceremony that would have united northern Brevoy with Southern Brevoy was interrupted by bandits from the Stolen Lands under moniker of their leader, The Stag Lord. Lady Alexis Orlovsky, the promised bride-to-be for the Lord Mayor of Restov, Ioseph Sellemius, was shoot by a hidden sniper as a warning to other guests and attendees. (Luckily, Lady Orlovsky was saved by the divine guidance of Sarenrae)
(Lord Regent or King) Noleski Surtova was incapacitated, it was rumored that he was poisoned by the Swordlords prior to the ceremony, and carted off into hiding away from the hands of Lord Orlovsky and Ioseph Sellemius by his sister, Natala Surtova.
The rising political atmosphere prompted a gambit by Ioseph Sellemius and Poul Orlovsky to send a young Swordlord, Kesten Garess, and a company of companions (Player Character Party) into the stolen lands with an expedition force to locate and destroy the bandits of the Stag Lord. Party explores ahead of expedition to find the keep is occupied by bandits, who they proceed to chase away and capture their leader Happs, after a short interrogation the man is beheaded for his crimes of banditry against Brevoy.
Kesten Garess begins to rebuild the derelict border keep on the edge of Brevoy rule while he sends agents into the Stolen Lands to explore and discover dangerous elements that await the expedition. Party explores some of the area around the derelict keep, upon returning they discover a wounded man had wondered into the expedition. Akiros Ismort III, a former paladin of Erastil and former officer under the Stag Lord, revealed several things about the bandits of the Greenbelt over his travels with the Party. Akiros joined a man and several other that had fled Pitax during the Pitaxian coup. They had taken up resident in a fort on the Tuskwater that was in disrepair, but they worked to restore it. They seemed spurred on by blessings of Erastil for many months, even having a dignitary from Brevoy that gave them leave to settle the lands. It all fell apart when a druid showed up, he was sly-tongued and vile. He pulled the counsel of the Stag Lord, and lead him down an increasingly wicked path. Akiros tried to speak sense into the Stag Lord but it just degraded into a fight between the pair of them, a fight that Akiros lost and was exiled from the fort.
Alone in the Narlmarches, he began to feel the touches of Erastil that he had lost years ago. It spurred him to return to the Tuskwater, where he found the former Stag Lord dying on the riverbanks as the vile druid and his sycophant had dumped him over the wall after a successful coup. He was guided by the vision of Erastil to a temple hidden within the Narlmarches as he nursed his companion back to life. The Temple was occupied by a vicious bear that they barely managed to defeat, but a curse was transferred to the Stag Lord, who wounded Akiros and sent him fleeing again. This time he was guided to the derelict keep, and the Party returned with him to the Temple of the Elk to free his cursed comrade. Akiros Ismort III found redemption after the events that transpired at the Temple of the Elk, as his paladinhood was restored by Erastil and it was believed a omen from the god that the former Stag Lord with Akiros at his side could still be a force for good, and that the bandit known as the Stag Lord was still ruling from the Stag Fort on the Tuskwater,
It was discovered that a war had broken out between the kobolds and the mites of the Greenbelt. One that became less pressing as the party went up against one of the wayward bandit camps that swore loyalty to the Stag Fort.
Party returned to the derelict keep to find that Kesten Garess had been hard at work with the restorations and they were nearly complete. More pressing matters occupied the Swordlord as a convoy of refugees was fleeing the unrest in Restov as the Surtova forces seized the city with the help of Lord Orlovsky after the death of Noleski Surtova. It was swift and brutal, resulting in the death of the Lord Mayor, and several other Swordlords before the remaining forces and many citizens fled Restov with the remains of the Sword Council and Lady Alexis Orlovsky.
Party rushes to aid the convoy, and meet Lord Maegar Varn, the Rampaging Blade, and the Swordlord most-likely succeed Ioseph Sellemius as the next Sword Baron once the Sword Council can settle at the derelict keep. It becomes apparent the Swordlords want to use the keep to regroup and stage an attack to take back Restov. Civil War in Brevoy seems inevitable, however the Party learns that Ioseph Sellemius had made some educated guesses at things to come and taken steps in the last hours of not only his life, but the life of the Lord Regent Noleski Surtova, to transfer the northern reaches of the Greenbelt and part of his personal estate to the expedition. Party also learns that Lady Natala Surtova has named Poul Orlovsky, Regent of the Dragonscale Throne. Some questions rise about whether Lord Orlovsky betrayal of the Swordlords was political-scheming, or if he had been enchanted by the Lady Surtova in some manner.
A final confrontation between the bandits of the Greenbelt and the expedition is forced when the bandits, fleeing a new enemy (an army of wolves lead by a massive worg), set upon the convoy. In the precious moments before the armies of Restov enter battle, the paladin Teyran, manages to turn the bandits to fight for the convoy against the worg army. It was a resounding victory for the expedition as they turned an enemy into allies, and managed to fight off the vanguard forces of a new enemy threat. Apparently in the southern reaches of the Greenbelt, a troll has self-styled himself the Troll King and has begun building a monstrous kingdom.
Act II: There Will Be Blood
The Sounds of War - Act II Gameplay Thread
The Sounds of War - Act II Discussion Thread
The Sounds of War - Act II Recruitment Thread
Be it so known that the bearers of this charter, having secured the northern reaches of the Greenbelt under the guidance of the Sword Council, are hereby granted the right to rule. The nature and laws of rule are theirs to define, and the well-being of this new nation is theirs to protect. In accordance for providing a stable nation to the south of central Rostland, let there be a generous stipend of funds, support, and advice provided to this fledgling nation as a token of Restov and Brevoy's goodwill, such that future relations between kingdoms might be mutually beneficial.
Under this clause I, Ioseph Sellimus, Baron of the Sword Council, hereby transfer a portion of my personal estate to the leader of this fledgling nation to be used with wisdom to govern the lands.
So witnessed under the watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov and by the authority granted to me by Lord Noleski Surtova, Regent of the Dragonscale Throne.
With the tangled woodlands of the Narlmarches to the west and the rugged hills of the Kamelands to the east, the Greenbelt is a haven for bandits. The lack of dangerous inhabitants other than indigenous tribes of kobolds makes this the safest of the four regions for "freelance banditry," although recent rumors hold that a particularly powerful individual known as the Stag Lord has risen to unite and the region's brigands. To the south, tribes of trolls and more dangerous creatures provide a quite effective buffer between Brevoy and Mivon.
Table Rules in Play
If you roll a natural 20, you follow it with a confirmation roll, if that hits, you will receive a random yet appropriate critical hit effect. This replaces 1x of your critical multiplier with the critical effect (this is no optional). A Critical Modifier of 2x results in maximum damage before the critical hit effect is applied.
If you roll a natural 1, you follow it with a confirmation roll, if that misses, you will receive a random yet appropriate critical fumble effect.
Regular rules for stacking multiple multipliers apply.