Wrath of the Righteous Part 2: Sword of Valor

Game Master Atorhal

SECTION ONE: Crusader's March
Now invested with righteous mythic power, Our Heroes are tasked with their first mission. Lead an army to recapture the citadel city of Drezen, lost in the First Crusade, and the crusaders’ Relic of power!

Current Strategic Map: STRATEGIC OVERVIEW

Current Tactical Map:


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Male Dwarf Inquisitor 06 Guardian 01 HP 71/71 | AC 21 (23) T 12 FF 20 (22) | CMB +9 CMD 12 | F+10 R+5 W+10 | Init +4 | Perc +12

At the shrine

"This is certainly something worth investigating..." considers Karthak musing over this new discovery. He tries to put the helm of baring inside its own shelf and then casts a spell to check for magical traces.

Knowledge(religion): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19

Cast detect magic on the helm and shrine. Then knowledge religion check for information about these fanatics and where they might have gone

With the queen

"Bah!" scoffs Karthak loudly. "Drezen was and IS an example of what happens when we let betrayers and traitors in our midsts. Kenabres was almost another. Or have you forgotten about those servants of Baphomet - cursed be its name - masquerading as crusaders? No. Drezen fell because of Stauton Vahne's betrayal. Something I swore to avenge a long time ago!"


Karthak:
There is no magic on the shrine anymore, but a lesser Enhancement Enchantment is on the Helm.
If you bring it to someone with Spellcraft or take a 20 using Detect Magic, you discover that the Helm gives DR1/Adamantine to a Dwarf who wears it.
If you have any Knowledge:Religion, you think that if all the pieces of the regalia of Barin are worn, there are additional benefits.
As for the thieves...
Perhaps a Library or City records office might have something on that.


Jokum wrote:
"...but I enjoy the chance to slay a demon. I will go if they will."

The queen smiled and nodded, accepting your tacit assent.


Voren wrote:
"But, I thought we were doing a good thing in destroying the Wardstone! Some of them are still against us?!"

The queen glanced away, seeming ashamed.

"The wardstones have stood against the Worldwound for such a long time, many Crusaders assumed it would always stand. It's destruction is a rude shock, especially for those of a Conservative bent.
"I promise you, those who understand already know the truth, and I will inform everyone else in time through the Bards network."
"But yes, until then, the Conservative faction will curse you for doing Demons work."


Voren:

You don't really know anything about Drezen, except that it used to be a fortress for Crusaders and now it's not.
You know that the Sword of Valor is a powerful Crusader Artifact, something Iomedae herself flew into battle.

Danua:

The Sword of Valor-
You know that despite the name, it’s not a sword. It’s a battle standard—an artifact once used by Iomedae herself during the Shining Crusade.
The church loaned the banner to the First Mendevian Crusade and allowed it to hang in Drezen.


Danua wrote:
"Those too weak to act are quite adept at blaming others for their shortcomings. No offense Queen of Mendev."

The queen sighed and said, "None taken."


Voren wrote:
"I'm going. Sarkoris is my home. I saw the Worldwound open and now, with everything that has happened, I need to go. There is much healing to do. Of man and land."

The queen smiled and nodded her approval.


Karthak wrote:
"Drezen was and IS an example of what happens when we let betrayers and traitors in our midsts. Kenabres was almost another. Or have you forgotten about those servants of Baphomet - cursed be its name - masquerading as crusaders? No. Drezen fell because of Stauton Vahne's betrayal. Something I swore to avenge a long time ago!"

The queen nodded.

"So it is, and your opportunity for vengeance will come soon; for I intend for you to go and retake Fortress Drezen." She replied, smiling.
“For those who aren't familiar with the history, Drezen was built during the First Mendevian Crusade as a strategic foothold inside the Worldwound.
"Dwarves chiseled it from of a rocky hill near the source of the Sellen River.
"It held for well over a decade, withstanding almost constant war before a traitor turned the Sword of Valor over to the demons.
"With the Sword of Valor’s protection gone, the demons overwhelmed Drezen in a night.”


The queen leaned forward.
"Simply retaking the Drezen is a herculean accomplishment, but it is only the first thing that needs to be done.
"The second thing is the search for and recovery of the Sword of Valor.
"For those of you unfamiliar with it, Despite the name, it’s not a sword.
"It’s a battle standard—an artifact once used by Iomedae herself during the Shining Crusade.
"The church loaned the banner to the First Mendevian Crusade and allowed it to hang in Drezen, where it bolstered crusader morale and, perhaps more importantly, warded against demonic attacks, deceptions, and even teleportation.
"It is located somewhere inside the Citadel.
"At one point, it was held in a special vault, but our divinations have only revealed that the banner remains in the Citadel somewhere.
"Alas, the same wards that protect it against demons also hamper divination attempts—but we know it’s still in there, likely kept as a trophy.”


"As soon as we get you on the road North, I'll gather my host and head south. Hopefully, I'll be threatening enough that Drezen will be emptied of the demonic forces that normally hold it, and you will have an easier time of it.
"Scouts within the Worldwound tell us that the demons and their minions are massing all along the Sarkora River in Riftshadow, and we expect them to hit Nerosyan, Karcau, and other southern points within the week.
"I need to get Kenabres in order and head back south in a few days as a result, and I hope you’ll be well on your way north by then.”


After any other questions...
The queen rose from her chair.
"If you are finished, would you like to meet your army?" She asked, with a smile on her lips.


Male Dwarf Inquisitor 06 Guardian 01 HP 71/71 | AC 21 (23) T 12 FF 20 (22) | CMB +9 CMD 12 | F+10 R+5 W+10 | Init +4 | Perc +12

At the shrine

Karthak does what's needed to identify the helm's properties and then moves to the town's library (or what's left of it) searching for answers about the missing pieces.

With the queen

"Nothing would make me happier! Retaking Drezen will wash away a stain on the whole of dwarfdom... and even more importantly it will deal a crippling blow to the Abyss forces! Give us this army and we'll bring it to victory!"


Perception +9 Stealth +10 | Ini +4 | Darkvision 60ft AC 25, touch 20, flat-footed 15 | hp 53/64 | Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +6 Defensive Abilities canny defense; Resist cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5

"Of man and land. Very well said Voren."She gives him a warm smile before looking back towards the Queen of Mendev. Nervously she brushed her dread locked hair back so it hung behind her horns and didn't obscure her vision. "I'm with the others. I will help to take back Drezen and break the stranglehold the demons have on our homeland."

Her claws click on the floor as she hesitates for a moment. "Do you have any additional provisions we can buy before your departure? Healing wands, weapon, armor or other enchantments perhaps?"


Male Aasimar Ranger (Shapeshifter) 6/Champion 1;
Stats:
HP 21/63 | AC/T/FF: 18/13/15 | CMD 23 | F +7, R +8, W +3 (+2 vs. evil) | Init +3, Per +10 | Shifter's Blessing Left: 3/7 | MP: 3/5

Jokum just shrugs and stands. "I'm no general. But I'll gladly follow Karthak and Arthas if they'll lead this so-called army..."


Male Tiefling Hedge Witch 6/Archmage 1 | AC 15/12/13 | hp: 40/51 | F +5, R +6, W +8 (+2 vs death/insanity/confusion) | CMD 15 (17 with m.o.v) | Init +6 | Perc +1 | darkvision 60ft | SM +1 | receiving healing: +2 hit points/die rolled | giving healing: +1 point
FemNPC3 wrote:

The queen glanced away, seeming ashamed.

"The wardstones have stood against the Worldwound for such a long time, many Crusaders assumed it would always stand. It's destruction is a rude shock, especially for those of a Conservative bent.
"I promise you, those who understand already know the truth, and I will inform everyone else in time through the Bards network."
"But yes, until then, the Conservative faction will curse you for doing Demons work."

Voren nods. "Very well. I was just concerned about what the other crusaders thought of us. It just surprised me that there were some crusaders who thought that preventing the plan the demons had was a bad thing."

Voren listens intently on the plan of the Queen. When she's done, Voren leans back in his chair. "It's a solid plan. A smaller army will have an easier time getting to Drezen. Especially with the distraction of the crusaders marching south. However, we still need to be careful. No doubt that our path will still be obstructed by some enemy forces. We may need to come up with some strategies. That way, we can minimize losses and make it to the fortress before the demons catch on."

FemNPC3 wrote:

The queen rose from her chair.

"If you are finished, would you like to meet your army?" She asked, with a smile on her lips.

Voren stands and, after straightening his robes, nods and smiles at Galfrey. "Yes. I would like to meet them. Thank you."

Danua wrote:
"Of man and land. Very well said Voren."She gives him a warm smile before looking back towards the Queen of Mendev. Nervously she brushed her dread locked hair back so it hung behind her horns and didn't obscure her vision. "I'm with the others. I will help to take back Drezen and break the stranglehold the demons have on our homeland."

Voren's face goes slightly more red as Danua compliments his words. "Thank you. It felt right to say."

Danua wrote:
Her claws click on the floor as she hesitates for a moment. "Do you have any additional provisions we can buy before your departure? Healing wands, weapon, armor or other enchantments perhaps?"

Voren scratches his chin. "That would be good. Having some more resources before we set out would be beneficial to us and our army."


Danua wrote:
"Do you have any additional provisions we can buy before your departure? Healing wands, weapon, armor or other enchantments perhaps?"
Voren wrote:
Voren scratches his chin. "That would be good. Having some more resources before we set out would be beneficial to us and our army."

The queen nodded as she led you through the doors and down the hallway.

"Of course. Your Battalion Quartermaster will have a selection of such equipment already available. If you are independently wealthy you can see the Eagle Watch merchant's bazaar, or even the Black Market before you leave. Healing is especially dear nowadays, with the war you understand."


Guards snapped to attention and pulled the front doors of the Defender's Heart as you came down the hallway.
What almost stopped your hearts was the blare of the fanfare as you stepped out onto the portico.

THEN you are startled by the sight that met your eyes there.
Heavily armed and armored crusaders were arrayed before you, standing ramrod straight and evenly organized into three blocks of about a hundred each. Every plate and helm shined with oil and polish, every tassel and pennant flew proudly, every blade glinted brightly.

At your appearance, they all stamped their feet, then shouted and drew to salute you at the same time.
Then, they knelt to you; their faces filled with adoration at your appearance.

Arthas and Karthak:

You feel it in each and every one here before you. Every last one is a Paladin devoted to Law and Good.


Male Aasimar Ranger (Shapeshifter) 6/Champion 1;
Stats:
HP 21/63 | AC/T/FF: 18/13/15 | CMD 23 | F +7, R +8, W +3 (+2 vs. evil) | Init +3, Per +10 | Shifter's Blessing Left: 3/7 | MP: 3/5

Jokum whirls on the Queen of Mendev, looking almost comically panic-stricken. "This is your SMALL army?!" he hisses.


Perception +9 Stealth +10 | Ini +4 | Darkvision 60ft AC 25, touch 20, flat-footed 15 | hp 53/64 | Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +6 Defensive Abilities canny defense; Resist cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5

Nodding she smiles at Voren's response, having grown much socially in the last week herself, before nodding to the Queen. "We have been fortunate and the Dark Markets are an option so long as you won't arrest me for trying to gain... an advantage." The last part was partly a joke as Danua was still nervous around Galfrey. She is The Queen Galfrey after all, is nerve racking seeing her up close. To think... In only a week everything would change. As she thought her tail stayed bobbing, its lizard like tip pointing towards the ceiling behind her chair as her mix of nervousness and excitement left it with a mind of its own.

Somewhat surprised she rises to her feet, pulling her tail out from the chair carefully and putting her bow over her shoulder once more. "Oh good, time for a show." Whisper remarked as Danua carried it with her. Though what awaited her left her somewhat awe struck...

Her dreads swayed back and forth as she looked from one shining Paldine to the other. She had faced countless crusaders in the past and these seemed head and shoulders above the rest. "The Undaunted Queen does not disappoint..." She paused realizing she had said it aloud and, with a slight cough, she pushed forward. She didn't lower her vision in the face of the knights, her now pale skin and silvery white scales standing as testament to what that woman had done to her with the Wardstone discharge. She wasn't the weak outcast she used to be. She was reborn. "With this... And Radiance... It's possible. It's very possible that we can take Drezen." She couldn't hide the hope in her voice, hope for a brighter day after so many years of pain and suffering.


Male Dwarf Inquisitor 06 Guardian 01 HP 71/71 | AC 21 (23) T 12 FF 20 (22) | CMB +9 CMD 12 | F+10 R+5 W+10 | Init +4 | Perc +12

"Yes it is. And with that... justice will be served" Karthak nods overhearing Danua's words.

Then he speaks loud enough for everyone to hear:"Well met, brothers and sisters! Today marks the beginning of the end. For the worldwound and its architects. Yesterday foiled their plan for Kenabres and the whole border. Today we assemble and march towards Drezen. Tomorrow we'll retake it from their grasps and then we'll end their threat once and for all!"


Male Tiefling Hedge Witch 6/Archmage 1 | AC 15/12/13 | hp: 40/51 | F +5, R +6, W +8 (+2 vs death/insanity/confusion) | CMD 15 (17 with m.o.v) | Init +6 | Perc +1 | darkvision 60ft | SM +1 | receiving healing: +2 hit points/die rolled | giving healing: +1 point
FemNPC3 wrote:

The queen nodded as she led you through the doors and down the hallway.

"Of course. Your Battalion Quartermaster will have a selection of such equipment already available. If you are independently wealthy you can see the Eagle Watch merchant's bazaar, or even the Black Market before you leave. Healing is especially dear nowadays, with the war you understand."

Voren nods at this. "Good. At least we will be prepared for whatever comes."

DM-Camris wrote:

Guards snapped to attention and pulled the front doors of the Defender's Heart as you came down the hallway.

What almost stopped your hearts was the blare of the fanfare as you stepped out onto the portico.

THEN you are startled by the sight that met your eyes there.
Heavily armed and armored crusaders were arrayed before you, standing ramrod straight and evenly organized into three blocks of about a hundred each. Every plate and helm shined with oil and polish, every tassel and pennant flew proudly, every blade glinted brightly.

At your appearance, they all stamped their feet, then shouted and drew to salute you at the same time.
Then, they knelt to you; their faces filled with adoration at your appearance.

Voren is shocked by the sight of so many paladins. Seeing Arthas and the other crusaders is one thing. But seeing 300 hundred paladins with high end gear is rather intimidating. He begins to wring his tail in his hands. It gets even worse when the kneel before the group. Voren begins to shake in nervousness. "Um... uh... hello." Voren listens to Karthak and smiles, feeling a little calmer.


Jokum wrote:
"This is your SMALL army?!"

The queen smiled amused.

"Yes indeed. I would that I could send our entire host, but that would counter our strategy here."


Karthak wrote:
"...Today we assemble and march towards Drezen. Tomorrow we'll retake it from their grasps and then we'll end their threat once and for all!"

At this, the crusaders all leapt to their feet and shouted with great enthusiasm; pounding their feet and clashing their weapons against their shields.


The Queen stepped forward and raised her hands. The crusaders quieted down.
"CRUSADERS! YOU HAVE HEARD OF THE HEROES OF KENABRES AND THEIR DEEDS TO LIBERATE KENABRES!"
The crusaders cheer.
"THIS HAS NOT GONE UNNOTICED BY US!
"IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR SUCCESS AND IN HONOR OF THEIR TRIUMPH, WE AWARD THEM THE RANK AND HONORS OF KNIGHTS OF THE FIFTH CRUSADE!"
She proclaimed.

One by one, she has you all (and Irabeth) kneel before her as she takes her longsword and taps you one each shoulder and then the top of your head.
Then she drapes a silver chain with a jeweled medallion (a shield shape the size of your hand) around your shoulders. The symbol is of a silver dragon scale with the icon of Iomedae in the upper left and the hammer of Torag in the upper right.


The title makes you a low noble. It gives you permission to lead armies and rule lands.
You are allowed to fly a Knights Pennon, and you may be addressed as Sir (or Dame as you prefer).


Then she calls up Jokum and Arthas.
"I present to Sir Jokum and Sir Arthas the Righteous Medal of Agility!
"In recognition of a hero who delivers a death blow to a demon in combat before it gets a chance to act!"
She proclaims, pinning a triangular iron medal that shows a demonic face surrounded by three swords.

A righteous medal functions only if the wearer has legitimately achieved the feat for which she received the medal.
A medal must be affixed to a worn article of clothing to function, but doesn’t have to be worn visibly.
As a swift action, the wearer of the Medal of Agility can gain a +2 sacred bonus to Dexterity for 1 minute (once a day).
In addition, this medal grants a constant sacred bonus of +1 on Initiative checks.


Then she calls up all of the Heroes.
"I present to Sir Karthak, Sir Voren, Sir Jokum, Sir Arthas, Dame Danua and Sir Irabeth the Righteous Medal of Clairity!
"In recognition of a hero who recovers vital information of great use against the Worldwound and delivers this intelligence to the crusaders!"
She proclaims, pinning a circular blue medal tha depicts a pair of feminine gray eyes surrounded by a circular silver lightning bolt.

As a swift action, the wearer of the Medal of Clairity can gain a +2 sacred bonus to Intelligence for 1 minute (once a day).
In addition, this medal grants a constant +2 sacred bonus on saves against insanity or confusion effects.


Then she again calls up all of the Heroes.
"I present to Sir Karthak, Sir Voren, Sir Jokum, Sir Arthas, Dame Danua and Sir Irabeth the Righteous Medal of Valor!
"In recognition of a hero who delivers a death blow to a demon whose power greatly exceeds theirs!"
She proclaims, pinning a medal that looks like a demonic skull, the top of which has been pierced by four red-hilted swords.

As a swift action, the wearer of the Medal of Valor can gain a +2 sacred bonus to Strength for 1 minute (once a day).
In addition, this medal grants a constant +2 sacred bonus to CMD.


Then she calls up Jokum and Karthak.
"I present to Sir Karthak and Sir Jokum the Righteous Medal of Vigor!
"In recognition of a hero who is reduced to unconsciousness in battle by a demon but survives and rejoins the battle before that demon is defeated!"
She proclaims, pinning a medal that looks like a hexagonal medal depicting a white castle on a field of red with gold trim.

As a swift action, the wearer of the Medal of Vigor can gain a +2 sacred bonus to Constitution for 1 minute (once a day).
In addition, this medal grants a constant +2 sacred bonus on saves against death effects.


Stepping back, the queen barks "Salute!" and as the queen snaps a salute to you, all the crusaders do the same in near perfect synchronicity.


Pld7/Grd1 LG, Init +3; HP 108/108 AC 23, t 13, ff 21, Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +8 +2 on saves against insanity or confusion.hard to kill; Immune disease, fear, Senses +6, SM +8 Aura courage (10 ft.)

Arthas accepts his honors and awards with humility. Once he is presented to his army by the queen, he draws radiance and let's its light blaze before the assembled host.

"Brave and honored members assembled here. I Arthas, Sword of Ragathiel, Liberator of Kenabres, Bearer of Radience, and now Knight of the Fifth Crusade stand here humbled before you. A few weeks ago I stood in a place just like you. A simple battle brother of my order sent to represent Ragathiel, General Vengeance of the Holy Host. My companions and I were spared by the Great Silver Martyred Dragon, we were guided by the gods themselves, and in our victory while witnessing the destruction of the corrupted Wardstones, we were briefly touched by The Lady herself."

Arthas kneels and makes a reverent gesture before standing again.

"Faith, the great sacrifice of others, and the efforts of those just like you placed me in the position in which I now stand before you."

"We are given the quest to take back Drezen . . . "

"To purge the demon taint---to raise, once more, The Sword of Valor over the Torag blessed fortress, but that my friends will just be the beginning . . . For with us ride those created in the image of Ragathiel and blessed by the heavens. We ride with those that have the blood of Sarkoris, raging as it pulses through their bodies. . . For this battle is the battle for all that is good in this world and all who are good in it. Good, does not reside in ones looks, nationality, purse or words---It resides in our hearts and deeds."

The paladin slams his open palm over his heart for emphasis, his eyes burning into all whose meet his.

“We shall go our way into battle . . And we shall also be accompanied by the spirit of millions of our martyrs, our ancestors, those tortured and burned for their faith, our murdered fathers and butchered mothers, our murdered brothers and strangled children."

Arthas raises Radience over his head at lifts his mailed fist.

"And in this battle we shall break the enemy and bring salvation to our people, tempered in the furnace of persecution, thirsting only for freedom, for righteousness, and for justice.”

He points his swordtip at the armored rows of warriors.

"What say you?"

Arthas let's the question sink over the crowd.

"I am tired of simply holding fast to our strong holds, merely surviving to see another day, I yearn to strike back, to take back what is ours, to win this war."

He raises both hands and yells.

"What say you---ARE YOU READY FOR VENGEANCE!"


At the sight of Radiance and the stirring words of Arthas, the assembled Crusaders go nuts cheering and stomping their feet in approval.
After a minute the more religious among them start a discordant noise of a Iomedaen Hymn versus a Torag battle chant; and the queen stepped forward to break it up and called them back to attention.


"Crusaders! You all know our plan! We march on the Morrow!
"Until then, DISMISSED!"
She shouted.
The assembled Crusaders all saluted, which she returned, and they broke up talking excitedly amongst themselves.

She turned to you all.
"Excellent speech Arthas! I approve wholeheartedly!
"But before you head out tomorrow I think it's time you met the command staff. Come with me."
She said, turning to march down one of the alleyways behind Defender's Heart.


Male Tiefling Hedge Witch 6/Archmage 1 | AC 15/12/13 | hp: 40/51 | F +5, R +6, W +8 (+2 vs death/insanity/confusion) | CMD 15 (17 with m.o.v) | Init +6 | Perc +1 | darkvision 60ft | SM +1 | receiving healing: +2 hit points/die rolled | giving healing: +1 point
FemNPC3 wrote:

The Queen stepped forward and raised her hands. The crusaders quieted down.

"CRUSADERS! YOU HAVE HEARD OF THE HEROES OF KENABRES AND THEIR DEEDS TO LIBERATE KENABRES!"
The crusaders cheer.
"THIS HAS NOT GONE UNNOTICED BY US!
"IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR SUCCESS AND IN HONOR OF THEIR TRIUMPH, WE AWARD THEM THE RANK AND HONORS OF KNIGHTS OF THE FIFTH CRUSADE!"
She proclaimed.

Voren claps enthusiastically with the crusaders.

FemNPC3 wrote:

One by one, she has you all (and Irabeth) kneel before her as she takes her longsword and taps you one each shoulder and then the top of your head.

Then she drapes a silver chain with a jeweled medallion (a shield shape the size of your hand) around your shoulders. The symbol is of a silver dragon scale with the icon of Iomedae in the upper left and the hammer of Torag in the upper right.

When the Queen tells everyone that she will award them with ranks and honors, Voren is shocked. He kneels before her. As he feels her blade touch his shoulders and head, Voren begins to sweat a little. He feels the chain around his neck. When she has them stand, he looks over the medallion in his hand. "A-A minor noble rank?! Thank you! This is more than I have ever expected! I don't feel exactly worthy of it."

FemNPC3 wrote:

Then she calls up Jokum and Arthas.

"I present to Sir Jokum and Sir Arthas the Righteous Medal of Agility!
"In recognition of a hero who delivers a death blow to a demon in combat before it gets a chance to act!"
She proclaims, pinning a triangular iron medal that shows a demonic face surrounded by three swords.

Voren politely claps at Jokum and Arthas receiving their medals, proud of their accomplishments.

FemNPC3 wrote:

Then she calls up all of the Heroes.

"I present to Sir Karthak, Sir Voren, Sir Jokum, Sir Arthas, Dame Danua and Sir Irabeth the Righteous Medal of Clairity!
"In recognition of a hero who recovers vital information of great use against the Worldwound and delivers this intelligence to the crusaders!"
She proclaims, pinning a circular blue medal tha depicts a pair of feminine gray eyes surrounded by a circular silver lightning bolt.

Voren is surprised at the fact that he is being awarded a medal of honor. He steps up and allows Queen Galfrey to pin the medal on his robes. He bows and says, "Thank you, your majesty."

FemNPC3 wrote:

Then she again calls up all of the Heroes.

"I present to Sir Karthak, Sir Voren, Sir Jokum, Sir Arthas, Dame Danua and Sir Irabeth the Righteous Medal of Valor!
"In recognition of a hero who delivers a death blow to a demon whose power greatly exceeds theirs!"
She proclaims, pinning a medal that looks like a demonic skull, the top of which has been pierced by four red-hilted swords.

Voren once again steps forward and allow Queen Galfrey to pin the medal on his robes. He once again bows and thanks her.

FemNPC3 wrote:

Then she calls up Jokum and Karthak.

"I present to Sir Karthak and Sir Jokum the Righteous Medal of Vigor!
"In recognition of a hero who is reduced to unconsciousness in battle by a demon but survives and rejoins the battle before that demon is defeated!"
She proclaims, pinning a medal that looks like a hexagonal medal depicting a white castle on a field of red with gold trim.

Voren claps for Jokum and Karthak receiving their awards.

FemNPC3 wrote:
Stepping back, the queen barks "Salute!" and as the queen snaps a salute to you, all the crusaders do the same in near perfect synchronicity.

Voren sees the paladins and the queen salute them. He bows in thanks to them all.

Arthas Sword of Ragathiel wrote:

Arthas accepts his honors and awards with humility. Once he is presented to his army by the queen, he draws radiance and let's its light blaze before the assembled host.

"Brave and honored members assembled here. I Arthas, Sword of Ragathiel, Liberator of Kenabres, Bearer of Radience, and now Knight of the Fifth Crusade stand here humbled before you. A few weeks ago I stood in a place just like you. A simple battle brother of my order sent to represent Ragathiel, General Vengeance of the Holy Host. My companions and I were spared by the Great Silver Martyred Dragon, we were guided by the gods themselves, and in our victory while witnessing the destruction of the corrupted Wardstones, we were briefly touched by The Lady herself."

Arthas kneels and makes a reverent gesture before standing again.

"Faith, the great sacrifice of others, and the efforts of those just like you placed me in the position in which I now stand before you."

"We are given the quest to take back Drezen . . . "

"To purge the demon taint---to raise, once more, The Sword of Valor over the Torag blessed fortress, but that my friends will just be the beginning . . . For with us ride those created in the image of Ragathiel and blessed by the heavens. We ride with those that have the blood of Sarkoris, raging as it pulses through their bodies. . . For this battle is the battle for all that is good in this world and all who are good in it. Good, does not reside in ones looks, nationality, purse or words---It resides in our hearts and deeds."

The paladin slams his open palm over his heart for emphasis, his eyes burning into all whose meet his.

“We shall go our way into battle . . And we shall also be accompanied by the spirit of millions of our martyrs, our ancestors, those tortured and burned for their faith, our murdered fathers and butchered mothers, our murdered brothers and strangled children."

Arthas raises Radience over his head at lifts his mailed fist.

"And in this battle we shall break the enemy and bring salvation to our people, tempered in the furnace of persecution, thirsting only for freedom, for righteousness, and for justice.”

He points his swordtip at the armored rows of warriors.

"What say you?"

Arthas lets the question sink over the crowd.

"I am tired of simply holding fast to our strong holds, merely surviving to see another day, I yearn to strike back, to take back what is ours, to win this war."

He raises both hands and yells.

"What say you---ARE YOU READY FOR VENGEANCE!"

Voren claps very enthusiastically at the end of Arthas's speech. He can feel the determination and energy coming off of the man.

DM-Camris wrote:

At the sight of Radiance and the stirring words of Arthas, the assembled Crusaders go nuts cheering and stomping their feet in approval.

After a minute the more religious among them start a discordant noise of a Iomedaen Hymn versus a Torag battle chant; and the queen stepped forward to break it up and called them back to attention.

Voren smiles at the sight of the crusaders showing their determination and dedication. He decides against saying a few words, knowing that he isn't all that skilled with words and he can't really follow up Arthas's speech.

FemNPC3 wrote:

"Crusaders! You all know our plan! We march on the Morrow!

"Until then, DISMISSED!" She shouted.
The assembled Crusaders all saluted, which she returned, and they broke up talking excitedly amongst themselves.

Voren smiles at the crusaders as they talk amongst themselves and make their preparations.

FemNPC3 wrote:

She turned to you all.

"Excellent speech Arthas! I approve wholeheartedly!
"But before you head out tomorrow I think it's time you met the command staff. Come with me."
She said, turning to march down one of the alleyways behind Defender's Heart.

Voren nods and proceeds to follow. However, he is a bit wary since learning about the more conservative crusaders. Who knows how they will react to the honors that the Queen has given them.


Pld7/Grd1 LG, Init +3; HP 108/108 AC 23, t 13, ff 21, Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +8 +2 on saves against insanity or confusion.hard to kill; Immune disease, fear, Senses +6, SM +8 Aura courage (10 ft.)

"As you wish my queen."


Queen Galfrey and her personal guard escort you to the camps just outside of Kenabres’s northern wall, where her armies wait.
She leads you to a group of crusaders outside a Headquarters Tent at the northern edge of the camps, and as they approach, the knights there quickly fall into line, standing at attention.

She turns to you.
”These knights have all volunteered to aid you in retaking Drezen, and that their loyalty and devotion are true.”
She starts walking along the line, gesturing to each individual crusader in turn.

“First, this is Sir Sosiel Vaenic, Pastor of the church of Shelyn in Kenabres. You Chief of Clerical support and Battalion Hospitaller.” The Queen stated.
Sosiel is a dark skinned male human who projects a sense of calm and serenity. He is tall, impeccable in appearance in his clerical vestments and well-worn gear, and inspires those around him by his very appearance. On the battlefield he is very imposing with his tall frame and spinning glaive. A crystal medallion with the embossed image of Shelyn’s thrush always hangs from his neck against his chest under his armor, taking on an iridescent sheen in the light of the sun.
He bows to you.
”I am honored to make your acquaintance my Lords and Ladies.” He said in a rich speaking voice. ”I hope to be of aid and assistance to everyone in our army on the campaign.”
His faith and inspiring attitude grants the army a +1 bonus to its morale—(this bonus is included in your Army stats.)

“Next, we have Lady Nurah Dendiwhar, Master Bard. Your Chief of Inspiration and Communication.” The Queen said, gesturing down this time.
Nurah is a short blond haired Halfling with a brilliant smile and bounces with suppressed energy. She is informally dressed, and while she mostly uses percussion instruments, she also carries around a horn almost as big as she is.
”Hi! Pleased to meet ya!” She waives at you cheerily in a clear and chirpy voice.
Her skill at bolstering courage and lightening spirits grants the army a +1 bonus to its OM—(This bonus is included in your Army stats.)

“Next we have Sir Mathis, Captain of Company C. The Queen said.
This huge human male looks like a stereotype. Blond, bright white smile, shining plate armor. He gave you a huge smile as he bowed deeply.
"And may I say, you're an inspiration to us all Sir Arthas!" He said, grabbing Arthas' hand in addition to bowing. "With Radiance in your hand and your faithful..." He continued before the Queen without apparent effort cut him off and swept you all along to the next Crusader.

“Next, we have My Lord Horgus, Count Gwerm, your Quartermaster and Chief of Supply.” The Queen stated.
Even the most expensive robes ever made cannot prevent Horgus from looking like a dumpy middle aged clerk. His face fell as he realized who his new commanders would be.
“WHAT?... Oh no.
"Your Majesty! … Them?”
He said incredulously, pointing at you.
Irabeth looked at you with a raised eyebrow.
“What exactly did you do to him down in those caverns?” Muttered Irabeth to you under her breath.
The Queen threw her arm around Horgus companionably.
“Now now Horgus, we have discussed this. THIS is an important mission! These heroes are the ones for the job, and YOU are going to help make it happen. There is no one else capable of doing this job but you; which is why I am entrusting you with it. Right?” She asked persuasively.
Reluctantly, Horgus nodded.
“Yes. Your Majesty.” He said grudgingly.
“Good man!” She said cheerily, then moved to the next soldier.
His support reduces the army’s Consumption score by 2.

“This is Sir Freidrich, Captain of Company B.” The Queen stated.
This very distinguished looking human male bows with great piety. He wears very nice formal plate armor with a crest denoting that he is an heir of a very old Sarkoris noble family. He bowed and knelt with great formality.
"YOUR Majesty!" He intoned in an a florid, almost archaic accent.

“This is Sir Aron Kir, Tactition and Siege warfare engineer." The Queen stated.
This sandy haired human male is barely thirty, but he looks older because of his lined and weathered face. He wears practical and relatively inexpensive plate/mail. He salutes crisply, but makes no other comment.
His skill at tactics grants the army a +1 bonus to its DV—
(This bonus is already included in your Army stats.)

“This is Sir Arles, Captain of Company A.” The Queen state.
This human male with graying hair looks like a hard bitten veteran of many conflicts. His armor, though cleaned and polished, has scratches and dents no armorsmith can buff out. He merely bows at you with no comment, looking skeptical of your abilities.

“Next, we have Master Aravashnial of the Riftwardens, Head of your Arcane magic support. The Queen stated.
The tall male elf smiled down on you before bowing gracefully. He looks very different now that his eyes have been regenerated. He looks much more handsome, self-confident and alert now; holding his staff with less of a death grip.
”We are well acquainted Your Majesty. Well met again!” He said smiling.
He grants the army Spellbreaker as a bonus tactic, increasing the army’s DV by 4 against armies with the spellcasting ability.

“Lastly, we have Madame Anevia Tirabade, Head of your Scouts.” The Queen stated.
Anevia smiled and bowed to you all as Irabeth made a sound like she was choking on her own tongue.
”We’ve met.” She said, smiling and bowing. She blew a kiss at a stunned Irabeth as soon as the Queen turned back to you.
Her reports help gain your army battlefield advantage,
increasing its OM and DC by 2.

The Queen says; “I’ve never been one for unneeded ceremony, and you’ve a lot of work ahead of you—I wish you luck in your mission, and hope to hear of your triumph soon!” She nodded at you and left you to your own council.


At this time you should choose among yourselves who’ll serve as their army’s commander—it could be one of you, or it could be an NPC you’ve befriended. Irabeth Tirabade would make an excellent commander, for example.
The commander should be someone with a high Charisma score and ranks in Profession (soldier) or the Leadership feat, but these are not requirements for command.

Also while your army is currently called the "Knights of Kenabres", you are free to rename them to whatever they wish. Remember to adjust the army’s Morale check as appropriate for its commander’s Charisma modifier and Profession (soldier) ranks or Leadership.


Here are your current army stats using the mass combat rules in Ultimate Campaign.

KNIGHTS OF KENABRES ACR 3
LG Medium army of humans (paladin 4)
hp 16
DV 18; OM +8 ranged
Tactics expert flankers, standard, withdraw
Resources improved armor, improved weapons (mwk cold iron), mounts, ranged weapons (longbows)
Special aura of courage, channel positive energy, divine health,
lay on hands, mercy, smite evil, spellcasting
Speed 3; Morale +1; Consumption 5


Male Dwarf Inquisitor 06 Guardian 01 HP 71/71 | AC 21 (23) T 12 FF 20 (22) | CMB +9 CMD 12 | F+10 R+5 W+10 | Init +4 | Perc +12

Who should lead basically comes down to who has the best charisma. So, between Arthas and Irabeth, who's the best charismatic leader? Karthak has cha 5 so I don't think he's the most qualified character as our general...


Male Aasimar Ranger (Shapeshifter) 6/Champion 1;
Stats:
HP 21/63 | AC/T/FF: 18/13/15 | CMD 23 | F +7, R +8, W +3 (+2 vs. evil) | Init +3, Per +10 | Shifter's Blessing Left: 3/7 | MP: 3/5

Jokum looks like he's bitten into something sour when he finds out he's been granted Mendevian nobles' rights, and the look stays on his face as the Queen awards everyone their medals. He's not quite such a boor as to make a big show or refuse the medal, though.

Not quite.

He does listen to Arthas's speech with interest, and as usual, he can't help but be somewhat stirred by it. The man knows how to speak to a crowd...he will make a good commander for the army. When they're introduced to their officers, Jokum just nods silently to most of the men and women assembled--though he looks daggers at Lord Gwerm and smiles slightly at Anevia. "I imagine I'll be of some help to you, Anevia," he rumbles. "Though your wife seems rather surprised at your choice to join us..."

Arthas is the obvious choice for general, given his speeches and his charisma score. We're a pretty unlikable/unfriendly looking lot, really. :P


Male Tiefling Hedge Witch 6/Archmage 1 | AC 15/12/13 | hp: 40/51 | F +5, R +6, W +8 (+2 vs death/insanity/confusion) | CMD 15 (17 with m.o.v) | Init +6 | Perc +1 | darkvision 60ft | SM +1 | receiving healing: +2 hit points/die rolled | giving healing: +1 point
DM-Camris wrote:

Queen Galfrey and her personal guard escort you to the camps just outside of Kenabres’s northern wall, where her armies wait.

She leads you to a group of crusaders outside a Headquarters Tent at the northern edge of the camps, and as they approach, the knights there quickly fall into line, standing at attention.

Voren follows the Queen. When the knights fall into line, the tiefling begins to feel a bit nervous, not really used to this situation.

DM-Camris wrote:

She turns to you.

”These knights have all volunteered to aid you in retaking Drezen, and that their loyalty and devotion are true.”
She starts walking along the line, gesturing to each individual crusader in turn.

“First, this is Sir Sosiel Vaenic, Pastor of the church of Shelyn in Kenabres. You Chief of Clerical support and Battalion Hospitaller.” The Queen stated.
Sosiel is a dark skinned male human who projects a sense of calm and serenity. He is tall, impeccable in appearance in his clerical vestments and well-worn gear, and inspires those around him by his very appearance. On the battlefield he is very imposing with his tall frame and spinning glaive. A crystal medallion with the embossed image of Shelyn’s thrush always hangs from his neck against his chest under his armor, taking on an iridescent sheen in the light of the sun.
He bows to you.
”I am honored to make your acquaintance my Lords and Ladies.” He said in a rich speaking voice. ”I hope to be of aid and assistance to everyone in our army on the campaign.”

Voren smiles at the man and bows. "And we gratefully accept your aid, Sir Sosiel. And please, just call me Voren."

Diplomacy(?): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12

DM-Camris wrote:

“Next, we have Lady Nurah Dendiwhar, Master Bard. Your Chief of Inspiration and Communication.” The Queen said, gesturing down this time.

Nurah is a short blond haired Halfling with a brilliant smile and bounces with suppressed energy. She is informally dressed, and while she mostly uses percussion instruments, she also carries around a horn almost as big as she is.
”Hi! Pleased to meet ya!” She waives at you cheerily in a clear and chirpy voice.

Voren smiles and chuckles. "A pleasure to meet you as well, Lady Nurah."

Diplomacy(?): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18

DM-Camris wrote:

“Next we have Sir Mathis, Captain of Company C." The Queen said.

This huge human male looks like a stereotype. Blond, bright white smile, shining plate armor. He gave you a huge smile as he bowed deeply.
"And may I say, you're an inspiration to us all Sir Arthas!" He said, grabbing Arthas' hand in addition to bowing. "With Radiance in your hand and your faithful..." He continued before the Queen without apparent effort cut him off and swept you all along to the next Crusader.

Voren watches as Sir Mathis immediately goes to Arthas. He nods at the man, giving him a small smile.

DM-Camris wrote:

“Next, we have My Lord Horgus, Count Gwerm, your Quartermaster and Chief of Supply.” The Queen stated.

Even the most expensive robes ever made cannot prevent Horgus from looking like a dumpy middle aged clerk. His face fell as he realized who his new commanders would be.
“WHAT?... Oh no."
"Your Majesty! … Them?” He said incredulously, pointing at you.
Irabeth looked at you with a raised eyebrow.
“What exactly did you do to him down in those caverns?” Muttered Irabeth to you under her breath.
The Queen threw her arm around Horgus companionably.
“Now now Horgus, we have discussed this. THIS is an important mission! These heroes are the ones for the job, and YOU are going to help make it happen. There is no one else capable of doing this job but you; which is why I am entrusting you with it. Right?” She asked persuasively.
Reluctantly, Horgus nodded.
“Yes. Your Majesty.” He said grudgingly.
“Good man!” She said cheerily, then moved to the next soldier.

Voren isn't sure what to make of Horgus. When he addresses shock at seeing Arthas, Jokum, and Karthak, Voren leans to Karthak and whispers, "Do you guys know him?" Voren looks at Horgus and bows. "Hello, Lord Horgus. It is a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for your aid."

Diplomacy(?): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17

DM-Camris wrote:

“This is Sir Freidrich, Captain of Company B.” The Queen stated.

This very distinguished looking human male bows with great piety. He wears very nice formal plate armor with a crest denoting that he is an heir of a very old Sarkoris noble family. He bowed and knelt with great formality.
"YOUR Majesty!" He intoned in an a florid, almost archaic accent.

Voren smiles at Freidrich. "Hello. It is quite the sight to see another Sarkorian. I can tell that crest is of a very old Sarkorian noble family. I'm curious. Which family is that?"

Diplomacy(?): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20

DM-Camris wrote:

“This is Sir Aron Kir, Tactition and Siege warfare engineer." The Queen stated.

This sandy haired human male is barely thirty, but he looks older because of his lined and weathered face. He wears practical and relatively inexpensive plate mail. He salutes crisply, but makes no other comment.

Voren smiles at Aron. "A pleasure to meet you, Sir Aron."

Diplomacy(?): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2

DM-Camris wrote:

“This is Sir Arles, Captain of Company A.” The Queen state.

This human male with graying hair looks like a hard bitten veteran of many conflicts. His armor, though cleaned and polished, has scratches and dents no armorsmith can buff out. He merely bows at you with no comment, looking skeptical of your abilities.

Voren gulps at the sight of Sir Arles. The look of him is rather intimidating. Voren tries to quickly regain the composure and confidence that he had gained since the Wardstone.

DM-Camris wrote:

“Next, we have Master Aravashnial of the Riftwardens, Head of your Arcane magic support." The Queen stated.

The tall male elf smiled down on you before bowing gracefully. He looks very different now that his eyes have been regenerated. He looks much more handsome, self-confident and alert now; holding his staff with less of a death grip.
”We are well acquainted Your Majesty. Well met again!” He said smiling.

Voren smiles at Aravashnial. "Hello again. It has been a while since I gave you that letter. I would guess that during this mission, you and I are going to be working together quite a bit."

Diplomacy(?): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20

DM-Camris wrote:

“Lastly, we have Madame Anevia Tirabade, Head of your Scouts.” The Queen stated.

Anevia smiled and bowed to you all as Irabeth made a sound like she was choking on her own tongue.
”We’ve met.” She said, smiling and bowing. She blew a kiss at a stunned Irabeth as soon as the Queen turned back to you.

Voren smiles and nods at Anevia, having met her a few times. He sees kiss being blown to Irabeth and he looks between the two.

DM-Camris wrote:
The Queen says; “I’ve never been one for unneeded ceremony, and you’ve a lot of work ahead of you—I wish you luck in your mission, and hope to hear of your triumph soon!” She nodded at you and left you to your own council.

Voren bows to the Queen and says, "Thank you, Your Majesty." When she leaves, Voren looks at the knights gathered before them. He tugs on his robes. "So... um... we know you all. But I still feel like I should introduce myself. My name is Voren. I am a magic user hailing from Sarkoris. And I thank you for your aid in our mission."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15

My diplomacy rolls are mainly for first impressions. If they don't matter, then feel free to ignore them.

I agree with Jokum. Arthas seems to be made for the role of General.


Male Dwarf Inquisitor 06 Guardian 01 HP 71/71 | AC 21 (23) T 12 FF 20 (22) | CMB +9 CMD 12 | F+10 R+5 W+10 | Init +4 | Perc +12

"Yes Voren, me and Jokum know the lot of them. We fell together through the earth when Terendelev fell and together we travelled back to the surface. Seems like it happened years ago actually! Anyway, after the deed was done some had the good grace to be grateful for our help... others... not so much. Right, Horgus? Seems like those demons didn't eat you alive after all!" says Karthak in an almost jovial tone.


To compare:
Irabeth has Charisma 14
Mathis has Charisma 15
Friedrich has Charisma 14
Voren has Charisma 12
Karthak has Charisma 5
Danua has Charisma 7
Jokum has Charisma 10
Arthas has Charisma 15


Male Dwarf Inquisitor 06 Guardian 01 HP 71/71 | AC 21 (23) T 12 FF 20 (22) | CMB +9 CMD 12 | F+10 R+5 W+10 | Init +4 | Perc +12

In that case I stand by Arthas!


Perception +9 Stealth +10 | Ini +4 | Darkvision 60ft AC 25, touch 20, flat-footed 15 | hp 53/64 | Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +6 Defensive Abilities canny defense; Resist cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5

Vote for Danua!

Arthas looks good to me too. XD Like there was any doubt haha


The presence of Radiance seals the deal for the assembled headquarters personnel as well as the Company Commanders.
Arthas is acclaimed as General Arthas, Commander of the assembled army of the Knights of Kenabres (assuming he accepts).


Male Aasimar Ranger (Shapeshifter) 6/Champion 1;
Stats:
HP 21/63 | AC/T/FF: 18/13/15 | CMD 23 | F +7, R +8, W +3 (+2 vs. evil) | Init +3, Per +10 | Shifter's Blessing Left: 3/7 | MP: 3/5

Jokum claps Arthas on the shoulder. "Better you than me," he rumbles. "I've never wanted to run around playing soldier. I'll take the fight to the demons instead." He bares his teeth in a feral grin.


Male Tiefling Hedge Witch 6/Archmage 1 | AC 15/12/13 | hp: 40/51 | F +5, R +6, W +8 (+2 vs death/insanity/confusion) | CMD 15 (17 with m.o.v) | Init +6 | Perc +1 | darkvision 60ft | SM +1 | receiving healing: +2 hit points/die rolled | giving healing: +1 point

Voren smiles and nods at Arthas. "Congratulations, Arthas! You'll make a great general! A lot better than I would do. I can't lead anything, really. I prefer to use my brain. Maybe I know some things that we could use in our strategies."


Male Dwarf Inquisitor 06 Guardian 01 HP 71/71 | AC 21 (23) T 12 FF 20 (22) | CMB +9 CMD 12 | F+10 R+5 W+10 | Init +4 | Perc +12

"You got the job cut out for you lad!" exclaims Kathak patting Arthas on the back


Karthak:
Later that evening, rooting through old city records, you came across a broadsheet news article that is around the right time.
Sir Belnir Stoutrock, a dwarf knight out of Zirak known for zelotry and firey speeches, had assembled a score of like minded dwarven crusaders and had set out to recapture the dwarven fortress of Drezen. It was noted that Sir Belnir was once a devoted acolyte of Torag, and despite his considerable talents in leadership had been twice convicted of insubordination. The headquarters of the Fourth Crusade released a statement that they had expressly forbidden such a suicidal action, and that they disavow any actions by Sir Belnir may take in such a fruitless quest.
A sketch artists’ picture of Sir Belnir making a speech before his followers show him standing atop a wagon and waiving an axe who’s outline jolted you with its familiarity.

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