The Kintargo Contract (GM Reference)


Hell's Rebels

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Warped Savant wrote:

The Heart's Harvest ritual has the condition of: "...his soul and the souls of all those who served him directly in life are forfeit to Mephistopheles..."

What are people's thoughts on who would be affected by this? Obviously his lieutenants but what about all of the dottari? Would the dottari that were in Kintargo before he came to town count? What if they quit within a week of Thrune becoming the lord-mayor? Would people say that Tayacet Tiora's soul (as written) would be damned?

Considering how many souls appear in the Tower of Bone later on I tend to assume that dottari and Tayacet (as well as Chelish Citizens Group thugs) would all be damned but I'd like to get other people's thoughts on it as well.

My deranged ramblings on this topic: This hinges on two items: 1) Barzillai is an Inquisitor of Asmodeus - he is explicitly empowered to Judge everyone in Cheliax; and 2) from early on in book 2, he's in the Soul Anchor. Everyone who dies from that point on goes through him to get to their afterlife destination. Anyone who failed him is judged accordingly and sent to Caina and the Tower of Bone. Anyone who is a servant of House Thrune, other Noble Houses, the Temple of Asmodeus, Hellknight order, Chelish Citizens Group - really a good sized chunk of Kintargo's Citizens who are all under House Thrune's authority. At least until the separation of Ravounel is ratified in Book 6. After that only direct servants of those groups head to Hell. It mostly stops when the pc's remove Barzillai's heart from the Soul Anchor. Though Pharasma still sends those who truly deserve it on to the the Tower of Bone even after that.

To avoid this fate you must have formally and publicly have renounced your service to Thrune/Asmodeus. So, Dottari who actually informed their superiors they were quitting are exempt. If they simply deserted, off to the Tower of Bone you go. Tiora's fate is similar - if she did not withdraw from Barzillai's service and died either while betraying him or afterwards - to the Tower with you. Note: pc's with certain types of background might be vulnerable as well. Joining the Silver Ravens and fighting against Thrune is simply treason, you have to have made a clear statement you were leaving. Remember, this is Asmodeus - the spirit of the law is irrelevant, the letter of the law is all.


roguerouge wrote:
I think you could solidify the connection to Barzillai if you had him "reviewing the troops" and requiring each to take loyalty oaths to him personally.

Amazing idea! Totally using this even though the players never saw it. It would've taken a week or so after he arrived to get it all sorted so anyone that left before then isn't damned. (Eg: The previous Duxotar that left the day after the Night of Ashes and was replaced by Trex)

Latrecis wrote:
My deranged ramblings on this topic: THINGS

I think I like these ideas so I want to make sure I'm understanding your views correctly and add some more specifics/my thoughts on them:

The majority (nearly all) of the people in the Tower of Bone are people that served him earlier in his career/before he arrived in Kintargo so anyone that served him and had already died were transferred to the Tower of Bone no matter where they were in the afterlife. That makes sense, right?
The nobles would go even if they didn't work for him? I don't think I'll go that far as some of them were opposed to him/didn't support him even if though they weren't public about it. (Unless they died between book 2 and the end of the campaign, because I like the idea of the souls going through him before moving on to Pharasma.)
"Anyone who is a servant of House Thrune" and not just Barzillai? If they serve under the queen they'd be damned to the Tower of Bone? That could explain why there's so many people there, but I don't think that's the intention of the contract. I think it's personal to just Barzillai and those that served him.
Temple of Asmodeus people, Hellknights of the Rack, and Chelish Citizens Group members all make sense to me.
Publicly quitting even though you still served him for a time saves your soul? What if they denounced him after he's already died? (Eg: Tayacet switched sides but didn't formally quit)

Maybe I'll have it that anyone that swore an oath to him will be damned... Dottari would've, underlings throughout his career, Hellknights of the Rack, I'm sure the CCG had some sort of 'swearing in' ceremony even if Thrune wasn't there but that would still count... And then if someone did some sort of ceremony to denounce him then their soul isn't damned. (EG: Seeking redemption in some way, having Atonement cast on you, something like that, could save your soul.)


The noble families would've had to swear fealty to him... Even if they didn't mean it they said it so they'd be damned unless they seek redemption.


My ideas on this are forming even as I write it.

Only those who failed Barzillai after he signed the Heart's Harvest contract can be damned. The contract wasn't in force so failure prior to signature can't be "punished."

The noble families in Kintargo and in the rest of Cheliax are legally bound to serve House Thrune - their personal opinions or enthusiasm for doing so are irrelevant. Unless they've declared in some clear, public fashion they are disavowing House Thrune, any failure of theirs has consequences, even if its simply dying while Barzillai is working to subdue Kintargo - if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Even those noble families whose allegiance is to Kintargo depend almost entirely on Cheliax social structures and House Thrune's rule for legitimacy. And legal claim to their wealth, properties, etc.

Barzillai is the official ruler of Kintargo from House Thrune's point of view so everyone owes their loyalty to him regardless. The Kintargo Contract doesn't apply since it hasn't been invoked, Kintargo is part of Cheliax until it formally exits. Certain groups may be exempt - priests of gods other than Asmodeus whose public loyalty is clearly to their deity, perhaps members of the Bellflower Network, a long established resistance engaged in consistent unlawful, disobedient acts, and so on.

I think there is a lot of elbow room to leave the details vague. Unless the pc's are directly affected by any definition made (they die and get sent to the Tower of Bone) the details can be left fuzzy. Most people who fail Barzillai or House Thrune while his heart is in the Soul Anchor get sent to the Tower of Bone for punishment. But some don't - exactly why can be left undefined. And maybe some of those souls in the Tower of Bone have retained their memories - getting processed through the corrupted Soul Anchor can have that affect.


It's all good. My ideas are still forming too. :D

I'm thinking that the people that are damned are those that have directly served Barzillai at some point throughout his life. This is based on a few things in Breaking the Bones of Hell. Most notably:
"All of the damned souls imprisoned and tormented in the Tower of Bone share one thing in common—in life, these mortals served Barzillai Thrune. Most of these unfortunates perished long before this Adventure Path began, but some of them died during Barzillai’s time in Kintargo."
And the vast amount of souls in "The Solitary Thousands" are hard to justify if it's only people that have died since he entered the Soul Anchor.

So yeah, I think I'll be going with the idea that souls were transferred to the Tower of Bone from wherever they were in the afterlife upon Barzillai's death. And those souls will be anyone that swore fealty to him/vowed to serve him, which is something he would've expected from pretty much everyone that he had any amount of power over.


My players waited until the Grundlescorn Sisters were all asleep, went to sneak in, freaked out with the golem guarding them, sneaked away, monk used Abundant Step 3 times with dropping one character off each time, and then they each coup de graced a sleeping sister.

It was amazing and I loved it!


Just a quick hello to say that I'm loving how this book's intro was written - the contracts, the devil's note saying he's 'more than willing to clear his schedule', the hellmouth, etc.

Just amazing stuff! GM candy! thank you!!


This book seems a little strange as bunch of the module missions seem optional as people will sign on regardless . It it relying on PCs being a combo of wanting to help and also wanting XP and treasure?

I am not sure if this is the right place but does anyone have an incite into Vyre politics ? Perhaps this should have come up in book 3. Does the Queen of Delights really have the sway to take the entire city along with her. Book 3 was about not actively siding with Barzillai and there wasn’t a massive impact to the “alliance”

Signing on against all of Cheliax seems different somehow ...

The added wrinkle in my game is Hei Fen got away. I am not sure what the King of Keys thinks of this? Or would he not care as she was supposed to be semi retired and was stupid for getting mixed up in personal vendettas anyway? A 17th level cleric is not one to mess with. But you could assume all the kings and queens now have some kind of interest in the stat of things?

A little stumped here.

Shadow Lodge

Lanathar wrote:
I am not sure if this is the right place but does anyone have an incite into Vyre politics ? Perhaps this should have come up in book 3. Does the Queen of Delights really have the sway to take the entire city along with her. Book 3 was about not actively siding with Barzillai and there wasn’t a massive impact to the “alliance”

The King/Queen of Delights is actually called "Vyre's primary diplomat" (Dance of the Damned, 20), so yes, Kaleeki probably does have the authority to bind Vyre in negotiations with other polities. That does, however, imply that Vyre is not an integral part of Ravounel - or at least that its free city status is in tension with its membership in Ravounel, as the LOWG implies not just for Vyre, but also for the other regions (the Waters, the North Plains, and Ravounel Forest). The PCs probably undertake missions not to secure the initial allegiance of the regions, but long-term goodwill as insurance against secessionism down the line.

(Also, I believe you meant "insight.")


I did but my phone autocorrected and I didn’t realise

Thanks for the above


In the Cheliax Covenant was violated, what would be the immediate manifestation of "House Thrune would lose Hell's support" (17)? Would all the devils go poof? What would happen?


I think it is complicated. It says House Thrune but not the church of Asmodeus for example

I don't know the exact nature of the support provided to House Thrune.
But I assume the outcome of it's withdrawal is some kind of Game of Thrones style internal civil war where other prominent families try to overthrow them

That says nothing for the Shining Crusade which has taken Westcrown during book 5 and probably successfully pushed further

From the wiki:

"The armies of House Thrune are supplemented with the bound denizens of Hell and they remain close allies of the various orders of Hellknights. Nobles from the House of Thrune regularly enter into dark pacts with infernal agents in return for incredible power. Other noble house have followed House Thrune lead in this practice."

So the army is depleted (I imagine significantly) and potentially these pacts no longer hold? Abrogail might lose her Sorcerer powers for example.


My plan if the players to not share the details of the Kintargo Contract is to resolve it in the epilogue. I'll play it up that Cheliax can not mobilize in a timely manner, with the Glorious Reclamation happening. So that it will always be a big unknown in the background, and that the Barzillai plot gets resolved before Cheliax breaks the Kintargo contract.

(And if I change my mind our friendly contract devil O can always mettle.)


If the players don't share the loophole the portal Odexidie opened doesn't close and many sorts of terrible things can come through to Kintargo.

Shadow Lodge

Warped Savant wrote:
If the players don't share the loophole the portal Odexidie opened doesn't close and many sorts of terrible things can come through to Kintargo.

I'd play this as the deal with the devil that it is. Ultimately the bargain that the PCs strike for the sake of their own skins dooms the revolution in broader Cheliax. They'll have to spend the rest of their lives (read: adventuring careers) organizing to make up for that mistake.


How does it doom the revolution in Cheliax ? Are you referring to the loophole in the chellish covenant ?

I am a bit confused by all the contract stuff which perhaps shows it is working as intended !

Wasn’t the reply above merely the hidden condition in the contract to send the group back to Kintargo after dealing with the contract devil. That hidden clause doesn’t impact the rest of Cheliax directly

Or where you referring to something else ?


I've been running book 5 (converted to 5th edition D&D) for a few weeks and I have a number of comments/questions.

Contracts: I just don't "get" the contracts. I keep reading it and I feel like I don't really grasp it at all. I was barely able to explain to the group why they needed to go around Ravounel and find authority figures.

If anybody can very simply sum up the Kintargo Contract for me, it would be a huge help.

Odexidie: My group SKIPPED going to Odexidie's! They got the talisman, they figured out how to use it and what it did. Then they just... didn't go. It hasn't been a problem, but it makes me think I gave the group too much info on the contracts so that they feel they don't need to consult an "expert".

The Terapasillion went fine. The group actually did attack the shadow dragon. They beat it into submission, more or less.

Ravounel Forest: I decided to use the Zephyr! That's the blue horse on page 90. I thought it was hilarious that it seeks a mate during mighty storms, so it flew around, breathed storm breath at the heroes, and ended up hooking up with the necromancer... the group really liked this.

The hags were cool. As this is a conversion, I got rid of the golem for scaling purposes. It turns out I should have kept the golem, as the group were able to deal with the hags without too much trouble.

Urchin's Maw: I am glad I went back and re-read the Acisazi stuff and the Scourge of Belial material. It's been a long time since we played through that book! All those little details, especially Sargaeta's monkey in a sailor suit, added a lot.

I decided to have the charybdis attack while the group was sailing along. They got caught in a whirlpool. The group all jumped on the monster and it is about to dive down into the whirlpool - I'll definitely need to read up and figure out how to mechanically handle the whirlpool.

So far, I like Book 5 a bit less than the others. I junked the whole warehouse mission, as it felt way too mundane for high level heroes to deal with.

Here's a clip of the group not being scared of the charybdis at all.


Contracts: The various local representatives need to sign an agreement with Kintargo otherwise the areas of land that they represent still belong to Cheliax and the Chelaxian army can come and go from those areas as they please.
The Kintargo Contract makes it so that Cheliax can't attack the areas that are considered to be in Ravounel rather than Cheliax.

Odexidie: Do the PCs know which families make up the Silver Council? Because unless the Silver Council formally says that Cheliax isn't allowed into Ravounel then the Kintargo Contract isn't enacted and Cheliax will be able to send their army to reclaim the area.
Odexidie has this information, the contracts do not.

Book 5 feels like a lot more "make work and go up levels" than the rest of the books.
The warehouse mission was was of the best missions in my game! I changed it so that's where the group fought Hei-Fen. But that had nothing to do with why it was memorable.
The best part was a baddie casting "Hold Monster" on one of the PCs, the PC failing their save, and another baddie doing a coup de grace, killing the PC. (He got better before the end of the round, but it was awesome.)


Warped Savant wrote:

Contracts: The various local representatives need to sign an agreement with Kintargo otherwise the areas of land that they represent still belong to Cheliax and the Chelaxian army can come and go from those areas as they please.

The Kintargo Contract makes it so that Cheliax can't attack the areas that are considered to be in Ravounel rather than Cheliax.

Thank you!!

As for the Council, 3 of the 4 heroes are from noble families, so they are actually on the council. It looks like that's where I screwed up - I had it where Rexus knew about the council and was able to dig up the names of the five families.

Yikes on the Hold Monster stuff haha. Hei-Fen seems like she was used differently in every single campaign.

I just ran most of Urchin's Maw. I looked up the 5e whirlpool rules (they're in Ghosts of Saltmarsh) and it added a lot to the game.

Once that was done, I had the group encounter the seaweed siren outside the cave. I love this monster so much. The group seemed very intrigued by it, and were clever enough to realize that a silence spell could pretty much shut it down.

They explored the underwater caves (the water pressure forced the necromancer to tell her undead to go back to the surface).

Things got a little weird when the group somehow mistook the mithril tuning fork for a stripper pole, and the group ended up having a strip-off with the skum. The less said, the better!

They came upon the drowned devil but we had to stop there.

I have decided to cook up a special mission for Vyre. The group LOVED Vyre when we played through book 3, so I think they'll enjoy a return to the city. One of the heroes is romantically involved with Mantice Kaleeki, and another one has parents locked up in the asylum as part of her backstory.

I'm not exactly sure what they'll be doing there... I am going to scour this site to see what stuff other people have come up with for Vyre.

I kind of assumed that Urchin's Maw would be flat, but for whatever reason, it came off really well and we all enjoyed it tremendously. I love Hell's Rebels.. I don't think any published campaign will ever top Skull & Shackles, but this one is right up there with it.


Warped Savant wrote:

Contracts: The various local representatives need to sign an agreement with Kintargo otherwise the areas of land that they represent still belong to Cheliax and the Chelaxian army can come and go from those areas as they please.

The Kintargo Contract makes it so that Cheliax can't attack the areas that are considered to be in Ravounel rather than Cheliax.

Thank you!!

As for the Council, 3 of the 4 heroes are from noble families, so they are actually on the council. It looks like that's where I screwed up - I had it where Rexus knew about the council and was able to dig up the names of the five families.

Yikes on the Hold Monster stuff haha. Hei-Fen seems like she was used differently in every single campaign.

I just ran most of Urchin's Maw. I looked up the 5e whirlpool rules (they're in Ghosts of Saltmarsh) and it added a lot to the game.

Once the battle with the charybdis was done, I had the group encounter the seaweed siren outside the cave. I love this monster so much. The group seemed very intrigued by it, and were clever enough to realize that a silence spell could pretty much shut it down.

They explored the underwater caves (the water pressure forced the necromancer to tell her undead to go back to the surface).

Things got a little weird when the group somehow mistook the mithril tuning fork for a stripper pole, and the group ended up having a strip-off with the skum. The less said, the better!

They came upon the drowned devil but we had to stop there.

I have decided to cook up a special mission for Vyre. The group LOVED Vyre when we played through book 3, so I think they'll enjoy a return to the city. One of the heroes is romantically involved with Mantice Kaleeki, and another one has parents locked up in the asylum as part of her backstory.

I'm not exactly sure what they'll be doing there... I am going to scour this site to see what stuff other people have come up with for Vyre.

I kind of assumed that Urchin's Maw would be flat, but for whatever reason, it came off really well and we all enjoyed it tremendously. I love Hell's Rebels.. I don't think any published campaign will ever top Skull & Shackles, but this one is right up there with it.


Does Thrune have any way of knowing if the Board of Governor's motion is valid or not (if it had all the family members)? When reading that bit one of my first ideas was making a "Board of Governors" of the entire city (aint no rule the council has to consist only of those families, it has to be unanimous or the board have any other power). Carliss's situation stops that from working unless there's some distant relative who has a claim in the city, but I doubt Cheliax would go for broke on the chance one line is truly extinct.


Presumably commune or divination. Or the queen could simply ask the Pit Fiend advisor to House Thrune.


deuxhero wrote:
When reading that bit one of my first ideas was making a "Board of Governors" of the entire city (aint no rule the council has to consist only of those families, it has to be unanimous or the board have any other power). Carliss's situation stops that from working unless there's some distant relative who has a claim in the city, but I doubt Cheliax would go for broke on the chance one line is truly extinct.

There isn't a rule that anything has to be done a certain way. You can change things any way you want as it's your game.

But, if you're going exactly by what the books say, page 23 of book 5 tells you that that the responsibility can be passed on to a legal heir even if the person isn't of the original family's blood (otherwise Laria wouldn't be on the Board), it also says that the vote doesn't have to be unanimous, and that House Thrune consults their copy of the Cheliax Covenant (which requires getting another copy of it from Odexidie as Queen Abrogail I destroyed House Thrune's original copy), and consult mortal and infernal barristers to confirm that what the PCs/Lord-Mayor are saying is correct.

Having the entire city vote could be problematic for the contract as it would mean the PCs likely don't have to go visit Odexidie, the language involved would have to be incredibly specific as to who counts as "being part of the city," and that set-up likely wouldn't have worked for the original intended purpose as Abrogail I intended to convince or force the Board of Governors to ratify her as the Lord-Mayor and doing that tho the entire city would be harder (if not impossible) and would take too long if she was in a rush to exploit the loophole.

Shadow Lodge

Warped Savant wrote:
Contracts: The various local representatives need to sign an agreement with Kintargo otherwise the areas of land that they represent still belong to Cheliax and the Chelaxian army can come and go from those areas as they please.

This provision really bothered me. Who are, for instance, Xereliah and Solmestria to speak for the entirety of the North Plains and Ravounel Forest, respectively? Xereliah is just some person with goodwill in one settlement, accountable to no one but her conscience, making decisions for an arbitrarily large number of people.* Solmestria is at least accountable to her tribe, but her tribe has no more than sixty people in it.** It also speaks to how little the SRs are assumed to have done in the countryside, despite traversing it pretty extensively in Book 3. But that problem has its own thread addressing it.

* Ultimate Campaign implies but doesn't outright state that there should be no more than 250 people per settlement-less hex, a population density of less than 3 people per square mile. Ravounel's eastern border shifts from map to map, with its most westerly position being on the map in Kintargo Contract and its most easterly position being on the map in Tomorrow Must Burn. But taking the Kintargo Contract map as correct, the North Plains region (which includes everything east of the Yolubilis, not just the North Plains themselves) has about 260 hexes in it. Including the settlements of Whiterock (1,500) and Cypress Point (1,850) that's at most 68,000 people (some hexes could be entirely unpopulated).

** Applying the same method to the Ravounel Forest region, which encompasses everything west of the Yolubilis except those parts which are considered parts of the Coastal Waters (I count the watersheds of the rivers draining into the Dismal Nitch as part of the Coastal Waters, but other lines could be drawn, including at the shore) gives a population with an upper bound between 39,000 and 41,000.

deuxhero wrote:
(aint no rule the council has to consist only of those families, it has to be unanimous or the board have any other power)

Here's what Odexidie has to say on the subject:

"The Board of Governors is to consist of five people from established Kintargan family lines. The families themselves were not included in the Kintargo contract itself for the sake of language clarity, and the fact that your Silver City abandoned the tradition after Abrogail's death does not impact the legal standing of the contract. But since you're here and asked so nicely, the family names are Delronge, Mayhart, Solstine, Tanessen, and Urvis. Hopefully, you'll be able to find descendants of all five lines, since if any of these lines have died out without a new line being ratified in, I'm afraid you'll be out of luck without having Cheliax's current queen issue an official addendum to the contract. And I assume that’s not something you'll be able to count on her doing."

Breaking this down:

1) The Board of Governors is a five-member body. It may not be expanded, nor may it have a quorum less than five. Each family gets one representative. A family's representative need not be the head of its house.
2) The five families are not named in the contract. The justification for this is in-credible; specifying the families would only create clarity, and not doing so has manifestly created only confusion. And dependence on Odexidie, which is probably the point.
3) The five families are subject to change. Specifically, if a family dies out, the ruling Thrune has the right to seat a new family (presumably this right continues even after Ravounel's independence, making the latter a complete farce. This is a good thing.).

That said, the Board does not have to be unanimous. A majority vote suffices. Nor is there anything to say that a Governor's vote must be free. They can be bribed or coerced - it was Abrogail's plan to do just that. One could imagine Kintargo passing a law that says a Governor must vote for an otherwise duly-chosen Lord-Mayor on pain of death.


I read the first part as must include, not exclusively so. I supposed "consist of" without a word like primarily or mostly tends to mean only.

Shadow Lodge

deuxhero wrote:
I read the first part as must include, not exclusively so. I supposed "consist of" without a word like primarily or mostly tends to mean only.

The important term isn't actually "consist," it's "is to." That is a definite phrase like "shall" or "will," not a word that allows for discretion like "may" or "can."


Thinking some more, the "everyone votes" solution might work if the the exact legal phrasing for setting up the council means only the proper heirs are truly on it.

Shadow Lodge

deuxhero wrote:
Thinking some more, the "everyone votes" solution might work if the the exact legal phrasing for setting up the council means only the proper heirs are truly on it.

Well, if you want to deceive the people whose votes don't count that they matter.


I was thinking more symbolic than anything. But if you go that route, might as well write absent (but inducted) council members votes with the majority.

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