The Approaching Storm

It Begins
Part 1

The Stolen Lands have long resisted attempts at colonization. Wedged between the River Kingdoms and Brevoy, the approximately 35,000-square-mile swath of wilderness has a long history of being regarded as “stolen”—from and by whom depending on the point of view. In Brevoy, the lands are considered stolen from that nation’s southern expanse by bandits and barbarians variously from Numeria, Iobaria, or the River Kingdoms themselves. Intro slide  time to explore

In the River Kingdoms, the general impression is that Brevoy allowed the lands to fall into the hands of monsters and worse in order to rob the lords of the River Kingdoms of more lands to rule. Even within the wildlands themselves, lands are stolen and conquered in constant struggles between bickering tribes of centaurs, kobolds, fey, trolls, bandits, lizardfolk, boggards, barbarians, and more, all constantly skirmishing to expand their holdings while not ceding their own lands to the enemy.

In truth, the Stolen Lands belong to no one, and are stolen from no one. Many have tried to claim them, but the abandoned ruins that dot the swath of wilderness stand as testaments to the difficulty of ruling these savage lands. They have remained wild with a fierce tenacity, a haven for monsters and criminals and dangerous secrets, and as such have posed a menace to their neighboring nations as long as anyone can remember.

Yet these times of relative calm in the Stolen Lands are coming to an end. Spurred to action in part by an increase in aggression among the bandits and barbarians of the Stolen Lands and by building political tensions to the north, the swordlords of Restov have sent agents and colonists into the disputed region to explore and settle and, if need be, conquer. The establishment of four new puppet kingdoms, all beholden to Restov’s swordlords and the rest of Rostland, would not only bring freedom from banditry and raids along Rostland’s southern border, but also the resources and clout needed to make a play for a higher station in Brevoy’s complicated political scene.

If all goes well, the just return of the Stolen Lands to Brevic control could well give Rostland the footing it needs to challenge the Surtova hold on the crown. Working quickly and quietly through pawns and minions, numerous agents have set into motion four separate campaigns against the Stolen Lands, each on the surface appearing to address minor elements of banditry or securing of trade routes, while in fact they are preparing the way for annexation and conquest of the entire region.

It is purpose and challenge that has lead you all to Restov; to meet with The Lord Bresinian Of Restov and potentially receive the royal charter allowing exploring and conquest in the name of the crown. The night before your meeting with Lord Bresinian, you all find yourself at the Briar Patch, a fairly modest inn in the center of Restov.

PubThe Briar Patch is full of all manner of ruffians, wenches, gamblers and thugs; your typical nightly crowd. Bustling and jostling your way through the flaying arms and mugs, you manage to take an empty seat at a table near the fireplace and the Inn’s bard, a middle-aged dark haired human, who plays the lute and mixes in obnoxious jokes between his politically laced drinking songs. As you settle down to the table, raise a hand to attempt gain the attention of a serving wench, you glance around the table and see…..[you each are at this table].

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The Commission
Part 2

The next morning you have a quick breakfast and make idle chat with those who shared your table with last night. You share the rumors and stories you heard last night. Once breakfast is over a guard opens to the door to the inn, sticks his head in and bellows, “Lord Bresinian will receive all potential adventurers in 30 minutes….head to the receiving hall at the Lord’s manor.” He closes the door and heads to the next inn to deliver the message.

You settle up with the Inn Keeper, gather up your gear and make your way to the Lord’s Manor; a beautiful stone structure with expensive stained glass.

Manor

Four guards wearing white robes that cover chain mail. The robes display the symbol of the Lord of Restov on the front. Each guard holds a halberd and has a short-sword sheathed at the waist. A small group of other adventurer types is mulling around waiting for the meeting with the Lord.

After a few minutes, when about 15 of you are gathered, the guards open the door and a magistrate appears wearing full brown thick robes. His face is covered with a closely cropped white beard. “Good morning sell-swords. If you will please follow me, I will escort you into the receiving hall for Lord Bresinian will hear your description of your skills and will award commissions to SOME of you.” He emphasized the word “SOME” with a hint of question as to be sure you don’t assume that each will receive an assignment. “I might add that Lord Brensinian is a fair but firm and expects those he employs will be of the upmost high character and skill. Don’t disappoint.” With that he turns and enters into the manor and over his shoulder he says “follow.”

The lot of you exchange glances and follow after him.

Chambers The Manor is immaculately decorated with gold walls, shiny tile floors and high ceilings. It would rival many a castle of a king. After a short walk through hallways filled with all manner of relics and suits of armor you are escorted into the receiving hall.

Your group stands together just as other 10-12 men and women form two other separate groups. To anyone watching it looks like three different adventuring groups.

Heroes2
Heroes5
Heroes6

Shortly your waiting is ended when the court page blows a small trumpet and shouts, much louder than necessary, “Lord Bresinian arrives, bend the knee!”

Lord bresnian You watch as the others slowly bend the knee in respect which leads you to do so as well [unless you don’t — please let me know if that is the case] and the Lord enters the room.

He is dressed in elaborate velvet cloak over richly deep grey robes. His neck and wrist are covered with all manner of bracelets and necklaces. His beard is trimmed tight and neat. He appears plump and in his 50s. On his head he wears a black velvet hat trimmed with a white feather. He is very much what you expect a ‘Lord’ to be.

Lord Bresinian sits on throne and with a dismissive wave he casually says, “You may rise.”

“I am pleased that such a good looking lot of sell swords has responded to my call for men and women of strength and honor to be considered for a commission. A lord has no shortage of problems and issues that impact his land, reign and, well I suppose his people too. No doubt you have heard of the bandits in the area.” Again his tone is dismissive as he says ‘bandits’, almost as if hinting that it is just a tale drummed up by parents to scare children into bed. “I could use some of you to deal with those problems, and likely the lesser of you will be retained for some such task.”

“But alas, my commission is for something more, shall we say, ambitious. No doubt you are aware of the stolen lands…. the 35,000 square mile swath of wilderness south of Restov towards the River Kingdoms. This land was stolen from Brevoy by all manner of bandits and, well, other things and I aim to return it to the King Noleski Surtova, thus earning myself the title of the King’s Hand. But to earn that honor, I MUST deliver the Stolen Lands, conquered and tamed!”

“You are all here today because there is something inside you that makes different from the common man. You are driven and dangerous… you fear neither sword or magic or man or beast… all manner of motivations drive a man to ask for dangerous work and I care not why you are seeking a commission so long as you too possess those intangible virtues that make a man, shall we say, dangerous. In order for me to choose the best of you for this ambitious task I would hear from each of you why I should consider you for the commission. I should note before you begin your tales, that those who I commission will have my full authority, backing and support to explore, map and tame the stolen lands in any way you may. You will receive this commission,” he holds up this document for your all to see Charter smaller

“Upon successful completion you will be knighted and granted wealth enough to become lords yourselves, subject to me of course, and shall be deemed to be heroes and the subjects of the bards songs and poems for centuries to come. To be sure that we memorialize your efforts, my court bard, Teak D’Haran, will escort the commissioned lot to record their deeds and adventures. Whether you desire to establish justice and peace or whether you intend to put the usurpers to the sword, is no matter, so long as you map and tame the Stolen Lands in my name.”

“Now then, let me hear of your valor and skill and I shall make my decision after hearing your tales.”

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ADVENTURE LOG UPDATE

With the new site still not allowing edits to comments on adventure log posts nor the ability to insert images into comments on the adventure log posts we are still in the forums. However, they messed up the forums (and got rid of the “sticky”) so I had to reorganize the forums into sub-forums.

The current adventure log that we are writing together can always be found in Adventure Log

Older, completed adventure logs are moved to Adventure Logs

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