Banner Marches

Session #17

Politics and dancing swords

The party held council with young King Arslein, placed on the throne by adventurers, whose profession he holds in high regard. However, not all in the King’s council are so positively inclined. Knight Commander Roderic, in particular, seems to have a vendetta with Kirito for leading the party in which his son was slain; and Rafael’s belittling comments did little to appease the man. Moreover, there was some skepticism toward Vy, the tiefling warlock who joined the party only thru intervention of the Princess Merisende. Despite these differences, the party was able to sort thru several pressing issues facing the Banner Marches:

1) First of all, the party discovered that the red dragon attack on the King’s citadel Tir Uldeir was orchestrated by the Cult of the Dragon and a man calling himself the Wyrmlord wielding the Ord of Red Dragonkind, The Cult of the Dragon apparently operates from a secret hideout somewhere in the Howling Hills. If only someone would rid the land of this evil once and for all…

2) There is mounting evidence that the magocracy Suleistarn is gearing up for war against the Banner Marches. For a long time witch-finders of Suleistarn have been abducting youth with the gift of magic for nefarious purposes. The leader of the King’s special forces, a shadowy man named Dacarde, cautioned that since all teleportation circles were destroyed linking Suleistarn & the Banner Marches, the only way for Suleistarn to invade is overland, and that means passing thru the freehold Bechauex. Problem is Bechauex’s duke has declared independence and may be convinced by Suleistarn into allowing movement of troops thru his lands. If only someone could convince the duke of the King’s goodwill by solving his monster problem, the legendary Beast of Bechauex…

3) During the initial red dragon attack, Cerad Zforta, the emissary of Suleistarn who gifted the King with the Orb of Green Dragonkind, fled on horseback. Everyone suspects his actions precipitated the attack. Fortuitously, he was captured by a petty lord in neighboring Urelgaine who is seeking a vast sum of money from the highest bidder: Suleistarn or the Banner Marches. Princess Merisende is leading an expedition to speak with the dangerous Witch Queen, leader of all Urelgaine, to make a case for custody of Cerad Zforta being given to the Banner Marches. However, if the princess needs help her closest allies will be the party…

4) The Wild Hunt had descended upon the Banner Marches with the coming of winter. These spectral horsemen appear to pillage villages and carry off the young to another world. Complicating matters, the Horned Lord of the Wild Hunt is seeking Synovel, young daughter of the wood elven Alder King, as his bride. If only someone would send these riders back from whence they came…

5) They say the favored prey of the Wild Hunt is a catoblepas, also called the Questing Beast, which is of interest to paladins, servants of the Raven Queen, and certain witches for its body parts. A catoblepas has been reported by peasants in the northeastern Shiver Moors, leaving death in its wake. If only brave adventurers would slay the beast…

6) Synovel fled the arranged marriage and sought sanctuary with the party, who brought her to the King’s citadel Tir Uldeir. While there is some human animosity toward the wood elves, given the current racial tensions, she seems safe there for the time being. However, Eolais, herald of the Alder King, gave warning that the Horned Lord will be far more dangerous if the Alder King doesn’t fulfill his end of their bargain. Nobody trusted Eolais. If only there was a way to avoid conflict between the humans and the elves…

7) Drow had arranged for passage thru Dragon Mountain to the surface for a group of over 100 warriors, though to what end is unknown. Clearly the drow are planning something, if only cunninng adventurers could find out what…

After much debate, the party decided their immediate course of action would be to travel to the ruins of Inverness to retrieve the corpse of the great mage Fastilbras and resurrect him to serve as court wizard. Once this task was finished, they would venture to Bechaeux to secure the border and deal with the fabled Beast of Bechaeux.

All of a sudden, council was interrupted by Kirito’s dancing sword, which had triggered a curse when the gnomish artificer hired to dispel the curses attempted a ritual to cleanse the party’s dragon hoard treasure. Glowing with drowish runes, the sword attempted to assassinate King Arslein. Thankfully, the party was able to fend it off long enough for Kirito to reassertion his will over the sword and sheath it, ending the assassination attempt.

Not wanting to waste any more time than necessary, the party got a good nights rest at the inn and set off for the ruins of Inverness the following morning…

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